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Oos Wes Tuis Bes

RAAF about this new single: "’Oos Wes Tuis Bes, Waarokal jy is, is huis vir my.’ (East West, home is best. Wherever you are is home to me). After years in the music industry we wanted to write something for our followers who have become our safe haven, our home. We know that we are nothing without the people supporting us." Oos Wes Tuis Bes pays tribute to their supporters who, amidst many kilometers and hours on the road, have become their home.

"’Nog 'n hotel, nog n harde matras, dis nog drie weke voordat ek my klere kan was.’ (Another hotel, another hard mattress, it’s three more weeks before I can wash my clothes) As musicians based in the Cape, we are on the road for thousands of kilometers. Sometimes you play a show in Stellenbosch until late at night and before dawn the next morning you leave on a three week long tour. You know where all the speed cameras are as well as all the popular coffee stops. You become one with your tour bus (we call ours the RAAFtuig - the RAAFship). There are many sacrifices you need to make to be a touring musician. You have to put a stop to your personal life every time you take to the road. We are away from home for more than half of the year, but to us the greatest sacrifice is actually just that we can’t own a dog. It is all worth it for the art and the people for whom you make it.”

RAAF admits to being nostalgic. They find something special in each province. There is a reason why everyone says the Eastern Capers are friendly and that people from Gauteng are especially hospitable. They are of the opinion that as touring musicians you get to experience the beauty of our country in abundance. They could look back at everything they were able to witness over the last few years, every place in our country with its unique attributes. From Stellenbosch, and getting stuck over a glass of wine like in the olden days, through the Karoo where some of the most warm-hearted people live, to the Kruger National Park, where they feel every South African should be able to pause and search for silence at least once in their life.

RAAF performs almost 150 shows per year. The majority of these concerts are reached by vehicle, with almost ± 80,000 km on the road per annum between tours. They are renowned as one of the South African groups with the busiest tour schedules. The life of a musician on the road is a mystery for most who have not been on a tour bus. One of the questions that Esté and Lourens get most often is “How do you manage being on tour so much? Don’t you get tired?”. For them it is life on the road that makes their career worth it and it is this exact sentiment that Oos Wes Tuis Bes tries to capture.

“It’s an ode to our country and thanksgiving to the people who come and share in the music, tell us their stories and open their homes to us. We have had incredible experiences, from a rhino dehorning in Natal, to art galleries in the platteland, visits to avo packhouses in Tzaneen, game drives and hot air balloon rides. Together with that we sport a hit list of the best coffee stops on every main arterial,” says Esté.

“Some nights we only get to bed well after midnight whilst having to leave for the next town before sunrise. But life on the road and every new audience member makes it all worth it. Sometimes this ‘routine’ stretches over six days and in December we manage up to 20 concerts. However, it gives us so much energy and it feeds our imagination to be able to create more,” says Lourens. “We believe that if something feels like ‘effort’, that it is a bad sign. However, if something feels like hard work and your body gets tired but your heart is full, you are on the right track with regards to your career and passion,” Esté adds.

RAAF has had numerous performances in all the provinces of our country and the culture, diversity and natural beauty is overwhelming. South Africa, with all its cultures and problems remains a pressure cooker. But if you are so lucky as to drink wine on the banks of the Blyde river one night and have the privilege to experience Johannesburg and the unique place it makes every kind (“In Jozi kan ek elke keer Suid Afrika Verstaan, waar daar 'n plekkie is vir elkeen in sy eie wentelbaan”) the very next, the world and its problems is put into perspective. It is exactly the privilege of this perspective that RAAF tries to bring to their audiences.

Oos Wes Tuis Bes forms part of RAAF’s brand new album PREDIKER and is available on all digital platforms as from 21 Julie.

Watch the music video here:

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