Photography by Khabazela Mkhize and Khotso Tsaagane
Hailing all the way from the UK, we caught up with Actress, aka Darren J. Cunningham, at the first ever #FutureMusic event in Johannesburg on Friday 19 July. Brought to us by LIVE SA and British Council Connect ZA in partnership with sShadoworkSs, the #FutureMusic series bring together future music artists from the UK and South Africa together for unique performances in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Also on the Joburg bill were BLK JKS and DJ Danger Ingozi.
Live SA sat down with him backstage after his electrifying performance.
You play and produce electro dance music. For those who don’t know, who is Actress ?
Firstly he’s the immaculate Actress (laughs), who fell in love with DJing at a very young age and always knew that one day he would be a force on the DJ scene.
What’s the inspiration behind your music?
I get inspiration mainly from day to day life, film, physical arts and movies. Also Jamaica where I originally from plus the general landscape while travelling.
You have produced, remixed and worked on huge albums with artist’s such as John Cale and Kasabian. Which South African artists would you be most likely to remix and why?
I don’t really know South African artists that well but I’m really loving the BLK JKS at the moment. So yeah, the BLK JKS would be a perfect start.
A little birdy told us that you’re a huge fan of Liverpool. How disappointed are you about their performance over the past ten years ?
Well when I started supporting Liverpool they were hugely successful and I was very young at that stage. I’ve been very loyal because I’m a loyal person so I wouldn’t say that I’ve been disappointed because in soccer there’ll always be downfalls and winning.
Currently what is hot on the electro music scene worldwide?
What do you think we can learn from each other from this collaboration between UK and ZA?
Be able to learn and appreciate each others’ music and not only listen to music that you’re mostly comfortable and are used to. So exploration will be probably be the first step.
In 2010 you released an album under Damon Albarn’s Honest Jon’s label which The WIRE magazine honored as their 2010 album of the year. How did you feel about that?
It was very sudden and unexpected. As much as I was very much appreciative of it, I tried to not pay too much attention to it because at that moment in time I wanted to build on that and make sure that everything I did from that moment in time would build on top of that. I wanted to achieve higher and achieve my own personal goals and not be dictated to by the best.
You’re about to release your fourth much anticipated album titled Ghettoville, what can we expect?
You can expect something which is sort of a sequel to my very first album but more mature in terms of being able to gather of lot experience from a list of singles I have released. The title suggest that it might be hardcore and quite ghetto but it’s a space of mind and a space of living, and that’s what you will definitely get get from from the album. Exciting. Epic.