Cape Town – Acoustic music is one of those genres that often flies underneath the radar in South Africa's eclectic entertainment scene.
With more electronic songs and performances taking centre stage at some of the country's biggest music festivals local artist Jeremy Loops decided to start his own acoustic event and to emphasise an acoustic experience.
The innovative local muso's festival is called Summersault Festival and it's taking place later this year at Zevenwacht Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. Tickets are priced from R295 each.
Channel24 spoke to Jeremy about why he started his own festival, acoustic music and what song US audiences love that South Africans haven't quite cottoned onto yet.
CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY LOOPS HERE:
Jeremy has a successful career, touring the world with his music, so why did he decided to come home and make his own festival? He explained: "It felt like the logical progression for me. I spend a lot of my time on the road, playing shows non-stop and as you come up in the industry, playing lots of festivals, there's always going to come a point where you want to control more of the elements yourself."
Handpicking a line-up was also of vital importance for the singer, he elaborated: "It comes to the point where you want to be not just playing at it or attending it but curating it yourself, so that was really what made me want to do the festival, to have that curatorship and sense of ownership over everything. For me, that was all about finding the right mix of local and international bands."
The well travelled singer - who has toured The US and Europe extensively for years - also took the opportunity to include artists that he's become friends with, he explained: "I get to travel a lot, so I meet a lot of bands. The one guy who is playing – his name is Kim Churchill – he's a musician I worked with in Australia; we met while I was on tour there and we wrote songs together and went surfing. It's a really nice tie-back to be hosting him at this festival. He's such a great artist. South Africans wouldn't otherwise get to see all these acts. So, it's my idea to start something so I can invite some of the many people I go touring with to come and play SA."
The 35-year-old also said that a big part of creating The Summersault Festival was to centre acoustic music, which has often been pushed to the periphery in the local music industry. He said firmly: "One of my main drivers is the fact that the Cape Town scene has been struggling for many years now. And I felt that, as an artist, there weren't that many festivals you could get booked for. So, if you play the couple of flagship festivals that we do have, you can't really grow upwards from there."
He also touched on electronic music, saying: "Also, the festivals that are really doing well nowadays are electronic festivals. And I just feel like live music, especially live acoustic music, is being pushed out a little bit while festivals try to appeal to the broader market. And I'm actually trying to say - with this festival – that this is the kind of music that I enjoy and where I come from. So, this is a festival where you're going to find more of that."
Another big festival that Jeremy is playing this year is Splashy Fen. The event is taking place in KwaZulu-Natal. Playing such big stages – on dates so close together – doesn't stress out the laidback artist. He said: "I've been playing Splashy Fen for many years now, it's one of my favourite local festivals. I've actually been playing there since I had my first break many years ago. We're headlining the Friday night this year and its honour to be able to grow with them. I know the festival owners well; we're friends and they've always watched my career with keen interest. So, in a sense playing those headlining sets at a South African festival feels like a bit of a homecoming and I'm always really excited about it."
"There's not really much I prepare for; I just play what I feel like playing." He added in a very relaxed tone about preparing his setlist.
About his life right now, Jeremy admitted: "I'm pretty much living on the road now, I'm touring in the US and then I come back straight into those festivals. So, our (for the festivals) show will be a streamlined piece of art by that stage."
About song selection for the festival sets, the Waves hitmaker said: "I'm well aware of which songs are bigger in South Africa than they are in The States and I also have some songs that are big in America that never became big in South Africa. So, which songs is based on where I am geographically, just because I know what people are listening to."
What songs do people in America like that South Africans might not have gotten into just yet? According to Jeremy, "There's a fair few."
He added: "There's a song on this new record, the last song, and that really got no attention in South Africa because it wasn't part of our campaign, but somehow it found its way into The States. I suppose that's just how it works nowadays with online streaming. The song is called Hues of the Fall and it's a gentle, acoustic love song that I wrote. That's a song that's done really well over there and it will be a song that I play on this tour (in America.) "
LISTEN TO THAT SONG HERE: