Locnville are the hottest new pop sensations to come out of South Africa and are far way cooler than Jedward with their special infusion of electro and hip-hop. I first started writing about Locnville back in March when Mandy from EQ Trax stumbled onto them and brought them to my attention. Ever since then, we’ve championed them here on EQ in hopes that they would bring their act worldwide. Well, that day has come. After wowing the big wigs at MIDEM, Sony has signed them and plan on releasing their debut single “Sun In My Pocket” in September with the album to follow shortly. I’m totally amped!
I had to look rather hard to find the Locnville album in South Africa, but after one listen, I was hooked. It’s no wonder that Brian and Andrew have the teenage girls going into a frenzy. They are wicked talented, gifted performers and probably the nicest twins you’ve ever met. I caught up with Locnville yesterday at Sony to talk about some of the key tracks on their album, who their big influences are (they have a bit of bromance for Calvin Harris) and if they enjoy playing dress up in their music videos…
Oh and by the way, I can’t tell their voices apart, thus can’t remember who said what, but you get the drift. And thanks to the boys for recording this little EQ shout-out for all you reading this. For all of you who were a little confused like I was – the word of the day is “amped”. I think you’ll figure it out after awhile …enjoy.
So you are twin brothers. Is it true, do twins have more fun?
I actually wouldn’t know because we wouldn’t know what it’s like not to be a twin! We do have a very good time working together and everything, but yeah, I would say twins have a VERY good time. Definitely it is a lot more fun because you always have someone you can chat to and stuff like that.
When you boys were first starting out, was it one twin’s idea to make music or did you both go “eureka” together – let’s make some cracking tunes!
I would actually say it was a mutual and joint decision. We’ve always been into music, both of us and then we started writing tunes together – we decided that this is what we both wanted to do. It was definitely a thought that we both had.
What age did you decide to start making music?
As far back as I can remember, music is always something we wanted to do. I remember the key moment was when we both got guitars when we were six and we started playing those and doing a lot of cover tunes…so getting our guitars when we were kids was definitely the turning point…
Wow – young.
Yah! (Both laugh)
Now tell me how did you come up with the name Locnville? Explain yourselves.
Well for us, what it is, it’s basically words that we represent our American and South African backgrounds. There is quite a story behind it, but basically that’s what it means to us – it’s just a word that we made up to represent our backgrounds.
So you guys are quite the famous duo in South Africa. Now you have your sights set on international release. Are you excited, scared or just going with the flow?
Definitely excited as well as going with the flow. We’re confident in the CD. We’re just really excited to see where the overseas market takes it. We’re going to push it hard from our side and hope that the same success happens overseas as what’s happened here in South Africa.
There is already a small buzz building for you in the UK. You guys made a whirlwind trip over here to have some meetings. What are you most looking forward to in promoting your record in the UK?
We’re just amped to start pushing the music to different people and a different culture. It’s a real test to how “versatile” the record is and how many different people can connect to it.
Now my absolute favourite song of yours is “Purple Days”. It’s my go-to Locnville song whenever I spin you guys at EQ Live. Tell me about that song…
First off, thank you! “Purple Days” is pretty much a direct reference to Jimi Hendrix “Purple Haze”. What we wanted to do is take that concept as fans of 70s rock and the older stuff. We thought how could we take that concept and give it a new age feel and put our own twist on it. We had a beat already that we hadn’t written anything to and then we called our rapper friend in. It’s just a fantastic track that we wanted to have fun with it – turning “Purple Haze” into “Purple Days”.
As soon as I saw the video for “6 Second Poison” I knew you guys were the new “it” group. Tell me what is that song all about?
OK, well basically the thing with “6 Second Poison” that was influenced by a time when we were involved in a previous project. After a show one night, this very attractive woman came over and started speaking to us and then the producer told us and said “cool and what not, you can speak to her, but don’t GO there because she’s poison”… [Laughs]
So definitely part of a true story then…
Yeah 100%. It was the first time I’ve heard girls being called “poison” – I just thought it was a great way to describe a girl in a track who really gets her hands on you…
Did you guys have fun filming the video – I love the black goo and the outfits you wore in that one…
It was a lot of fun – it was a two day shoot in an an observatory in Cape Town as well as an airplane hangar. The director wanted to take it literally with the poison and everything and he wanted to make it more edgy and drastically step away from the concept of the “Sun In My Pocket” video. We got a designer here in Cape Town who makes very versatile and unique clothing and he gave us all the clothes…
The outfits are a little Lady Gaga-esque, if I must be honest…
Yeah they are great designs with the rope – all black and dark. But yeah it was a lot of fun?
Do you guys enjoy playing dress up a little bit?
Not usually, but when it comes to videos, it’s fun to experiment a bit.
I love how you infuse hip-hop with electro. Did you find that this sound was hard to come up with or did it feel quite organic?
I appreciate that. I think it’s more just a thing like this – we don’t know really how to describe the genre so we best describe it as an infusion of the two. It’s just really the type of music that we both like listening to. It’s not hard or easy, it’s just kinda of comes naturally to us. That’s just the music we find most enjoyable to play and write melodies to and what not.
Now the South African pop scene is a little strange. We’ve seen UK acts have more success over there sometimes and rarely do we hear about a South African act crossing over in the UK. Now it seems there is a lot of good pop music coming from South Africa with Locnville waving the flag. How do you guys feel about representing South Africa with your pop music?
I think it’s great. South African music is definitely at it’s highest point right now. There is definitely a vast number of groups coming out right now, with all sorts of genres – it’s definitely reached it’s all-time high. It’s fantastic because most of the South African musicians have always been here, but now they are starting to get more exposure with the focus on the World Cup – that helped some groups get more exposure. I think representing South Africa with our music is a real honour. We don’t try to make our music typically South African, but we just try to make the music we like listening to. We both are proud to be South African and waving the flag wherever we go.
Which pop stars do you guys like – give me a taste for your musicality…
There’s quite a few. We gain influence from a number of people – not just pop. But lately we’ve been listening to Ke$ha recently, Calvin Harris and Timbaland – big fans of those. But top of the list is Calvin Harris. He’s a big influence on our stuff – especially a lot of the more recent stuff. And Felix Laband too – whose kinda of a local act in South Africa.
Am I gonna have to check out Felix La Band? Tip for the top?
Have you guys met Calvin Harris yet?
Yes we have actually – we were amped about that. On our most recent trip to the UK we went to KOKO to watch Hurts – which was fantastic – and then there was an after-party and we managed to get our pic with Calvin Harris which I was really amped about. I think he’s fantastic at what he does.
So share with me the master plan for your international launch – album coming out this year?
In fact, it’s due to be released in the UK in September. “Sun In My Pocket” was the first single that we released in South Africa and from the reaction we got here and internationally, we’ve decided to push that as the first single internationally as well.
Any shows planned for London? What are Locnville shows like?
Would love to play London. It’s us jamming it out and getting real hyped on stage. It’s kinda a mix of all the tracks on our album and we throw in a couple of interludes and mess with it a bit. It’s just a big party – that’s what you can expect from a Locnville show.
Look out for Locnville’s debut single “Sun In My Pocket” dropping in September and you can watch the music video below…as well as hear the Digital Dog Remix – which is, rather well fucking fantastic!