I chatted to Tony McGuiness of Above&Beyond on the phone, who are visiting South Africa on the 19th and 20th of November for the Godskitchen event. He is one of three members, the others Jono Grant and Paavo Silimaki all make up what is now a world wide phenomenon. Formed in the year 2000, the group also formed a production project called Ocean Lab (Above&Beyond ft. Justine Suissa).

To start off with, it’s interesting to know that they have a new track release:

‘On a good day’ – Ocean Lab and Above&Beyond (available on beatport).

You have to watch the music video, to get an understanding of what sort of makes the group ‘tick’.

The music video is one of the most inspirational visuals to humanity. It shows a community upliftment program in Detroit from start to finish. The inspiration for the video is based on a simple conclusion that the team decided. With a budget of 15 000 pounds, it was decided to use that money to spend it on things for this much needed community. The project is called the Detroit Urban Farms (http://georgiastreetgarden.blogspot.com/) and enables the community to grow their own fresh produce.

Tony shared his emotions, his feelings and his inspirations for making music with me. In short, music boils down to emotions, life experiences, and a sort of story about yourself. Songs written are not just by chance, and do represent experiences and life lessons – even if they are just instrumental he says. Watch out for ‘Far from in love’ and ‘Alone tonight’.

As Tony says, music is a medium to help you or guide you through things in your life. Whether it be a tough time in your life, a funeral / wedding, or even just helping you do the vacuuming in the house! They have had several emails from fans about their personal experiences. He says that they ‘try to create music that is honest, heartfelt and comes from a place of reality’. But beyond this, is the actual show he goes on to say. Tony can’t describe how satisfying it is to watch someone close their eyes, put their hands in the air, and really enjoy the moment. Aaaah, such is music for us all.

On the lighter side, I asked him what his Mum thinks of his profession (I mean Above&Beyond have topped all the barriers and become world famous)… Tony’s mum says ‘You could have done anything except this doef doef’. Hehe. I’m sure we can all relate to that one, I certainly can!

Coming to South Africa for the first time, Tony McGuiness and Jono Grant are performing to a South African audience that is going to be totally mesmerised, surprised, and lifted into a journey that will travel into the depths of the universe. It is a rare occasion to witness the cream of the crop from abroad, and certainly this won’t be the last time we see them! Look out for the guys on the golf course, when they relax in sunny South Africa.

Written by Andrea Steyn

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