Bluey, whose real name is Jean-Paul Maunick, is looking forward to returning to South Africa for the DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival, nearly a decade after his first appearance at the event in 2014.
The festival, celebrating its 10th year, will take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Midrand, over the heritage weekend.
Bluey is excited about the festival because it offers a diverse range of music, reflecting the richness and variety of South African culture.
“This is the festival that we played at before. I know that it’s rich in varied music, not just one-dimensional, and like all good festivals, is a celebration of life,” says Bluey.
“You also got a big international community flying in, and the fact that it's rich in sound and it's really rich in taste and cooking, especially being the braai weekend, barbecues are gonna be firing.”
Bluey is thrilled about the festival because it aligns with his passion for music and culture. He has a deep love for music, dating back to his childhood, and festivals like this one are a celebration of everything he holds dear.
Festivals, in his view, serve as a vibrant blend of music genres that enrich his own musical journey and perspective.
Bluey's connection to South Africa, through his father's role as the Mauritian ambassador Édouard Maunick during Nelson Mandela's presidency and the period of significant change in the country, has deeply influenced him.
“During that time, I acquired a lot of music and books, and I heard some great stories. And so, I was enriched just by association with the fact that my father was living in South Africa and was close to Nelson Mandela.
“I even did on my solo album, a track that tells a story of Nelson Mandela, ’from prisoner to President’. For me, being here, there’s always a tinge of sadness. First of all, because my take on South Africa has always been a struggle, but sometimes an implosion.”
His perspective on South Africa is marked by both admiration and a sense of concern. He acknowledges the country's historical struggles and the challenges it has faced in terms of leadership and governance.
Despite this, he is drawn to the joyful nature, kindness, and generosity of the South African people.
Bluey's enthusiasm for his upcoming visit to South Africa is evident in his excitement about discovering new talent and engaging in musical collaborations.
He fondly recalls his previous experience working with Thandiswa Mazwai, a talented South African artist, and expresses the hope of encountering another up-and-coming musician during his visit.
“I remember coming to South Africa, and I met a young lady called Thandiswa (Mazwai). And through that encounter, I got to produce four tracks on one of her albums, and that was fantastic.
“I just hope that I meet somebody new, an upcoming musician that we could feature with incognito or that I can bring my expertise to, because we helped Thandiswa break into an international market”.
Whether through talks, workshops, or impromptu interactions, he remains dedicated to both celebrating his musical history and embracing new musical journeys.
Fans of Incognito can look forward to a captivating musical journey through the band's history.
Bluey highlights the significance of the drummers in their performance, acknowledging the roots of music in Africa and the essential role of African percussion instruments.
Incognito's goal is to play with unbridled joy and make the most of their time at the festival.
They see themselves as temporary ‘’exchange students’’ in the town, and their focus is on leaving a positive and memorable impact on the audience, sharing good experiences, and contributing to the cultural exchange that happens at festivals.
“We are here to make sure that we play with the joy that's unchained, and in the minimal time that we have there, that we share as many good experiences as possible as we can through the exchange because we're like exchange students.
“We come into town, and we leave. What are we living with? I'm more interested in what we're leaving and what we're coming to get.
“And If I can leave South Africa, having put some light in one human being that needed the light, that's my journey. So if I can multiply that, great, but if I'm there just to do it to one person, that's why I'm there.”
The DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival boasts an impressive line-up of artists across various genres, which include Maxwell, Tems, Zakes Bantwini, Murdah Bongz, Kent, Ringo Madlingozi, Oscar Mbo and Joyous Celebration.
DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival takes place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on September 23 and 24.
ANOTHER NOT TO BE MISSED EVENT
25 Years of Natya Anjali: Celebrating Their Legacy with “Dakshina”
Where: Lyric Theatre.
When: September 23.
Cost: R150 via Computicket
Natya Anjali, a renowned brand in the world of Bharatanatyam, is celebrating its impressive 25-year journey with the dazzling production, ‘’Dakshina.’’
“Dakshina,” choreographed and directed by the eminent Subashni Naicker herself, promises to be an enchanting evening.
The performance will feature 45 students, who will showcase the beauty of Bharatanatyam and folk dance to the melodious tunes of Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu songs.
The music selection will encompass a wide range of styles from traditional carnatic music to fusion and contemporary genres.
This celebration promises to be a spectacular showcase of Bharatanatyam and a fitting tribute to the legacy of Natya Anjali and its dedication to preserving and promoting cultural heritage.
It's an event that brings together art, culture and gratitude in a meaningful way.