Starting as a violinist when she was just the size of a guitar stand, Mandy Marshall moved on to master the drums, and later on, the trumpet. This was a wonderful decision and meant that Angela’s guitar would never go percussion-less again! Angela de Klerk, coming from a musical family and singing from a young age, was most pleased when the foxy Dee Dee came along with her ambitious fingers and tall talent. Dee Dee Fetting would later go on to study bass at the University of Witwatersrand.
By 2008, Japan and I had released their first album Will Take Over the World and were playing top South African festivals like OppiKoppi, Woodstock, Splashy Fen and many more. This led to being featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and television platforms such as SABC and MK and other DSTV channels. Being part of this crazy, musical family has allowed them to see the edges of South Africa, touring nationally, creating two full length albums, and punching people in the face with their explosive sound wherever they go.
Having won an award at the International Songwriting Competition held in Los Angeles, Japan and I gained exposure far beyond the boundaries of their home city. Their latest album, Rise of the Duchess Army, to be released in 2015, embodies their growth as musicians and the years that they have put into the music industry. Their sound could be described as Rock & Roll meets Soulful Swing and cheats on her with Ska, all the while carrying contrasting punk and blues undertones, to cover all the bases of life’s emotions. Their music dips its toes in the dark while maintaining a light disposition, coupled with a covert high kick exactly where it counts. The title Rise of the Duchess Army speaks to the feminist musings of the band members and, more importantly, the larger female uprising in South Africa. Japan and I see themselves as part of a unifying female movement in South Africa and hope to become a strong voice for this revolution.
Primavera Pro Barcelona is Japan and I’s first international showcase – an incredible opportunity given to the band, after months of auditioning against South Africa’s most impressive musical acts. As the largest music festival in Barcelona, and one of the biggest festivals in the world, Japan and I’s performance at Primavera Pro is a once in a lifetime opportunity – to take their place on the global stage.
Japan and I may have started on the tip of the African continent, but in their words "Japan and I will take over the world".