The Voice South Africa judge, Kahn Morbee, made history by winning the local version of the show two years in a row and continues to prove he is an incredibly talented musician. Having just released his second solo album ‘A Noise In The Void’, The Parlotones front-man explores new sonic territories and wow us with his incredibly unique voice. This week, we chat to Kahn as he opens up about the new album, working with Karen Zoid and his secret to longevity.
Congrats on the new album. Tell us a bit about the lyrical direction you went for on this on this album.
This album has a theme to it. The theme carried by the character Mr. Tobor questions what the human existence can be likened to mechanised robots and also questions planet earth’s insignificance in this vast universe. The songs are about the human journey, the good and the bad.
‘A Noise In The Void’ still has your signature sound. How is it different to your previous album ‘Salt’ though?
Salt was done entirely by me where I played literally every instrument on the album. This time round all the creative decisions lie with myself, Theo Crous and Rob Davidson. I used a lot of female vocals to ensure a departure from Parlotones and there is a good mix of synths across the album while ensuring that the instruments are organic. .There is a theme of a world run by robots which lends itself to the future.
The album’s lead single ‘We Could Be Divine’ is a massive hit. Why do you think so many people identified with the song?
I think it comes down to the sentiment that life will be filled with hurdles, negative moments and bad people but together with your loved ones, family and friends this brief blink of an eye we call a lifetime could ‘mostly’ be divine.
You worked with Karen Zoid on the song. Tell us a bit about the dynamic the two of you have and what prompted the tour you went on together?
Karen and I became good friends over a period of time that started on The Voice South Africa. We wrote the song between rehearsals and from there we decided to put on a tour together where we shared the stage and created something different by selecting a handful of my solo and The Parlotones songs as well as her songs to sing together on stage and bring a new twist to these already well-known singles.
Which song on the album means the most to you?
The one that really stands out is ‘Rhythm of the Night’. The first time my wife and I took our son to the bush was when he was 6 months old. He was sleeping and I was just strumming away on my guitar listening to the sound of the bush and I came up with the basic idea of ‘Rhythm of the Night’. So, when I hear that song it transports me to the bush and reminds me of my time with my family.
You’re one of the stars who has been around the local music space for a long time. What, in your opinion, is the secret to longevity?
I think perseverance is a big factor. Like most things in life, nothing happens overnight. If you believe in it then go for it. You are not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you believe in something then approaching it with a humble attitude is always good.
A contestant on your team has won The Voice South Africa in both seasons. What is the biggest lesson you could share with an upcoming artist?
Do it for love and not cloud it with the success your favourite artists around you have had. It is one of the toughest industries. Do it for the enjoyment first and the plaudits will come in any shape or form they do.
Now that the album, what does 2018 have in store for you?
The Parlotones is currently in studio working on a new album to launch in 2018. It is one that we are really excited about as a band and it is going to be something that we feel our fans old and new will love.
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