‘There is a certain amount of adrenalin in the blood when performing live in front of an audience that goes missing in the studio’ After three musical releases Luna Paige boldly treads on new ground with her first Afrikaans offering. Filmed in front of a live audience, on a cosy lounge-styled stage at the Durbanville
‘There is a certain amount of adrenalin in the blood when performing live in front of an audience that goes missing in the studio’
After three musical releases Luna Paige boldly treads on new ground with her first Afrikaans offering. Filmed in front of a live audience, on a cosy lounge-styled stage at the Durbanville Auditorium, Paige performs her own renditions of some of her favourite Afrikaans stories. Among others, award-winning texts like Ingrid Winterbach’s Die Boek van Toeval en Toeverlaat and André P. Brink’s 1963 classic Die Ambassadeur serves as inspiration for Paige’s songs. She’s also joined by some of SA’s most accomplished musicians like Schalk Joubert, Gerald Clark, Willem Moller, Adriaan Brand, Kevin Gibson and Anjulie Nock.
Rolling Stone met up with Paige to chat about her live DVD and album, Storielied, her recent collaboration with Peter Mitchell, her December tour dates and what she’s got lined up for 2013.
After establishing yourself as an angelic English vocalist and song writer, what made you decide to go Afrikaans on Storielied?
I have been writing in English for almost 10 years. Strangely many of my fans were predominantly Afrikaans speaking. There were quite a few hoping and waiting for me to write and perform in Afrikaans. I was quite weary of doing so since I am quite critical of the lyrical content of much Afrikaans music out there. I struggled to write lyrics that were meaningful in Afrikaans. But as a solo female artist in the SA music industry who does not really fit into the pop or rock genre, my musical road was not always easy. I finally admitted to myself that the Afrikaans music audience is very supportive and that it might not be that bad an idea to start writing in Afrikaans. It was just really important to me that I like the music – I am after all the one who has to perform the songs for many years to come. Finally I found a project that I loved and believed in and was proud to add to my list of music releases.
Will you ever consider doing something similar to Storielied, but in English?
I have not thought of it, can you believe it? It is actually a great idea. I had quite a few shows with predominantly English audiences while touring in the Eastern Cape – and their responses were really great. They especially loved the story telling and the fact that the music was inspired by local literature. I might just tackle this idea in the near future. It is important to me to use books by local writers. I think it is important that artists support each other and help further local art. I also especially believe in promoting diversity in the industry.
Why did you decide to do a live DVD instead of a studio album?
I wanted to preserve the magic that happens in a live show. There is a certain amount of adrenalin in the blood when performing live in front of an audience that goes missing in the studio. One also tends to be too musch of a perfectionist in studio. Sometimes it’s those “faulty” human moments that become so engrained in the listening experience that you can’t imagine the song without it. I wanted that in my DVD. I wanted people to see what I can do live. And my colleagues are shit hot at what they do. They deserve to get the opportunity to show off.
You used a fair amount of critically acclaimed Afrikaans texts (Winterbach, Brink, etc.) as the premise or inspiration of your songs. Did you feel any pressure during your song writing process to justify these texts?
Strangely no. I enjoyed the process. It reminded me of my years studying Afrikaans Netherlands at university. The wonderful thing about literature is that it’s open to interpretation. There is no real right or wrong really. We’re all subjective in our interpretation of what we see, read and hear. I was a little bit nervous of what the respective writers would think of my interpretations of their songs…but luckily those who made an effort to check it out only had good things to say.
When you started out with your music career, you were a waitress at the legendary Dorpstreet Theatre, what did those days mean to you as an artist?
I got to see South Africa’s best perform there. I got to feel that longing weird feeling in my stomach that told me that I need to be on stage. It was a great time for me. My first show was actually at Dorpstreet Theatre. It felt like home and made the first steps into performing a little bit easier. Dorpstreet is still the place where I like to try out my new songs. I feel safe there.
You collaborated with Peter Mitchell recently in his reissue of Hamlet By Night, can you tell us more about that?
I’ve known Peter Mitchell for quite some time and have huge respect for his songwriting abilities. I also have a little business called Groovy Concerts. I’ve booked him a couple of times to perform at one of the venues I book for. He invited me to sing “Mautie’s Song” with him. It’s a beautiful song and there was no question as to what the answer would be. I think it came out beautifully.
Where can we see you perform this December?
Performances in December:
15 Dec @ Pottersplace, Jbay
17 Dec @ Ferry Wine Fest, Jbay
21 December @ Cotage Fromage, Franschoek
4 January @ Melkbosstrand Country Club with Gerald Clark
Any plans for 2013?
I will be performing at the Suidoosterfees in February, I’ll be performing blues and country with Gerald Clark at the Woordfees in March, I will be performing at the anual STRAB fest in Mozambique – which is always great fun!
Then I’m planning an interesting Storielied national tour – with a twist. Cant talk about it yet… and I am planning a school tour as well. Furthermore Gerald Clark and I will be working on revitalising our Blues and Country show. We plan to do great things with this production – so watch this space. What else? I have loads of new English material which needs to be recorded some time in 2013. There is little burning desire to play with some electronic music in 2013 as well. I would like to stick my fingers into a couple of pies and play around. This is after all what I do for a living.