Manny Walters is a brilliant singer/songwriter from the Garden Route of George, where he takes in all the beauty of his surroundings as some of his inspiration. He will be heading down to Gauteng this weekend, where you catch him playing LIVE at Park Acoustics this Sunday! We managed to have a short chat with him, check how it went down:
MA: Hey there, how you doing? It’s awesome to be chatting to you!!
I’m well thanks, great to be chatting to you as well. How are you doing?
MA: We are great thank you… Before we get started, do you mind introducing yourself and giving us a short background on how you got started in music and how the blues rock mad such a huge impact on your life?
My name is Manny Walters, I’m a singer/songwriter based in Cape Town. I’m originally from George in the Garden Route. I’ve been exposed to music from a young age and have grown up around it in different cultural contexts. My earliest recollections were of folk and soul music heard at home. This created the soundtrack to my upbringing and everything I was exposed to musically since then resonated profoundly with me. When I started writing my own songs after university, I drew influence from folk, blues rock and soul music that had spoken most to me at that particular time. It’s an exploratory journey I’m still very much on.
MA: Where do you take inspiration from in your music?
For my writings, growing up in the time and place I have has been a major influence. My writings are reflections on my life and the people that have had an impact on me: family, friends, my childhood, South African culture and what that has exposed me to. The power of music in the context of social commentary has always been a big inspiration. Being exposed to different cultural influences growing up has also helped conceptualized my idea of South African music. Writers like David Kramer and Taliep Pietersen helped a lot with developing my understanding of South African folk music and storytelling after years of idealizing great songwriters like Bob Dylan, Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye. So many other South African acts I have come across/played shows with, have been incredible inspiration to me in developing my craft.
MA: Our 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 guess the fact that our industry is growing and slowly creating a scene within the international music community. It’s awesome that more and more diverse International acts are headlining our events and festivals, and that our bands/artists can share stages with artists of worldwide acclaim. The standard our artists, promoters and events are aspiring to I think is a good reflection of how our young industry has progressed.
MA: Who are some of the local bands that you love to listen to when you have the chance?
There are quite a few, lately I have been checking out Heroine, Momentss, Fantasma, Yndian Mynah, Alice Phoebe Lou and Mind Pool. All pretty dope.
MA: Can you give us a few of your career highlights thus far?
In 2012, I got an opportunity to perform at the inaugral Vic Falls Carnival in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. It was the first time I ventured out of the country, and was incredible to share my music on that stage. Another memorable highlight was my first national television showcase on the Expresso Morning show earlier this year. My first Park Acoustics performance was in 2012, and was my first venture to Pretoria, which was pretty special as well.
MA: You are playing at playing Park Acoustics this month, you guys excited about this?? What can we expect from the gig?
I’m mad amped to be back at Park Acoustics. Awesome music culture up there in Pretoria, such an awesome setup at the Voortrekker Monument and a stellar line-up featuring the iconic Boo!
I have been hard at work with my new rhythm section (which features Asher Gamedze on drums and Rob Scott on Bass), so we intend on playing some mean grooves and making a noise up there in P-town.
MA: Are there any other projects that you are working on that we might be interested in hearing about?
I am currently preparing for studio to finish a 4 track EP scheduled for independent release by roughly year end. I will be releasing my first single “Parables” on social media platforms within the next few weeks.
MA: Where can we follow you on social media?
MA: Lastly, what are your goals for the next 5 years? What big events/festivals do you wish to be playing at soon?
In the next 5 years, I would like to extensively Tour SA with my brand of music, and hopefully take it abroad to wider audiences as a raw and authentic South African product. Festival wise, I’d love showcases at RTD and Synergy this year, as well as MTN Bushfire and the next Cape Town World Music Festival, that would be real special.
MA: Thank you so much for your time…