Double Comfort Safari started off sounding like Nirvana or Bush or the Pixes, quite a grunge, and then went very Brit-pop, he learned to write songs mainly in my teenage years, listening to 100s of hours of grunge and alternative rock.
After returning back to the city after spending some time hiking the mountains. Double Comfort safari speaks of life’s challenges and the perseverance needed to overcome its difficulties in his latest music MOUNTAIN. It is also a reminder that there is beauty and joy in the trials and a great sense of achievement when we are able to conquer the mountains in our lives.
The song has sampled choir voices in the choruses and echoing vocals throughout creating the image of rolling hills and rocky cliffs with an upbeat rhythm as it takes each step further up the slopes.
Double Comfort Safari revealed more about himself and his music in a new interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh
Get the full story below:
What is your stage name?
Stage name: Paul
Artist name: Double Comfort Safari
Is there a story behind your stage name?
Double Comfort Safari is taken from the book title “The Double Comfort Safari Club” by author Alexander McCall Smith, from the series “The number 1 ladies’ detective agency” As one of my favorite books, the name appealed to me on a number of levels. It’s set in Botswana, very similar to where I grew up in Zimbabwe. There’s also a playful naivety to the name which reflects my part of how I see myself and finally, the word Safari means to journey, and in a sense I want the listeners to feel like each song takes them on a metaphoric journey.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find my songwriting inspiration somewhere in my daydreaming. As an empath, I feel deeply affected by injustice and suffering that I see around me and as I reflect on situations I find the desire to share a message of hope, contrary to the suffering that people endure. My hope is also that sharing my own struggles and insecurities that it would encourage others in some sort of meaningful way.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I always remember loving music from a very early age, listening to my parent’s LPs or singing songs at school, I could spend hours listening to music.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
I grew up in a musical home where my mother and brother played the piano and my parents encouraged me to learn a musical instrument from a young age. I wrote my first song at age 7 and sang it at my parent’s dinner parties.
My mother is also an artist and although that meant our home was often cluttered with artwork, she also taught me to notice the details and her many landscape paintings and portrait sketches gave me a fresh perspective of the world around me.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
My first inspiration to pursue music was through listening to the Beatles and Paul Simon. I later became a huge fan of Blur as my voice had a similar timbre to Damon Albarn so I wanted to emulate his style.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I learned to write songs mainly in my teenage years, listening to 100s of hours of grunge and alternative rock. I picked up the guitar, my brother showed me a couple of chords and off I went. I had always loved singing too but don’t have a strong voice and also developed a lazy singing style. Had a few vocal lessons with Pam de Menzes from the band the Arrows and she set me up well to fix some of the bad habits I’d developed.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
The first concert I remember going to was Carman the gospel singer. I got a bad earache halfway through the concert and my dad had to take me home early though. My favorite concert though was watching Elton John.
How could you describe your music?
My music is a combination of strong groves, often inspired by R&B, with retro synth and key layers, simple, dreamy vocals, and African, Asian, and Arabic sounds are woven in between.
Describe your creative process.
My songwriting process varies but it generally starts on either acoustic guitar or with a melody that is playing through my mind. I often feel the most creative either in the early hours of the morning or when I should be doing some other work. I then video-record it on my phone and go back to it later when I’ve got a bit more time to play with the idea.
What is your main inspiration?
My main inspiration is the idea of determination. Getting back up again when you’ve been knocked down.
What musician do you admire most and why?
There are plenty of musicians I admire but I have to say I love Chris Martin from Coldplay. I love his humility and genuine kindness towards people. I also love that he can laugh at himself and doesn’t let his ego get in the way.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
My style has definitely changed over the years. I started off wanting to sound like Nirvana or Bush or the Pixes, quite a grunge, and then went very Brit-pop and then quite folk rocky but my latest stuff uses more keys and guitars are sparse with an alt-pop indie pop sort of feel.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t see anyone as a competitor, in fact I generally shy away from trying to compete with others, I don’t enjoy egos on show. My biggest competitor would be to fight the sense of giving up because there’s so much great music out there.
What are your interests outside of music?
Outside of music, I’m a teacher, I love spending time with people, and kids are so much fun, they are often more real and honest than we are as adults. I learn a lot from them but also love the journey of growth you see in them.
Aside from that, I love surfing, love going on Safari, love dogs, love interesting food, and cooking. I dabble a bit with home DIY, restoring our furniture, and a bit of gardening too.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Well, where I live, music is a tough career path to follow, so I teach. It can be hard to make time for both though.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
The biggest problem I’ve encountered in my music journey is self-belief. I’m quite self-critical and it’s held me back many times. I had a bit of a victim mindset for a while too and was waiting for someone to give me a “golden ticket” to my musical career. I only realized a couple of years ago that I need to be more front-footed and make opportunities happen, rather than waiting for them to land on my lap.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
If I could change one thing in the music industry, and this might sound a bit controversial, I think I would change how easily people can put up their music on streaming platforms. There is so much music being uploaded daily that it becomes a sea to wade through to find new cool artists.
It, in my opinion, ends up making it very difficult to find great talent. I’m not sure what the solution would be, I guess for there to be some sort of minimum standard of songwriting and production for a song to be uploaded but I guess that’s quite subjective so would be difficult to manage.
What are your plans for the coming months?
Plans coming up, I have an EP launch in early September and will continue to promo my new EP for the next few months. Then hoping to arrange a mini tour in December to get out onto the road and play in some coastal towns along the Garden Route.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
The message I would give to fans is, thank you for your support, to every person who likes a video, streams a song shares a post etc. I am so grateful and humbled.