The Graeme Watkins Project
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The Graeme Watkins Project

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa | INDIE

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa | INDIE
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Graeme Watkins came to prominence as an Idols finalist, but that platform, even with its groomed glamour and immediate (if short-term) chart impact, never seemed quite enough for this talented singer-songwriter.

07 June 2011 | BRUCE DENNILL


6½/10 THE GRAEME WATKINS PROJECT – CORRIDORS OF THE MIND (SHEER SOUND)
Graeme Watkins came to prominence as an Idols finalist, but that platform, even with its groomed glamour and immediate (if short-term) chart impact, never seemed quite enough for this talented singer-songwriter.

Live, Watkins is one of the better frontmen in South African pop – energetic, charming and a very fine vocalist. A fair bit of that passion is evident in these recordings with guitarist Ryno Zeelie, drummer Matthew Marinus and bassist Rudo Pieterse – an excellent, experienced rhythm section.

The first single, Music Affair is a catchy number not unlike a more cheerful Zebra & Giraffe effort. Strangely, though, for all Watkins’s exuberance, many of his melodies are in minor keys, which effects the mood of the album.

This suits the feel of songs with the lyrical thrust of, say, God Bless, but the difference with what is being achieved with this collection and what is possible is shown up when Watkins takes on the Kings Of Leon’s Sex On Fire and, via a clever new arrangement, provides an album highlight. – BD? - The Citizen


The music video for "London Bridge", the 3rd single from the Graeme Watkins Project, boasts a creative concept from TV commercial director Bevan Cullinan. - Rolling Stone - South Africa


Discography

SINGLES:
December 2010 - "Music Affair"
April 2011 - "Bloodshot Eyes"
October 2011 - "London Bridge"
February 2012 - "The Last Night"

ALBUMS:
March 2011 - "Corridors Of The Mind"

Photos

Bio

It’s not often that the South African music scene sees a band explode the way The Graeme Watkins Project did in 2011. After the release of their debut album “Corridors of The Mind” in March 2011, the bands spacing in the South African music industry changed dramatically, making them a hot product at most events and festivals around the country. In the space of one year they’ve produced 3 Top 10 hits singles from the album, including a single which has had the crowds screaming for a band to “C’mon And Dance With Me” as the popular hook from their massive hit “Music Affair” hypnotizes the wave of fans at all their shows.

GWP brings a dirty, edgy, rough approach to a medley of pop, indie, rock and electronic genres.

“A Masterpiece is a stroke of genius in a moment of madness… So live life like a madman” is Graeme’s motto, and there is definitely madness incorporated into his music. When listening to the first three recorded demo’s, it’s hard to believe these songs were written and recorded over a 2 week period!

Channeling influences such as “Muse”, “Springbok Nude Girls”, “The Killers” and even a hint of “Depeche Mode”, this unique sound is bound to inject a splice of energy into every listener. With the ADHD inspired beat, the music is designed to get the crowd into the mad-capped mindset of the band members, to break out of their comfort zone and rock out to the all-encompassing movement of the melody.

“Corridors Of The Mind” produced three major hit singles in 2011. The first single, “Music Affair”, dominated radio and video charts nationwide, becoming somewhat of an anthem for 2011. Thereafter “Bloodshot Eyes” enjoyed a major amount of success, thanks to its catchy chorus, by achieving phenomenal radio play for the band. Now the most recent single, the foot stomper “London Bridge”, is currently charting on radio stations across the country and continuing the flow of success into 2012.

Thanks to the success of the above singles, the band has played some of South Africa’s hottest events, including “Mr Price Pro”, “The You Spectacular Awards”, “Idols VI and VII”, “Gary the Tooth fairy’s Royal Variety Show”, “Rocking the Daisies”, “St Francis Bay Ruins Festival” and “Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts”.

The Graeme Watkins Project (GWP) is not just about Graeme, it’s made up of phenomenal musicians who can stand proud in their own musical right: Ryno Zeelie plays Lead Guitar, Rudo Pieterse on Bass and Matthew Marinus on drums.

This unit has managed to break the “cookie-cutter” mould of the stereotypical SA Pop-Rock sound by producing a fresh sounding album, with each of the original songs lined with raw, pure emotion … pretty much exactly what everyone, not only the SA Music scene, needs right now.

The music video for “London Bridge”, the 3rd single from the Graeme Watkins Project, arguably has to be their best video to date. With a production crew made up of some the industry’s best and a creative concept from director, Bevan Cullinan, the video showcases the band’s incredible live performance and why they are rated as one of SA’s top live bands.

When asked about the concept of the music video and what it was like working with the band, Cullinan responds: “I direct TV Commercials for a living and have been looking to shoot a music video for a while. I approached Graeme Watkins Project because I'm a fan of not only the music, but their performance as well. I wanted to shoot a music video with the band ever since I saw them perform live at a Gary the Tooth Fairy New Years special in November 2010. I saw how good the live energy was and felt that this energy needed to showcase in their music video. London Bridge was a great opportunity to do this because of the pace of the track. It is full of energy, which is why I think it will do so well in Europe. The idea for the music video was not concerned with any show and tell story lines, but rather to re-create a performance environment in an underground club scenario, so that the band could show what they do best! There are visual threads that pick up on the essence of the song. The shots are almost voyeuristic, just documenting the phenomenal energy of the performance. The edit then does the rest, keeping track of the pace of the song. The band is very talented and the film was easy to shoot. They kept on going and going! After the shoot, they packed up their stuff and went and played a gig. Enough said!”

Working with Bevan Cullinan has been a dream for the band. From the concept of the video, the crew gathered to shoot the video, to the post production magic – every step has left the band speechless. A tough task with a bunch of Rockers!

“Working with Bevan was an amazing experience. We knew he was the right person to represent our direction, when he titled the concept a schmorgesboard of awesomeness. It was really cool to work with such a creative vision, he knew from the start what he wanted the vision to be, leaving us a sense of