As another year begins, we’re diving head first into what it holds!
Freshlyground went back into the studio toward the end of last year and have recorded two new songs. We worked with a great producer who is based in the UK, Jason Boshoff. He is originally from Fish Hoek, if you can believe it! We had a great time working with him—he is incredibly experienced and has worked with a long and varied list of big selling artists from Basement Jaxx to Josh Groban to Rufus Wainwright and Elbow. We are planning to release the first track very soon — hopefully with a few surprises in store, as well!
We will be heading off to North America for a big tour in June, which we are very excited about – keep an eye on our newly spruced up website www.freshlyground.com, for all the tour dates and details. There are also plans to see more of our own beautiful continent this year with an East African tour in the pipeline!
We have been taking a little breather for the last month, spending time with friends, family and special loved ones.
Zolani spent the holiday with her little boy who is walking and talking and is an absolute joy to be around. His name is Zazi and if you have any gifts for him, he’s almost two , bring them to the next gig! Motherhood does not come without it’s challenges but Zo is really enjoying the process and learning and growing with her beautiful boy everyday!
Julio headed off to the cold of Manchester to see his family. While he was there he got to play house husband and fulfil some of his domestic responsibilities to compensate for the ridiculous amount of time he is absent. He cooked and cleaned and fetched his little guy from school everyday, walking him home in the freezing cold of a UK winter.
Josh started the New Year with a week’s worth of holiday 300 kilometers outside of Cape Town on a river. No phone reception unless you climb a hill! It’s a slow, quiet, peaceful, infinite sort of place – and the best thing about it is that not many people know about it – so we will stop right there!
Shaggy took his family to Johannesburg, it was the first time his kids had ever been on an airplane and there were a few clenched jaws, but mostly lots of excitement. His son Ethan is absolutely obsessed with trains and so he decided to surprise him with a Gautrain ride from Oliver Tambo Airport to Sandton. He was so excited he couldn’t contain himself!
Peter has just returned from a fabulous holiday with his wife and son and many other family members. They spent time in Hermanus and Vermaaklikheid. Vermaaklikheid means entertainment in Afrikaans—he’s not sure where the name comes from, unless it’s just referring to the natural beauty of the place, because that’s the most entertaining thing about it! He got back from Hermanus and downloaded some DJ software and bought a sound card. He’s having so much fun with it and says that he has developed a newfound respect for the peeps that rock that stuff. He wants to be a DJ – one day.
Simon headed off on an overland trek to Namibia, exploring the beautiful region along the edge of the Namib desert from Palmwag to Purros in his new 4×4, wild camping amongst lions, elephants and rhinos (he saw all three).
Simon, Julio and Kim Winter have been working on a project together called Wired For Sound. It is a mobile recording studio that they are taking to various countries in Southern Africa. They partner with community radio stations to install solar powered recording studios, and record community artists, the best of which end up on collaborative album. Their first trip was in 2013 to Mozambique, if you missed that album you can check out their website, and you can also download it from iTunes. The team have now raised enough money from album sales to install a recording set up at one of the community radio stations they partnered with there!
Apart from getting away from it all and a chance to turn off the iPhone for two weeks, Simon’s holiday trip was also a test of his new vehicle’s capabilities for Wired for Sound Malawi – which is scheduled to kick off in July. In Malawi, they will be installing solar powered recording studios at four community radio stations – look out for their Kickstarter campaign, launching soon to raise funds for the solar panels!
Josh spent the last half of January teaching a song-writing course at the University of Cape Town’s summer school. He has also been in rehearsals this past week for a reunion gig with a band he played in more than twenty years ago, The Streaks. He says that the high point of their existence was playing to 120 000 people at the parade in Cape Town at Nelson Mandela’s first speech as president of South Africa and that it only went downhill from there! He is also planning on developing his solo project this year, The Josh Hawks Band as well as a collaborative presentation project with drummer Barry Van Zyl, Slaves to the Rhythm.
Kyla spent the latter part of last year as a fellow on a US State Department social diplomacy program, Onebeat. It’s a music exchange and incubator for music-based social entrepreneurship, where innovative musicians from around the world launch collaborative projects designed to make a positive impact on local and global communities. You can check out an interview with her about the experience online. This year Kyla will be launching a new project, in collaboration with a New York based organisation, Found Sound Nation. The project, titled Hear Be Dragons, is a community-based education and creative arts program that will take place in South Africa and New York. Over a period of two months, young people in New York and South Africa will come together to map the sounds of their lives during a series of workshops with the support and guidance of established artists and musicians from both cities. The project will give them the opportunity to explore the world of sound through the creation of music and audio diaries and learn how understanding sound can help to better understand our communities.
The project will culminate in an exhibition at a new state of the art exhibition and performance space in Brooklyn, New York – The Original Music Workshop.
Also, make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter, @FRESHLYGROUNDsa. And if you ar ereading this on our website you can sign up to our mailing list by filling in your email in the block at the bottom of this page – as easy as that! We are also hoping to devote some time this year to exploring new and interesting ways that we can involve you in our lives and our creative process and will update you as things happen.
Here’s wishing you all a year of growth and excitement – may we all strive to accomplish what we have set out to do in 2015!