Grabe on Markus Schulz the magician tho… Andrea 'Ashika' Stey… on Interview with Ferry Corsten f… ashleyadams on About
As it turns out, the group of artists from Reunion staying at the same place as me, were performing that afternoon. I asked if I could tag along and be a supporter. It was the best random afternoon of my life.
Heading to Soweto, with no idea what to expect, I was accompanied by one of these French guys. As it turns out, he was the main leading performer in the entire performance. The act was a collaboration with the Soweto folk, and the Reunion artists, where the combined Gum Boot Dancing form South Africa, with French chanting, drumming and break-dancing.
Like seriously, the afternoon was completely vibrant and spectacular. Beyond a shadow of a doubt the community surrounding this project all loved the integration from the group visiting for three months from Reunion. Students in their late 20s had given up some weeks of their lives, to perform side by side, with the performers from Soweto, and bring about a fusion of African and French performing arts.
I was convinced from that moment onward how important it is to at least attempt to contribute whatever talents you have in the business world to the center. Its a huge undertaking feeding 400 students twice a day, and I learned a whole bunch sitting in the kitchen. The girls were happy to braid my hair for me.
And then finally, the afternoon’s performance began. An energetic performance from both groups, merged into a very talented performing arts group. So much so that they have performed all around South Africa.
We saw gum boot dancing, the Snake Dance, some break-dancing, acrobatics, singing, chanting and crowd interaction. Absolutely mesmerized I left with several memories and many new friends from the center.
Vote for Thulani Madondo
who has made it to the CNN top ten Hero’s!!
Who knew that magic existed in a random encounter for me that day, leading to world class performing artists from Reunion and the Kliptown Youth Program.
The Scatterings of Africa
What does it feel like to be a traveller in your own country?
Today I woke up in an awesome backpackers in Joberg, and decided I ‘need’ a real coffee. So off to the nearby Vida E cafe in Sandton, I arrived to be the first and only client. Awesome double latte and mozzarella bake surprise. With the endless Brazilian music playing, could I possibly be on holiday?
It is a cultural phenomenon to actually consider travelling in South Africa, as a South African. And after so many years of travelling throughout Europe, I have now decided, that Southern Africa is the ultimate playground. What more can you need when you have the beach on your doorstep. the city dazzle lights all week long, and the bush vibe. Grrrrrr…… ****happy emotion****
I find it insightful to be placed in such an awesome location as Sandton Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s really taking me to the ultimate level of, how to say, happiness!! I highly recommend getting loose of any heavy travel companions and just going completely wild in Joberg. This city has a phenomenal amount if inspirations for any artist, its kinda like getting drunk for the first time. I am smiling as I write this, and isn’t this what you want out of any moment in life, a chance to smile?
So in order to guarantee a smile on your dial, and a little tingle in your big toe, or even a twinkle in your eye, you will be guaranteed to find an adventure or a journey in Johannesburg.
BnB Interview: Chicane
One of Ibiza’s biggest all-time DJs and BnB’s Andrea Steyn get up close and philosophical about all things life and music related…
His name is ranked in the top regions of producers who helped shaping the sound of Balearic-flavored house music, and his discography is among the most played in Ibiza over the last decade: we’re atalking about Nick Bracegirdle aka Chicane, known for evergreen Ibiza classics such as Saltwater, Offshore, Don’t Give Up and Love On The Run. After laying low for a while as the end of the 00s drew closer, Nick recently put out some new stuff including a new artist album last April called Thousand Mile Stare. Listening to the electronic compositions on the album will certainly take you to the stars and back again, and if not, then high up in the mountains.
BnB’s South African reporter Andrea Steyn took a slice out of the schedule of Nick for an update on his activities…
Please state your name for the record. Where are you based?
Nick from Chicane – based in Scotland, most of the time.
Music gives you a chance to unwind, and to find a place within yourself to reflect. I would like to know how it is, that you are able to put your thoughts in your mind, and transform them into music?
Music is a gift whether we’re able just to listen or to make it. As far as I’m concerned, I do not analyse it that much, things just come and happen.
Can you explain how you find yourself being a successful composer? Mozart and Bach all have historical stories behind them, Beethoven lost his eyes. Is there anything specific in your life that changed. You know, things were never the same, and you began your born given task of supplying the world with your music.
Sorry, no X-Factor sob story, actually the way you put it Mozart and the rest might have done quite well on that program – they certainly have the back story. Early in my life it was easier to communicate with music, or at least express feelings, words can get misinterpreted but music can’t I suppose.
There is a moment in a person’s life, that you hear the music of a band or a certain song, and things will never be the same. Any thoughts here in your personal life?
Well, I’ve said this before, I heard Jean-Michel Jarre on the radio and had not heard anything like it before and was hooked on electronic.
If there is one moment in your life, where music has helped someone close to you, can you remember that moment? And how do you think music speaks to people?
As music is subjective I don’t try and feel what others do when listening, I do what I do and if it helps others, as it sometimes helps me then great
If you had one hour to live, what would you choose to listen to for that final hour?
If you had one chance to make your wildest imagined moment come true, what adventure sport would you choose to do? Bunjee jump? White water rafting? Abseiling down the Victoria Falls? Flying over the Zambezi River?
I do too much flying for it to be in any way enjoyable… abseiling maybe.
If you visit a friend’s house for an afternoon ‘braai’, do you take with an emergency stash of music in your jacket?
No. I am not that controlling. Well, maybe……
You have surely made a giant success in your career, I mean, that goes without saying. Do you think your creative process has evolved by the help of others in your industry? How so?
No one does anything solely on their own, the past and the present play a part in everything we do. On this new record for me, the really exciting thing was working with Vigri and dealing with the mad but lovely Icelanders.
What book are you currently reading?
Been trying to read Keith Richard’s autobiography for months, just too busy.
What instruments do you play?
Keys and studio.
If you could wish a growing child the joy of one thing in life, would it be learning a musical instrument, being able to dance, or to have excellent musical appreciation?
Might be bloody corny but, freedom really!
Which physical sensory perceptions have evolved due to music, in your personal life?
My big toes vibrate.
Favourite climate: hot or cold?
Cold, love that snowboard!
Gotta love the UK for its creativity!
Favourite festival ever experienced?
They are usually all good. But certainly in Australia, Sterosonic.
What country do you still want to learn about (hint hint, South Africa is waiting again!)
We were in SA for NYE this year – or last. I wanted to get to Robben Island but didn’t quite have the time on the list next time.
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Belgian trashy-electro-pop artist Yves Bash has been on my hit list for years. In the following interview he says that “In music everything is possible”. No stranger to large crowds, festivals and global events, he wishes to play at The Republic of Kazantip this year, and will continue working hard in the studio for some more monumental new tracks. He follows his own very unique style, to the bitter end.
It is with great respect in music, that I present, Yves Bash to BnB readers.
What inspires you about music?
I’ve always loved music since my younger age. I was influenced by electro body music, new wave, punk and rock. What I like about music is the melody and energy, and a very important thing for me it’s voices. But I think I’m inspired every-day by everything around me.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s always difficult to describe because I play a lot of things, but I will say electro-trashy-house
What is the strangest crowd you have ever seen while performing?
It was in Russia some years ago, it was my first time there, and I had a feeling of freshness when I played (certainly with the vodka LOL) . I experienced the feeling of having an audience with another listening ability, like some virgin ears. Epic.
The most favourite festival that you’ve either been to / or played at? Are you thinking of going to legendary Republic of Kazantip?
I have to say that if was the Dissonant festival in Belgium I really liked the atmosphere. It’s funny that you talk to me about Kazantip, because I would like to go as everyone great has played there. But perhaps my music is a little too hard. Anyway, I say it’s funny because this year I will certainly go to the Ukraine and to visit Kazantip. And you never ever know, maybe I’ll play there!
What are you looking forward to in this year?
I would certainly like to do more production work. And without a doubt, come play in South Africa
What track changed your life musically growing up, that when you listened to the music of that band or that song, your life has never been the same?
All of the music from Depeche Mode. It is thanks to them that I began to love electronic music. The first track that really made me vibrate, has to be Kevin Saunderson – Rock to the Beat
Would you recommend a career in music for anyone?
When I started in the industry a few years ago yes, but honestly right now it is hard to reach a top level. You need to believe and work hard, because there are a lot of more DJs and producers than before. It’s with democratization since many years ago, towards the production and the arrival of digital where everyone becomes a “pseudo” DJ. But I believe that technology kills the true definition of the word DJ. But this is the inevitable evolution in the industry. I will say that first of all, an artist must do everything with pleasure in mind. And, if it works well and it is good, then this may be the way to a real profession. But first of all, it’s all about the fun!
What advice would you give a rock artist, wanting to change his style into a more electro and dance direction?
I think it’s necessary to keep it basic musically, and not try to copy but bring in some new things.
In music everything is possible.
TIP: I highly recommend getting hooked up to his monthly mixes from soundcloud, such as the following latest ones:
People making it in the music industry: Tim Stark
We all dream of working in the music industry, and South African Editor Andrea Steyn of BeatsandBeyond.com caught up with Tim Stark of Stark Profiles PR, U.K.
Bnb: It’s great to meet someone as successful as you, that is ‘making it’ in the music scene. So here we go with a few questions about it all:
Can you describe the company that you are currently with? What does the company do, and what do you do there? (I noticed you are one of the big shots). Is it by any chance your own company?
TS: I own and manage StarkProfilesPR. We’re a boutique public relations agency, servicing trance DJ/producers and dabbling from time to time in a wee bit of house!
BnB: Where are you based in the globe?
TS: We’re based in Oxford in the UK. It’s equidistant between London and the UK’s second city, Birmingham. So geographically (for the UK at least) we’re happy!
BnB: It would be great to find out how you ended up in this position right now. How long have you worked towards this goal?
TS: In terms of how I ended up in it, well publicity and public relations is a curious beast. It’s not a job anyone ever really walks into on day one in the music biz. Regardless of the industry, it’s something you have to have had lots of peripheral/build-up experience to tackle. It’s a ‘school-of-life’ thing. I started in dance music behind the counter of a record store in ’94, got into DJing, moved to work as the sales manager for a London-based record distributor (Amato, RIP). Whilst there I started co-producing in the studio with some incredibly talented guys I met and launched the ATCR record label. Around the same time I started writing/reviewing trance for DJ Mag and went on to open a mail-order record store. As a publicist you need a good all-round insight into how the industry system works and that only comes from having experienced it. I always say, the only job that requires more all-round experience than a PR agent, is an artist manager! That is seriously the most previous-experience-mandatory job there is.
BnB: Would you say your success is based on luck, or sheer hard work?
TS: Everyone catches a lucky break sometimes. I’ve had a couple. My most memorable one was when someone overheard a phone call on the way into London early one morning in 1997. I won’t bore you with all the details, but after that everything changed. I believe the harder you work, the more involved you are, the more you get yourself out there, then the more lucky moments you’re likely to have. Strangely, in this instance, luck actually becomes something of a numbers game!
BnB: Did you ever imagine that you would be where you are today? Do you have any thoughts on us plebs wanting to get into a similar line of work? We are often told to rather study a business degree, or do accounting (or like me being pushed into doing a science degree by my parents). It’s often true that you study one thing, and end up working another thing.
TS: Hey, I’ve done plenty of plebby jobs! Hasn’t everyone?! In short though, no, I probably didn’t think I’d get where I am today. Does anyone?!! When I first had my head turned by dance music, the industry was a club. The fabled Balearic Mafia. The people who were in that club were (quite rightly) the people who created the scene. If you wanted in you had to have something serious to contribute to it. Quite tough for someone who didn’t know one end of a keyboard (or a Technics 1210) from the other! My parents never pushed me in any direction, almost to a fault in fact. It did mean that when ‘the door’ opened a crack I was unencumbered and more than in a position to throw myself into it.
BnB: So, what kind of opportunities exist in the music industry? Is it really a solid life-long career that any person can consider? What specific role do you fulfil in the industry right now?
TS: You often ask yourself if it is a lifelong career. I believe it is. The music industry is ALWAYS changing though and it is about adapting to those changes. That’s one of the things I love about it. You’re always being kept on your toes. My role is pretty simple on paper. Whatever one of my 24/7 clients do, I take it to all outlets of the media and try to develops as much exposure as possible out of it. These days, in terms of new opportunities, well two words: ‘social’ and ‘media’!
BnB: Now, I noticed that your company has such an All Star Cast of the most happening performers that the dance music scene has to offer. Gosh, I would love to know how this all happened and how long it took to get there.
TS: In 2005 an artist and mate I’d been working for 5 years or so was advised by his DJ agent that he needed a publicist. I’d been in the record label game for 6 years, had some itchy feat, also had some journo experience. So when it was offered, I took the job. It’s built from there really and, as a move, it is truly the one I’m happiest with in my career.
BnB: Are there any special achievements you have achieved that you would like to share?
TS: In the summer of 1993 I wrote a stupendously badly punctuated letter to DJ Mag asking if I could scribe for them. Rather unsurprisingly, I didn’t receive an immediate answer. It is probably my bit of dance music wish-fulfilment that 8 years later they took me on as their trance reviewer. I do still have concerns (read: re-occurring nightmares!) that they have the original letter on file somewhere though! I’ve got James Horrocks to thank for the job. James, wherever you are, thanks amigo!
BnB: What is your hit prediction for the winter season (which is summer here in the northern hemisphere)?
TS: Ooof, tough! Well I did hear a track from the forthcoming Markus Schulz album last Saturday night, which should have come pre-stamped with the words ‘game changer’. I’ve not been able to stop listening to it since. In the genre the trance-dub-step bubble seems to be growing. I thought I was going to hate that, and find it really contrived, but it’s actually growing some pretty decent music.
BnB: What is your most desired event that you would like to attend in the next year (ok, and of course, we will exclude the holiday to South Africa I am bringing you to).
BnB: Haha! We’ll that’d be Transmission in Prague. I’ve been the last 2 years running and the atmosphere and production is incredible. Since Trance Energy was put up (prematurely!) on bricks, it hass kind of taken its place as the foremost independent event in the scene.
BnB: What song or band changed your entire life that once you heard the music of that band or that song, your life was never the same?
TS: Soooooo boring an answer, but it is always, only and forever will be the same. ‘Unfinished Sympathy’. I’m seriously getting goose bumps writing the words. How mad is that?
BnB: Thank you so much for sharing the love.
TS: thanks to you guys. Good exercise for me this
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