I remember the first time I heard GoodLuck’s latest single- Thinking about You. Impressed is an understatement. I felt like I was on my way to the greatest music festival, windows down, hands up, blasting the music. Sadly I was actually stuck in a major traffic jam on Jan Smuts ( and now I looked like a ridiculous hippie). I had never experienced this kind of high from a South African band. From that moment on I knew I was an absolute GoodLuck fangirl singing their praises wherever I went. So when my lovely manager was able to organise a quick interview, I jumped at the opportunity to get to know the talent behind the music, what makes them tick, what they were wearing, how they spoke just simply who they were.
I may be overly critical of celebrities in South Africa, but the truth is I was not expecting much when waiting to meet Juliet Harding– the lead singer and songwriter for GoodLuck. At best she will be unenthusiastic as I know she only has 20 minutes and then she needs to rush to the airport and head off to Durban. How WRONG I was. In walked this vivacious, trendy being with the very fashionable lob ( Long bob) and I was thrilled! As soon as Juliet introduced herself with a warmth that resonates with any Joburger I knew I was in for a treat.
Without a moments hesitation I started blurting out every question I had been thinking of for the last few days. Deciding to stick to the most common one to begin with I asked Juliet how GoodLuck came about.
JH: We were in a band previously, Myself and Ben Peters our producer, It was a sort of an acoustic afro-pop outfit and we were enjoying it but both of us, especially Ben, had grown a passion for electronic music. Having been introduced into the genre through Ben I started getting really into it and we though it would be cool to start performing our music in nightclubs where traditionally they had a dance floor and a DJ playing the music people want to hear and dance to. We thought, like Goldfish, we could bring some live elements into it, we could then perform in Nightclubs, as there are a lot more nightclubs in South Africa than live-music venues so there would be more opportunity to play.
Juliet went on to describe how this new band, which was merely just a side project was, within a year, way more popular so they decided to throw the towel on the other project. I then went on to ask where they get their inspiration from ( I know so boring, but so telling too).
JH: Inspiration is an interesting thing. I think on different levels we get inspired in different ways. On a musical level we get inspired by good songs, good songwriting. I think, for me, I love electronic music but for me a lot of the heart and soul is missing ( she had me eating out of the palm of her hands when she said this). What we are trying to do is bring back good songwriting and meaning and present it in a way that is still electronic and still something that young kids want to listen to but its deeper, its not just about a a huge beat. It also has meaning and suspense.
Juliet then went on to call herself and her fellow band members geeks as they find inspiration in nature. They love the outdoors from surfing and hiking to Mountain biking and everything in between. If only I was as nerdy, my Saturdays would be spent outdoors and not on my bed seeing how many Oreo’s I can stuff into my mouth at any given time ( my record is four, but I’m working on it).
My favourite part of the interview is learning Juliet’s advice to up and coming young singer,songwriters, musicians.
JH: Just collaborate. Find people that have the skills that you don’t have. Together you may be amazing, but alone its a bit more scary and harder to sell. So if you are a vocalist go find a producer or a guitarist just find the right people and surround yourself with the right people and have fun with them because that is where the magic happens. Thats my advice and other than that it is just about believing in yourself and giving it your all.
I got to learn so much more about Juliet and what amazing experiences the band has been through.
JH: We got invited to perform a show on the highest glacier in Europe. In the middle of the snow and it was minus 20 degrees! We had to be airlifted there by helicopter and dropped onto this mountain. They had even airlifted a whole sound system up there and created this party for a private event that we got booked for. We actually couldn’t play at the end of it because a storm came and we had to be evacuated out of there. But it was a really cool experience and it was cool to see that our music got us to this crazy place.
From performing to the coldest audiences in the world, like those blady Londoners and receiving the warmest welcome, to playing on home soil with an eleven member band at Rocking the Daises Juliet told me from show to show their experience differs as the audience differs. So without forgetting that she is a Cape-Town baby I asked the highly anticipated question… CPT VS. JOZI
JH: So I think Joburg is… well Joburgers are a little more crazy. Joburg people are so friendly so whenever you play in Joburg they give you all their energy from the beginning- they just want to have a good time. Cape Town is a beautiful place to play and the people are lovely…They are our people as we are from Cape Town. But I will say they are a lot more cool. Even if they are really enjoying it they not going to show it or let you know. They will just sort of nod their heads. But from an artists perspective I have never had the opinion that the audience owes you anything. You are there to do your thing, they payed their money to see you, and if they want to be chilled thats perfect.
Lastly we ended the interview ( more like a conversation with a new friend) on the topic of fashion. From Juliet’s day to day style, to her alter ego on stage this is what she had to say.
JH: I do enjoy shopping overseas because as you know I think shopping in south Africa you and a lot of people will have the same stuff but I am a Zara girl. I love the fit, I love the bohemian-ess of their clothes. Day to day I think I am functionally-comfortably- progressive ( sums her interview outfit up perfectly). I like to look nice and I do try, but it is more of a challenge for me. I am trying a little harder now and I have a lady in Cape Town called Ferial Closets Make Overs and she helps me shop and she makes me things. ( On stage) its always me and its always the clothes I love to wear but for me I try and dress for the vibe. I’m not like Lady Gaga, If it is a corporate event and everyone is in suits I’m not going to go in tracksuit pants just to make a statement because you also have to respect what people are booking you for. If it is a festival I always like to look a little cutting edge, not too formal, not too glitzy. I want to look good but I don’t necessarily want to stand out too much.
It may not have been the longest interview but speaking to Juliet and meeting the rest of the band I am expecting even greater things from them. I cannot wait until the next gig I get to see them perform at- I will be front and centre singing at the top of my voice, and hurling roses at their feet. Much love to a band with all the soul, talent and African flavour.
Be sure to catch them on the 30th of April for the Ray-Ban OneSight acoustics event in Cape-Town alongside Crazy White Boy and The Kiffness
All Photos by Photographer: Brian Molepo