Hot on the heels of their international record deal with Ultra Music Records in the US and Sony B1 Records in Germany, GoodLuck has garnered even more accolades after being crowned with Best Pop Album at the 23rd SAMA recently held at Sun City. Their album 'The Nature Within', written and produced by the band as they were touring the world, has been met with massive approval both locally and world wide. I got the chance to speak to band member Ben Peters a few days before the award ceremony to talk about the album, the record deals and a lucky cat called Maneki-Neko.
I've Been Thinking About You - From their award-winning album The Nature Within
Congratulations on the record deals.
Ben: It was quite amazing news for us. We released our album in South Africa at the end of last year and we did our usual thing of sending it out to all our international connections. The next thing we knew we got a phone call from our German manager telling us that Ultra Music in America really likes our music and Sony B1 in Germany also really likes our music and they are fighting over who is going to get world wide rights. We were a little bowled over. After a lot of negotiations we flew to America and signed the world wide deal with Ultra Music and with Sony B1 for what is called GSA region which covers Germany, Switzerland and Austria. We have an international global release which is what every musician aims for and dreams of.
The album was written & produced during a year long journey, did you set out with the idea of going on the road?
Ben: No, it just happened like that. We were on tour, and it is just the nature of music I suppose in that in takes you all around the world. Our record label in South Africa said we need a new album so start writing. And so we started and did the recording along the way. We were very fortunate that we have got lovely friends all around the world who helped us out and made sure we got in touch with the right people. It was a really cool process. I think you can hear on the record there is a lot of different environments, a lot of different emotions and moods.
“...I think you can hear on the record there is a lot of different environments, a lot of different emotions and moods....” - Ben Peters, GoodLuck
One of your singles, Thinking About You, is doing extremely well. I heard you weren't too keen on doing it initially?
Ben: When Jules first came to me and said she wanted to do this cover of Thinking About You, I was skeptical. I knew it was a really good song but the way it was sung originally - I just couldn't envision us taking that approach with our version. So in the beginning I was very against it, I felt we needed a to do it very differently. Then Jules came back to me and said she thinks she has figured out a way where we both can win. She actually sung it to me in this very gentle, beautiful way that totally transformed the song. The original version is all bouncy and happy while the words are actually quite somber. When Jules sung it as a ballad, I was decided.
You are up for nomination at the SAMA awards?
Ben: We are up for Record of the Year and Best Pop Album. Unfortunately we can't be there, we'll be in Swaziland for Bushfire. Hopefully we will win, they have a little video of us with our acceptance speech. It would be wonderful, I think we have been nominated eight times before, so it would be nice to finally bring one home.
What are your touring plans for the rest of 2017?
Ben: We are touring around, in June we will be performing in Stellenbosh and then on the 15th at the GoodLuck Bar in Joburg. In a couple of months we will be going back to Europe and then in September we will be in Vietnam. We have got quite a crazy fan base there, our last gig had about ten thousand people.
Why the cat on the album cover?
Ben: It is actually called a Maneki-Neko, it is an Asian symbol. Maybe that is why the Vietnamese like us so much. It is a symbol of good luck, the name means The Beckoning Cat and it basically brings good fortune into your life.