‘Play­ing mu­sic is prob­a­bly what keeps me sane’

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT MUSIC - LUNA PAIGE

TELL me about your last CD, how you got to this one, and how the for­mer in­flu­enced the lat­ter. My pre­vi­ous al­bum was my first Afrikaans al­bum. It was also the first live al­bum I recorded so it was quite a chal­lenge and ex­cit­ing to work on. After pro­mot­ing that al­bum for almost two years it was im­pos­si­ble not to record my next English al­bum. I have worked on and per­formed the new songs for almost two years and it was time to head back to the stu­dio again. Tell me about the song­writ­ing and how you went about writ­ing and per­form­ing it? The new al­bum, Bor­ders & Beyond, is a col­lec­tion of songs I wrote. Most of the time when I write songs they come from a sin­gle mo­ment, ex­pe­ri­ence or emo­tion. Coun­try King was in­spired by the lead character in the movie Crazy Heart. The song and duet One Day was in­spired by the novel of that name. The coun­try song Keep on Keep­ing on was in­spired by my ex­pe­ri­ence as a so­cial worker (who spent time in the church and the bar). I wanted this al­bum to be about more than just my­self. I wanted my songs to tell sto­ries. Schalk Jou­bert, who is my bass player and also the pro­ducer of the al­bum, recog­nised that there was a coun­try in­flu­ence to the mu­sic (which was quite a sur­prise to me). We de­cided to record an hon­est, stripped down al­bum with a coun­try-in­flu­enced thread through­out. Who are the mu­si­cians who join you and why? I value loy­alty (es­pe­cially in this tough in­dus­try) and pre­fer to work with peo­ple I trust and who re­spect my mu­sic. Schalk and I have been work­ing to­gether since 1999 and have a great un­der­stand­ing. Kevin Gib­son (drum­mer) is an ir­re­place­able find and col­lab­o­ra­tor. Henry Steel (guitars) has worked with me since the early 2000s when we used to per­form in var­i­ous projects. I in­vited Ger­ald Clark to sing a duet with me be­cause we’ve worked to­gether since 2009. We have great fun to­gether and I think he has a beau­ti­ful voice. De­scribe your style of mu­sic and where it’s at now. It does not fit a spe­cific genre re­ally. I do, how­ever, feel that I am slowly but surely set­tling into a sound that feels right. It is still not a spe­cific genre – but who cares? It is lyric and melody driven. Who and what in­flu­ence you and how has your mu­sic changed as you get older? I re­mem­ber a jour­nal­ist once re­view­ing one of my first shows. He wrote that it felt as if he was lis­ten­ing to one long song – but that at least it was a good song. I re­alised that day that one should some­times take pos­i­tive cri­tique and work with it if you want to im­prove. For me the chal­lenge is to stay true to my­self. Col­lab­o­rat­ing chal­lenged me to play mu­sic from dif­fer­ent gen­res and def­i­nitely in­flu­enced my mu­sic style. All in all – grow­ing older is about know­ing who you are and ac­cept­ing it. What do you think of mak­ing a ca­reer in mu­sic with what is hap­pen­ing in the in­dus­try? I love mu­sic. It is a lan­guage we all speak. Some­times I am sorry I am a mu­si­cian, since it can spoil the mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ence for you. Play­ing mu­sic is prob­a­bly what keeps me sane. There is no safer place to let your­self go when things are tense or sad or over­whelm­ingly happy. Women and song. Pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive? I am ex­cited about women in the South African mu­sic scene. There are more solo fe­male artists to­day than I could count on my hand a few years ago. That is a great sign. I also see more fe­male artists be­ing in­cluded in and per­form­ing at rock and other fes­ti­vals across the coun­try.

They are not only the stereo­typ­i­cal pop or rock chicks, but also play mu­sic from other gen­res. I also love the new trend of male-fe­male vo­cal col­lab­o­ra­tions… this keeps things fresh and in­ter­est­ing. It is nice to see women filling slots not be­cause they are women, but be­cause they are good at what they do… When you have just re­leased a CD, does your head turn to what’s ahead? By the time the al­bum is fin­ished and printed and the launch tour has come to an end, I am usu­ally done with the project in my head and ready to move on the next chal­lenge. Un­for­tu­nately it does not work like that. One must work hard at pro­mot­ing that al­bum for at least one to two years. What mu­sic do you lis­ten to? I don’t lis­ten to a lot of mu­sic. That might sound a bit strange or bor­ing, but it is the truth. I have my favourite artists – mostly singer­song­writ­ers from the ’60s.

I am a huge fan of Joni Mitchell, Paul Si­mon and ad­mire the poetic lyrics of Nick Cave and Leonard Co­hen.

Shows: Thurs: The Sounds­tage, Pta, 8pm; Sat: Open Strings, Dbn, 1pm; Dec 13: Mu­ratie Wine Es­tate, Stel­len­bosch, 3pm; Dec 18: Olyven­houdt Olive Farm, Stil­baai, 8pm.

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