Photo Credit: Romy Maxime
Talented singer/songwriter, James Tuft, will be back in South Africa this weekend to perform at our favourite outdoor music festival, Park Acoustics. Currently based in Berlin, James Tuft has relocated from beautiful Cape Town, his home city, to pursue his is musical and design dreams. You can catch James this Sunday at Park Acoustics, where he will be doing a solo set, with him playing some of his tracks from his upcoming album, Valley Road. Lets get to know this talented man with a few interview questions… Hope that you enjoy:
Interview: JAMES TUFT:
Photo Credit: Luca Vincenzo
MA: Hi James… it is such a pleasure to be featuring you guys on the site!! How are you doing today?
JT: Today is a good day. I am well.
MA: Before we get started, please give as a quick introduction to yourself, where in SA you reside and how you got attracted to music from a young age?
JT: I have spent most of my years in Cape Town, where I was born. I relocated to Berlin in March 2015 where I have been pursuing my career in music and design. There was always music in my ears when I was growing up and it was only a matter of time before I picked up an instrument. Singing came naturally to me and as far as I can remember I was always singing songs. At about the age of 8 I was drawn to the guitar and since then have been composing and performing songs, playing in bands and singing in choirs and a cappella groups.
MA: Who/What were some of you major influences growing up, regarding your musical journey?
JT: The desire to play guitar was a family influence. My home was filled with the sounds of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, to Mozart and Wagner, to Lloyd Webber and Crowded House, Jonny Klegg with everything in between. I studied classical guitar at school and was involved in choral music for many years.
MA: Have these influences been somewhat evident in your “sound” as an artist?
JT: Definitely. My style of singing has been heavily influenced by my time in choirs, as well as the structuring of my compositions which draw from the folk and classical guitar I learnt during school. Lyrically, I have always drawn on literature as opposed to other songwriters.
MA: What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment? Are there any special mentions that you think need the congratulations for their work in the industry?
JT: I think there is an abundance of musical talent in South Africa, as well as a unique and challenging social environment which makes for interesting fusion in styles and strong emotional investment into music. However, I still believe the local industry lacks the support and infrastructure to nurture our artists properly and make careers in music viable. That said, there are many musicians, promoters, producers, radio stations, journalists and the like contributing selflessly to growing the industry. Commercially there is still a shortage in venues for live music, but the festival scene allows a good balance between live and electronic. We also have some of the best jazz musicians in the world, and a unique and booming hip-hop scene. Music is integral to our culture and has always been used as a tool to bring people together, to protest injustices, to tell stories and to educate the youth. We have yet to realise our potential!
MA: Are there any local acts that we should keep our eyes & ears out for?
JT: Many! Returning to Cape Town, I’ve spent countless nights cruising through town, catching bands and DJs doing their thing. I think if we invest time in supporting these acts, the stand-out artists will show themselves.
MA: You are playing live at Park Acoustics this month… excited??? What can we expect from your performance?
JT: I will be performing solo at Park Acoustics, playing songs from my upcoming album Valley Road. Very excited to play these songs to Pretoria! You can expect a man with his guitar singing his songs, attempting to transport the audience into the far reaches of their imagination and consciousness!
MA: Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
JT: Currently recording and producing my debut solo album Valley Road.
MA: Where can we follow you on Social media?
JT: Facebook, Instagram, jamestuft.com on the way!
Thanks for your time guys…!!
Listen to some tunes from James Tuft: