An Interview with The Steezies

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In case you did not know, The Steezies are a full force energy train with an Afro-ish / Funk-ish / Indie-ish vibe from Hout Bay in the Western Cape. They are releasing their debut EP this week and they’re also one of the acts jamming at the Off The Grid Festival (which is being held at Camphill Village West Coast in Cape Town) this weekend.

I recently had a chat to George Kirkinis, Lead Singer of The Steezies. This is what he had to say…

We heard that you are about to release an album. Tell us a bit about it?

We have just released our debut EP. It’s called “Snorting Lines of Turmeric” and it is an audio adventure into multiple genres and sonic landscapes, ranging from Afrofunk to Hip Hop to Mbaqanga.

How long have the band been together and how did you start out?

We have been together for 10 months. We started off as a meagre two piece just playing our original material for ourselves in our houses. Someone over heard us and asked us to play a gig. We assembled some friends into a band and did the best we could. Someone in the audience booked us for another gig after that. That lead to another gig, and another, and the whole train has just snowballed from there.

What is the coolest thing that has happened to you on stage?

During a romping set over New Years Eve I got pulled into a heaving crowd from the stage, they held me up and cheered and passed me around on their hands before returning me back to my microphone. It was a human conveyor belt filled with love and warmth.

What is the most bizarre thing that has happened to you on stage?

Over the course of a few shows I got into the habit of inviting any musicians that were in the audience onto the stage to play with us during a percussion solo section. It worked well once or twice with many cool people coming up and jamming. When we played our set at River Republic 2017, I again asked the crowd if there were any musicians there who wanted to play with us. 3 Percussionists came up and then, much to my horror, a very drunk man with a fiddle also came onto the stage. He pulled the mic from our Djembe player and made horrible screeching noises over everything. I’ve since stopped inviting random people onto the stage.

Best fan quirk/comment you`ve ever heard?

Being stopped in crowded public by some one pointing to me and ecstatically saying, “you’re the vegan sausages guy!” It’s a reference to our song Tshisa Nyama which is a euphemistic song about trying to seduce someone with vegetarian meals.

Sum the SA Music Industry up in 3 words.

Intimate Exciting Inspirational.

What can festival goers expect from your set at Off the Grid?

Style + Ease = Steeze. I first heard the term in a Gangstarr song, and we have big influences stemming from 90s hip hop, so it’s a salute to that period of music. A lot of bouncing, smiling, dancing, and sweating, all topped off with a little bit of thinking.

What do you think about Camphill Village West Coast and the work that they do?

We are very supportive of the work that Camphill Village does in creating a space for people who are often disenfranchised by society to create something for themselves.

What are you plans for 2018?

We plan to throw our own festival called We are One. It’s going to be a festival that actively attacks Cape Town’s segregation issues by pooling amazing talented musicians from inside of informal settlements and greater Cape Town areas together, and putting them on a big stage in front of a large mixed demographic audience, inside of Imizamo Yethu. We aim to try create a safe space for people to come together annually and enjoy music inside of informal settlements, and thus try help break down the barriers between them and the Cape Town that exists outside.

I’d like to thank George Kirkinis and The Steezies for this interview and I wish them all of the best with their future musical endeavours.

If you need more info about Off The Grid, check out their Facebook page HERE.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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