Ahead of their debut Mieliepop performance we catch up with EASY FREAK discussing their academic music background, their relocation from Durban to Johannesburg and recording and releasing their debut album independently
Briefly take us through your individual histories through music and when and how those histories collided to culminate in the birth of EASY FREAK.
We both grew up playing music from a very young age, most often at our local churches. We’ve always had a passion for creating and performing music, and I guess that’s how we bumped into each other in the Durban music scene. We started an indie rock/pop band that eventually faded away and then we were left with the two of us; we haven’t looked back since.
You’ve mentioned that there was no deep background to the name Easy Freak when it was given to you and that you just liked it. We’ve got our own opinions about why the name suits you but tell us what you liked about the name and what meaning has come from it in since you started making music as EASY FREAK.
We honestly just really liked the way it sounded haha. And when Dom wrote it on a piece of paper (which is now our logo) we loved the way it looked. I guess that most of our friends see us as representing the two sides of the duo; Jude being the ‘easy’ part and Dom being the ‘freak’ haha.
You have both studied music and have been involved with the music at church, some jazz ensembles and most recently the indie band which eventually resulted in the formation of EASY FREAK. What was it that drew you to explore pop music in the sound you’ve created?
We realized that we both had a similar vision for Easy Freak; to be a unique pop duo in South Africa that would stand out because of our sound. It’s interesting how our individual musical influences inspire our music. Dom listens to a lot of hip-hop, pop and R&B music while Jude listens to a lot of jazz, prog rock, and experimental instrumental music. Our varied influences come together to create our Easy Freak sound.
You released your debut full-length album titled I’m Alright last year. The main theme of the album came in accepting that nobody is perfect, but that we’re alright nevertheless. Could you elaborate further on this concept and the themes covered in the album?
Yeah, it was pretty nerve-racking releasing our first album. It felt super vulnerable but the response we got from our fans was amazing. We wrote a lot of the songs based on personal experiences concerning things like love, loss, relationships, God; topics we found to be relatable you know. Throughout all those situations, no matter how you’re feeling you can rest in the fact that you’re alright.
The album was recorded in your home studio and released independently. What were some of the pros and cons of going through this process without the backing of a label? Would you ever consider signing with a major and has there been any approaches by major labels?
Ooh, this is a good one haha. Yeah, record labels definitely offer a lot in terms of infrastructure, financial backing and connections; but we absolutely love the freedom we have as independent artists to create the music we like. We have no deadlines set for us, we have no box that we have to fit into – we can truly be creatively free. We have been approached by labels in the past but we haven’t taken any deals yet. If the right deal comes our way we’d definitely consider it, but we’re happy as independent artists for now.
You are originally from Durban and the featured artists on the album are also Durban based but your Twitter profile lists Johannesburg as your location. Did you guys move to Johannesburg and if so what was the reason behind the move?
Durban will always be home, but Jozi really is the place to be. We made the move and we couldn’t be happier about it! We’ve always had the best radio support and audience responses up in Jozi, so we thought that we might as well move here. We love how young the city feels; there’s always something cool and fresh happening every weekend and we’re just happy to be a part of it all.
What are you expecting from your first time playing at Mieliepop and what can fans expect from your performance?
We’ve heard incredible things about Mieliepop so we can’t wait for it. We’ve been working on our performance a lot and on so much new material so our fans can definitely look forward to a high-energy set and hearing new songs.
Mieliepop takes place 21 – 24 March at the 30th of September at Tolderia Resort in Lothair, Mpumalang. Get your tickets here. For all updates on Mieliepop follow the hashtag #Mieliepop2018 and Mieliepop on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Featured images by Matt Masson