If you haven’t yet heard the name Chris Werge, today is your lucky day. Chris has been rocking the music scene in South Africa and we’re honoured he took the time to speak with contributor Jared Ruttenberg about his experience.
What’s it like as an emerging artist in the Cape Town music scene?
To be honest, starting out as an artist in Cape Town has been extremely tough. It’s really exciting beginning a journey in the music industry, meeting new people, working your way up to bigger gigs. However, it can also be a very lonely career. For myself as a solo artist, I struggle with this tension completely. The upside is that you can earn more by yourself but I really miss the companionship of other musicians. In a band you might earn less but you have each other to pick you up when you’re having a low day. I love the idea of one day having a band, but for now I know it isn’t financially viable.
On the whole, I think Cape Town is probably one of the best places in South Africa for live music. There are so many venues and festivals here and the people are also really friendly and supportive. I think it just takes a lot of self-drive and ambition to work your way up in the industry.
You were a contestant on the Voice SA! What was that experience like?
The Voice SA was incredible. It taught me a lot about the industry and myself as an artist. If I could do it again I would in a heartbeat. Apart from the music and singing just being able to meet other musicians in the industry was so encouraging and inspiring for me. It definitely helped boost my career that much more too. I think people take you more seriously as an artist if you’re on radio or TV.
What have been 2/3 of your most interesting experiences in the industry?
One of the most interesting experiences for me was being able to open James Blunt in February 2015. I got a call from my manager at the time, Gavin Taylor on the morning of the gig. I freaked out and was stressing the whole day as I prepared.
My second would probably be being given two numbers from girls at some of my shows. I don’t usually expect women to make a move so it’s been pretty funny in those moments.
You’ve recently had a rather unique social media campaign to coincide with the release of your new single. Tell us about that?
I was inspired by Matthew Mole and the buildup to his new album Run. I realised with social media sometimes it can put so much focus on ourselves so my goal for this campaign was really to put the focus on others, celebrating a different artist and friend each day that I had met on the journey so far. I was really humbled to have some big names get back to me with photos, like Bobby Van Jaarsveld & Toya Delazy, Matthew Mole etc. It was one of the most fun buildups to a song I’ve done so far.
Where can people see Chris Werge perform and how can they keep in touch?
I currently have a residency at The Leopard Bar at the 12 Apostles Hotel in Cape Town so I am there every Wednesday night. Other than that I will be looking for new gigs in the next few weeks so if you check out my website, chriswerge.com you will be able to see all my upcoming gigs. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. My four favourite platforms.