From Kommetjie to Berlin in song

2017-01-31 06:02
Alice Phoebe Lou brings honest storytelling and a beautiful voice to Cape Town this week.

Alice Phoebe Lou brings honest storytelling and a beautiful voice to Cape Town this week. (Robert Paul Kothe)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Author JRR Tolkien famously wrote: “Not all who wander are lost.”

Take Kommetjie singer and songwriter Alice Phoebe Lou, for example. Few people get the chance to live the life they choose from the outset, but a viral video of a performance at TEDx Berlin in 2014 helped Alice cement her path at the tender age of 21.

It’s not just her brand of genre-bending music that’s turning heads. She’s making waves with her uncompromising independence.

Essentially, Alice is a busker. This gives her the space to experiment with styles from folk and jazz to hip-hop.

“I am constantly changing and I like it that way.”

She set her heart on a nomadic existence during a trip to Europe as a teen. Watching street performers fire dancing gave her the inspiration to use busking as a means to travel, which is exactly what she did, until she got to Berlin where fire poi gave way to music.

Alice grew up surrounded by music. Her mother was a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and besides the piano in the house, there was always good music playing.

“As a child I always had my fingers dipped in many pots, from music to theatre to dance, but music was never my main focus,” she explains. Although she took a couple of guitar lessons in high school, it was her European travels that stirred her songwriting and performance.

“I was so intrigued by the idea of using the streets as your performance space and being able to get by with the money that you make playing for strangers.”

The South African has now settled in Berlin, where music lovers can still find her busking in autumn, spring and summer between tours.

“I was attracted to Berlin because of the vibrant music scene, the diverse and multicultural people who make Berlin their home, the day-to-day freedom one experiences and the bubbling nature of the art and culture.”

Alice is in Cape Town this week to promote her debut album Orbit, which follows her EP Momentum which was recorded in Israel, Germany and South Africa and her live album Alice Phoebe Lou with Matteo – Live at Grüner Salon.

Released in April last year, the nine-track, jazz-inspired Orbit was recorded at Popsicle in Cape Town and at Butterama studios in Berlin. It features collaborations with musicians from both countries.

“I have been incredibly lucky to meet so many mind-blowing musicians in the last five years and many of them have become good friends and collaborators,” Alice says. One of these artists is Matteo, who has become her live performance companion and helped produce Orbit.

Their finished product is intended to be experienced as a whole, “from start to finish”.

“It’s an introspective and quite ambient album with a lot of soundscapes and attention to detail with some incredible musicians playing from their hearts rather than from a music sheet,” Alice explains. “The songs were written across two years and are all touching on a variety of subject matter: personal and human experiences.”

When Alice shares those experiences at the Central Methodist Church in the CBD on Thursday and Friday it will be just after finishing a European tour with four sold-out shows.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to travel all over the world off the back of my music,” she enthuses.

Alice’s journey has helped her grow, but one of her most memorable experiences is the opportunity to perform in Palestine where she says most are isolated from the outside world without freedom of movement. “The level of appreciation I received for bringing music to them from outside of the 720km wall that surrounds the West Bank, was one of the highlights of my music career.”

The experience also falls perfectly in line with her motivation for being a street musician – “making music accessible to everyone, not just people who can afford concert tickets”.V Alice Phoebe Lou, with German musician Olmo, will be at the Cape Town Central Methodist Church on the corner of Longmarket and Burg streets on Thursday and Friday at 19:00. Tickets for the show cost R150 and are available at www.quicket.co.za.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.