Local electronic musician gears up to launch new music

Mare, who spent most of his adult life in Pretoria, considers himself a "real Pretoria boytjie."

Local electronic vocalist and producer Richardt Mare is excited to release new music in the next coming weeks.

From Friday his new single “Breathless” with band 8 Apart will be made available.

“Growing up, I spent more time on my guitar than with my school books,” the 32-year-old musician told Rekord this week. “

After matric, I moved to Pretoria to pursue my music studies at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and I spent the next 10 years living in Arcadia and in the city centre. I played gigs with rock, metal, jazz and funk bands in Akasia in Pretoria North,” he said. Mare, who spent most of his adult life in Pretoria, considers himself a “real Pretoria boytjie”. “

During the past few years, I worked as a waiter at a popular restaurant in Pretoria East and at one point as real estate agent in Pretoria West, so Pretoria has become my home.”

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Mare comes from a music family; his mother plays the flute, while his sister is a piano and bass guitar player. “During assembly at school, my second-grade teacher used to play the guitar in the absence of a piano.

When she said she was offering guitar lessons, I was very excited and tried to convince my parents to allow me to enroll,” he said. “However, my dad decided I had to prove my interest in music by learning to play the harmonica first before he was willing to invest in a guitar.”

“I quickly mastered the basics of the harmonica, enough to persuade my dad that I was ready for guitar lessons. After a short stint with my grade teacher, at the age of eight, I started lessons with well-know jazz guitarist Tony Russell,” said the Johannesburg-born producer.

Mare credited Russell, saying he was an inspiration and the fire behind his passion for music. “He introduced me to the work of Johnny Fourie and convinced me to study at TUT where Johnny’s work actually forms part of the syllabus.”

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Despite working mainly as a producer these days, the 32-old is also the lead vocalist for pop band 8 Apart.

“8 Apart is a modern pop band emulating the old school sounds of big-hit pop and funk bands of the late 70s and 80s, giving it a new, exciting and crisp flavour for today’s tastes.

Since [fellow band member] Llewellyn and I started writing music together there has always been a common bond based on our shared passion for funk bands.”

Mare has also worked with some of the big names in SA music industry, most notably Tokollo Magesh Tshabalala of TKZee, one of the founders of SA leading genre, kwaito.

“It certainly comes with its challenges [working with big name musicians], not only the technical challenges of learning new genres but big names usually also have big personalities and high expectations,” he said.

He describes his music as “a fresh ear, in-depth knowledge of jazz harmonies coupled with a love for African rhythms”.

8 Apart members, Richardt Mare and Llewellyn Van Eeden.
Photo: Mia Jurgens

Mare, urged many young musicians to be creative and redefine the SA music industry.

“I think many local genres such as gqom and amapiano and even African house are gaining international recognition through artists such as Sho Majozi, Black Coffee, Okmalumcoolcat.”

“The local hip hop scene has been reinforced by guys like Casper, Kwesta and AKA. There is a strong representation from English-language artists like Timo ODV, Mikasa, Matthew Mole and the ever-growing Afrikaans scene so popular in Pretoria.”

He said 8 Apart aims to represent South Africa in the pop genre and add a different style and feel. “As an artist, I am influenced by bands such as Daft Punk, Dennis Chambers, the Brecker Brothers, John Scofield, James Brown, Prince and Jaco Pastorius.”

To listen to his new music, listen below;

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