If there was ever a jack of all trades, Martin Bester would be it. Not only does he host Jacaranda FM’s incredibly popular drive show ‘The Martin Bester Drive’, but he is also the host of the TV show ‘Wie’s My Liefie’ and the lead singer of local group Kinky Robot. But now, the star has just released his debut solo album ‘Vir Die Eerste Keer’ which has been met with a phenomenal response. This week, we chat to the star about his radio career, his new music and what he has planned for 2017.
Martin, you’re both a musician and host of the Martin Bester Drive on Jacaranda FM. What has this situation taught you about both professions?
They’re so different and yet so the same. In the end it comes down to entertaining people with music and conversation.
How did you get started in radio?
I joined the campus radio station for fun while I was studying, then in my final year I got the opportunity to audition at the regional radio station, Algoa FM. I got an offer to broadcast there and decided to give it a go. The rest is history.
Being on radio, you listen to so much music on a daily basis. How has this helped shape your strategy as a musician?
It definitely keeps you in touch, with the pop market anyway. It also gives you a sense of what radio is playlisting and what people are partial to for the moment. But then again, any muso can also gather that info by just listening…
What has been your most memorable radio moment?
Probably the ‘Snow Wedding’ show. Two listeners said that they would get married when it snows in Joburg, then when it did snow in August 2012 we decided to organise a wedding and get them married in three hours, live on radio. Listeners brought everything you need for a proper wedding to the studio, everything just came together live on air and they were legally married by the end of the show, and it looked like a proper wedding!
You perform both in the band Kinky Robot and as well a solo artist. How important is it for you to have both musical outlets as a form of expression?
I love it. I can express myself in both English and Afrikaans, through rock and pop music. My taste in music is pretty wide and I love the fact that I am able to express myself that way.
You’ve just released your debut solo album ‘Vir Die Eerste Keer’. Why did it take you so long to release an Afrikaans album?
I really don’t know. When it comes to music I really like to let it happen as naturally as possible and the time to do that now just felt right. I am inspired by Afrikaans music now more than before. There seems to be more space for different influences, not just the one sound…
The album’s response has been phenomenal so far. Why do you think audiences identify with your music?
I’m so grateful for that. It comes from the right place. I believe in every song and loved recording them. Above all, the record sounds like no-one else’s; it’s something new and unique.
What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
We’re planning to tour as much as we can, to perform my music as far and wide as possible. That and more exciting radio and TV. I’m amped for this year!
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