DYD: Where do you get inspiration for your songs and how would you describe your sound as a solo artist in Die Slaapkamer Sessies even though you’re part of Dans Dans Lisa and Glaskas?
Deon Meiring: Inspiration usually comes from my life and whatever I keep myself busy with or find happening to me. Otherwise I’m also very inspired by other music and any good writing. At the moment the sound of me playing alone is very stripped down and forces me to work with simplicity. So I think one way to describe it is ‘down to earth’.
DYD: What is the best part about being a musician? And how did your career as a musician come about?
Deon Meiring: The best thing for me is music’s amazing ability to bring people from different walks of life together. Musicians generally travel quite a lot and along the way you meet such interesting and diverse people. Music is one of the best ways for me to relate to others. My career came about when I started Glaskas while still in school. We gigged as often as we could and just did everything to get our music heard. I think when we released our first album it helped a lot to be able to share the music with people even when the gig’s over and from there it gradually grew into a career.
DYD: Are solo performances, like as part of Die Slaapkamer Sessies, drastically different from your band performances with Dans Dans Lisa and Glaskas?
Deon Meiring: In some ways it certainly is because it’s just me performing which obviously changes the dynamic a lot. Performing with other musicians (especially the same ones for a long time) creates an interesting family vibe on stage. While performing on your own probably shifts the main interaction between the listeners and the musician. I think that has me (as the musician) also listening to the audience and myself a bit more.
DYD: Do you have a favourite performance? Where was it and why is it a favourite?
Deon Meiring: Such a difficult question! Haha, I don’t have one, but what I can say is that it’s really great when you realize that people are connecting with the music and just really enjoying it. That doesn’t necessarily mean a large or loud crowd. You just get that feeling sometimes that the whole room/field/whatever the venue may be is experiencing the music together.
DYD: We know the thread of inspiration that lead to Die Slaapkamer Sessies but what really inspired you to have it done in a bedroom? Why not the bathroom (some people love to take photos there) or even the TV room?
Deon Meiring: Haha, great question! I think for me the bedroom is where it all starts. Even more so – often when you have a new song and someone visits you end up showcasing new work in the bedroom, because it is the room where you often share things that are maybe still a bit fragile. I can definitely imagine it getting ready to be heard in the sitkamer etc. But the slaapkamer is where it starts for me. Bathrooms tend to echo a lot, but maybe I should look into that!
DYD: Who are some of your favourite musicians? And on that note, who would you like to work with in future?
Deon Meiring: Some of my favourite musicians are people that don’t have albums out yet so I’d love to work with some of them. Otherwise I love old school music like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix etc. Of course I see a lot happening locally as well that’s really exciting especially people like Bittereinder who are blurring the so-called ‘Afrikaans’ boundary quite elegantly. In terms of working with other people – it’s always exciting and I find it hard to single out a specific artist because these things tend to come about in quite an unexpected way which is part of what makes it so great.