Local South African trio introduced themselves to a wave of new audiences when they opened up for James Morrison earlier this year – and blew many of them away. This week, we get to know one of Mzansi’s most underrated groups a little better as The Stone Jets’ Given Nkanyane opens up about opening for the British star, their music and more.
Who are the Stone Jets?
Stone Jets is the coming together of Manfred Klose and Given Nkanyane at a recording studio in 2013. After a night of music making as part of a recording session for a now defunct project, we decided to form a band and continue the synergy we felt we had.
What do you think it is about you guys that sets you apart?
We believe that we are all pieces of a mosaic that can only show its beauty when all the pieces come together. We also believe in playing our part and being good at it for the sake of the bigger picture.
Your sound is something so fresh and different. How did you settle on this approach to your music?
Thank you so much. It was and still is a process. As we continue to grow as creators and participants of the day-to-day life, so does our understanding which then shapes us and inevitably our sound.
We love your single ‘How Can You’. What inspired that particular song?
‘How Can You’ was conceived out of a funky guitar lick that Manfred played but left us with a feeling of wonder and ambiguity. It was inspired by the feeling of knowing what you want but being surprised by the inevitable rite of passage you have to go through to get that which you want – like being surprised by a puddle of mud when you want it to rain.
You’ve released more music over the past few months. Tell us a little bit more about ‘Tired Of Missing You’ and ‘This Time’
Yeah, things have been very exciting this past few months in camp Stone Jets. ‘Tired Of Missing You’ is an ode to the good times and a declaration to one’s self to always make the now as good a time as you possibly can, instead of reminiscing. There is no time like the present as some might say. ‘This Time’ can possibly be seen as a fraternal twin to ‘Tired Of Missing You’.. It was born out of the feeling you get after you’ve become aware of either a bad habit- like missing the good times – or relationship and taking action to be in a better place. It also has fun with the idea of knowing that you have the power to flow away from whatever it is, like a river, at your own will and into an ocean of personal bliss.
You opened for James Morrison on his South African tour earlier this year. What was that experience like for you?
James Morrison is an institution in his own right and to have been the curtain riser for him was and will forever be a huge achievement for us, personally and professionally. Everything from start to finish was so surreal. The Teatro and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are up there on the list of greatest South African venues and performing there added to the thrill of it all.
What’s the one lesson James taught you during his South African tour?
By being around him, we learned that personal success is far more rewarding than perceived and celebrated shows of victory. Being yourself will never go out of fashion and so one should always stick to ones guns or songs in this regard.
What else do you guys have up your sleeve for 2019?
2018 marked our first international tour to Ireland and the UK. International waters are calling again. We will be announcing some exciting shows soon and some new music. Keep an eye out on our social media and website for more.
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