Based: Cape Town
Sunset Sweatshop is a proudly South African feel-good rock band with reggae and folk influences!
The Bellville-based band Sunset Sweatshop took their unique style to KFM Day in March 2019.
The band were not originally part of the line-up but were invited up to the stage by KFM radio personality Darren Simpson, who only came across the group a few months ago.
Drummer Victor Green said, “Darren contacted us after seeing the video of our song Coming Along, while he was on YouTube. Our video actually came up as a suggestion video after he saw a song from Mumford and Sons. It felt really cool that he was able to find out about us this way as we then saw that our video had something like 250 000 views and it’s even greater that he got in touch with us.”
The band formed in October 2016 when Victor and his long-time friend, Rossouw Wentzel (guitarist), joined Richard Dicks (bass), Bruce Sonnekus (guitar and backing vocals) and lead vocalist Ian Heyns to form the group.
Ian said, “After years of performing as either artists or as part of other bands, we decided to get together in 2016 and start producing our own music. It was not long after that when we released our first single Move It in 2017, and we were amazed by the response it got on Bok Radio and even Jacaranda FM in Pretoria.”
Ian added that not only did their first single enjoy regular airtime on radio stations but at the end of 2017, they also received a Bokkie (Bok Radio’s award) for best English song.
Following their award-winning single release, the band was signed by a label who helped them produce their 2018 album Chasing Gold, which also earned them another Bokkie, this time for band of the year.
Ian said, “We have really been surprised at how quickly things have come around for us. I mean for years we were all just doing random gigs all around Bellville and Cape Town, but now we hear our song on the radio, are winning awards and we just played for our biggest ever audience at KDAY.”
The band described their sound as feel-good festival music, while Ian calls it “brandy and coke” music.
He said, “The name Sunset Sweatshop come from the fact that we all have full-time jobs, but when we come home then we all get together and we jam together for the night. So when the sun goes down, we start sweating and working.”
Following their performance at KDay, the band say they are now focused on getting their name out by releasing more videos and selling more merchandise.
Victor said, “The goal is to keep getting bigger and bigger and, of course, keep producing more and more music. Everybody must know the name, Sunset Sweatshop.”