3 times SAMA nominated band Monark are invigorating the South African music scene with their gloriously powerful anthemic pop sound. Mixing Eugene Coetzer’s uniquely characterful vocal delivery – polished with his distinctive falsetto – and Ewald Jansen van Rensburg’s unmatched, global production style, Monark craft songs rich in meaning and soul stirring hooks.
Performing as a 4-piece band, they deliver something completely fresh and unique and are setting trends sonically and stirring up tastes across the South African music landscape. Monark have had a remarkable run of successes on radio with no less than 6 consecutive Top 10 singles, with 2 of those – Hush and SAMA ‘Record of the Year’ nominated Build It Up – hitting #1.
Hailing from Potchefstroom in North West, Monark catapulted into the limelight with their debut single ‘Smiling’ in early 2013. With Ewald and Eugene having worked together for years writing and recording material, the pair had nurtured a magnificent musical chemistry and brought together Deon de Klerk and Graeme Wuth to perform the material they had crafted. With stand-out performances at most of South Africa’s music festivals and numerous accolades, including MK “Newcomer of the Year” nomination in 2014, Monark are a band undeniably destined for big things.
Great news is that Monark have released a double disc Deluxe edition of their SAMA nominated and iTunes chart topping album, Negatives in October 2015. This edition features all 6 smash singles plus 2 new amazing tracks.
I watched them perform at Parklife in May 2015 and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with their performance, their professionalism and the way they interacted with the crowd.
I had a chat with the band recently about this release a few other things, this is what they had to say:
How is this album different from your original release?
The Deluxe edition is a double album: The first has all the songs from the original Negatives album, and the second has three brand new tracks, including Hush and Falling, and a collection of previously unreleased songs. We’re very proud of the new songs, and they hint at how we have grown and where we are heading – although they still retain our core sound. Then there are a couple remixes and some earlier versions of songs, giving an insight to the development process we go through when writing new material.
What are your thoughts on the current state of SA Music?
SA music continues to develop and improve. There are a number of great artists and bands emerging, and established bands keep on raising the standards as well. I think, more and more we can hold our own on the international scene, and while it’s great to support local music, it’s better if local music is supported because the songs and musicianship are up there with the rest of the world, than supporting it because it is local. Increasingly, SA music is gaining momentum and support because there is great local material around.
Which South African city is your favourite to perform in and why?
The jury is still out. We’ve had awesome shows around the country. Cape Town and Durban are great, though. People go there on holiday because they are just amazing places to be – we go there and get to perform for, and sing along with, great people on top of that.
What is currently playing on your CD player / iPod / Car Radio and what are your thoughts about it?
That depends hugely on who you are talking to in the band, and when you catch them. It can be the latest top 40 artists, Classic FM, Led Zepplin or Muse. I, Graeme, have to say that Dave Matthews Band is never far away though.
What can we expect from Monark in the future?
More, better, bigger, slicker … we hope. We continually push ourselves to grow and improve across the board – songs, live performances etc. We are our harshest critics. We are also always looking forward to meeting new fans, and we can’t wait to see many old and new faces across the country over the December holidays.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Monark for taking time to answer these questions. I wish them all of the best with their future musical endeavors.
PS: The photos on this post were taken by Teresa Cervinkova.