Beyond Boundaries: Unveiling the Sonic Alchemy of 'Another Ghost' – An Underground Press Interview with Onlogies (Erasmus Hendrikse) and TomyV (Thomas Sibusiso Mthembu)
By Underground Press
Published Friday, 26 January 2024 09:16
Diving into the pulsating undercurrents of the music realm, Underground Press is thrilled to present this interview with the enigmatic duo behind the genre-defying song, 'Another Ghost.' Onlogies and TomyV unravel the mystique surrounding the evolution of this masterpiece, offering a glimpse into the collaborative magic that unfolded in the studio. As we navigate through the shadows of logistical challenges, personal influences, and the intrinsic artistry that defines their sound, this interview unearths the raw, unfiltered narratives that resonate beneath the surface of 'Another Ghost.' Join us on this journey into the clandestine world of alternative music, where authenticity and imperfections intertwine to create a sonic experience that transcends boundaries and leaves an indelible mark on the underground music scene.
Q: The genre-defying nature of 'Another Ghost' is intriguing. Can you delve into the creative evolution of the song, specifically addressing how the track evolved sonically and conceptually over the years?
Onlogies Answer: "This song was initially written around 2011 with only guitar and piano. It was never released. When TomyV came to the studio for an introduction, I played a few tracks for him, and he and his friend immediately fell in love with the song. On the first take, we both knew his vocals were what the song was waiting for. TomyV was able to transform the song from being a romantic ballad into a masterpiece. This song has not developed conceptually; it wrote itself in a very short period."
Q: Onlogies, as the song was written 13 years ago, how did you preserve the essence of the original creation while adapting it to today's musical landscape? And for TomyV, how did you approach breathing new life into a song with such history?
Onlogies Answer: "I think that is the most challenging part of this song, as this genre, from my point of view, is not the most popular. This song has stayed true to itself in its purest, simplest version. There is very little instrumentation, which emphasizes the lyrics and meaning of the song."
TomyV Answer: "For me, the song was new. It was challenging to work on the song as it was a new genre. I embraced the challenge, and because it was new for me, it may have inherently brought a fresh inspiration to the song."
Q: Collaborations often bring unique challenges. What were some of the key challenges you faced during the collaboration, and how did you navigate them to ensure a seamless fusion of your artistic styles?
Onlogies Answer: "We had more logistical challenges related to transport and telephonic communication. TomyV is the easiest vocalist to work with. He is flexible in his style and adapts easily to a song. We currently have three singles together; one can hear how he adapts to the songs to fit the genre as well as the story of the song."
Q: TomyV, having overcome personal challenges, how did your personal journey influence the way you interpreted and contributed to 'Another Ghost'? How do personal experiences shape your approach to collaborations?
TomyV Answer: "Being an artist who grew up and got exposed to different sounds from different ethnic groups, tribes, and cultures, my sound and understanding were shaped and managed to grow over time as I’m constantly doing music and perfecting my craft each day. I believe this experience can bring different sounds and different perspectives to collaborations in various genres."
Q: Studio moments are often memorable. Could you share a standout moment from the recording of 'Another Ghost' that encapsulates the collaborative synergy and creative energy between you two?
Onlogies Answer: "I am still struggling to figure out why the first take is always the best. TomyV and I joke about it these days. We keep the mic on even if we are listening to a section for the first time, and he needs to get a feel for the song."
Q: Onlogies, you emphasize writing from the heart. How did this philosophy guide your decisions during the production, and how did it manifest in the final version of 'Another Ghost'?
Onlogies Answer: "The song in its most basic form brought forward the message the most. Because the song meant so much to us, we tried many different versions and overproducing it. We stalled for nearly 8 months and then we returned to the original basic version which featured TomyV’s vocals, which in turn featured the message of the song."
Q: 'Another Ghost' is described as an invitation to connect emotionally. How did you ensure that the emotions conveyed in the song were authentic, and what elements do you believe contribute most to its emotional resonance?
Onlogies Answer: "'Another Ghost' is about embracing people’s differences and loving people for their unique idiosyncrasies. The instrumentation and timing are not perfect everywhere, but the ebb and flow of the song eventually resolves in a state of peace."
Q: TomyV, with your signature sound, how did you bring a unique emotional depth to the vocals, and what nuances did you focus on to convey the intended emotions of the song?
TomyV Answer: "I wanted to take my time to get to know the song and for it to grow on me. Over time when I got to know the lyrics by heart, the song grew on me and became a part of me. With the knowledge of the age of the song, I also wanted to respect it, especially singing it from the heart."
Q: With 'Another Ghost' available on various streaming platforms, how do you perceive the impact of the digital landscape on the song's reception? How do you navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the online music ecosystem?
Onlogies Answer: "The online landscape may be a challenge in this specific genre, but I feel this song may resonate with a broader audience. However, with the number of uploads per day onto the various platforms, I believe one should not make music purely for the potential outcome and recognition from the music streaming public. We make music for the love of it, and there is quite a bit more music to be made. Every now and again, one comes across a jewel, and we believe 'Another Ghost' is one of them. We approached a music agent called Devographic, and he has put a lot of effort in. The exposure he has created for the song and for us has been incredible. In this industry, you need someone with the know-how of the industry."
Q: In leveraging social media, what strategies do you employ to connect with your audience, and how has this digital engagement influenced your artistic journey?
Onlogies Answer: "We have not done much on social media ourselves. We know we should. For now, we are creating, writing, producing, and just making music. Maybe one day we will do a few posts, maybe a bloopers reel..."
Q: 'Another Ghost' is undoubtedly a significant collaboration. How do you envision the song contributing to your individual musical legacies, and do you foresee it influencing the direction of your future projects?
Onlogies Answer: "Thank you very much. For TomyV, stepping into this genre with so much ease and equally so in other genres we recorded, there is no limit to what we can try."
TomyV Answer: "With the exposure to a new genre and especially working on 'Another Ghost,' I have learned that there is still a lot of potential in me that I have not yet discovered."
Q: As artists with distinct styles, how did you ensure that 'Another Ghost' represented a harmonious blend rather than a clash of musical identities?
Onlogies Answer: "We both put on our “ballad-caps”, and it worked. It is all about respecting a specific project for what it is. In “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert speaks about creativity and projects being in the universe that wants to come to fruition. (I hope I’m not paraphrasing it incorrectly) If a person does not take on the project, it will go somewhere else. Some songs want input from different styles and genres and need to be stretched; 'Another Ghost' wants to be respected for its simplicity and hopefully its ageless and timeless nature."
Q: Looking ahead, what aspirations do you have for your music individually and collectively? Are there specific artistic milestones or genres you aspire to explore in future projects?
Onlogies Answer: "As Onlogies, I would just like to keep producing and improving; there is a lot of room for improvement. TomyV has too much potential, and I would love to see him succeed. He deserves a break, and he deserves to be heard."
TomyV Answer: "My aim is to conquer myself, in exploring different genres and learn as much as possible."
Q: Onlogies, with your ‘illogical’ creativity, and TomyV, drawing from your versatile experiences, how do you see yourselves pushing artistic boundaries in the future?
Onlogies Answer: "I am thinking about it a lot. There is an overload of new music now, the potential with AI is incredible, and it feels as if it has all been done. I would like to collaborate with different artists and styles just to enjoy making music."
TomyV Answer: "I enjoyed working with Onlogies in these different genres; I would love to keep pushing the boundaries for myself, exploring different genres. I hope that something unique may come from exposure and working and collaborating in different genres. My primary goal is to inspire the youth in South Africa which comes from challenging backgrounds. I would like each child with a dream to pursue it and believe in themselves."
Q: For both artists, what role do your fans play in shaping your creative process, and how do you aim to connect with them on a deeper level through your music, especially with 'Another Ghost'?
Onlogies Answer: "Onlogies is still unknown, but if I could develop a fan base or rather inspire people to make music without restriction and uninhibited, I would have accomplished more than I could have wished for."
TomyV Answer: "I am appreciative of the fans I have; I am hoping to grow my fan base even more. I have received great feedback on 'Another Ghost' and would like to create and perform meaningful songs that can inspire people from similar backgrounds than me, to believe in themselves and to take a chance on life."
Q: Are there any fan reactions or responses to 'Another Ghost' that particularly stood out to you, and if so, how did they impact your perspective on the song?
Onlogies Answer: "Over the last 13 years, there has only been a positive response about this song, maybe even a tear shed on a few occasions."
TomyV Answer: "I’ve had funny experiences with fan reactions. Due to the fact that there are genres which are listened to more in the black communities, I am also stretching their imagination. For example, people will ask me, “Is that the white guy singing?”, “Is that really you?”, and so on. That is maybe the uniqueness you referred to earlier. It is exciting to bring alternative genres to the black communities."
Q: Considering the industry landscape, how do you view the role of 'Another Ghost' in the broader music scene, and what impact do you hope it will have on listeners and fellow musicians?
Onlogies Answer: "I don’t think it is realistic to think that this song could have an impact on the industry. If anything, I think our collaboration and the end product we brought to market by two artists from different backgrounds, different genres, different socio-economic backgrounds, etc., can possibly inspire other musicians to pursue similar collaborations. If we could have an impact on only one such a collaboration, it would be fantastic."
Q: TomyV, having collaborated with esteemed artists in the past, how does 'Another Ghost' contribute to the narrative of your musical journey and collaborations within the South African music industry?
TomyV Answer: "Every situation is unique and brings its own challenges and its own benefits. Having worked with well-known artists inspired me to follow in their footsteps. Being part of a journey of self-exploration and challenging myself to new heights, new genres, new opportunities, I would also like to inspire others."
Q: The lyrics of 'Another Ghost' are rich in imagery. Can you delve into the symbolism and themes embedded in the lyrics, and how they contribute to the overall narrative of the song?
Onlogies Answer: "In each encounter where one pursues the quest of finding “the one,” there are things one likes and dislikes about the other person. It often feels that it “is nie jou pot se deksel” (your ideal match). But one can easily judge others for their imperfections and forget about your own imperfections. There are also resemblances of certain attributes and characteristics that you may like, and you want to see the match in the things you like. This refers to that parts, do you tease me, prepare me, have you been here watching over me, and have you been here protecting me in the second verse. It is only once you realize that if you start loving the imperfections that you realize what true love is."
Q: Onlogies, you mentioned the song speaks about imperfections. How do the lyrics reflect this theme, and what message do you hope listeners take away from the lyrical content of 'Another Ghost'?
Onlogies Answer: "The key message in this song is that one should not long to love the perfect but rather to love the imperfect perfectly."
As we conclude this Underground Press interview, the revelation of 'Another Ghost's' sonic alchemy serves as a testament to the underground's capacity for innovation and genre-defiance. Onlogies and TomyV have intricately woven a narrative that transcends conventional boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on the alternative music landscape. This interview has been an immersive journey into the depths of their creative process, shedding light on the authenticity, challenges, and inspirations that shape their distinct artistic voices. As echoes of 'Another Ghost' reverberate in the subterranean realms of music, it becomes clear that this collaboration is not merely a song; it's a testament to the enduring spirit of underground expression. Stay tuned to Underground Press for more insights into the pulsating heartbeat of alternative music and listen to ‘Another Ghost’ available on all platforms.