IT’S been a year and a half in the making, but Durban duo, Easy Freak, are thrilled with their much anticipated debut album, I’m Alright, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.
Working late into the night, Dom Hurd and Jude Kenrick, recorded the songs for the 12-track album in a home studio.
“It was a real challenge,” Hurd, the band’s lead vocalist, said, “especially since we both work and have commitments during the day. It’s been a case of working after hours and nights.
“But we really are very happy with I’m Alright and we’re really pleased to be able to get the album out there. We can’t wait to hear what people think about it.”
Easy Freak made waves with the release of their debut single and music video for So Lonely, which stormed the charts on radio nationwide last year. The video, meanwhile, received extensive airplay on Trace TV and MTV Africa.
If you haven’t yet discovered this band, then you’re in for a treat. Their music is packed full of heartfelt lyrics and catchy melodies.
Asked to described their sound, Kenrick, who grew up on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, says it’s ‘quite eclectic’, adding: “We love so many different kinds of music, so our sound is kind of a mix of funk, electronic, R&B, hip hop and pop.”
I’m Alright includes a number of collaborations with the likes of Raheem Kemet, who also guested on their single Moves On You, Durban rapper ByLwansta, Red Robyn, Jaedon Daniel and Kaien Cruz, from WolfpackX.
Kenrick, who plays drums and keyboards, shares the composing duties, with Hurd, a Maritzburg College old boy, who grew up in the Cato Ridge and Richmond areas.
“We see music as a pure form of expression. When we experience life, our reaction to that is through our music,” says Hurd, University of KwaZulu-Natal jazz music alumnus.
“For us to express ourselves so openly and with such vulnerability, and for people to welcome us with so much enthusiasm; that’s been really heartwarming. That inspires us to keep writing.”
The biggest themes on the album concern love and loss and being able to find comfort in religion throughout tough times.
Asked where the title for I’m Alright had come from, Kenrick — who is doing an honours degree in music, along with session work for Ard Matthews and teaching drums at Crawford College in St Lucia — said it had multi-layered meanings.
“It speaks of the masks we put on in life, about the questions and doubts that pop up, and about how life doesn’t always make sense,” he adds.
“But through all of that we seem to come out on top; we find peace in not always knowing, in asking questions, and in not always having it together. Nobody’s perfect, but we’re alright.”
Kenrick and Hurd, have both been playing music since they were children.
“I grew up playing music in church,” says Hurd, “[and] I never saw myself doing anything other than music, honestly.”
Kenrick, whose musical journey followed a similar path to UKZN, said they had known each other for quite awhile before getting together.
“We started a rock band initially and then, Dom and I sort of came together as a duo. It seemed like a natural progression,” he added.
Easy Freak are planning to hit the road to promote I’m Alright, which is available on iTunes.
They already have gigs lined up at the Oppikoppi Festival and in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and they hope to perform for fans in Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, you can keep up to date with the band through their Facebook page: easyfreakmusic, follow them on Twitter @EasyFreakMusic and watch their music videos on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/EasyFreakMusic