Park Acoustics & Pringles proudly presents the final Parks of 2018 with Tweak, Desmond & The Tutus, Josh Kempen and many more!

They are dik amped to host Tweak for a once off show at Park Acoustics with legendary Pretoria indie band Desmond & The Tutus, fresh from the European festival circuit BCUC, SA reggae legends Tidal Waves, Italian stallion Josh Kempen and then back from hiatus and closing off the day… The Wedding DJs!

With that said, I had a quick chat with Josh ahead of his performance at Park Acoustics…

Since the release of your debut EP, The Midnight Ship, in 2015, you have become a mainstay of the Gauteng, as well as the South African music scene. To the outsider, it may seem like a rapid rise to the top, but you’ve been at it for a couple of years. Do you feel like you’re finally reaping the rewards, or is this only the beginning for you?

I’ve noticed very recently a personal perspective shift with my career. For a long time, it was about getting in the door, creating the opportunity to make music my job. Today I’m more concerned about living a good life and writing great songs. In other words, I recently realized that I’m living a life I spent a long time dreaming about.

You released your debut LP, The Morning Show in 2017, and have been touring it extensively since, even taking it abroad to Europe and your childhood home in Australia. The reception to the album has been immense, to say the least. How has the gratification been of seeing your work appreciated by crowds in multiple countries?

Yeah, it’s really touching. The attention it got in Europe was unexpected but a really big boost for us. And I’m hoping to keep seeing growth in Australia.

You were born in Johannesburg, moved to Australia at the age of eight, and returned here after you finished high school. Your main motivation for moving back was your family, but has your music been an anchor to keep you this side as well?

The fact that my record label, band, and the biggest network is here makes it the place that makes the most sense to be based. I’ll probably make whatever move necessary for my career if it came to that. But I’m very grateful to be based in Johannesburg, it’s where I really want to be at the moment.

The SA music scene is filled with an insane amount of talented singer-songwriters in the mould of Ben Howard and Hozier. Do you feel this adds a level of pressure to musicians to make sure they create their own sound, to prevent comparisons to international artists?

I don’t think that there’s any harm in being compared to an international artist. I can only really speak for myself when I say I’ve never felt any pressure to have my own sound, I’ve never really cared about that either. I think a better aim would be to write good songs and be honest about what sort of music you feel like making.

 You went back to Australia earlier the year to work on your follow-up to The Morning Show. What made you decide to record the album there?

There was a symphony of reasons that I went over to Australia and most of them were personal. The truth is that this has been a difficult year and a lot has changed in my life quite spectacularly. For the first time, I had a lot of difficult things to write about, a lot to say, and a lot to process with my music. So writing this album was hard and I can’t say I fully enjoyed it. If you’re having a bad time, writing about it can take you much closer to the experience. Even performing these songs has been challenging. But now that things are improving I can acknowledge that this feels like my best work because they really captured a dark time for me. There is something very satisfying about that. I don’t think the next album is for anyone but myself, it’s very personal. I’m probably speaking too soon, but that also makes me think that it might actually mean something to other people.

Is there a release date in sight yet, or does the album still require the finishing touches?

We’re still in the recording process, but it’s about 80% done. We don’t have a date yet but it will be early next year.

You’ve become somewhat of a Park Acoustics regular, performing at the festival once a year for the past three years. What’s your favourite thing about Park Acoustics?

It’s one of the few occasions I get to perform in front of more two thousand people. The energy you can generate for a big audience is very special and that’s my favourite thing about this show.