MCBN – It’s so good to catch up with you, unbelievably, this is the very first time we’ve managed to chat in a formal sense, with us even having shared the lineup at previous events. We’ve got our eyes firmly fixed on Grietfest and are sure you’re pretty excited too – let’s jump right into it:
MCBN- You’re on the lineup for the event featuring many of the country’s top electronic music acts – how did you manage to get involved with the Grietfest crew?
George Daniel – It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been lucky enough to have performed at pretty much every notable festival in South Africa over the years, and Grietfest is basically the last SA outdoor on my bucketlist. I’ve known and worked with the Griet crew for many years, and finally this year we could make a show happen. I’ll be performing as part of a concept event, HAEZER, Hyphen and myself have been working on since the beginning of the year at Fiction, Heads Will Roll. The show is based around the full spectrum of bass heavy electronic music, you know, the dirty stuff the three of us have been known to play out over the years.
What does electronic music mean to you personally as an artist?
– That’s a tough question, because for me, electronic music isn’t purely a personal thing. Even though, as with most art, music is a creative and emotional outlet for me, it’s about more than me and my feelings. It’s about being part of a family of likeminded individuals who are all in essence the “misfits” of society. We’re the weirdo’s, the non-nine-to-fivers, the people who for the most part, get questioned by family members about what the hell we are doing with our lives. We’re the night owls, the hermits, but also the socialites. We’re stereotyped as drug addicts and sluts. We’re the ones with the weird dress sense and the weirder hairstyles. Hence the term “misfits”. We don’t quite fit in anywhere and we’re quickly judged for our life choices, so to be a part of the electronic music industry, is personally, a very satisfying experience. To know I’m not alone, in the art I have chosen as a career, makes what I do, worth it.
How would you describe your sound of music? We’ve listened to you play live a number of times and we’ve heard everything from drum and bass to house – do you change it up depending on venue and mood?
– Yeah, mood and time plays a big role in my deciding factor. When I started out DJ’ing 15-odd years ago, I had to play 8 to 10 hour sets of Rock, Disco, Funk, Soul, Breaks, Drum and Bass and everything imaginable in between, and the result of all those sets, is me having a fucking huge music collection and an interest in tons of different sounds and genre’s. My first love is Drum & Bass, but most genre’s with a broken rhythm find a place in my collection. I guess, when performing, my sound is like a pot of stew with a many ingredients. The main ingredient being drum and bass with dashes of reggae and metal. Always energetic, always slightly Rock n Roll.
Do you believe that doing production work with other artists leads to better music or do you prefer to do things alone? If it’s the former, who would you most like to collaborate with in future?
– Even though I’ve produced a fair amount of music and released on a few notable platforms, I don’t see myself as much of a producer. I’ve always enjoyed other aspects of the industry more. But the times I have sat down and laid out ideas in my head, I’ve always preferred doing it alone. It’s obviously different for everyone, that’s just me.
If I had the chance to collaborate with anyone in the future, it wouldn’t be in studio as a producer, but rather as a conceptual stage designer. Working with acts like Justice or Noisia in that role would be a dream come true.
What has been the most memorable gig you’ve played at up to this point?
– A few stand out. My first time bringing down and opening for an international, who was my hero back then, Krafty Kuts. Performing with DJ Yoda. My first ever unplanned and unbooked Oppikoppi set on the back then, 206 stage. Opening for Kasra from Critical. My first time headlining Science Frikshun. Playing the main stage of Rocking the Daisies in between the bands in 2013. The closing set of the first Heads Will Roll we hosted at Fiction. I’ve got the worst memory remembering mundane things, but I seem to retain a lot of memories from shows I’ve played.
Does anything weird ever happen to you in terms of fan behaviour? I mean we’re pretty used to people getting undressed and throwing items of their clothing on stage – but have you experienced anything out of the ordinary? (A fan tattoo on their naughty bits perhaps?)
– I’ve had underwear thrown on stage, signing boobs and the usual stereotypical “rock and roll” bits and bobs over the years. But if I think back there’s been ton of odd behaviour from people. I’ve had a guy offer me R5000 in cash to drop AC/DC mid set. I’ve been given chicken roti’s by a fan as I got off stage. I was once ask by a little person if he could sit on my shoulders while dj’ing,.. I bent down, he got onto my shoulders and I proceeded to play for 20 minutes with him raving, haha
Are there any other major projects in the near future that we should know about?
– As it goes with me, I’m ALWAYS working on tons of different projects, but where’s the element of surprise if I told you now?
Where can people follow you online and make enquiries about booking you?
– For bookings you can mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook is georgedanielza and headswillrollza and instagram is mrgeorgedaniel
It’s been an absolute pleasure catching up with you – we’ll catch you out and about and at the event.