Thereâ??s a new music act taking Durban by storm with their laid back melodies. Their name is Nje. The two-piece has been performing together for about a year and is slowly but surely carving a name for itself in the Durban music scene.
Nje is made up of Gregan Aherin on guitar with Portia Malunga Rowling delivering powerful vocals. We caught up with Gregan to find out a bit about what makes this musical duo tick.
CM: Howâ??d this all start?
GA: We started playing covers about a year ago and then, about three months ago, we began writing some original music. We havenâ??t looked back since.
CM: It is amazing that youâ??ve only been writing your own stuff for three months. How does your writing process work?
GA: Well, it depends, sometimes Iâ??ll have some kind of riff in my head and Iâ??ll play it out and Portia will then develop a rad melody to complement it. Other times sheâ??ll have an idea and weâ??ll work together to expand that idea into a full track.
CM: What would you call your style and what is the biggest influence on your music?
GA: Our music is definitely reminiscent of the 90â??s and weâ??re influenced by the grungey feel of that decade. We have our pop sensibilities but we keep it very edgy. Basically, itâ??s just pretty difficult to classify.
CM: Is this your first mission into the world of music performance?
GA: I was actually in the primary school choir! But, seriously, I played guitar in a Durban indie pop/rock band called The La Els and Portia performed with MTS Jungle. She also currently performs in another two-piece called the Wilderness Act.
CM: So youâ??re not completely new to this whole thing then. Youâ??ve only been performing as Nje for a relatively short time though. Have you had any epic experiences that youâ??d like to share?
GA: Haha, the other day we played at an old age home. That was rather interesting. At one stage an old man asked us to turn the music down because he was trying to have a conversation. Then, an old lady shuffled up to us with her zimmer frame and started to wave her hands in the air as though she were conducting us. It was a unique experience.
A real highlight was opening for Ard Matthews at his album launch at the Barnyard Theatre recently. He is a stalwart in the SA music industry so it was a real honour for us to open for him.
CM: Where can we see you perform?
GA: We post all our gig info on facebook and twitter but we also have a regular gig at the Corner CafÃ© in Glenwood every Saturday afternoon from 12pm â?? 2pm.
CM: I almost forgot, what does your name, Nje, mean?
GA: Itâ??s the Zulu word for â??justâ??. As in â??just roll with it.â??
If youâ??d like to find out more about these guys check them out on twitter @Nje_music or facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nje/410631995640490