Kommetjie singer and songwriter Kathryn Swain will be opening for Matthew Mole at the Vergenoegd Wine Estate this weekend.
The musician shares with Echo readers some insights into what makes her shine.
“I’ve had a dream since I was five years old to be an international performer… I’m a Capetonian by origin, but I’m actually a tri-culture kid. When I was nine years old, we emigrated as a family to Nashville, Tennessee, where we remained about five years. We also lived in PE for six months. After that, we relocated to Stratford-upon-Avon, England. All this time I was privileged with the opportunity to travel, especially all over Europe, and when I was 15, I even won a trip for my poetry which took me to the island of Sicily representing my school at the time, Stratford-upon-Avon High School. I am very blessed to have been exposed to so many different cultures, people, experiences, tastes, and sounds I’ve been blessed with an amazing life,” she says.
She says the moment she realised that music was what she needed to do was when she just arrived in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. “I was 15 at the time – another international move, a brand new culture, a brand new life to build. I felt like my world had been turned upside down, but that turned out to be a good thing because it made me realise that although I was (and am) good at academics, it wasn’t the route I was meant to follow. I needed to follow my heart, my dream – the one thing that would bring me true fulfilment: walking in my music destiny.”
She says her primary instrument is her voice and describes her sound as APWAM – Alternative Pop with a Message.
Speaking about the Women’s Anthem, a song she wrote, incorporating English and Xhosa, she says: “I, as a sixth generation South African woman, wanted to write a song that would inspire women and remind them that they are awesome and they have a powerful voice, particularly women who have been abused and feel they can’t speak out about it.”
Her goal is to change the world. “Music is simply the avenue with which I believe I will do just that. My songwriting is quite often social commentary or comments on how I view the issues in society.”
She describes her creative process: “Currently, I either get the melody and words together or I will get the melody first and the words will follow. How I see it is that there are already hidden words engraved into each melody I receive, and it is simply my job to figure out what the song wants to say. I have various ways in which I experience the song writing process.”
As her parents are both pastors, she has a very strong faith.
“I believe my inspiration comes from God. I believe that my songs come from Him, so as long as I stay close to Him I know that my writing well will never run dry.”
She says: “I think the most common misconception about making your living as a musician is that you can’t make your living as a musician. Alright – it’s true that I’m a singer as well as being a musician, and yes – it can be extremely tough and there is a lot to succeeding in it. But music is what I do full time. This is my day job.”
Kathryn praises her parents for their unshakeable support in her.
“My mom is my primary mentor. She has always encouraged me to believe in myself and in my dreams and to understand the fact that my life has no ceiling. My dad is my manager and has always been the practical engine behind my dreams,” she says.
Kathryn and Matthew Mole met in 2010 when they attended the same youth group.
She describes Kommetjie as just the most wonderful place to live. It’s such an amazing escape from the busy city world.
“Matthew Mole is a big inspiration for me. Besides his cool tunes, I think I am inspired by
him because I saw him go from being a completely unknown artist to where he is now. The first time I met him was at the end of 2010, and he was playing background music in a restaurant in Noordhoek and look at him now. It gives me hope that I too can succeed like he
Tickets can be bought online at Webtickets for R120 for the Mathew Mole concert.
The second event Kathryn has coming up is on Easter Sunday April 16.
She will be opening for Howie Combrink and the band Watershed at the Quay 4 restaurant located in the V&A Waterfront. Entry is free.
Her biggest personal highlight so
far has been recording her first alternative pop album entitled Little Box of Memories with producer Duncan Mackay of
Duncan Mackay Recordings, who himself played keyboards for 1970s megaband 10CC.
Vist www.kathrynswain.com or you can subscribe to her YouTube channel.