Liefde by die Dam takes place on Sunday at Emmarentia Dam, featuring a stunning line-up of music talent that includes Die Heuwels Fantasties, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Francois van Coke, Koos Kombuis, Elvis Blue, Bongeziwe Mabandla and Bouwer Bosch.
We chatted to Pierre Greeff from Die Heuwels Fantasties about music, business and what we could expect on Sunday.
Apart from being in the band, Die Heuwels Fantasties, you seem to have a pioneering spirit - you started your own record label, Supra Familias, a few years ago and you are one of the organisers of the annual Liefde by die Dam concert. How did your record label come about and how have things evolved since then?
We started the label when we released the first record for our band. It was more a means to an end. Dropping CDs from my boot at the Musica depot was exciting, not to mention teaching myself how to invoice and register for VAT.
Since then, we have partnered with Jack Parow and Francois van Coke on their debut records, as well as a few others. It’s always been about doing what we love on our terms and supporting stuff we believe in.
The same goes for the festival and the way we try to showcase everything that’s awesome on the music landscape, as well as honouring some of the greats from the past.
Things have changed in the industry, especially how music is enjoyed by our fans, but for me, it’s super exciting. The fact that CD sales are dropping isn’t a bad thing. Never has it been easier for us to get our sounds to our audience and never has it been nicer to be a fan of music. This creates opportunities across the board.
How important is it for artists to be business savvy?
If you have the aptitude and enthusiasm for business, it’s always better to go about managing your own career. That isn’t always the case with talented musicians. In that case, by all means outsource the function. The problem is that in South Africa there aren’t many independent music managers.
How did owning a record company change your relationship to band life?
It has added to the experience as we get to call all the shots and decide how we present each single or record. Freedom in your career is paramount.
Which bands/artists are signed to Supra Familias and are you open to sign new acts?
We are working with Gerry Liberty who has a great single out called Boom Boom. We have a lot of projects brewing like with my first band Lukraaketaar, who are working on singles. I recently released a duet with my wife under the label called Die Krefies.
The single is called Sing So Mooi. We have worked with Elvis Blue, Francois van Coke, Sunset Sweatshop and Karlien van Jaarsveld at our studio, The Nothing Club, in Cape Town (www.thenothing.club), where our guitarist/producer Fred den Hartog mans the ship.
How do you select bands for the Liefde by die Dam concert?
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue whatever is great at the moment, as well as some of the greats like Valiant Swart, Laurika Rauch and Koos Kombuis have played in the festival.
Tell us more about the blanket drive at the event?
A: Every year, we have partnered with NGO Bouwer Bosch. They do amazing work. With the festival being in winter, we encourage our patrons to bring blankets to sit on and leave them behind. Liefde Wen and Aramex distributes them to the people in Johannesburg who need them the most.
How important is it for artists to give back to the community?
That is what music is - we, as artists, try to make sense of our world and sometimes touch others by our interpretation. It’s a dialogue. The more we communicate, the better we are.
Sum up the vibe at Liefde by die Dam.
Sunday Funday with the fam in a beautiful park with an awesome dam! Come check it out!
* Tickets are available at Computicket.