Funky Kiwis hit gold and light up SA fans

05 September 2016 - 08:36 By LEONIE WAGNER

Fans couldn't get enough of New Zealand band Fat Freddy's Drop when it performed in Cape Town and Johannesburg at the weekend.The seven-piece band has gone from being uncertain about local audiences to being in awe of them.Here for the Red Bull Music Academy Weekender, the band's founder and producer, Chris Faiumu, also known as DJ Mu, described the South African shows as "very special"."We didn't know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. South Africa was an unknown for us. We were at first unsure about coming . but now it feels like there's something here for us."This is a place we can come back to," he said.The band's unique sound is the musical equivalent of a multi-layered rainbow cake and its performance had Johannesburg music lovers chanting for more.Central to the band's performances are its 20-minute songs that combine DJ Mu's techno beats with Dallas Tamaira's soulful vocals.Contributing to the audio orgasm are Chopper Reeds on saxophone, Tony Chang on trumpet , Dobie Blaze on keyboards, Hopepa on trombone, Jetlag Johnson on the guitar and rapper MC Slave.This creates the perfect mix of jazz, house, R&B and reggae.Despite sold-out performances across the world, the band members haven't made any real money from Based on a True Story, their debut release in 2005.Faiumu said: "The business has changed so much from when we started. Every album since [our first] has not made money."We're actually in the business of touring, that's where you make money."There is no money in selling music or streaming it. The small amount of money you make from selling albums pays the studio's bill. The money is in touring and that's the case for every band."Even though South Africa was a "last minute add-on" to the band's touring schedule, they performed as if it were their first stop."We've just come from our European tour and when we're on tour do about 70 to 80 hours of work, including practice, set up and playing, a week."It's hard work but our ethos is that we work hard," Faiumu said...

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