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Central African Rep
Viantha Naidoo | Thu, 18 Aug 2011
We chatted to the SAMA-winning electro-popster last night, just before he played to a delighted crowd at Fourways’ Tanz Café, supported by Joshua Grierson, a fresh-faced revelation.
Israeli-born, Mzansi-raised musician Yoav (pronounced with two syllables) drew an audience of 500 at the venue, the result of years of international touring and careful honing of his award-winning sound.
With a furrowed brow, Yoav speaks earnestly about his diverse catalogue of tracks. “I think of myself as a cross between a DJ and a singer/songwriter,” he explains, describing his music as “alternative pop”.
If you’re new to the Yoav experience, bear in mind that there’s a lot going on from one track to the next. He recommends the following playlist as entry-level Yoav:
We All Are Dancing, Beautiful Lie, Club Thing
... a little smorgasbord of samplers of the various strands he’s capable of winding.
He ranges from clear-cut electronica to shoulder-shaking hip-hop ambitions, and you can dance to almost all of it.
has been compared to Timbaland and Justin Timberlake,” Yoav explains, “
(from the first record), people said it was like Nine Inch Nails.”
This may be a reflection of his kaleidoscopic taste in music, which includes trip hop, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and the individual merits of tracks like
by Echo and the Bunnymen and
by Public Enemy.
Locally, Yoav is an ardent Die Antwoord fan. “I’ve been following DJ Hi-Tek from Die Antwoord since he was a solo act in Cape Town, and keeping track of what he’s been up to – he’s amazing.”
Here’s his most recent video,
Yellow Brite Smile
. Visually striking, it was created by a Montreal-based production team who blended individual photographs to create the following arresting effect:
On stage, Yoav was adored, cheered by die-hard fans who had braved the one degree August night to see him playing at home at last. His performance of
Where is My Mind?
, his acclaimed Pixies cover (
which was recently featured on the
), was memorable and faithful to the recording.
On his music being featured in film and TV, which has become a growing tendency with Yoav’s music, he’s pleased to be included. “My mom is super happy because she watches
, and I forgot to tell her I was on it. It was a key part of the plot, and my name appeared on the character’s iPod. My mom was so excited!”
As an opening act, Joshua Grierson was a treat. Bravely optimistic and a long way from Cape Town, Grierson earned fans within minutes with sheer charisma and fierce songwriting skill. His lyrics are cursory and often derivative, but they aren’t trying to be anything else. The focus here is in the tunes, which the singer bashed out with the energy of a 5-piece act before an uninitiated, but no less smitten, audience. A stand-out track was the ballad
, which the troubadour delivered with heart-rending sincerity, vocal talent at the fore. Keep your eye on Grierson. He’s going somewhere special.
Yoav’s latest album,
A Foolproof Escape Plan
, is available on Omusic.
Artist of the Week: Joshua Grierson
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