A dif­fer­ent a-rey of talent at youth fi­esta

Sunday Tribune - - EVENTS -

SOME great mu­sic can be heard on Youth Day in Glen­wood, dur­ing the sec­ond Im­bumba Fi­esta, to be staged at Bul­wer Park on June 16. The line-up for the free con­cert of­fers a great se­lec­tion of mu­si­cians rep­re­sent­ing myr­iad mu­si­cal gen­res – both proudly lo­cal and from fur­ther afield. The con­cert is from 3pm-7pm.

You re­cently changed your name from Holly to Holly Rey. What was the rea­son be­hind this?

Hav­ing been through so many changes and com­ing into my own as an artist, I wanted some­thing to mark the change and new be­gin­ning in my life. Ev­ery­one still iden­ti­fied with me as that young girl who re­leased songs so many moons ago and I am re­ally not that girl any­more. I have grown far be­yond who that per­son was, both per­son­ally and mu­si­cally.

Do you think that peo­ple will be re­cep­tive to your name? It does sound very ex­otic, in a way.

The re­sponse has been very pos­i­tive. Peo­ple love the name and al­though they see it as a new be­gin­ning, it has not swept my pre­vi­ous body of work un­der the car­pet. They seem to recog­nise that this is about a new era for me.

Does this now mean a change in your mu­sic and your sound?

I wouldn’t say it’s a 180-de­gree change; it is more a de­vel­op­ment than a change, a de­vel­op­ment of my sound into some­thing bet­ter, which re­flects who I have grown into as a mu­si­cian.

You’ve just re­leased new mu­sic and it’s get­ting trac­tion around the coun­try. What has been the big­gest chal­lenge of get­ting your mu­sic to be en­joyed by a main­stream au­di­ence?

The re­sponse to my new sin­gle has been amaz­ing. I think I have found my sweet spot and I guess the re­sponse re­flects how the evo­lu­tion of my sound has been re­ceived. The big­gest bar­rier to be­ing en­joyed by main­stream au­di­ences is be­ing ac­cepted into the main­stream me­dia space. I have never had a prob­lem with be­ing a lit­tle more off the main­stream radar be­cause it forced me to make real con­nec­tions and de­velop my own au­di­ence, which has grown with me. This has also al­lowed me time to grow into who I wanted to be as an artist and find my place on my own terms.

What’s the state of dance mu­sic on the con­ti­nent right now?

African dance mu­sic and dance cul­ture is big­ger than the con­ti­nent now. We are hav­ing a ma­jor im­pact and in­flu­ence on in­ter­na­tional cul­ture. What is so epic about dance mu­sic in Africa is that we are not only the big­gest in­flu­encers of pop cul­ture right now, but are also the big­gest con­sumers of dance mu­sic in the world and so the whole world has eyes on us. Ev­ery­body wants a slice of our pie, so there are end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties. The chal­lenge is how we cap­i­talise on those op­por­tu­ni­ties.

How do you tackle your per­for­mances?

With ev­ery event, I try to do some­thing that the au­di­ence will find fresh.

Do you struc­ture them dif­fer­ently, de­pend­ing on the kind of event or fes­ti­val you are per­form­ing in?

Yes. Club events are dif­fer­ent to fes­ti­vals. Club per­for­mances are shorter – maybe two or three songs – while fes­ti­vals are any­thing from 20 min­utes to a full, one-hour set. I pro­gramme ev­ery set dif­fer­ently, adding some­thing dif­fer­ent to ev­ery set. It could be an ad­di­tional live el­e­ment to a song, or a new song, or a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of a par­tic­u­lar song.

What do we have to look for­ward to at your per­for­mance at the Im­bumba Fi­esta on Satur­day?

New mu­sic and a whole fresh set.

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