NXTSTYLE’s 2020 ‘Songs of the Summer’: Diamond Thug “Backpush”

INTRODUCING NXTSTYLE’S 'SONGS OF THE SUMMER,' HIGHLIGHTING OUR FAVORITE TRACKS WE'VE DISCOVERED THIS SUMMER. OVER 70 SONGS FROM NEW AND INDEPENDENT ARTISTS FORM OUR SUMMER 2020 SOUNDTRACK. TODAY WE FEATURE DIAMOND THUG. HAILING FROM SOUTH AFRICA, DIAMOND THUG HAS A REALLY UNIQUE ATMOSPHERE ROCK SOUND THAT CAPTURED OUR ATTENTION LAST YEAR AND CONTINUED THIS SUMMER WITH THEIR LATEST SINGLE. GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT DIAMOND THUG IN OUR FEATURED INTERVIEW.

“Backpush” takes on a theme of escapism, something we all can relate to through the pandemic. Take us through the creative process and what the single means to you.

Danilo the bassist and I ( Chantel Van T ) wrote it at his flat, all in one sitting the whole song popped out of a baseline he was repeating and I tracked some vocals over it. It was a feeling that had been brewing in me that needed to get out in that moment. It took on the meaning of just wanting to get out of feeling stuck. The concept broadened into representing being okay with the fact that we all make mistakes and may habitually continue to do so. But it also has a bit of a release or air of play to it with the lyrics “we’re alright in this winter” which was a way of saying it’s okay, “relax, it is what it is”. You’re a human. We’re human beings, we have ’stuff’. I feel like it acknowledges both the good and bad within a person in the song. We called it “Backpush” from the lyrics “Backpush baby I walked right in” reminding you of your lil triggers and nudges of places you need to grow and the shadows you need to face. I guess it celebrates the humanness of what we see as our “stuff”.

When listening to this song I can see it placed anywhere from a lifestyle brand commercial to a reflective scene in a TV show or featured film. If you had a choice, what would be the ultimate sync placement for “Backpush”?

Perhaps a scene in a movie where someone feels hella empowered and walks away from someone or a job or thing/ just on their way to go do something life changing or altering. A scene where a character all of a sudden needed a kick, where we see them become empowered and have attitude.

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DIAMOND THUG

``BACKPUSH`` NXTSTYLE'S 'SONGS OF THE SUMMER'

We love learning about music cultures from around the world. As natives of South Africa talk about the music scene in your region, what you love most about it, and the support it shows for your music. Are there any South African artists you love that we should look out for?

If you haven’t done any digging into Capetonians musicians and South African artists in general I definitely urge you too. We are so lucky to have had a boost in a variety of multiple genre artists. For the size of the city we have a lot to offer. We have alternative, folk, soul, rock, psych, hip-hop and all the things in between. There’s a genre blowing up at the moment called Amapiano, Kabza De Small’s Sponono is worth checking out.

We love Sun-El Musician who makes Afro-House. And then in terms of Indie, Manu Grace and Bye Beneco are two of my favourites.

Getting to the root of Diamond Thug, How would you describe the artistry of the band and the purpose you want to bring to fans.? Are there any artists that you look up to that play an influence on the band?

It’s changed over the years but we definitely have what genres these days we get put into are called dream pop, space rock. I love the idea of us fitting into a dreamy space world. Foals, Amen Dunes, Radiohead, Black Keys and Explosions in the Sky are some of our collective influences I’d say.

Whether it’s an album, being around certain people, or an activity, what is one thing that has helped you collectively and/or individually move forward during the pandemic? Anything you can suggest for others?

We’ve continued to find ways to both create and release music even while being apart. I’d suggest finding an alternative if you can’t do what you do or play shows and find creative ways to still make music, still play and never stop creating. So that you feel you are moving forward even if it’s just, upskilling or learning something new that benefits your growth as an artist.

Of the talented artists, songwriters, and producers out there is there someone you would really love to collaborate with next?

American producer Rick Rubin.

As we head into the second half of the year what can fans expect from you for the remainder of 2020?

We’re working on some new songs to lead up to our album that will include some of our singles already released like “Empty Streets” and “BackPush“. We’re super excited to be working towards a body of work and hopefully we’ll be able to start playing live again soon as we have some things we’ve been working on. We also just can’t wait to play some of our new songs live.

Is there a charity or organization that means a lot to you that you urge others to look into? Any particular connection you have to it?

We recently played a show where money raised went to the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children– who are survivors of abuse. It is important for us to support the women of our communities and to make the rest of the world aware of the current situation of many communities in South Africa, especially communities that are struggling with much more than just abuse, violence of all types.

And another organization we feel strongly about is Bridges for Music who are a non-profit organization who gather key players of the music industry to support its responsible development in developing countries, leaving a positive impact in disadvantaged communities and helping to raise global awareness about local issues through music.

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DIAMOND THUG's Top 5 songs this summer:

I had to think hard about my top 5 songs this summer. I’m usually listening to a lot of older music, but I wanted to include “newer” songs I’ve been loving on the list:

  1. Amen Dunes “Miki Dora”
  2. Duke Ellington “In a Sentimental Mood”
  3. Idles “Mother”
  4. Bonegeziwe Mabandla “Masiziyekelele”
  5. Parcels “Tieduprightnow”

Listen to all of our featured artist’s favorite songs of the summer on our special Spotify playlist.

Diamond Thug’s ‘Firsts and Favorites’

First concert: Our first big festival together at Rocking The Daisies.

Favorite Album: Amen Dunes ‘Love and Freedom’.. Bob Dylan ‘Blood on The Tracks’.. Jurassic 5 ‘Feedback’

First song you fell in love with: “Moon River” – My gran always sang or played it to me as a child.

Favorite Concert: We watched Khruangbin together at SXSW 2017. That was a really great trip together.

First performance: As a full band Up The Creek Music Festival.

Favorite thing to do as a band outside of music: Giggle, bowling, watch Cosmos or Brooklyn nine nine.

MUSIC IN 2020 INTERVIEW SERIES

WE INTERVIEWED MUSIC PROS AND TASTEMAKERS TO GET THEIR PERSPECTIVE ON WHERE MUSIC IS HEADED AND TO DISCOVER WHAT NEW MUSIC THEY'RE LISTENING TO.

Maxwell

Radio Host

Z100

Nick Moran

PR/Label

Good Intent

Elliot Jacobson

Producer/Songwriter

Kobalt Music

Colette Spencer

Events/Radio

Geezer Media

Maciek

Music Journalist

CSGMBLOG

Peter Quincy Ng

Music Journalist

At Cost Magazine

Discover New Music

THE ‘NEXT IN MUSIC’ PLAYLIST 

Discover a wide range of new music we’ve recently added including our featured songs of the summer. Follow the ‘NEXT in Music’ playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.

S.C.

Written By: S.C.