Native: An album of modern South African blues songs
This Creative Writing project is an album of South African songs written specifically in the context of American blues music. Although blues is an intrinsically American genre of Western popular music, it has its roots (along with other African-American forms of musical expression such as ragtime and jazz) in African culture, and as a South African musician and writer, I am intrigued by the possibilities of exploring African-American blues in the context of South Africa. This project therefore attempts some hybridity between these two cultural expressions, and to ascertain what kinds of lyric might be possible in modern South Africa in terms of the formation and perpetuation of a South African identity. Blues songs traditionally have a rather narrow focus as far as lyrics are concerned, but the genre’s melodic structure, its instrumentation and its very specific vocal qualities have over the last century formed the bedrock of the whole of modern Western popular music.