Nick Turner

Nick Turner at Malkop [Interview]

Nick Turner

Malkop 2016 is Almost Here!

The most exciting festival to come to the West Coast is Malkop Rock Festival. Now in its second year, the 2016 festival promises to be one for the books! With a line up better than most other events in the area, you have no choice but to pack your bags and road trip to this special festival.

I caught up with singer, Nick Turner, who is on the line up, to chat about the festival:

Hi, thanks for chatting to DPC – Would have loved to do the interview in Afrikaans but most of my readers are English! Haha! So, how has this year been so far – Any highlights?

No problem. Thanks for the chat. Apart from a number of my musical heroes passing away this year; David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, I’ve managed to have an okay year. The main highlight of 2016 for me was releasing my debut solo album “Home and Secure”. It’s certainly been a long time coming, having been in the industry for 20 years. All my previous albums have been with my two bands Sons of Trout and Mikanic. Other highlights I’ve had this year; releasing a music video for the song “Gousblom”, my first single off the album, and writing the music score for the movie “The Girl from Nowhere” One highlight that trumps (Not Trump) all others is being invited to perform at Malkop festival 2016.

Haha – Excellent! So, tell me about the album you released this year? Who worked with you on it and is there a continuous theme?

The album was recorded at Rootspring Studios in Muizenburg and was produced by Jonny Blundell. I had had the privilege of working with some of the best musicians in the country. Not only are they all exceptional musicians, but they are all good friends of mine, which made the recording process so effortless. Here is a list of the musos involved on the album in no particular order.

Album producer, Jonny Blundell plays electric guitar; Adriaan Brand of Springbok Nude Girls fame contributes trumpet and accordion; Schalk Joubert is on bass with Brydon Bolton on double bass; Mike Rennie and Piet de Beer play violin and viola, respectively; Kevin Gibson and Ashley Read play drums, with Riaan van Rensburg contributing percussion; Luna Paige, Peter Mitchell, Zolani Mahola and Frieda van den Heever all provide backing vocals; Jannie van Tonder plays the trombone and Jamie Jupiter plays harmonica.

The album title is loosely based on the track “Cuffed in my Kitchen” which is about how I was escorted out of New York by Homeland Security for overstaying my visa. In a broader sense it is a homecoming album, a retrospective of my love affair with music and the journey it has taken me on. The album has a strong travel theme. The music takes you to Loeriesfontein, Brooklyn, Tennesee, Paris, England and beyond. The travel theme ties in with the eclectic mix of genres on the album. The album has 4 Afrikaans tracks and 9 English tracks. My songs are mostly inspired by personal experiences. A few examples:

Shrooms with Gaga”, one of my English singles, is about taking a road trip to a music festival in Tennesee with a pretty lil girl called, Stephanie. It reflects on the crazy weekend we had together and my unrequited love for her. After returning to New York we lost touch. The next time I saw her was at the Cape Town stadium performing as Lady Gaga. Tried tweeting her to hook up for a coffee, but got no reply, obvs. True story.

Gousblom” is a love song I wrote with my Dad about how my great grandparents met. My great grandfather, Frederik Ernest Turner, came from England by steamship , arriving in Cape town in 1891. He struggled to find work in the mother city and decided to venture further North. While traveling between Calvinia and Loerisfontein , he cam across a farm called Jan Kora. In the farmhouse he saw a picture of the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. He immediately fell in love with her and set out to find the girl of his dreams. He eventually found her in Loeriesfontein. Hester Cecilia Wilhelmina Lombard and Fred, my great-grandparents, fell head over heals in love and had eight children. Today one can visit the Fred E Turner Museum in Loeriesfontein in honour of my great grandfather.

On a side note, this is also Ian Turner’s great grandfather. Ian is my cousin and organizer of Malkop festival.

Oh wow! What a crazy journey! 🙂 So, you describe your music as ‘rock, reggae, African, hip-hop, ghoema and jazz’ Do you really incorporate all these genres, and what comes first?

Yes, I do. The album is super eclectic. Not only are there a variety of styles on the album, but there are songs in both English and Afrikaans. These are all styles of music that I love. I don’t like to pigeonhole myself into a certain format. I write how I feel in the moment. I’m not concerned about sticking to a certain style or genre. I’m a strong believer in giving my sound an indigenous quality, showcasing the rich tapestry of music styles in SA. Over the last few years I’ve been involved in a number of Afrikaans music productions at festivals around the country. This work inspired me to write in Afrikaans. To be honest my Afrikaans isn’t that great. I approached my Dad to assist in writing a few songs, 2 of which are on the CD. We have developed into quite a formidable songwriting team. For the last 5 years I’ve been involved in a Music project at Solms Delta wine Estate called Music van de Caab. The project focuses on preserving the music styles of the rural Cape. Styles explored include, Ghoema, Langarm, Cape Jazz and Vastrap. Having been involved in the project for so long, these different styles have influenced me immensely and have crept into my playing and song writing. “Roos” the only cover on the Album, written by Les Javan, is a song that encapsulates these different styles. I included it to pay homage to the people of the farm and the fantastic work they are doing at Solms Delta.

Nick Turner

Who, besides other musicians and music, inspires you?

I love reading, and am inspired by many great writers. I love insightful, gripping and poignant story telling. A few books that come to mind are “Indaba My children” by Credo Mutwa, “To kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee

I’m inspired by people who have achieved their dreams, even when faced with insurmountable challenges.

Sports heros like Caster Semenya and Wade van Niekerk

I love hiking and exploring nature. I draw a lot of inspiration from the beautiful city of Cape Town and its surroundings.

It is an amazing city! Now on to the festival… What is a Malkop?

A Malkop is a hangover you can only experience on the West Coast. Its caused by the over indulgence of fresh sea air, killer local tunes, and a bietjie karate water.

Excellent description! Now in it’s second year, what can we expect from Malkop 2016?

I performed at Malkop festival in 2015 with Sons of Trout. I was super impressed with the venue and organisation. You couldn’t ask for a better location. I see this year being bigger, better and more Mal.

Who else on the line-up do you recommend we see?

I say watch everyone. There are so many great acts. Personally I’m looking forward to Koos Kombuis, Die Wasgoedlyne, Mr Cat and the Jackal and Albert Frost. Unfortunately I have a show on the 2nd Dec in Cape Town at Café Roux, so will be missing Friday’s line up.

Café Roux is a great new venue – Have a good show there! So, what time and on what stage can we catch you live?

I’ll be playing at 17h00 on Sat; I think there is only one stage. I’ll be joined by Schalk Joubert on Bass, Ashley Read on drums and the not so kak, Albert Frost on guitar.

Great! What do you like the most about the West Coast?

I love the flower season in September, when the Weskus is carpeted with the most beautiful array of wild flowers. Also love the huge assortment of fresh seafood that is always available in abundance, especially at Muisbosskerm.

Where can we listen to your music before the festival?

My music is available on most digital platforms. Itunes, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Youtube. Just search for Nick Turner Music and you will find me. Here are a few links you can check out,

Itunes: here
Bandcamp: here
Soundcloud: here
Youtube: here (Gousblom Video)
Facebook: here

Please finish the sentence

Malkop is going to be…..a Mal Skop, met klomp dop, waar die Dans nooit Stop.

Awesome, see you there!


Images: Charlie Sperring


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