THE Maritzburg Musicians’ Club (MMC) at La Casa in Quarry Road, Pietermaritzburg, is hosting some home-grown talent on Tuesday, June 14. Headlining the evening will be Hilton-born Josh Wantie, who has been making South Africa proud with his very quick rise to international fame.
It was during his teenage years that Durban-based singer-songwriter Josh Wantie [pronounced ‘Von-Tee’], real name (Joshua Wantenaar) tapped into his love of guitar playing and lyric writing, fuelling his passion for making his own music. However it was only later in life, after discovering that he was unfulfilled in his chosen career path, that Josh set his sights on music as a livelihood.
Josh’s ever-evolving live set-up is simplistic but profound as he swaps between guitar and piano while blending in electronic elements and vocal loops. Influenced by several types of genre, Sia, Lorde, Ben Howard, James Blake and Civil Twilight are all amongst the artists that he draws inspiration from, lending a mellower, broodier sound to his work than that of stereotypical pop.
Signing to Gallo in 2015, Josh finally achieved a professional milestone he’d been chasing for so long with his blend of indie, electro and synth-rooted melodies. With the backing of his label, he was afforded the opportunity to travel to Cape Town to record at Heritage Sound Studio under the trusted ear Brendyn ‘Rusti’ Rossouw and alongside fellow Durbanites Brad and Josh Klynsmith from Gangs Of Ballet.
“I want to be successful enough to feed my family one day but I won’t measure my success as an artist by how much money I make, but rather that I wrote songs I believe in and were true to who I am,” he says. It’s this struggle of realisation, which lends a deeply personal air to his craft, that makes him universally relatable.
Also performing at the MMC is the vibrant Nipho Hurd, who was also raised in Hilton and brings a unique Afrocentric vocal style and presence to the stage. With vocal and stage training during Idols and at Howard College; Nipho has taken her music career into her own hands and has a growing fan-base in and around Durban.
Last but not least 19-year-old Bridgitt Leahy, an up-and-coming Pietermaritzburg-based artist, will be “jamming” some of her favourite indie songs.
Tickets are R40. Doors open at 7 pm.