Mixed Apples has always been a platform to help showcase amazing local talent, talent that we may know very well or talents that is still unheard of. We really love helping the local music scene with amazing interviews, album release information and event promotions. One amazing local talent that we recently got introduced to is, singer/songwriter/looper/solo act, Jaryd Smith. Here is a short background and interview with him:
I was born on the east rand of Johannesburg South Africa. My grandfather and mother bought me my first guitar when I was six, but only started playing when I was twelve. I studied music for four years at C.O.P.A (Campus Of Performing Arts) I then spent three years on the road driving to every province in South Africa with my band Van Smith.
I have now gone solo playing and looping many instruments. I have found what I have wanted to do and I am incredibly happy.
Interview: Jaryd Smith
- Hey Jaryd, how you doing mate? Its a pleasure to be chatting to you today.
Hi there so Glad to be chatting to you today, thanks for the opportunity
- Before we get started, can you please tell us where in SA are you from & where did you get your passion for music from?
My passion for music started when, at the age of 6 years old I was given a guitar by my grandparents. Fast forward to the age of 12 and I started playing in my local church and the rest as they say is history. My passion for entertaining really derives from the fact that I love making people happy. It is a fundamental part of who I am and why I love doing what I do.
- Has music always been a part of your life growing up?
Well, I started playing at the age of 12, very unsuccessfully I might add, I then got involved in the church band and then I was given the opportunity to really follow my passion by studying at COPA (Campus of performing arts) which I did from the age of 16. I majored in guitar, vocals and even did a year of music production just to make my life hard.
- Who/What are some of your musical inspirations?
Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, John Mayor, The Beatles, there are so many that if I had to name them all id be here all day.
Each artist has the ability to be a mentor to different people in different ways E.g. Jack Johnson may not be the best singer known to man, but his lyrics are incredible. Likewise, Jason Mraz may not be the best guitarist but his vocals are incredible. Its about taking what you like most about each artist and finding inspiration in their strengths.
- You were once part of a band called Van Smith, is this correct? Can you give us a short background on this?
During my years at COPA I played for a band called Cry Out Riot, and I met an incredible human being and basist called Willie van Tonder.
Both of us liked a similar style in music and so it was an obvious decision to start Van Smith. Later we were at the KKNK festival and Reyno van der Linde was the sound engineer for one of the stages.
He also happens to be an incredible drummer. He asked if he could play with us every time we played on his stage, the dynamic was epic and that was the start off the full band.
Unfortunately life gets In the way of life, and as we all know musicians aren’t paid very well, especially a new band. Willie and Reyno needed to focus on their lives and the band slowly broke up as a result.
- You now are focusing on your solo career. What made you choose to go solo and how has this experience been thus far?
After the break up of Van Smith I did some serious soul searching and decided that despite the fact that the band was no more, I still had the desire to entertain and make people happy.
With the support of friends and family, I decided to give the solo career a go and see what I could make of it and sufficed to say, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
- Where do you take inspiration from in your “sound”?
My style is a culmination of all the great artists that I have been following over the years, mixed with a little Jaryd and including a spice of south Africa.
Be true to who you are and the world will hopefully see authenticity within the music.
- Our local scene has been growing positively over the past few years… What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment and if there is anything you wish to see happen differently?
Without a doubt the music scene is growing and more and more South Africans are beginning to appreciate what it takes to be an artist. Having said that if I could wave a magic wand I would want for two things: that the average South Africans out there would appreciate us more. Its hard out there. And that club/pub owners would likewise appreciate the time and effort it takes us to do what we do and pay us accordingly.
- Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
Bad Peter is probably one of the sickest bands In south Africa, pay special attention to them in the future.
Majozi is not only a great musician but probably one of the nicest human beings on the face of the planet.
K-Jo is an up and coming solo artist, not only is she a great guitarist, but she has an amazing voice.
Gert Wolmerans is one of the craziest saxophonists in the country, and he has spent a lot of time assisting me.
- Anything that you are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
I just released my new album – Charcoal Sketching which is available on iTunes, amazon and google play.
I know im plugging myself here, but for all the fans out there, note that all the instruments in the album are played by yours truly, this was a very hard task I set myself but it was worth it in the end.
We have also just released the music video to one of the album tracks called Walking Fearless, also available on my facebook page Jaryd Smith.
I’ve also been doing some interesting mashups of late, most notably, my Snoop dog, Beatles and Eminem which is on YouTube at the moment and has gotten an overwhelmingly positive response.
- Where can we follow you on Social media?
- Lastly, if you could have the opportunity to collab with and three local acts, who would they be?
It would have to be:
Bad Peter, Majozi and Matthew Mole.
Bring it J
- Thanks for your time…!!
No Nelson, thanks for your time.