Feature Interview

Looking To Freedom Fest: Die Heuwels Fantasties

Die Heuwels Fantasties is a shining example of how understanding your target market can ensure a successful, lengthy career. I caught up with Hunter Kennedy to chat a bit about their inclusion in this year’s Freedom Fest and the overwhelming response to their vinyl release of “Ja. Nee. Lekker”.

You released your new album “Ja. Nee. Lekker” at the end of last year. What has the response to it been like?
It’s been very positive! Our first single Shangri-La has been doing very well for us. We’ve been getting great feedback on the album. Things are going goooooood!

We’re releasing a Deluxe edition of ‘Ja. Nee. Lekker.’ later this month with a cover of ‘Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling’ (to accompany the release of the feature film), a duet “Doen Net Wat Ons Wil’ with Riana Nel and a Poem set to music called ‘Stilte’. We’ve also had a great response on the ‘Ballade Vir ‘n Enkeling’ song thus far.

You also released a vinyl along with the physical CD, with the global sales in vinyl increasing exponentially overall, what was the response like in SA to the release of your vinyl?
The vinyl is a compilation of fan favourites from all of our previous albums. So, it’s a unique offering that’s not available on any other format. The vinyls sold unexpectedly well and we’ll definitely have more vinyl releases in the future. We’ve all got vinyl players and love the tactility of the format.

You’ve spent the last while touring extensively, what have been some of the highlights or memorable moments from your shows?
Skouspel is always a blast! Love the Sun City. We recently performed with the Paul Roos choir and the Musica Perpetua orchestra at the Woordfees. That was great.

Congrats on your 3 Ghoema nominations. What do award nominations in the grander scheme of things mean to you and how do you feel about a prospective win?
It’s an honour to be nominated and it’s always great to win. Even if we don’t win it’s a good excuse to see our friends that are in the same business and have a few dops.

You’ve been included in the line-up for Freedom Fest in April. You have a large following in Pretoria, what can fans expect from your performance this time around?
Get ready to sing your heart out, Pretoria. We love you!

What are your thoughts on the line-up in general, is there any one of the internationals which you’re looking forward to for any particular reason?
I’m looking forward to seeing the Airborne Toxic Event because I don’t know the other bands. But we are also looking forward to playing with aKING and Gangs of Ballet!

What does freedom mean to Die Heuwels Fantasties?
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear – George Orwell

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David Branson (www.dbranson.com)