Kathryn van den Berg meets up with P.H. Fat to find out why he decided on
Stellenbosch University’s music students for his back-up harmonies.
Although it is always exciting when big names in the local music industry visit Stellenbosch, few names as recognised as P.H. Fat can cause quite this much hype by involving students in the recording process.
Mike Zietsman, known by his stage-name P.H. Fat, described Stellenbosch as “one of [his] main local haunts” and was here again on 28 February in the music department for a very specific reason.
P.H. Fat collaborated with eight fourth year music students to record vocals for his new album. He contacted Blaine Josephs, Kuko chairperson, over WhatsApp looking for an “ensemble to sing on his track”.
Josephs said that music students from Stellenbosch University’s department were chosen for their ability to easily learn music and harmonise with each other.
He explained that the eight chosen students had limited time to prepare for the recording beforehand: “Today was our first rehearsal, and it is also the day that we are recording.”
Josephs expressed his excitement “about being contacted to do something like this”. Despite this being his first time organising a collaboration between students and local music icons.
Van Wyk Venter, fourth-year BMus student specialising in voice performance, was of the eight students performing vocals on P.H Fat’s new track. “I was pretty excited. I’ve watched a few of his shows and the vibe was always very very cool,” Venter said.
He also expressed his admiration for the fact that P.H. Fat chose students to record with him.
“It shows initiative from his side. We have so many music students from around the country all looking to perform and get their names out there,” Venter said.
P.H. Fat has a special love for Stellenbosch, performing here two to three times a year.
“My favourite places to perform are the reses. I’m going to get shouted at if I name a particular one, but my main two are Simonsberg and Wilgenhof. They’ve always been pretty f****** rad,” P.H. Fat laughed.
“There is a great energy here the events are so dope for me,” he said with reference to Stellenbosch as a whole.
When asked what the inspiration for his new album was, P.H. Fat requested that the working title of both album and track on which he was working remain secret. However, he said that it has to do with sex and everything that goes with it.
“The main influence is a story of a one-night stand that ends in heartbreak,” P.H. Fat said.
His new album, which “is going to be a banger”, is hopefully going to be released by June. Upon finishing recording for the day, P.H. Fat asked Venter and Chante Van Der Westhuizen, who is another member of the eight vocalists, to record with him in Cape Town the following Sunday. Van Der Westhuizen admitted to not actually knowing who P.H. Fat is.
“I am not up to date with the rap scene. I still found it cool that any name in the music industry, especially a South African artist, would ask me to record for him,” Van Der Westhuizen added.
“This is great exposure, and a great opportunity to learn from Mike and learn about the recording process,” Van Der Westhuizen said with great excitement.