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For Good With Watermark High


Watermark High Chats To Us About His New For Good EP

Watermark High is the alias of Johannesburg based electronic musician / producer, Paul van der Walt. Paul's sound typically evolves around the marriage of acoustic & electronic instruments, beats, samples, field recordings & loops, to create evocative electronic sound collages, drawing inspiration from various genres including hip-hop instrumentals, experimental electronica, chillwave and bass music, to name a few. Paul recently released his latest EP For Good and we caught up with him to learn more about the EP.

watermark high interview
How are you doing and…

… Who do you think is the sexiest, hottest DJ producer out there I.E who’s your DJ/Producer crush
Hey, thank you. Um, Nina Kravitz is quite pretty…

1. Can you tell us who you are, what you do, where you come from and What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
I’m Paul van der Walt, I make and teach music and I live in Johannesburg. Me: Music-nerd, dog-lover, TMNT collector.

2. Living in South Africa has so many pleasures. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear South Africa?
Mrs. Ball’s chutney. 

3. How did you find yourself following a career in music and what was the inspiration behind the name Watermark High?
I’ve been absolutely obsessed with music since my early teens, I still am today, so making it my life was just natural. There’s a band called Elliott who had a song called “The Watermark High”. So I just stole it basically ;) It has no real meaning to me really, I just thought it would sound cool as an artist name. I dropped the “The” though. 

4. If you had to pick one places to describe your music where would it be and why?
Iceland probably. Because it’s beautiful and different? 

5. Inspiration is all around us, where do you draw inspiration from when writing?
It could be anything really, other music obviously but also just sounds from every day life. Or a line out of movie or a book could spark a cool title or theme and in turn, a cool track… 

6. We believe every artist has a message they are trying to portray to the world through their works. What message are you trying to send out through your music?
A bit of a cliché I guess, but just “be yourself”. 

7. You just released your For Good EP. Tell us more about the EP, why did you decide to give it away for free.
It’s a 5 track EP that I wrote on and off over the course of a year. I wrote half the songs last year and finished it up earlier this year. I’ve always given people the option to take my music for free, but also to pay if they wanted to, so it’s up to them how much they value it. I’d rather get my music and my name out there, than focus on making money. Very few people buy much music nowadays anyway, so it just made more sense…

8. While producing For Good what were some of the hardships you faced while. What inspired the album?
Opposed to most of my other work, this release and the time in which it was written was actually quite positive. I got engaged, so the title refers to a sense of permanence, but also a sense of positivity. 

9. Which track of the EP has the most meaning to you?
I honestly can’t really pick one, I think in general my favourites are “Marrow Deep”(take a listen to his exclusive mix for us to hear it) and the title track, “For Good”. But I love them all, really. 

10. Your sound is very unique and very refreshing to hear, how did find your sound?
Thank you. I don’t know, it just came natural as my tastes are quite left field. I’ve always tried to just take the things and the music that inspire me, and to mix them into my own sound. The goal has always been to not be easily classifiable in terms of genre. 

11. Do you think everything is being done in South Africa to support upcoming artists? With so much talent in South Africa some names are still unheard off. What are we currently still lacking?
I’m not sure. I guess if more people actively seeked out new and unheard sounds, that would be great, but that’s usually not the case unfortunately. It’s a completely subjective thing I guess as it depends on how you consume your music and also, we’re in South Africa, so depending on your genre, you probably have a pretty small audience anyway. If you appeal more to a niche, like I do, things are a lot harder.

watermark high interview

12. How would you like to see the scene change in South Africa?
For people to just explore a bit more maybe? “Electronic music” is quite a large umbrella for a lot of different sounds, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find, if you look…

13. Who are some producers you’d like to work with?
If Lapalux hit me up, I wouldn’t say no ;)

14. What’s next for Watermark High? And do you have any last messages for your fans?
I’m still “in the zone” in terms of writing so I’m going with it. I might play live more later in the year, but for now I’m going to keep writing. To be kept up to date, please join my mailing list via my website:

Check out Watermark High's exclusive mix for us:

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