ARE YOU FEELING LUCKY?
ARE YOU FEELING LUCKY?
Whilst the same question could be asked of the South African Rugby team as they narrowly defeated England, but enough about Rugby, let’s talk music! We caught up with the delightful Ben and Jules from South African electronic/pop band GoodLuck to find out a bit more about the music scene in Cape Town and their upcoming European tour.
or those who are unfamiliar GoodLuck are a three-piece band with electronic music at their heart. They have had exceptional success in their home country with their infectious energy and big stage presence. They have 23 top 40 radio singles, 9 charting number one singles, and literally thousands of shows worldwide. They have performed alongside many global artists like Pharrell Williams, Groove Armada and Basement Jaxx to name a few. They’ve also notched up over 110 million streams on Spotify and Apple Music.
I made the mistake of first delving into their 4th album first which is very different from their trademark electronic beats, I thought I’d clicked on the wrong link!
We are an electronic and live electronic band and that album that you happen to stumble on first, which is hilarious that you found first.
Maybe it was the algorithm but that was actually a covid induced breakaway idea that we had to take all of our hit songs that we had, I mean, the band has been extraordinarily well received on radio, especially in Africa, we’ve had something like 28 radio hits in this continent of the last 10 years with nine. Number one, Top 40 singles. So the music has had a lot of legs on this continent and we thought it’ll be a kind of a opportunity since everything had slowed down just to make an acoustic album and reimagine those songs.
As an electronic band, you’re making all the music yourself in a box with machines and covid, like being forced not to be around people. It kind of inspired us to swing hard the other way and pull a whole lot of amazing musicians that we knew from Cape Town. They had also had an incredibly hard journey through the lockdowns and also just to have an opportunity for us to spend time with humans. it was really cool because we picked the top session musicians from Cape Town, like Ben said, and It was having a full kit of Ableton and plug-in array but they were real people playing instruments. You could just say we’re going to do this like a bossa Nova, We’re going to do the song with a swing track, We’re doing it kind of reggae style and five six seven and they’re just playing it perfectly it’s wild. So, it was a cool experience, but it’s definitely not what we normally do.
Touching on Cape Town. Obviously. It’s a huge melting pot of cultures that brings with itself a lot of diverse music, and different rhythms. What are your influences? Where do you gain your inspiration from?
I think because it’s such a melting pot as you describe, you’re just inherently far more open to everything. So if you ask us what are our influences? We’ve just said It would be music, because growing up in this environment you have all these different cultures, working together, collaborating together, all the different styles, no one’s scared of jamming things together even if they are from different genres. Is it a good song? Yeah. So our Influences, are good songs. Yeah, we like it good! That’s the things that inspire us and we don’t care whether it’s a jazz record or a pop song or a DnB track or metal song or rock or something from the 40s, just so long as it’s good.
There is no place like this city. Honestly, it’s one of the most magical places in the world and anyone who comes figures that out very quickly.
The music scene is, it’s so diverse, it’s so alive. the only thing that we sometimes struggle with this weather because we love being outdoors here and I know everyone goes like, Africa, it’s always sunny. But we have a lot of wind and temperamental weather here.
You guys really love to tour, you seem to really get out and play live.
Yeah, we started off a residency in the holiday town called Plettenberg Bay a number of years ago and was just supposed to be a sunset concert where we could get our fans together on holiday and just, have a party and it’s growing and growing in kind of become this monster that we just never imagined it would ever be. And now, it’s a festival series that runs from Cape Town, all the way up the garden route to East London. It’s further east and 25,000 people, it’s getting quite big.
The ethos of our band is really immersing into the event, with good times, positive energy, good messages, happy feelings and human connection. There’s no one with ego or if you have, to leave it at the door, Just don’t have that in all in our space. So as a result, I think our events are really happy and just really cool. And if fun is a better word. So, we’ve been doing them now for 10 years, which is crazy.
Three years ago, we started ‘Beats in the Bush’ also in covid. We saw a need for something more exclusive when large gatherings weren’t allowed, we saw the need for people still to connect and we came up with this concept of marrying tourism with music, specifically safari with music. It’s very boutique where you can go on safari during the day and the nighttime, they party like crazy and have drinks on top of mountains with vistas, and it’s a whole safari experience, but with the music festival attached. The Hluhluwe National Park is literally outside your tent.
Talking about gigs, you’ve got a few dates lined up in Europe?
Yeah we’re sold out in Dublin and Londan already, and have nights in Sheffield, Southampton and Brighton. There’s such a cool scene, we love being back in the UK. It’s been a long time since 2019. So for us, we were really nervous going into this tour because we haven’t really shown up for a while, it’s nearly four years.
We weren’t sure how we’re going to be received after four years, and we had a very surprising reaction when we put tickets on sale. The London show was the first one we announced and the tickets were sold out in eight hours and we were like, okay, maybe we should have come back sooner!
It’s hard, our touring schedule in South Africa is intense and to try and carve windows out to go, do shows outside of this amazing part of the world is hard, we’ve got wonderful things here.
Are you working on any new material?
There’s a new album in the pipeline which we’re, really excited about it because it has been a long time coming. Before we would make songs just to make songs and write songs and now, I think we’re feeling a calling to actually lean towards making music that we can play live and really incorporate into our live show in the style that we feel proud of.
I think we are going a little more dance orientated with the next album and it’s just organically happening. And of course there’s layers to that I mean some of the sounds are a little bit Afro some of the stuff definitely is very African influenced. We’ve got one song that’s got a UK house sound with a little shuffle to it.
So onto some light-hearted questions… Google’s ai algorithm has gone absolutely mental. It’s been churning out music and no one realised it ran out of disk space. So obviously they can’t use the algorithm to fix it out as it’s gone haywire. So they’ve asked all of the musicians they know to choose one track to keep and one track to delete. So what’s your keeper? And what’s your want to kill?
I’m going to have to kill Drake! Not because he’s annoyed me as a human being, but he’s at risk of beating Michael Jackson to the top spot and I can’t let that happen!
What about a keeper?
Got to be Dusty Springfield!
Finally, so further global chaos ensues and Trump’s taken over the world now and he’s decided to put an end to all fun other than golf (that’s still permitted but everything else that’s fun is being outlawed) So, you’ve got one last chance to party before it’s banned completely, where will you be? And what will you be listening to?
There’s a music festival in Namibia in a place called Dead Vlei, it’s a petrified forest in a dried lake bed surrounded by these enormous red sand dunes.
We would have a live electronic festical, there would be live electronic music.
It would be just instruments and dance and all kinds and every kind of genre would be there and you would be watching a show with electronic acts, not just a DJ, it’d be four to five musicians on stage.