They’re the act behind the hits ‘Sound Boy Killa’ and ‘Bubbling’ and have become an incredibly unique act in the growing South African music space. Their effortless blend of pop, reggae and ska has been a hit with listeners around the country and this week, we get up close with lead singer Errol “Bong” Strachan as he talks about the band, their hit singles and their unique sound.
You’re playing a mix of reggae, dubstep and drum and bass. What attracted you making this type of music?
We first started off playing ska with a distinct reggae flavor for the first few years. Then we progressed more towards reggae and dancehall. Afterwards we hit a bit of a genre uncertainty phase and Ross, our trombone player and also our head producer, along with our now departed and much loved manager, Clyde Finlayson, said: “guys, just play music” [without genre borders]. The band realized that when playing original music –it is always challenging to stay relevant and popular and also current. So an open mind is a paramount requirement in order to evolve favorably with one’s audiences.
How does a song come together?
Some of our best songs have come via sound check just before a gig. We just play something impromptu and a song evolves from this. Usually a bass line, or set of guitar chords sets the tone and everyone just fills in and the vocalists pull in something nice and there you have it, work the verse, chorus, hook and bridge bits out and a song is born. On other occasions one of our producers Tony or Ross, will come with a basic tune, beat and melodies and the band will build everything around that and create a song.
You put on an incredible live show. What helps a band connect to an audience when on stage?
Love what you do, love and respect the people in your band. People see it and hear and feel it in the music, and when playing live there is nothing to hide. People pick up on this and it’s all infectious. Also, tons of energy, projected toward your audience, engage them, with them and for them, respect the privilege you got to have a platform and use it to provide good entertainment for your fans and audiences.
Sound Boy Killa was a massive hit around the country. Why do you think the song was so well received?
It was the first track from us on radio after a long time. The song has tremendous rhythm and beat and there was a lot of soul behind the song, just singing about our new sound evolution, new beats and just breaking free from the recent sadness of our long time and much loved manager Clyde’s death. Obviously we didn’t plan for it to be a hit, we just did what we did but in retrospect the work done by Ross and Antonio, on this track, along with the integration of our new vocal setup, set the tone for the totally new sound our audiences now hear, from The Rudimentals.
Your latest single ‘Bubbling’ was sldo a huge radio hit. What inspired the song?
Summertime. Water, girls, seaside, sunshine, dancing, having a great time. All the good things associated with life and relaxation. Love, loving relationships, and beautiful and positive people and friendships.
Are there any plans for an album any time soon?
Yes. This year is looking good. We have been working in sprints of doing singles at a time and release, then rinse and repeat. Our producers just pointed out that we got enough material for an album release so I guess sometime soon we will run with that.
What does 2017 hold for you guys?
We hope for all of the best for happiness, peace, prosperity for ourselves and for everyone else. We are going to keep on rolling out tracks, playing live, having fun, try to get some new videos out, and just continue to make music and enjoy this amazing journey we are on.
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