Some people just have music in their veins. You can see how it inspires and drives them. You can see how it follows them around and fulfils them.
I love these people. I feel myself being attracted to their passion and creativity. And Dave van Vuuren is one of those people.
At first you might recognise Dave’s face and voice from Idols, but from the second I start chatting to him it’s very clear that he’s come a long way since winning the South African seventh season in 2011. “I’m actually making a conscious move away from being David van Vuuren. Obviously it’s my name, but in a musical capacity, I’m letting it go. It’s all about Southern Wild now.”
Southern Wild is the reason we haven’t heard an awful lot from Dave in the last few years, and also the reason that I’ve been stalking his music so much online recently. In his own words, Southern Wild is “fast indie rock ‘n’ roll, but also with a bit of folk and some more mellow stuff. The project is about getting away from the whole Idols thing and making music that people can move to and lose their minds to.” And when you listen to Southern Wild, it’s easy to see what he means. Taking some time out to work on developing this new act, Dave has had a chance to figure out what he’s all about, and what music means to him. “Since I started performing, it’s mostly just been people standing and watching me. But now I want to make the kind of music that makes people move.”
Teaming up with Julian van Rensburg on lead guitar and Dylan Hunt (of Pestroy and Van Coke Kartel) on drums, Dave says we should expect a very psychedelic feel from Southern Wild when they release their EP and begin touring in earnest later this year. Up until now, Southern Wild has consisted mainly of Dave and an acoustic guitar, which has been the sound that has drawn in much of his following. “I still write very flowing and deep music, and I wouldn’t say that I’m done with folk music. But the new stuff is going to be different – I think it’ll still be very ambient and upbeat, so people can dance to it, but at the same time it’s going to be heavy and hard and edgy. It’ll be very beat driven, and while it’ll still have a lot of depth lyrically, musically it’s gonna be very interesting.”
Having chatted to Dave at length, I can’t help but agree. Not only does it sound like it’s gonna be very interesting, it also sounds like it’s going to be really spectacular. I love being able to watch something develop, and I know that Southern Wild is one to watch. I can’t wait to see the whole band together when they start gigging later this year.
Take some time to check out Darkness At My Heels on Southern Wild’s Soundcloud, and go and like their Facebook Page so that you’re up to date with their performances and releases. Dave will be playing at Retrofest#3 this weekend, so if you’re in Joburg grab some tickets. And if you’re incredibly cool and talented, they haven’t chosen a bassist just yet.
Anyone keen to give me some bass lessons?
Photo Credit: Beneath The Sky Photography