Based: Cape Town
Native Young are a Cape Town based African-psycadelic-pop band. I first came across them at The Flamjanged Tea Party this year where I was drawn to the stage by their distinctly unusual sound. A month later I stumbled across them again, busking at the V&A Waterfront. They had about 20 copies of their debut EP stacked in a velvet lined guitar case and by the end of their set they had sold every one of them. It was fantastic to fully appreciate how worthwhile one hour of busking can be for musicians.
Native Young are, in fact, prone to busking all over. They regularly play ‘sneaky’ roadside gigs throughout Cape Town in addition to a steadily increasing number of scheduled gigs. They also performed at Cape Town NuWorld Festival this year alongside some incredible international acts.
Native Young, considered the ‘brainchild’ of front man Yannick Meyer, has grown over the last year to become the six piece band it is today, blurring the lines between cultural musical barriers with band members hailing from South Africa to Spain. Their debut single, “Children of the Sun”, released last September was released in the UK, America and Europe and was included in the UK Elle “Sounds of Summer” it-list. Their unique, eclectic sound has since caught the attention of UK record company PIAS, with whom they recently sealed an EP deal.
The band incorporates a number of unusual instruments in their performance, including marimba, banjo, djembe drums and the hang – a German instrument comprised of two metal shells joined together, with indentations which when tapped produce different notes. Yannick Meyer adds a fresh element to the sound with his smooth falsetto vocals. Their overall sound is down-tempo, delicately foot-tapping and constantly evolving from one song to the next.
Native Young are bringing a new, fresh and delightfully traditional twist to the local indie scene, encompassing their moral ideals along the way. A band that is planning to record their debut album at live locations throughout the Transkei, in order to fully encompass their traditionally African sound, is certainly one to look out for.