The spirit of the Northern Suburbs lives in Jack Parow

The spirit of the Northern Suburbs lives in Jack Parow

Local music icon Jack Parow will conclude his ‘Nag van Die Lang Pette’ album launch tour in Bellville at the Willowbridge Barnyard Theatre on Monday, April 14.
This will be the last show of his 80 minute acoustic plus rock performance act. The show will start with Parow’s romantic acoustic set and he will be finishing it off full blast with the dangerous electric set.

PETER TROMP chatted to PAROW about his latest album, striking it big after years of toil and also whether he is actually from the suburb he has named himself after.

You shot to local stardom with ‘Cooler As Ekke’ about five years ago. How has life changed for you since that moment?
It’s been a crazy ride and it just gets more and more hectic by the day. I think one of the main things is just having to look at my music as a business as well. That has been the most difficult part, because I love the creative part of it, and I’m really bad at the other part. But if you don’t look after both it can bite you in the bum…hard.

‘Cooler As Ekke’ felt as if it came out of nowhere. Was that really the case? How long were you plugging away before that song exploded?
Jeez, very long. I started writing in 1998 and plugged pretty much since then. ‘Cooler As Ekke’ blew up in 2009, I think. So that’s a good 11 years of hard plugging and pushing before anything came from it.

Since then you’ve carved out quite a niche, or a brand, or whatever you want to call it, for yourself. What would you say makes the Jack Parow machine so unique?
I think it’s just an attitude of not trying to sound like anything or be like anyone and not really giving a f**k what anyone thinks. I make music; I love to make music; I don’t make music to make hits; I make music that hopefully become hits. So I think that is what makes it unique, and because I make music without being to influenced by anyone else, it becomes something different than anything else and thus it’s unique.

Tell us about your new album, ‘Nag van die Lang Pette’. What sort of sound were you aiming for, and what can your fans expect from the release?
It’s a double album and it’s just once again a bunch of stuff I like thrown together into one album, from dubstep to rap, hard riffs to boeremusiek, acoustic to electronic. It’s all of it in one. And it’s big and bulky and really, I think, something worth spending your money on. It’s the most dangerous thing out there, and the least dangerous thing out there, which makes it even weirder

Now, I’ve heard rumours that you’re not actually from Parow. Can we squelch these rumours once and for all?
(laughs) I was born in Parow, lived there a bit (my great granddad was actually the mayor of Parow and my grandmother was Miss Parow and we have the actual spade at my house that broke the first ground for the current sewage system in Parow) then we moved to Bellville for a bit and then we moved to Durbanville. My mom still lives in Durbanville. So I was born in Parow and raised by the Northern Suburbs…a life spent behind the boerewors gordyn, where all the best people live.

Since we’re on the topic, why did you decide to identify so strongly with the suburb of Parow, and what makes the place special, in your eyes?
The whole of the Northern Suburbs was in my blood, and that is why I love it, because I am it. It’s my roots and its part of my being. The people are real, with no pretentiousness – just real people – and that’s the best thing about it. You either like me or you don’t, and that’s your problem, not mine

Who would you say are your musical heroes?
I have so many, so it’s difficult to name a few, so let’s say from David Kramer to WuTang Clan and Bob Dylan to Valiant Swart.

How do you generally cope with the rigours of touring?
I still don’t know. Ask me in a few years. Maybe I will be better at it.

* Tickets are only R120 and the whole family is welcome.
Doors open at 6pm, and the show starts at 8pm.
To book, visit www.barnyardtheatre.co.za; call 021 914 8898; or send an email to willowbridge@barnyardtheatres.co.za.