“It has always been music for us! There has never been another way.”
Goldfish is an electronica and dance group originally from Cape Town, South Africa, consisting of Dominic Peters and David Poole. They create dance music containing elements of jazz and African music. Recently Goldfish performed at Electric Brixton. Volt was there to have a chat with the duo at midnight right before they were called to the stage.
It has always been music…
DAVE: My parents had a passion for music but did not have an opportunity to earn their living from it. They wanted me to always have and watch music. When it was time for me to go to university, South Africa was a pessimistic place. There was a lot of debt and the job market was awful. So I thought if I am not going to have a job, I might as well do something that I like: so music it was.
DOM: Dave was wiser than me. I did not have that rationality. I just knew music was the only thing I could ever do. I knew it was the only thing I was good at. It became an obsession. I started playing music when I was six years old, but it was not the first time music was on my mind. I am sure you had the same, he said, looking at Dave. You were making some sort of music or noise before that. For example when I was young I got into trouble for painting all the notes on my keyboard in a different colour. While listening to music I was hearing the sounds, but in my head I was seeing the colours that were connected to the sounds. Obviously my mom was not very happy about that at the time.
Goldfish (DAVE&DOM): But we made it both to the University of Cape Town to study music. That is where we met. At university we started playing jazz together at birthday parties and weddings. We realised that we wanted to bring that jazzy sound to the dance floor. It took us a while to figure out how this could work, but our first track was a huge hit among our friends. Which was a completely different reaction than we had experienced with our jazz band. Our first Goldfish track was played at a house party and I remember that everyone said they wanted us to make more tracks. So that is what we have done ever since.
Growing up in South Africa gave us a certain freedom. South Africa consists of a blended society. There are a lot of different cultures, races and languages that have inspired us. It gave us a reason to also mix things up in our music. There are so many things that have been done already. Mixing up different genres helped us to create new music.
In South Africa we were isolated from a lot of things that were going on in the rest of the world, but we were close to some of the most legendary jazz artists that have inspired us, such as Miriam Makeba from the Sophiatown scene and Winston Mankunku.
There are no limitations
DAVE: The ultimate environment to listen to our music in is outdoors in a beautiful environment, such as Kirsten Bosch garden in Cape Town. When we play music outdoors, there are no limitations. The acoustic of a room is quite dependent of what the music is going to be like. When we are outside all we need is a nice sound system and it is all right.
DOM: Still being here feels like our greatest achievement. Dance music is quite disposable, but it feels like we are just getting started. We know we can still achieve a lot more.
I am full of shit and Dom is very sleepy
DAVE: It is a quite a funny thing doing a lot of interviews. You always have to talk about you. It is not a normal thing to me to do all the time. How would I describe our most typical characteristics? I am full of shit and Dom is very sleepy.
DOM: Earlier on the plane today I woke up from someone saying ‘Dom the plane has landed, Dom! Excuse me sir you need to leave the plane’.
DAVE: This did not happen just today.
Goldfish: Trustworthiness, loyalty and to be able to laugh at yourself are the things we most admire in a person. Life is hard and it sucks sometimes, therefore you cannot take yourself too serious. Otherwise you can get into much more trouble then you need to. You can get too focused on one thing, which never really works out well. You need to let yourself out and let go.
Fashion, Art & Music
Goldfish: What irritates us about dance music is that it is so much like fashion. When something is good it can be uncool moments later, because someone had decided this.
There is always a place for good music though, of any kind. Even though fashion can come and go music always creates a loyal support group. This music might not be selling out the O2 anymore, but will still be played at many parties. I do not think we have ever followed a trend with Goldfish, which I must admit has been difficult sometimes, but it is also been part of our success. With Goldfish we might have created a trend of our own.
We do like art a lot. Because it is not just made for commercial purposes.
DAVE: I love reading books. It is kind of the same as listening to music. It inspires me to create new music. Recently we have been interested a lot in visual arts that can complement our music. This way we can give our audience during our gigs an even better impression of what we are thinking.
Music creates another dimension, it can take you away to another world. It makes you feel a certain way, which can be happy or sad. What I love about music is that it brings back certain memories and it can create new ones.
We bring live, organic, human elements to dance music
Goldfish: Our new album will be released around October. The album is still coming together at the moment. While working on our music a message for the album will be formed. This message will of course fit with Goldfish’s overall message, which is bringing live, organic, human elements to dance music. We would like to bring the experience of being a band to dance music: the improvisation and the on the spot creativity. The audience does not know what is going to happen during a Goldfish concert, nor do we. Sharing energy to the crowd is such an amazing thing.
Words & photography by: Emilie van Kinschot
TagsDance, Dave, David Poole, Dom, Dominic Peters, Electric Brixton, Emilie van Kinschot, Goldfish, Jazz, live, Music, organic,