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Interview | Amy Ayanda #CTEMF

Cape Town Electronic Music Festival is just round the corner, and with the pre-festival workshop and events getting us excited all week we’re getting hella excited for one massive sonic experience this weekend! We had a few words with CTEMF first-timer Amy Ayanda on the festival, her work and what’s to come:

CTEMF! Huge! How are you feeling about performing this weekend?

We’re fucking nervous!

You put out a brilliant track via Red Bull Studios recently – what’s your relationship with Red Bull been?

It has been amazing! After La Llorna was released, things started from there… We recorded for a full week last year for the upcoming album and released ‘Jessica’ through their platform. It has been received so well through them and we have been put on both of their annual compilations! I was actually thinking about this the other day and how I am so grateful for them, and my other mentors, for believing in Amy Ayanda like they do.

How do you see yourself fitting into the electronic music sphere at CTEMF?

Amy Ayanda is a bit different to the other sets in that it isn’t a DJ ‘dance’ set, it is more of a band set up and although we are electronic, there are a few elements which remain true to the band set up in the traditional sense. I don’t have much effect on my mic when I sing and Dean plays with a live kit as well as an SPD.

You perform under the name Amy Ayanda, but it’s not exactly a solo show?

It’s not! I’ve been wanting to change our name but the guys already have their own project which is kind of their ‘baby’. It’s kind of turned into a band name in a way. We are slowly trying to figure out who we are in terms of our sound and or direction so I think the name and the way in which Amy Ayanda is represented will follow thereafter.

What’s influenced your music creation since Ports?

Vocally, I’ve been listening to a lot of Hundred Waters and Sylvan Esso, pretty much on repeat for the last year. The electronic sounds of Birthday Girl naturally blend into our sound at times because Daniel and Dean make up 2/3rds of it.

Are there hard lines between your visual work and your music?

No hard lines, these things just inevitably blend into each other. Things got playful and a little chaotic last year, so did my paintings, so did the music.

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Tell us about the upcoming album.

We work from Daniel’s flat mainly, DIY studio bedroom set up. Daniel usually has a skeleton of an idea, which I take and write a melody to, to record a scratch track… we then mix and work into it as a group thereafter. When we worked in RedBull studios last year for the album we had many guest singers come in like Nicci Saint Bruce (PushPush), Heroine and Eve Rakow (The Frown).There is definitely a strong openness to our music creation at the moment, as we are still trying to get it to where we want it to be. We started gradually adding new tracks after the EP release in 2015 which has turned into prospects of an album! We planned to launch in March, however our ambitions got the better of us and between our full time jobs and one year old, we can only manage so much! We are planning to release as soon as possible, it has been over a year now. A tour is definitely in the pipeline, there are many people in Jozi who keep asking us to come play!

Which local artists are you feeling right now?

Alice Phoebe Lou, Thor Rixon and Herione are in my ears a lot at the moment. (I am also super excited to see what Nikola Vlok is about to pull out of the bag).

What act are you most excited to see on the lineup at CTEMF this weekend?

OMG IT’S THIS WEEKEND!!!!! Zaki Ibrahim, Moonchild Sanelley, JNNKPN and PushPush! (all the ladies obviously).

What prospect makes you excited for this year?

I have so many things going on in my mind at the moment, so I think I would have to say the prospect of being at peace within myself. At ease xx

CTEMF 2017_Phase 2

Buy your tickets here.

Images shot by Sitaara Stodel + styled by Grace De Kroon.

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