“Layers of textured melody punctuated by an energetic flowing rhythm and honest, reflective lyrics are what you can expect from Sons of Settlers debut release “Lullabies For The Restless”. With each member a multi-instrumentalist and singer, you are immersed in waves of beautifully layered sound and a powerful four-part harmony reminiscent of an era gone by, as well as giving the feeling that there is something yet to come.”
Interview: Sons of Settlers
- Hi guys… it is such a pleasure to be featuring you guys on the site!! Is everyone doing well today?
Hello! I believe we are both doing very well, I am sitting in my favourite local cafe doing some admin. I can’t really speak for Le-Roi’s emotional state right this second, as we aren’t together at the moment, but given he is currently visiting a special lady friend in Stuttgart I believe he is doing just fine today!
- Before we get started, can you please introduce us to the members of Sons of Settlers?
Sons of Settlers is one of the projects that Le-Roi Nel and I, Gerdus Oosthuizen, have been part of creating.
- Can you give us a short background on the name Sons of Settlers?
The reaction to the name has often been very negative, and it mainly speaks to our blissful ignorance at the time of choosing it. Some people see it as a glorification of the colonial past, which is preposterous and couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that we tried to get a name that signified where we come from, but our sentiments with it was more focussed on the definitional idea of what it means to settle somewhere else and not in reference to the colonial settlers. If you look at the globalised world today you see that we are all so mixed, we are all from all over, here the two of us are living and creating in Berlin and all my friends here are all from over the world, we are all the results of eons of migration and settling at different places at different times, following our dreams and fortunes. What we are trying to say is that we are all the sons and daughters of people who have chosen to settle somewhere else, and while that shapes us, it doesn’t make us. Unfortunately I have personally felt that back home the landscape hasn’t exactly been fertile ground for this idea, and it is a big reason why we have decided not to pursue doing massive touring or shows back home.
- Where do you guys take inspiration from in your “sound”?
Le-Roi and I are both informed by the music we listen to, we listen very widely and that is showing more in the newer music that we are creating. Our hearts were melted and moulded in South Africa and there is a certain rhythmical and harmonic identity that bleeds from this, then of course we have more recently been influenced by the eclectic sounds found in Berlin and of course their love for techno and electronic elements.
- 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?
To be honest I have no idea what is going on in the local music scene. I am happy to hear that it is growing, but that is definitely mostly from the heart and ingenuity of those creating and less so from those facilitating the industry. The main thing that I would like to see happen differently in the scene is for venues to treat artists with respect and understand that they are deriving a lot of monetary benefit from the creativity of South African musicians. South Africa has a mass-alcohol abuse problem, our people know how to drink and unfortunately many people go out for the sake of drinking and if a musical act happens to make things more jolly then all the better. I think venues should start incorporating incentive-based systems where they give artists a small cut from the bar sales at performances. I know this will be a cold day in hell, but still, this is how things should be. South Africans should get a proper music union, and SAMRO should become an effective organisational structure that actually hunts royalties and protects the intellectual property of musicians.
- Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
My favourite forever and always will be Felix Laband, he is a true artist. Not the best live performer in the world I must be honest, but there is something extremely refreshingl about his punk attitude towards doing a live electronic performance.
- You guys will be playing at the Hermanus Craft Beer Festival on the 22nd December, are you excited for the event? What can we expect from your set?
We are very excited to be home in general, and yes we are very happy to come and perform. We are still figuring how much of our gear we will be able to bring home to perform with. We are hoping to get one or two friends to join us. You can definitely expect a very upbeat and positive vibe from our set this year.
- Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
Le-Roi and I registered a business here in Berlin this year and we have been working very hard on the admin side of things, which is very necessary in the German environment. The company is called Camissa Audio and we will be focussing on composition and sound design for film. We have a couple of interesting projects in the pipeline, but nothing I would like to divulge now. Basically just keep your ears to the ground for Camissa Audio.
- Where can we follow you on social media?
Instagram is best, Facebook is okay, what is twitter?