Die Heuwels Fantasties is an Afrikaans Alternative Pop Rock group that has recently released their new album Okay!. The band is considered to be the first successful Afrikaans electronic act and with this release they have [expectantly] lived up to their reputation. Read on to hear what they had to say about Okay!:
I’ve done a lot of research around your new album Okay! and the most common thing I’ve seen is the phrase ‘It’s not just Okay!’. What made you guys decide on the title?
[Hunter] So the first album was self-titled and the ones that followed were all colloquials. So we were looking for something to fit into that. The other option we had was ‘Dis mos mielies.’ But we liked ‘Okay!’ a little more. We also checked it out on Wikipedia and the word ‘okay’ is the most recognizable word in the world and that’s pretty cool. The exclamation mark was just positive affirmation. The way it brands also works pretty well with caps and merchandise and such.
How do you think this album is different to your previous albums, sound wise?
[Hunter] I think we just explored some other genres we hadn’t yet explored before. We recorded a lot of stuff live that we hadn’t done before. I think the whole process was a bit looser. We went into studio and the songs weren’t completely finished so there’s an element of making it up as you go along.
You were quite quiet with the production process of this album. Is there a reason why you were so quiet about it?
[Pierre] We wanted it to kind of be announced, be a pretty short run up and then ‘boom’, kind of thing. I didn’t really want some dragged out thing on social media. The only thing I posted was Instagram stories and they disappear after 24 hours. It was definitely deliberate. You kind of lose the audience’s attention if you drag it out too long. That’s what I find myself. If the album is on pre-order for too long then I’ll forget about it. I think everything is more immediate now people’s attention is also a whole lot shorter.
The location you guys chose, what was the intention behind that?
[Hunter and Pierre] It’s just our favourite studio. It’s in Stellenbosch and in the wine route mountains. It’s a great place to hang out. It’s just a really special place. You’re in that space and that’s all you do there. We braaied every day, we drink beer, wine and also sometimes record some stuff.
Are there any particular songs you are routing for on this album?
[Hunter] I think the opener. Koolbaai is the favourite for most of us. There is some interesting stuff on there. It’s quite a diverse album. I think we appreciate Koolbaai because it was quite and exciting time to have JR in the studio and actually hear him sing. He is a very talented guy so that was a great experience.
[Pierre] Yes, we thought about where they would go but ultimately they were pieces of music that we never wrote lyrics over. Tracks that we wrote when I was at my beach house close to Mosselbaai, that we never wrote lyrics over but we liked the mood and the music aspect of it so we wanted it to be part of the record. And it was a great way to have it be part of the album.
[Hunter] We did conceptualise the songs into groups and the interludes are supposed to work like bookmarks. To take you into the next mood. It’s intuitive we put the songs together and sort of hope people have a pleasurable listening experience. The interludes make it more of a listening experience. Hopefully it keeps them invested and transports them.
Are there any international artists that you find influential in your music making?
[Pierre] Yeah, the new Frank Ocean album. It is insane. I find that every time I listen to it I hear something else. I never tire listening to it, I don’t think I’ll ever tire out of it. It’s like a classic piece for me. And what I really enjoy about it is that you can hear that it’s free. It’s not working on the idea that a song should do this and do that, he kind of just went for it and that for me is unbelievable to feel that.
[Hunter] That Chance the Rapper album was also great.
See more: A new album for Die Heuwels Fantasties
By: Kriszti Bottyan