HINDS' sights on even greater heights

2008-02-01 00:00

Craig Hinds, enigmatic frontman and songwriter for successful South African band Watershed, has been invited to write with Elliott Kennedy, one of the world's foremost hit writers and the man who has penned many of Brian Adams's songs.

Speaking after three sold-out performances at Durban's Barnyard last week, Hinds said he valued the experience in a more intimate venue - a performance the band hopes to repeat next year, but extending to five shows. This is not to say that Watershed are not up to playing to thousands. They played to 7 000-plus Durbanites in the Botanical Gardens last month, and will be back in Durban over Christmas. Dubai, London, Ireland and Scotland are on the itinerary for November.

Watershed's incredible successes - stretching from their unforgettable first single Indigo Girl to Letters and Live Another Day off their latest album Mosaic - probably have a lot to do with the invitation from Elliott Kennedy. For the quietly professional and refreshingly honest Hinds, the experience will be “amazing” and the perfect opportunity to sit down and relook at the band's new material.

“It is very good for me to get another brain involved. I'll learn something. When I wrote Indigo Girl I never saw myself doing this. Songs are weird things,” Hinds said.

Hinds is a self-taught musician and his haunting piano melodies and sensitive lyrics speak for many. “As a brand in itself, Indigo Girl is probably as strong as, if not stronger than, Watershed. One song can turn an album,” he shrugs.

He describes Indigo Girl as “a very simple song” - one of the first he wrote. It is probably of the ilk of Beatles and Brian Adams's hits, which often feature just three or four chords. Structurally, they are simple and “stamp themselves in your head,” he says.

He came up with a piano hook, a line that really worked and the rest is probably South African music legend. Yet, it was never earmarked as a single, was lucky to get onto their debut album In The Meantime and was eventually only included as the eighth track.

When their recording company EMI South Africa first released it, it was offered around Europe. There were no takers. However, a programmer from a German radio station heard the song on the radio when he was on a Cape beach, bought the album and took it home to Stuttgart. His listeners loved it and wanted it. The album ultimately reached platinum status.

Ironically, Hinds hadn't been into a recording studio before this album and he said this probably contributed to its simplicity and innocence. Technically and musically, subsequent albums have been far more complex.

Nevertheless, Watershed definitely has its own unique style.

“We haven't even been able to classify the Watershed sound. Now we are actually thinking of calling it piano rock,” he said.

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.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.