Hanging out with PLUS Gig guide part 1
THE name Pedro in terms of music probably brings with it memories of Kideo; but this is a different music man, though by no means less memorable. Pedro Barbosa first came onto the scene a while as part of two different bands – Mrs B. and the Barbosa Experience, and has recently released his fist solo project Reborn. We sat down with the star to find out a little more about him.
We remember watching you perform so many years ago in Melville. When did you actually start your musical career?
In Mozambique, about 21 or 22 years ago. My first gig I played for the school, my second gig I played for over 3 000 people was very scary, but I made it. I was 16 years old. When I was 20 I moved to South Africa and studied music, played for a band called Mrs. B and now I have the solo project and the Barbosa Experience, which is a more African-island-reggae-lain-pop vibe.
You have literally played hundreds of gigs around the world – what is touring like? Describe your average day for those who don’t really know what goes down on tour life.
Wow, yes I have played over 400 shows within the past two years, it has been crazy. I have not done many tours overseas, though, but I have played quite a few countries. Brazil has to be my favourite – it’s crazy, the last tour, I landed and went straight into a gig after a 17-hour flight. And I played with a band called Passo Largo with whom I had never played before. I had met the harmonica player and played with him in Portugal and Spain the year before, but I had never met the band so I sent some songs while I was in SA, they practised them and we met up at the gig for the first time and played. Two days later we were in studio and played six gigs in two weeks while recording four songs. It was a rush and busy busy; we had only two rehearsals as well! But the standard of musicianship is so high, it was easy to play with the guys. An amazing experience.
You’re such a talented musician and one of the most amazing people in the industry. How do you keep it all together? Because we know it’s not always sunshine and roses.
No, not always – you obviously caught me on good days! Hahaha! There is no point on keeping grudges. I avoid negative energies; that really makes no sense to me. Keep on with the positive and motivate yourself. I do get tired and drained – sometimes I complain that I have too many gigs but I’m very aware that I’m lucky to have so much work and so many people supporting me. And that puts a smile on my face and revitalises me. But it is tough. Sometimes I miss birthdays and weddings of friends and family due to work. I have to plan things so far ahead.
Your sound seems to have changed a little over the years – would you agree with that? Have you purposefully taken a new direction with
Reborn? I think people were more used to the Mrs. B. days where it was a more rock vibe, and I think that element will always be there, but yes, it has changed. I’ve tried for something more mature, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, although I was a bit scared because people do become comfortable with an established idea of you, and here you come out with something completely different. But I had to give it a go. I really like soulful music. I’m very curious to see what I will release next. I honestly have no idea at this stage. I have some possible songs already but again, they aren’t the same as Reborn. I believe different styles of music express different emotions the best. And my head space isn’t the same as last year when I recorded and wrote some of the songs for Reborn, so direction is relative to emotion in my case. We’ll see how I feel next year and what direction it takes me.
Where is the most unique spot you’ve ever played?
Well, I played at the AU building in Ethiopia. Not sure that is very unique; it was me and Oliver Mtukudzi. I have also played on top of a kombi with four other guys – still don’t know how we didn’t fall off! But one of my favourite places to play is by the sea. Just me and my guitar. Boring, I know, but really enjoy digging my feet in the sand strumming chords and writing something by the sea.
What was your first job and what would you have become if not a muso?
Well, my first job was being a muso. I started earning money from music when I was 1617 but in between music I did pest control and the odd bar tending job, too. I wanted to be a psychologist or accountant at one stage, but I did six months of Pharmacy and a year of Marine Biology before I accepted my parents were right and I should have taken music from the start!