Farryl Purkiss’ (pictured) latest release, Home, reflects his strongest songwriting yet. The young prince of surfer rock first enchanted us in 2005 with his debut release, Chapter One. It was recorded in collaboration with fellow Durbanite and acoustic guitar legend, Nibs van der Spuy. The very pretty boy and his sublime green eyes became a favourite at festivals such as Splashy Fen.
Purkiss, however, had his sights set very much on the international music scene. From day one, he took the unusual step of performing outside of South Africa when he toured Australia. His current circuit includes Europe and the US. This led to one of his songs, Pennies in the Snow, being placed on the TV series Private Practice in 2011.
For his third album, Home, he went in search of an international producer. Kieran Kelly, who produces Matt Johnson and Angus and Julia Stone, was the man who agreed to work with him.
“I was so nervous,” confesses Purkiss. He approached him via e-mail and Kelly agreed. Two weeks later he arrived.
“I stay on a farm in Constantia and we recorded at a studio close by,” says Purkiss. “We would just walk there. At five or six in the evening we would light a fire and have a braai and drink wine. Around midnight the fun would really start in the studio.”
Purkiss says that because of his consistent touring locally and internationally since his last album Fruitbat and Crows in 2009, he has never had much time to write.
“It’s been years going back and forth to Europe. There is a misconception that you have made it if you tour. But the reality is you’re a guppy in the ocean.”
His working with Kelly is about to change all of that. Kelly firmly believes in Purkiss and his artistic ability, so much so he’s signed him up to his management in the US.
In March Purkiss will embark on a US tour with a full band including Kelly who plays guitar.
“He is a phenomenal musician and on my album I have Bon Iver’s string section because he is friends with them.”
Purkiss has also agreed to a distribution deal in the US for Home with Kelly.
“I love travelling and the level of musicianship is really high overseas which means I am constantly learning. It’s been a busy couple of years.”
With Home his best album yet, and with Kelly firmly behind him, Purkiss is set to have a very busy couple of years in the future.