Get wild with Alt Ego

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

“We were play­ing in the ho­tel lobby and a small crowd had gath­ered near us. Justin walked out of the gym and no one had seen him, be­cause the crowd was fac­ing us. While we per­formed for the crowd, lit­tle did they know we were also per­form­ing for Justin Bieber,” Petersen said. “He danced while we played, which was pretty awe­some.”

A few months ear­lier one of their idols, DJ Snake, in­ter­acted with them dur­ing his stay at the ho­tel and with each en­counter they be­came more in­vig­o­rated by the dream in front of them.

“Peo­ple love what we do. It’s dif­fer­ent from Acous­tic El­e­ment be­cause we want peo­ple to dance, but to music they would never nor­mally dance to,” Abel said.

Suc­cess or even a ca­reer in music, how­ever, was not a fore­gone con­clu­sion all along.

“Jody took about two years to con­vince me to quit my job. I went into the cor­po­rate world. I stud­ied fi­nan­cial ac­count­ing, and then fash­ion, said Petersen.

“Af­ter I quit my job then the busi­ness side kicked in, and it was spread­sheets, fi­nan­cial pro­jec­tions and in­come state­ments. I cal­cu­lated how many hours we needed to work into or­der to make X amount of money. We mapped ev­ery­thing out. It was a cal­cu­lated risk. It wasn’t just a whim­si­cal thing. But it never took away from the music. It was a way for us to do what we had to do, and make sure we could sur­vive.”

It’s a sur­pris­ingly prag­matic ap­proach to the arts that few are ca­pa­ble of. The im­age of a wasted, struggling mu­si­cian play­ing in dingy bars and hide­outs couldn’t be fur­ther from Alt Ego’s ex­pe­ri­ence and yet the au­then­tic­ity and pas­sion is present. It doesn’t end there.

“We are also on the board of two com­pa­nies. One is an events com­pany with Marc Lot­ter­ing. We’re stag­ing an event early next year called the Black Ball. The other com­pany in­volves an app for artists and peo­ple who want to book them. It’s ba­si­cally an Uber for artists. If you want a DJ for your party tonight, we will find an artist for you based on your needs. Even if you have R500 for an hour, you can book some­one and they’ll be there.”

The duo have set them­selves high goals for the fu­ture, in­spired by some of their role mod­els.

“We’d love to stand next to Gold­fish and Good­luck. We’ve worked along­side Jimmy Ne­vis many times. We love Clean Ban­dit; their work is amaz­ing. I love the way they in­cor­po­rate techno, house and clas­si­cal music,” Abel said.

“We’re tak­ing DJ lessons. We’re go­ing all Gold­fish with mix­ers and live in­stru­ments,” Petersen laughed.

It’s a dream they’ve kept alive for seven years and in their bur­geon­ing ca­reers, it’s a dream that grows wings with ev­ery per­for­mance and nod of ap­proval from their peers and an ador­ing fan base.

To down­load the al­bum go to hy­pe­r­url.co/ALTEGO.

PIC­TURE: MELISSA BROWN

Jody Abel and Callen Petersen re­leased an al­bum on Thurs­day and have been tak­ing the charts by storm.

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