This weekend sees the end of the first icy Winter month of June, which also means its the final weekend of the month and our favourite Sunday festival in Pretoria, PARK ACOUSTICS. One the line-up this month is the amazingly talented beauty from sdsaa, Laurie Levine, who is super excited to play for all you special Pretoria party-goers! We managed to steal a moment of her busy schedule to bring you this short interview, I hope you enjoy:
- Hey there, how you doing? Its awesome to be chatting to you!!
Doing good! A little chilly, but that’s as it should be. Keeping very busy though, so that’s a good distraction from the cold!
- Before we get started, do you mind introducing yourself and giving us a short background on how you got started in music?
I’m a singer songwriter from Johannesburg. I love folk and country music and I have been playing guitar and writing songs since I was about 15 years old, but I only got into performing in my early twenties. Once I had written a couple of songs, I decided one day to hold a soiree for my friends and family at my house. I just wanted to share my music. And that was how it all began.
- How would you describe your style of music?
It falls under the large umbrella of contemporary folk. More specifically, it probably fits into the genre of Americana, which is country and folk music with American influences. But I prefer not labeling my music and restricting it too much- there’s some roots, folk, country, rock, blues and soul- a melting pot of styles.
- What would you say have been some inspirations to your musical journey thus far?
Many of the most inspiring moments have happened in very small venues, when I have felt my music really moving people and when the songs have taken on a life of their own. When I toured the UK in 2012 I performed at a folk club in the small town of Elloughton. Much to my surprise, when I started singing my cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of fire’, the audience broke into song and started singing with me.
I’m always inspired by watching other artists perform and learning from them. Some highlights include seeing Bruce Springsteen in South Africa this year, opening for grammy nominee Kim Richey in the UK recently and the biggest inspiration of all was seeing Emmylou Harris performing in New York. That was a turning point for my music and its direction.
- The local music scene has been growing in leaps over the last few years, what has you most excited about how things are progressing in SA?
I think audiences are becoming more proud of local music and more willing to stand behind local artists and support the scene. Lots of new music festivals are starting to happen and artists are being given many more platforms to express themselves.
- What dont you leave the house without?
- Do you have a process for songwriting or does it just come naturally to you?
It’s a bit of both. Sometimes songs just happen when you least expect it. But most of the time I have to work really hard at finding a song and moulding it into something I really connect with. My songs are very much melody driven so this is usually what comes first.
- Can you give us a few of your career highlights thus far?
Some highlights include opening for the legendary Rodriguez in London, opening for Joe Jackson in South Africa, and opening the pages of one of my favourite international magazines ‘Uncut’ to find an 8/10 review of my album ‘Six Winters’.
- Are there any other projects that you are working on that we might be interested in hearing about?
I have been collaborating with Josie Field for the last year and a half. We have released an acoustic album and we tour together about twice a year. It’s a very exciting project and people seem to the love the collaboration. The project is called ‘Side by Side’.
- Where can we follow you on social media?
Facebook: www.facebook.com/laurielevinemusic Twittter: @Laurie_Levine
- Lastly, if you could play at any international festival, where would that be at?
Coachella, Austin City Limits and CMJ Music Marathon are all festival I wouldn’t mind playing at;)
- Thank you so much for your time…
My pleasure. Look forward to seeing everyone at Park Acoustics this weekend.