Hang­ing out with PLUS Gig guide part 1

People (South Africa) - - Contents -

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!

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