Robyn Ferguson-One OF The Hardest Working Woman In The Industry, Talks To Us About Her New Single, Featuring Kat Goss
Interviewed By Duzzy Clayton
In a world of high expectations and great possibilities, it becomes difficult to remember that there is freedom in art. The world around us continues to turn, regardless of our successes and our downfalls. To be able to truly experience the freedom of art does not come easy…it first requires you to experience being bound by the expectations of others, the constant pressure to “keep up” … the artist’s purgatory.
Purgatory had its start in the depths of a global pandemic. Within the confines of a small space, within the restrictions of human contact, Robyn Ferguson and Kat Goss had the privilege of experiencing true artistic freedom. Free from deadlines and expectations they were able to create a sound that is true to their nature. With touches of each artist’s personal style prevalent throughout the song, it is a representation of who they are, as artists, behind closed doors.
Enjoy the read.
Hi Robyn, thank you for joining us on Fanbase Music Magazine; it’s awesome to have you back. How has Covid been treating you and has it impacted your music career; particularly when doing or going to gigs?
Hey Duzzy! Thank you so much for your support and having me back again! 🙂
Covid has been hard for all of us but for the most part I’ve found it to be an intense time of personal growth and learning. Despite the constraints I’ve been fortunate to perform in many international online festivals and have released a few EP’s as well. Now that the restrictions have eased up and we are able to host shows safely, I have been performing and will be continuing to perform my solo music live both in person and online internationally.
Can you tell the new readers or people who are not familiar with you, where you are from and also where you grew up?
Cool, sure. I’m Robyn Ferguson; I’m a creative human and my main form of art and expression is through guitar and music. I started life on a farm and picked up a guitar as a teenager in the city of Johannesburg. I have recently moved to Cape Town. I’ve been fortunate to be involved with a number of bands, projects and session work throughout the years; and in 2019 I decided to flip things around and work on a solo release. One release led to the next and so on; and I’ve found myself becoming addicted to the journey of creating art and learning from life. I’m a bit of everything and nothing.
Did you come from a musical background; or what got you into music?
I didn’t really have a musical background, although the family is full of creative minds. Music sort of got me: I heard and saw a gentleman busking on the streets and I fell in love with his ability to express himself through a guitar without using a single word. It hooked me.
You have been involved in quite a few projects over the years, two in particular are ‘Adorned in Ash’ and ‘Sistas of Metal’; can you tell us what is the latest news on both those projects? I know some are on hiatus and I know you are also concentrating on other projects but can you keep us up to speed on where you left off with them?
Some have been and will probably always remain a project band; meaning that most of the members are fully active in other main projects and we just get together for a handful of shows throughout the year. We’ve been pretty focused on our own main projects during Covid but there’s been a few excited messages going back and forth on the chat group…. So stay tuned, perhaps… 🙂
‘Adorned in Ash’ on the other hand is unfortunately on an extreme long term hiatus, and I sadly don’t see us on stage again for some time. We remain connected in spirit and love and remain cheerful while we all focus on our individual and personal priorities, projects and goals.
What other instruments do you play?
I wouldn’t say that I play any other instruments other than guitar lol, but from past music shop xp. I’ve managed to figure out a note, or tune or 2, out of a bunch of instruments. The usual ones being piano and bass but there are few other stringed instruments on the list.
Ok, let’s talk about the new single Purgatory. Now, first of all, this is different compared to your other solo projects because it’s not instrumental and has vocals on it. Could you tell us about who appears on it on vocals and how did the song come about; and also what is the song about?
This track speaks about the pressure and expectation that we are faced with every day as creative people. The world seems to keep spinning and we often find ourselves trapped on the carousel. Purgatory touches on the need to get off the carousel and explore the carnival of life further, despite the dangers that we might find in the process. It talks about the need to practice our freedom of expression. I’ve had the awesome opportunity to work with Kat Goss on this song and we tag-teamed most of the composition. Both of us feature briefly on vocals throughout the song.
Where was the track recorded; and who else worked on the production of the track?
Like all my solo material, this was recorded in my office/jam room here at home. Kat and I worked hand in hand with the composition and recording. I spent time on the production along with Clinton Watts (master engineer who has worked on all of my albums) who assisted with final mixing, mastering and end production of the track.
Apart from having vocals on this track, how is the track different to your last solo stuff, how have you grown since your last EP?
This track is vastly different from my usual stuff but I feel it still carries and combines parts of my known style and expression. It’s been birthed out of a place of constant pressure and expectation to fit into the constraints of this world but still having the liberty to create art that is provocative and meaningful.
The song came in stages and following the ‘Waking World’ I still had some piano compositions that I felt needed to see the light but were too different to be part of the album. With our musical circles overlapping during lockdown Kat Goss and myself were able to join 2 different forces and create something unique and impactful. The song has multiple layers of synths and effects as well as some vocals and other elements and was really just about freely expressing ourselves in a new way despite this carnival of life.
Would you consider playing live with the music you’re doing now and do you have any live events in the pipeline you can talk about?
Absolutely! I’m always keen on a physical live performance and COVID-depending there are quite a few things lined up for this year and the next; including some international travel, so keep an eye out on my socials for all of that.
Let’s talk about your Live TV performance on the morning show Espresso: Could you first of all tell us how that came about; and also how did you find the experience of appearing on the show?
There was a lot of hard work put into being able to perform on SABC as a solo prog artist; and opening minds is always a challenge but performing on the show was incredible. It was huge and a massive positive growing experience for me all round. Definitely something I’d love to do again!
I must say I am so proud of you for appearing on the TV show, and feel you have helped in opening doors for other artists of your genre of music to appear on a show, which some people would consider Alternative. Rock, Prog or Metal wouldn’t fit for a TV show like that – what are your thoughts on that subject? I would also like to give a big shout out to Espresso for opening their views to having more variety on the show.
Thank you! Yea BIG shout out to Espresso and SABC for taking risks and being open, encouraging, supportive and excited about something outside of their norm. The world carries stereotypes and preconceptions about things around with them so it was cool to see that being broken all round. Nothing is impossible.
Can you tell us what you have the pipeline now in terms of music?
I’m really excited and have been writing quite a bit of guitar music again. I’ve been playing around with a lot of new ideas and expanding on my own compositions. I’m toying with my vocals on a few things and chatting with many talented musicians. I’m setting up a bunch of shows and there’s some international movement too. So, as always, lots happening and much to look forward to!
Thank you for doing this interview. Do you have any final messages for our readers and your fans? Could you please also give your social media links?
Massive thank you for everyone’s continued support and love. Art is an extremely personal expression and it’s awesome to have you all along for the ride. Huge thank you and appreciation from my side!