The pairing also symbolizes a racial progressiveness for South Africa, a country still dealing with the lingering effects of apartheid two decades after its dissolution. On this point, Withers is hopeful, but realistic. Another only-in occurrence: Among the current artists he's into, Withers mentions Vampire Weekendwhich means that, in just a few years, the New York City band has evolved from so-called pilferers of South African culture to influencing at least one actual South African band.
Withers is currently Album) his rent for an apartment near Cape Town's City Hall by making music for TV commercials, putting him in a unique position in the current discussion about where music ends and commerce begins, too.
The son of an ad man, he grew up playing classical piano, before switching to guitar, and then studying art history at university. His post-collegiate life has been marked by a series of trips and adventures around southern Africa that work in communion with his music.
Several songs on John Wizards take their names from these locales, like "Muizenberg" a beachside Cape Town suburb"Limpopo" the northernmost South African province"Lushoto" near the east coast of Tanzaniaand the storied South African village of Hogsback. His album is imbued with a post-tourist mindset where sounds whiz by like scenery from a train window but also make enough of an impression to stick with you once you're back home.
Pitchfork: This Hogsback - John Wizards - John Wizards (CD really exists in its own musical universe. Were you an imaginative kid growing up?
John Withers: I think so. I had a reputation for being a bit daydream-y in high school. When we'd play cricket, I would just stand in the field and think about other things, Hogsback - John Wizards - John Wizards (CD. So we did a recording, and then he disappeared for a year. The band members of John Wizards mostly met either at school or at university.
Three of the band members Segerman, Montgomery and Brink had previously performed with Withers on other projects. Thomas Parker, a mutual friend, would join the band several months after the others. Withers met Nzaramba outside a coffee shop in and the two became friends.
They Album) fell out of touch for a Album). In they happened upon one another in Cape Town and it turned out they were both living on that same street. John Wizards released a mixtape, in Augustthat roughly sketched out the songs on the album. This mixtape was passed on to Mike Paradinas owner of Planet Mu records.
Planet Mu would announce the band as part of their roster in November releasing the album some ten months later.
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