We talk to Flex of He & I ahead of Park Acoustics.

Tell us more about you. How have you landed up being on Park Acoustics’ final line-up for 2016? In other words, what has your musical journey been like up until this point?

Phomolo Sekamotho, better known as Flex, is the band leader that incorporates spoken word poetry and raps into the music. He & I is a ‘poetry in music’, afro-trip, funky band that create melodies to supplement the poetry. Together, Flex of He & I, used sound as a testament to their passion and love for the Mother Continent.

The road has been ‘rocky’ but the view has been amazing. We are trying to re-record our album, slowly but surely getting there. We’ve played a few amazing gigs this year; Banana Bread at the Old Fire Station in Pretoria, Feast of the Clowns festival, Poetry on the Rocks at the Good Luck Bar (which we might make an annual thing) and making the Top 20 of the Espafrika Young Legends competition.

The journey has been littered with hurdles but in the same breath, it has been filled with pockets of Joy. And now we’re here, Park Acoustics. We’ve been aspiring to perform on this stage, what an honour!

Why do you make music?

We believe in telling stories, genuine stories. Africa has beautiful stories, what better way to tell these stories than to tell them ourselves through poetry and music?! Music has always been an outlet. In a loud world where the noise can be so deafening, ours is to manipulate the noise and cultivate it into something strange and beautiful.

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How do you think the Pretoria crowd is going to react to your music at Park Acoustics?

We’d like to believe that the small crowd that is already familiar with Flex of He and I will be excited to see us on stage. We hope they’ll appreciate the old and the new stuff we’ve been cooking up. And it’s always awesome performing in front of a completely new crowd too! We’re ready to introduce ourselves. We know we have to be in it; in the music, we have to be in the moment and everything else will find itself.

What does your ultimate musical success look like?

Being able to travel, play music all over the world and proclaim Africa. And still being able come back home and kick our feet up with our families.

We always think about things like, “How can we use street style photography to change the world?” or things like, “How can we use festival coverage to change the world?” so we’re going to a pose a similar question to you because we believe that there’s always something you can do to improve peoples’ lives in the areas that you are passionate about. I ask you, “How can we use music to change the world?”

The world, especially our country, has a complex past of segregation and division. Music unites and being invited to play at Park Acoustics further solidifies the forward notion of unity in the country.

There’s a lot more to music than just being on stage. Our music and creative writing workshops provide a facility which encourages art and awareness of all that is around and within self – whilst acting as a platform for the community of young people to express and exhibit their artistic creativity, talents, beliefs, history, culture and perspectives. We believe music, and art as a whole is changing and is changing the world one community at a time, and we’re happy to be doing our part.

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