BY LOUISA STEYL
ACAPELLA group, D7, are creating fresh a capella to reintroduce the music form to younger generations.
With a repertoire including songs by Goldfish, Kings of Leon and Justin Timberlake, D7 take on challenging songs and test their voices to see how many instruments they can create.
With a voice that could match a fog horn, Francois Swart, from Bellville is the bass behind D7. Along with the rest of the group, Patrick Craig, Shiraz Jagee, Scott Lee-Jones, Eugene Gouws, Graham Hildyard and Dylan Martin, Swart has been singing for D7 since February last year.
Each of the members sings for different choirs and were brought together by Craig.
Swart says Craig’s idea was to be the first English a capella group in the peninsula.
He points out that the group started practising together for fun, before formalising their act.
Now they perform at venues such as The Bay hotel and have a host of charity performances lined up for the coming months. “It just keeps going,” says Swart.
The group practise once a week, but get together more often before a show.
They also do regular weekends away to workshop new songs. “We just like to expand the music,” says Swart.
Swart says there are music students in the group who bring technical knowledge to the music-making process, and then there are creative guys who bring ideas to the table.
These components are weaved together to create their songs. “Sometimes the product is good, sometimes it’s interesting and needs work,” says Swart.
“At the end of the day, we need to go on stage and be one,” he adds. Swart has been singing in choirs since the age of seven. “I’ve been on very big stages all over the world,” he says.
Swart says he tries to find a healthy balance between the different kinds of music he listens to. “I feel the pop music of today is empty, it doesn’t tell stories anymore,” he says. Swart says the group aims to bring a capella to a younger generation. “No instruments doesn’t mean you can’t have fun,” he says.
D7 proves this with their fresh and funky sound.
BY KIRSTEN SMART
Camps Bay: home to the cosmopolitan, beautiful men and women, sinful ice cream, occasional live jazz and, last Saturday, home to the D7 a cappella group.
Yes, you heard right, a cappella was not lost along with boater hats, stripy blazers and barber shops. D7 is a group of seven young (and good-looking) men who sing a cappella songs that range from Billy Joel to Justin Timberlake.
The event took place in the luxurious Bay Hotel and was sponsored by Bilton Wine Estate, which always makes for a good evening anyway. The location was gorgeous and the room was magical, decorated with tons of fairy lights, flowers and white linen.
Then those gorgeous boys walked onto the stage and began to harmonise… and to be honest, I wasn’t completely blown away by the time interval rolled around. Plus, the service was slower than a Prestik-pawed sloth and, looking about the room (I was surprised to see that the group’s fan base ranges from what looked like ages seven to one hundred and seven) I saw more than a few unhappy, hungry, thirsty faces.
But, in the second half, my wine finally made its Bordeaux blendy way to my table and the boys seemed to pick up the tempo (ahem). In fact they managed to really touch the audience with their awesome renditions of old and new tracks and, in particular, Coldplay’s ‘When 1 Ruled the World’. They even tossed in a couple of songs as a tribute to Michael Jackson that had the audience clapping and singing tunelessly along.
There is one member of D7 who should be given a special mention though, a dreadlocked wonder by the name of Eugene. His pitchperfect, large-ranging, spellbinding voice is enough to give one goosebumps.
Even though the group is only a year and a half old (and even though I only had one glass of Bilton’s finest) they’re actually bloody good. Sure, they may need a few tweaks here and there, but in my opinion it’s as though they’re injecting a little bit of much-needed art, class and talent into the current music industry.
“For more information on the various things mentioned in this article, visit www.thebay.co.za, www.biltonwines.co.za and www.d7live.com.”
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D-seven to grace Synergy Live festival and Cape Town
27th November 2009
Click here to see D-seven on the cover of Next48 Hours:
|A’Capella group D-seven will be doing their rock set at this year’s Synergy Live festival at Bochendal Wine Estate, which runs from November 27 to 29. They will also perform at the Cape Town Summer Race Day party at the Kenilworth Race Course on November 27.
The group will be performing filler sets in between the band changeovers. D-seven has styled themselves as an outfit to change the traditionally held image of a’capella music.
A’Capella (voice only) music has for a long period suffered under the impression that it was a music genre lacking sex appeal, audience-accessibility and commercial viability, and perhaps a touch lame.
D-seven is a bold new all male a’capella ensemble that has set the Cape Town music performance scene alight with tight sets, fitted jeans, slick moves and smooth music.
The members of D-seven pride themselves as much on their appearances as they do the quality of their their sound, which is itself winning wide acclaim. The group is moving from strength to strength, having performed to packed houses on some of the Mother City’s premier stages, namely Rocking the Daisies, VredeFest, Artscape Theatre and their regular spot Grand Daddy Hotel Rooftop, whilst catching the eye of producers at SABC2 in the process.
They’ve also performed with the likes of Arno Carstens, Louise Carver, Goldfish, aKING, The Dirty Skirts and many more.
All that coverage is sure to grow the D-seven brand, and like any performance outfit worth their salt, the men are certainly conscious of the fact. But it’s the brand itself that catches more attention than anything else.
* Visit www.d7live.com for the latest news, updates and multimedia.
|Click here to see D-seven on the cover of Next48 Hours: