Brother-and-sister duo Louis and Magdalene Minnaar have recently combined their creatively blessed genetics and extensive musical experiences in the form of musical project MiNNAAR. With their "Volcano" EP freshly released, we decided to find out a little bit more about this original group.
Something must have been in the water in the Minnaar household as both siblings have highly successful creative backgrounds and careers. Louis is one-third of the SAMA-winning group Bittereinder, as well as a respected designer and animator. Most of the Belville band brotherhood have utilised the distinct Minnaar stamp of excellence on many of their projects, be it an event poster or a music video. Magdalene is an award-winning opera singer (recent productions include the lead role of Christine in The Phantom Of The Opera), an ex-member of all-girl string group Sterling EQ and she also just happens to produce and write shows for her production company Biblioteek Music Productions. With all this diverse creative talent bubbling productively away, one would think that possible sibling rivalry would rear its adamant head.
Louis: Of course there is, but, luckily, we don't pull each other's hair anymore. We sort it out. Magdalene: Louis and I both have quite short fuses and both work extremely hard and are extremely passionate - all traits that lead to Italian-esque Minnaar famliy outbursts. But we get it out, on the table, and then sort out any problems. Easy.
Not as if the two had enough on their plate already, they decided to start the group just because it was a no-brainer, really.
L: I have a passion for making music and it just made sense to do something with Magdalene seeing that she is so flippen good. MiNNAAR: This is very much a "passion" project, so we do whatever we want!
They both have different tactics for dealing with the pressure and the limited amount of hours in the day. Louis manages time like a ninja and Magdalene prefers multitasking with the help of wine.
M: Ah, insomnia baby - I tend to have a cassette player of whatever music I'm memorising looping in my head as soon as I head the pillow. Somnil and a glass of wine I tell you ...
The five- track EP is an interesting layering of soaring soulful operatics and theatrical electro beats. In turns spooky, moody, dancey and sometimes a combination of all three. We asked what the main aim was regarding mood, sound and style for the EP, as well as the response it has gathered so far.
L: It's hard to say. It consists of a variety of moods. Each song exists on its own. But, if I had to say then it would be that we wanted to do something quite emotional, rich with feeling and love. M: Also - we didn't try to do anything attached to a certain genre or to copy any other artist. It was an open-book process from the very beginning, where we can just write what we like and feel at that time. L: We have been received really, really well considering that the music wasn't made to cater for any specific type of ear. M: Astonishing - I've had so-called classical snobs tell me how inspiring it is, how fresh ...
Future plans for the group include a second five-track EP release, which will hopefully be the beginning of many more. A tour, as of yet, is not in the plans as they live in different cities (Pretoria and Cape Town), but if it did so happen to come about, Magdalene's theatrical background would possibly come into play.
M: Some of the vocal lines are already very operatic and it would be amazing to make the whole project more theatrical - but only time will tell as the project grows.
Here's hoping that this fresh new group grows from strength to strength and finds many more new appreciative ears. Why not join the ranks and download their free "Volcano" EP at www.minnaar.net.
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