FIRST LOOK: Die Heuwels Fantasties releases new music video with JR


Cape Town – In a Channel24 exclusive, we have the amazing opportunity of bringing you a new music video from Die Heuwels Fantasties first.

The video is of their song Koeëlbaai ft. JR and it is from their new album, titled OKAY!.

The song is a mellow piano-driven ballad with some melodic rap from JR and the video will make you want to go and chill in Koeëlbaai.

Watch the awesome video here:

Die Heuwels Fantasties recently released their fourth studio album, titled OKAY!.

Having successfully launched their new album at the beginning of May to a 1400-strong crowd in Pretoria, we recently sat down with the band - Pierre Greeff, Fred den Hartog, Hunter Kennedy and ("new member") Hiram Koopman – who let us in on what it took to create this album.

On the writing of the album:

In the two years since their previous album, Ja. Nee. Lekker., dropped, the band has been touring a lot and only started writing on the new album a year ago in May last year. 

"We actually went away to Vleesbaai, because Pierre’s family has a house there, so we went there to write for two weeks," says Fred. "We went to chill there and sort of wrote all the first songs there. We kind of put all our ideas together so it’s very much a joint effort when we write. And then Hiram also climbed into the mix later on with his sax," adds Fred.

According to Pierre the band didn’t necessarily go to Vleesbaai to come back with fully written songs. "We went there to not write full songs actually, but to rather capture moods, small ideas, you know… We maybe walked away with a chorus or a verse, and a mood and an idea, but it wasn’t fully complete songs, that only came later."

On the question of what inspired the songs, Pierre said the following: "Someone told me the other day that the subject matter of the album feels hopeful, or inspirational or whatever. I don’t think I’ve stepped away far enough from the songs yet, we only just finished it, so I haven’t been able to find the golden thread yet."

On the recording of the album:

While the album was recorded in 15 days split into two sessions at Sunset Recording Studio, the band was still finishing songs while in studio.

"We did a lot of the writing on the fly while we were recording, which was actually very cool. The songs then sort of take on their own shape while you’re busy, you know? We did the recording in 2 sessions - one at the end of last year, and then one at the beginning of this year. We like to sort of split it up because then you get a bit of perspective on what you’ve recorded, what you still want to put on the album, you know, that kind of stuff," says Pierre.

On the sound of the album:

Can they sum up the album sound in one sentence? "It sounds like a compilation album to me of what we’re currently listening to in the band. There isn’t one specific style that runs throughout for me. So… eclectic? That’s something one could say," says Hunter. "Positive depression sufferers," Hunter adds laughingly.

On the one song they fought about:

"There's definitely a song that we struggled with," says Pierre. "Gebreek," says Fred. "Well, now it's on the album twice," adds Hunter.

"Uhm... yes we didn't quite know, or rather we tried to make it work. We liked the lyrics but then we struggled with the music, then we give it another jacket and then the other part suffers. So we sort of had two versions," says Pierre. "We actually had 15 versions of that song," adds Fred. 

"Yes, and then we put two versions on the album," says Pierre. 

About fighting creatively, Hunter says they don't really fight because they've been doing it for so long. "We handle each other well, and if you don't like a part, then you sort of give a reason of why you think it won't work, and there are three of us so we can vote, you know what I mean? It's not as if we bump heads over specific parts." 

On the album title:

Everyone starts laughing. "I can't anymore!" says Pierre. "I am just too tired," says Pierre. (Sidenote: The band had been up since very early that morning for a TV show) 

Hunter starts to explain: "Except for the first album, all the other album titles are sort of sayings. Like Alles Wat Mal Is, Wilder as die Wildtuin, Ja. Nee. Lekker. etc. So for the new album we searched for another one that will fit in with that train of thought. And in the one song we actually sing the word okay', and I think at first it would have been 'okay, okay', or something like that. But then we decided on the OKAY with the exclamation mark at the end to keep it positive and more like a firm thing than just a normal 'okay'. Also when we eventually saw it in its font format, we decided to keep it as it branded very well, it's very striking."

On the best thing about recording the album:

"Braai at Jurgen's studio," says Hunter. "I think to have Hiram on board, a new energy, and we worked with JR very long ago. He worked on three tracks with us. So to have an old friend with us in studio, it was just a lot of fun." 


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