By: Pamela Mkhize
With Valentine’s Day looming, Pamela caught up with the all-female jazz band, Heels over Head to talk everything music, love and future plans. Growing up I always associated Jazz with older people, but it’s great to see such musicians bringing in a new and fresh flavour to the genre.
This Durban-based band is known for making the audience get up on their feet and dance to their rhythmic bass lines and cheerful melodies. This was clearly displayed when I got to see the band perform at a jazz session in Empangeni.
Their love for jazz music brought the band together in 2008 and since then they’ve never looked back, they’re always occupied with composing, rehearsing and recording new music.
The band has 5 members being lead vocalists Thulile Zama and Nomkhosi Mazibuko. They are joined by Rebekah Doty on drums, pianist Mandy Cobbing and guitarist Chillie Stent.
How is the band different from other Jazz bands in the country?
It has a variety of personalities with different backgrounds of music, so when we write music this clearly reflects in our sound.
2. What has been your biggest highlight of your career?
We did a great gig at one of the fan parks in Durban in 2010, for the Soccer World Cup, just before the final started. Also being nominated for a SAMA was a great confirmation of our hard work. But we will always love the intimate gigs, no doubt about that. This is where we can appreciate our fans and experience being musicians.
3. What keeps the band going?
The love we have for music, our respect for each other’s musicianship and our desire to use our talents to contribute to the world of music.
4. What does LOVE mean to you?
Nomkhosi Mazibuko: Love means life to me. I really don’t take Valentine’s Day serious, it is just a fun day for me where people celebrate love. In reality we show love and we show it every day.
Thulile Zama: Love means consistent commitment, desire, and fire. I believe each day should be Valentine’s Day 🙂
Chillie Stent: Love is family, friends, good times, health, happiness and peace. I guess it’s great to celebrate being in Love. But you can do that any day of the week: I am not a fan of materialism, so as long as you are celebrating Valentine’s Day for the right reasons…Enjoy quality time and make it your own.
Rebekah Doty: To me, love isn’t just a feeling of butterflies and weak knees. Real love is mutual respect, love is mutual selflessness and love is mutual hard work 🙂 That is the glue that keeps couples together and allows them to both flourish in a relationship.
Yes I believe in Valentine’s Day. However, it’s not the only day that you should be spoiling and treating your other half. The non-Valentine’s day treats are actually more important.
Mandy Cobbing: Love is acceptance completely and bringing out the best in who you love…letting them shine! No, I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day, every day should be an opportunity to show your love.
5. Where do you see the band in 10 years?
We see mentorship programs for up- and coming artists, us having Grammy Awards! Being closer than ever, taking over the world and having truckloads of fun
6. How do you overcome the challenges?
They are inevitable. We communicate. There is never bad blood.
7. Level of Jazz music is KZN? Are we there yet?
We have musicians and appreciators…, but not an abundance of solid venues and audiences, I guess we are not there yet.
Favourite spot to perform at in Durban?
That is a difficult question; we love our home, and the different things about it. We mostly love our school gigs (supported by Concerts SA) because seeing little people dance like nobody is watching, and let their hair down like their lives depend on it. It really is so rewarding for us.
9. Any message to your fans?
We cannot say enough thank you. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your life through our music. Thank you for the support, there is no better feeling in the world than to see someone enjoy music that we play. How appropriate that it is the month of love to say that we love you all. A musician’s life can be rough, but with our fans, they make it all totally worth it.
Here’s where the band will be spreading love this February:
Sunday, 15 February, the Rock, South Coast, KZN. 1pm free entrance. Bookings: 072 1415621.
Saturday 27 February, Jazzy Rainbow, Morningside, Durban. 7pm. R80 (incl. free drink)