Meeting a Giant: On the Most Memorable Performance of My Career
On the 7th of August I did a performance at the Baxter Theatre as part of the Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival – it was hands-down the best performance of my career to date. I had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the country’s biggest musical giants like David Kramer, Valiant Swart and MacStanley among many others and all in all, it was just a magical evening.
During my set I had to fight back the frog in my throat when I saw my family sitting in the front row, while hearing the whole auditorium sing along to my tunes “Giants” and “Real Job” – both of which have dedicated sing-along sections. Making a conscious effort to tell myself, “Keep it together Josh” – I pushed through the overwhelming emotion of it all and tried not to let the high notes come out all croaky and mushy.
But the highlight of it all for me was receiving a commendation from creative giant and local legend David Kramer, the festival headliner. Established jazz artist and festival organiser Gavin Minter (Real Wired Music) put in a good word by encouraging David to “check this kid out” and I watched as David slipped into the audience to watch my set. Later, as I watched David’s set from way up in the gallery, he mentioned something about “Fruit Vendor and that rap stuff he did…” and it was like watching a dream come true. When you first start out doing music and come up in the scene, you never think you’ll ever cross paths with the people you hear about or dream about OR think you’ll ever share a stage with the Kramers or Minters of the world.
About two years ago I bought a copy of David’s biography and figured it would be interesting to see what makes such a dynamic artist tick. I was so inspired, because the way in which he thinks about artistry is so similar to the way in which I approach art too. I even wrote a blog post about it then.
They say you should never meet your artistic heroes because they will disappoint you. I have met many of my heroes in the past and have walked away feeling let down, but this was not the case with David Kramer. At the end of the night I exchanged a few words with him and he really encouraged me in the most genuine way. He said that my sound is “fresh” and “unique” and that I need to keep pushing because I have something special: a good balance between humorous and serious subject matter and great crowd interaction. He also signed my book. A few days later I made contact with him on Facebook and he replied by saying he meant every word. Too cool.
Thank you to Gavin Minter and Real Wired Music for making this happen, it was amazingly special. I cannot thank you enough!