A year and a half in the making, Easy Freak released their debut album I’m Alright on 31 July. The duo (Dom Hurd and Jude Kenrick) has recorded and produced the album independently. They discussed the release with Teenzone as well as how far they have come but where they are yet to go:
I have to ask, people need to know, how did you decide on the name Easy Freak?
We get that question all the time and we really wish we had a cool story behind it but we really don’t. My brother [Dom] is a very cool guy and one day he mentioned it and we were like, well that’s cool. It fits with our sound. I’m very into funk music and seventies music. It also looked cool once I designed the logo.
You decided on a black cat for your album cover. How did you come about deciding to use it as your cover?
It’s just like the story around ‘Easy Freak’. My brother found this picture of the black cat and said it would be cool for the cover. Although we worked together, he is the actual designer of the cover. I [Dom] also love cats, so there’s that. I have a cat but it’s not that cat.
How long were you guys working together before you came on the scene?
We were in a different band in about 2011 but that kind of fell apart a bit. So, Jude and I [Dom] decided to just stick together and become a duo.
How do you decide on the tracks you use on the album?
Because we had so much music, we selected some songs and released that as a mixtape on SoundCloud. We just wanted it to be out there. We basically just chose the songs we liked the best so we didn’t actually do a listening party or anything.
Tell us more about the themes of the album?
Breakups. There’s a lot about relationships and relationship experiences. There are themes of love and loss. There are also themes about God. Those are the main things. There are also just one or two songs that are feel good songs. Many of the songs have a melancholic vibe to it but we kind of try to bring a good message across somehow.
Then there’s your sound. We’re seeing it more and more that there isn’t just one genre anymore. Most songs are a hybrid of genres. Would you say your music is the same?
There are core genres that we pull from. Funk has always been a big part of our music as well as 70s so that’s part of it but our music doesn’t sound like that exactly. There are a lot of hip hop elements, rnb, soul and some future. It is kind of pop music as well.
You guys produced the album yourselves. How was that experience?
It was lot of fun. I [Dominic] think there is always that element of fear but I think there is more risk in paying a whole lot of money to get someone to produce the album and then it still doesn’t work out. We did it all in our little home studio so the costs are minimal. I mixed the album myself and we wrote and produced it ourselves. It’s just a lot of time and effort. It also took longer because art is subject so you’re actually never really happy with your product. It has its advantages but you also start to overthink things. Producing it without a label was also freeing in a way.
Do you have any plans to move up here to Joburg?
Yes, we plan on moving up at the end of the year. Joburg and Cape Town are the music hubs of South Africa. So many talented people come from Durban. I [Dom] was talking to someone the other day and they said they think it’s because it’s such a frustrating place to be a musician. So, the music is born out of this frustrating place. There are very little music venues. There is less support from the locals. There isn’t a culture of going out to go and watch live music. That’s why no internationals go there anymore. Durban is beautiful in its own way though.
Earlier this year you released the music video for Moves On You. Do you have any plans for more?
Yes, unfortunately we couldn’t do a music video for Brother but we’ll have a music video for our next single. We have been super blessed to have talented mates. We haven’t had to pay huge amounts for being independent. Our last music video was shot on an iPhone by one of our mates. He’s a photographer but he just wanted to try his hand at video so he came up with that. He did such a great job.
Will you guys be performing at Oppi Koppi this year?
Yes, we’re amped but pretty nervous. We have been before, last year. We weren’t there for long though, we were just there for one day.
By: Kriszti Bottyan