By / Friday, October 16, 2015 / No comments /

Music Is Art For Pop Art!



music chats with pop art live south africa

This is not about the scene. It’s about a creative journey, an experience of live entertainment. Crossing the boundaries of electronica to bring an interactive show that’s coupled with a whirlwind of original music. This is Pop Art!

Two unique minds unite with influences ranging from indie disco, house, techno and 80s grooves. The combination sees the production and technical skills of Ricky meeting the ecstatic musicality and vocal prowess of Martin, an arrangement that induces a dreamlike state in audiences. Creatively it’s perfectly in sync allowing them to make their way to Sankeys Nightclub UK as well as open for Miguel Campbell, Berlin beat smiths Dr. Dru and Andre Crom. Locally the duo has played alongside Niskerone and Ryan Murgatroyd at establishments that have also held host to bands such as Desmond and The Tutus. Punters across the country can usually catch these two at events such as Park Acoustics, It’s Personal Picnic, Suburban State, ERA Nightclub (CPT), Truth Nightclub, Hot On Top and have recently played their first Oppikoppi (2015) festival and Rocking the Daise.

Pop Art’s first release, “Lights Out”, which included remixes from Inxec (Crosstown Rebels/Get Physical) and a backseat remix from Cape town local Dix (Nomadiq Music) saw the duo showcasing their connection with the underground techno and house scene. They then went on to sign with Outcross Records (UK), Miguel Campbell’s imprint. This allowed the two to explore a sound that expresses their love for nu-disco and the French touch. Next was signing to Jo’burg based Just Move Records where they developed a more mature deep sound. Their latest release “So Alive” sees them teamed up with local House legend Kyle Watson on Sharam Jey’s Berlin-based label Bunny Tiger. Besides racking up 50thousand plays on Soundcloud, Sharam has called Pop Art’s remix of “So Alive” his track of Summer 2015. With these releases, Pop Art have shown their versatility and vast electronic music knowledge that has them looking into the future and take influence from artists such as Jamie xx, Flume, Chet Faker and the Black Butter Crew out of London.

This is only a stepping-stone to the heights set in sight for these two. Consistently delivering a world-class performance that’s seen them hailed as one of the best live acts in South Africa by both Nomadiq Music and Mixed Apples Blog. Pulse radio identifies the duo as “steadily rising up the ranks with their unique brand of vocally driven dance music”, a statement that rings true after watching the two do what they do best.

'Too commercial to be underground to underground to be commercial...'. We caught up with this duo who have been setting festivals around South Africa on fire with their performances. 

pop art live interview

Hello, Pop Art Thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview with us we are so excited!

1. Before we start can you tell us a little more about who you both are on a non-musical front? 

M+R: That’s a hard one because we find it difficult to define ourselves without reference to the music we make, it’s like an umbilical chord attaching us to the sound. But if I had to say who we are it’s like a dichotomy or contrasts, balance of lifestyles. Living on the edge meets calm and collected.

2. How was Pop Art formed?

M: We went to high school together. Met at some parties Rick was hosting. We formed Pop Art 3 years ago through an encounter where Rick had some parts to a song I had written some years ago and did remix. We enjoyed the collaborative sound and took it from there.

R: I am a bit older than Martin so back then I was hosting and he was playing at some of the events I through so to meet up after this time to create Pop Art has been great.

3. Tell us how did you find yourselves following a career in music and specifically dance music?

M: Dance music unlike other music has one function- to make people dance. To us I think it’s the most logical form of music because it has a purpose. If you make the people dance you’ve done your job. What makes us unique is the addition of raw emotion and intensity to our live shows so much so that I have seen people crying on dance floors during our sets.

R: That’s really happened no joke haha and its everything we both have worked so hard to see our music do and the day we stop seeing emotion in the music we play will be the day we know we not doing the right thing.  

4. The music industry is a hard one to crack when did Pop Art receive its big break and what are some of the challenges you guys are still trying to overcome?

M+R: What big break? We see this as a never-ending road you don’t break the music industry you live it and grow with it there is always going to be amazing talent and if you stall you will fall behind. Success is never accomplished it is only a means to move forward. We have a vision in mind and having a strong idea of what that vision is and this allows us to overcome challenges in the most meaningful way. It is difficult being a live electronic act especially in a club environment because people just aren’t used to it so adapting our sets to different environments is a challenge we we’re facing up till recently. We also struggle to decide where we fit as some people see us as too commercial to underground and others see us as to underground to be commercial.

5. What is the one thing you love about producing and the one thing you love about DJing?

M+R: One important thing- we don’t DJ. We play live electronic music. That is a joy in itself as we’re playing original music to thousands of people all over the country. That’s the best part of the shows to share our experiences. In the studio, it’s a different ball game and its changed over the years to something more calculated as we find our sound. Writing music is a beautiful process with bumps and hitches along the way but coming out with a final product that we’re proud of is really what we do it for.

6. You guys teamed up with Kyle Watson for So Alive, what was it like working with Kyle and what was the most important thing you learned from him?

1.     M: It was funny how the song came about. Kyle texted me after a show at Truth that we played together asking me to feature on a track with him. Once I heard the bass line I couldn’t help but be involved. What we learned from Kyle was the importance of collaboration in a musician’s career. And not only that but collaboration with people you respect.

R: When I got hold of the parts to the track I worked it in a way that better suited our sound and the remix then went on to be released with the official release on the track and did really well so it worked out so well and the reaction we get from it still amazes us at every show, Kyle is so talented and really nice guy and it was great to share the experience with him.

7. 2015 is almost over what 3 tracks have been staples in Pop Art’s “DJ Bag” this year why?

M+R: It’s all Pop Art music all night for us. Obviously, we have the So Alive (Pop Art remix), our song Holiday which is free to download on our Soundcloud and a cover of Goodluck’s Taking It Easy that recently entered the sets.

8. What is your opinion of the dance music scene here in South Africa compared to the rest of the world?

M+R: There is a difference between what’s going on here in SA and the rest of the world; we noticed that when we played in England last year. There is a buzz here about the music particularly dance music that you won’t find anywhere else and the kids are always well up for it. People always say that Europe or the US have better parties but the truth is SA knows how to party and our artists are become more and more part of the global festivals and also becoming headliners on these stages which is a huge step in the right direction.

9. On the 31st of October you guys are playing Arcade Empires Halloween event, what does Halloween mean to PopArt?

M+R: It means dress up, it means all out, balls to the wall, tequila fuelled rampage. It means slutty nurse, Frankenstein and all the creatures and critters in between. Arcade’s Halloween is an event that we’ve always wanted to be a part of and now we will be. Expect debauchery.

10. Do you guys believe in ghosts and the other side of life?

 M+R: No but we believe in magic.

11. Can you share with us one of your scariest experiences?

M: Walking onto the Redbull stage at Oppi before our set this year. Mental.
R. Being sober whilst walking on the Redbull stage at Oppi this year.

12. What can people expect from your set at Halloween 2015?

M+R: Filth, stage diving, tequila, shout outs, bass, more bass, lots of bass, drunk girls and boys, 128bpm, new music, old favourites. Forget what you’re expecting and come see it for yourself!!

13. Any last messages for your fans
Follow us on Instagram so you can see what you missing and get down to our next show (@popartlive)

To win tickets to both events just follow the links. 

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