Cape Town-based singer-songwriter David Watkyns recently released his brilliant debut single "Magic" - which is out now across all digital platforms.
“’Magic’ is about a despondent man singing of his desire to feel the magical experience of being with his lost lover again. Drinking alone in the bar at 3.15am, the alcohol medicates his dream into reality,” he explains.
Watkyns is not only honing his skills as a singer-songwriter, but he is also one of SA’s top pianists and trumpeters.
He has been a prominent performer with many artists and bands – from Arno Carstens (Springbok Nude Girls) to Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike and the Mechanics) – with performances across Africa, Europe and Asia, including Isle of Wight Festival (UK), St Paul’s Cathedral (UK), Oppikoppi (SA) and Rocking the Daisies (SA).
He graduated Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Cape Town, and is the winner of MELA Legends Award for “Contribution by Youth to South African Music Industry”.
Influenced by musicians Chet Baker, Elton John and songwriters Andrew Wyatt, Gregg Alexander; Watkyns’s music is piano/keyboard-driven with classic instrumentation, big trumpet choruses and lyrics of love, lust and loss.
I caught up with him, last week.
What instruments do you play? I studied jazz trumpet, piano and singing. I play basic guitar and drums – mostly just for songwriting and studio sessions.
What does music mean to you? The expression of emotions and storytelling.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work? Travelling and working with other artists and meeting music lovers.
Who are your main influences? Current artists who are songwriters like Finneas and Julia Michaels. Then ones who have left a legacy of great music like Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra.
What makes you stand out? Pop music with emotional lyrics and loud trumpet solos.
Any funny moments on stage? Most of the funny moments happen when I exit the stage to dance on tables or crowd surf. It never ends well but I keep doing it! Also, I have a history of misjudging the height from stage to the group when jumping off.
It’s your round, what are you drinking? Southern Comfort and lime.
Nicknames? Wat-Wat-Waaaatkyns – is that a nickname or a tag?
When are you happiest? In the studio, writing music; on stage, performing; and having a rooibos tea and chocolate with my wife after a long day.
What is your fear? Open ocean and heights.
Wishes and dreams: To make great music and have it reach as many people as possible.
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