It was just a few days ago that Mekhala pondered, slightly amazed, on how he truly didn't think two years back that he would actually be a musician one day. Everyone else in his family played music! But him, he only picked up the guitar about 6 years ago, marveling at it at his own time, in his own spaces, and learning to play...
When I met him 3 years ago he said he would never publicly perform anywhere. But I was enthralled by his touching voice and beautiful tender guitar playing! It actually got me excited to pick up my clarinet again in earnest and start trying to play along, somehow.. clumsily at first, used as I was to playing the clarinet the classical way mainly..!
Someone asked Mekhala 2 years ago to accompany their daughter on a gig for a song or two. The same time, Mekhala played his first gig with a seasoned musician Zeppe in St Francis Bay.. slowly gaining in confidence. Around the same time, I publicly sang and played the guitar, and the clarinet, for the first time - in the streets of Finland, then other countries in Europe. It was a wonderful exciting trip of busking and hitch hiking.. Upon return to South Africa, we decided to get a bit serious and put some music together as a duo.
And so it was, that 2 months later, we played our first gig together at Surf Cafe in Plett! It didn't actually go very well. We were so shy. And still getting everything together. But the practice continued, and in the months that followed, more gigs came up.. we realized we could pull it together if we give it some energy. The last trip to Germany opened some taps it appeared, and in the last 6 months, Driftwinds was truly formed. We managed to pay for our own PA system by playing 2 gigs at our neighbor restaurant. We put together a CD, recording it through some well known local musicians who have been hugely supportive.. We came up with a name (and what a task that was..! All names are taken.. you try and google any name that comes to mind and somewhere in the world, that already is taken as a name of a band.. you try it..!). And we got more gigs! The weeks we're living now, see us performing several times within a few weeks. It still feels amazing, but so it seems that our efforts have paid off.. the music is enjoyed by many and we are asked back to play in places.
Which we so gladly do!
Old Nick Village and our little place Artist's Loft has been a wonderful creative space to live in. From here, I have ventured off to carry out environmental education and animal welfare related work in the surroundings.. Mekhala has done his art.. We've explored the nearby natural beauty, the lagoon, the sea, the mountains, the forests. We've gotten to know the amazing, interesting and fun people of Plettenberg Bay, Harkerville and the Crags. And we've been able to play as loud and as long as we want at night, as no other people permanently live in these premises! Just the night guards have been there to enjoy the nightly practices. :)
But, so all good things come to an end.. ;) And we make a move to Europe again. For 2-3 months. Shariah Mekhala's sister is keen to welcome us in Cologne, as well as others in the Netherlands, and in Finland..
Upon return, let us see where all Driftwinds are to be found! Crags, Wilderness, Sedgefield, ideas ideas... Drift-ish as we are.
Thank you for reading, and so we look forward to sharing some adventures from this transition period and the trip to Europe.
Lots of love
-Miila & Mekhala