CAPE TOWN: The popular band has become synonymous with youth, fun and talent and is known for making waves in the mother city.
It is June – Youth Month – and local Cape Town band, The Pedestrians, has made their mark. Their very first original song, So Much Fun, was heard for the first time on the commercial radio station, Heart FM this past weekend which is a huge step for the young boy band whose song has now become part of the radio station’s afternoon playlist.
The popular band has become synonymous with youth, fun and talent and is known for making waves in the mother city. They are known for performing pop cover versions, but the time has arrived for the band to put out more original content and produce more songs for radio, while exploring the opportunities for youth in the music industry.
Band leader and guitarist, Bradley Prince who also holds a University of Cape Town (UCT) degree in music, is a musician in his own right and no stranger to teaching and performing at prominent venues in and around Cape Town.
He is excited about the new direction the band has taken and says they’re working hard and already has another original single in the pipeline.
“We’ve tested So Much Fun on live audiences prior to its release and they responded really well to the song, so our hope is that it will do really well.
“Our energetic lead singer, Keanu Harker, ties So Much Fun together beautifully making the song the upbeat mixture of R&B and pop it’s supposed to be. The song reminds you of the kind of music Bruno Mars would produce,” says Prince.
“We are hoping that more radio stations will opt to start playing our song and that Cape Town will get behind us to support us in their masses by hogging radio stations to keep playing our song. That’s going to mean a lot to us,” says Prince.
The lyrics to So Much Fun was written by the band’s bass guitarist, Simon van Harte and speaks mostly about the beauty of a girl.
“To us as a band, this song describes what it personifies being part of the Pedestrians: spending time together, writing music, performing on stage and growing together as musicians and friends. “The song literally sums the band up as a whole,” says Prince.
He said about opportunities for youth in the South African music industry, “New legislation has opened up more opportunities for local musicians to have their music heard on the airwaves. The time is ripe right now for young artists such as ourselves to start writing more original content as part of our repertoire. “We’ve really been wanting to perform our own music for such a long time.”
He explains how the song was born. “So Much Fun started out just with our bass guitarist, Simon (van Harte) and myself jamming one afternoon and from here, I developed the chorus or hook. It was so catchy and I knew it had to be about beauty, because that is what people will relate to and remember very well.
“The rest was a bit more challenging; we added the melody for the verse, because here we all added our ideas and made a few voice recordings, until eventually the keyboardist, Barry (Box) and Simon came up with something cool that we all liked. Once our drummer, Matthew, added his creative flair to the process, the tune stuck and the rest is history,” says Prince.
But they are optimistic as a band. “We’ve really worked hard to get to this point. It’s been quite a journey since The Pedestrians formed in 2013. So far we’ve acquired the top spot in the 2015 Suidoosterfees Talent Search, winning as the best band,” says Prince.But there are challenges. “The process to eventually have a song heard on the air does involve having to fork out quite a bit of money and this definitely is one of our challenges we’re facing in getting more of our original content heard on radio.”
“Our success continued in 2016 when we produced and performed the music for the Suidoosterfees production VIVA D6 Queens, a musical which was part of the 50th commemoration of the forced removals from District Six.”
Barry (Box) is another band member with a UCT music degree. He wrote the lyrics and composed most of the songs in this Afrikaans production.
This opportunity earned them the chance to work alongside prominent Afrikaans actress and director, Quanita Adams as well as seasoned television and stage actor, Ivan Abrahams.
Prince says, “In the same year, we won the 2016 Battle of the Bands at the V&A Waterfront. That felt good, because we came out tops after competing against numerous other Cape Town bands. I guess that could be why the band is a popular choice at various festivals, carnivals, fundraisers and corporate events.
“We’re proud to have played stages such as The Jazzathon at the V&A Waterfront and the Artscape Theatre as part of the Boogie-Licious show in 2017, the Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg and most recently, the Bay Market and the Suidoosterfees again in May.”
At this popular festival audiences had an opportunity to see the band demonstrate their versatility once again as they performed their original material produced in 2016.
This spot they’ve earned as a result of their 2015 win of this festival’s talent search competition.
The band assistant manager Fazeelah Ibrahim says this was a proud moment for them. “We knew that these young men were ready for greater things. From here the creativity started flowing. They’ve been consistently working on new material including the new release and there are more on the back burner.”
Prince says about the future of the band, “I have big dreams for us and I know that we will achieve it.”
Supporters can vote for the song to be played on radio more often by sending a whatsapp to 082 222 1049 and consulting the band’s Facebook page “The Pedestrians” for further updates, competitions and T-shirt give-aways.