Sound Bites: Kahn Morbee

Kahn  Morbee (second left) and fellow members of The Parlotones.

BILLY SUTER with an occasional column in which he chats to popular musicians about their musical likes and dislikes. The spotlight is on KAHN MORBEE of The Parlotones, who is also a judge and mentor on M-Net’s The Voice South Africa
. The Parlotones perform for Durban’s Werda School –  at the Queensburgh Rugby Club, in Parkside Avenue –  from 7pm on Saturday, August 11. Tickets cost R160 (or R350 for VIP access) and booking is by phoning (031) 464 7801. The band is also scheduled to join Gangs of Ballet for a gig at Midlands Forest Lodge in Lidgetton in the Midlands on Sunday, August 12, when gates open at noon and the music is expected to continue until 6pm. Limited tickets cost R250 at the gate. More information on this event by calling (033) 234 4524.

Latest news from you?

It’s The Parlotones’ 20-year anniversary this year and we’re celebrating with a double-album release and a tour, both locally and internationally. Also, season three of The Voice South Africa is in discussions and may start production towards the tail end of 2018.

What is your favourite song right now?

Alex Cameron’s Politics in Love.

The last album you bought – and why?

Alex Cameron’s Forced Witness. It’s great – combines all the aspects I love about music. Great melodies and lyrics, and organic instruments with a blend of ’80s and contemporary. Timeless production.

Two of your favourite songs of all time?

Blackbird by The Beatles and Into My Arms by Nick Cave.

Three of the finest albums ever?

High Violet by The National, Sergeant Peppers by The Beatles and High & Dry by Radiohead.

Song you hate the most right now?

I wouldn’t know. I choose to not pay attention to anything that might drag my vibe into a negative space.

Worst song in history?

Probably Gangum Style by Psy.

Songs you most associate with your teens?

Anything from Blur, The Smiths, the Cure, Radiohead, Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam or R.E.M.

Song you most associate with your early childhood years?

Shout by Tears for Fears.

Artist most represented in your private music collection?

The Beatles.

Favourite radio station and DJ?

Spotify and DJ Kahn Morbee.

The local artists you most admire?

Perez, Gangs of Ballet, Karen Zoid, Prime Circle, Black Coffee, Gold Fish, Vusi Mahlasela, Zolani and others.

Artists from abroad that you most admire?

Paul McCartney, Brandon Flowers, Bob Dylan, Sia, Max Martin, Adele, Thom Yorke, Ed Sherean, Chris Martin, Elton John, Michael Stipe and Mick Jagger.

Most over-rated people in the recording business?

Label execs. They no longer love music, they are servants to the bottom line.

Pet hate/s about the music scene in South Africa?

Lack of support for the arts in general from government, which leads to lack of interest from the public and perpetuates our inferiority and mediocrity on a global stage.

The one music act you would give the world to see perform live?

Paul McCartney.

Ever asked a music personality for an autograph?


Music acts you have seen live and loved?

Muse, The Killers, Biffy Clyro, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Alpha Rev, Imagine Dragons, Dave Matthews, R.E.M.

Best singing star ever?

Freddie Mercury.

The greatest musician of all time?

Paul McCartney.

Best band in history?

The Beatles.

The styles of music you most enjoy – and least enjoy?

I’m not a music snob. I love a good song regardless of its genre or sonic outfit. A good song should translate into any style and still be great. I resonate most with organic instrumentation, and guitar music and all its permutations.

The most embarrassing artist represented in your music collection – and why is it there?

I probably still have a BROS cassette tape somewhere. I think it was the first tape i ever got as a youngster.

The one song that will always be guaranteed to get you on to a dancefloor?

Mr Brightside by The Killers.

The musical teaming you would most like to see?

Too long a list.

Your choice of karaoke song (and why)?

None… I am both terrible at it and terrified of it.

The first song you ever performed for an audience?

It was when I acted as a character named Psalty in a church play when i was about 10.

Guilty pleasure: a song you really feel you shouldn’t enjoy, but secretly do?

Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler.

Worst decade for music?

None. All music has a place and each decade has had some strong songs. We are creatures of nostalgia so we’ll always think the music of yesteryear was better. In some regards it was, because technology has made our musical abilities and production approach lazy.

Hottest-looking music celebs?

From pure sex appeal, male or female, I’d have to say Mick Jagger.

Instruments you can play?

I can kinda play guitar, mandolin and ukulele.

The song you’d like to be played at your funeral?

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

The song you find the saddest (and why)?

Eleanor Rigby… loneliness in a crowded world.

Two dead music icons you’d most like to invite to dinner?

John Lennon and Freddie Mercury.

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