Johannesburg’s rock-alternative band Skylight has just released their debut album Made For More, and I had the privilege of asking them a couple of questions about it. After a long road, Skylight are excited to be back on the stage in full-action ready to perform and give some light and encouragement through their album. Outside Tanz Live on a wooden bench on a warm evening surrounded by the bustle of guests and fans, we sat together eagerly awaiting the launch of their set happening later that evening.
The title, Made for More, resonates with the whole purpose of creating music,”we are just a bunch of people who love to play music and love to try make a difference in anyway we can, that’s what we try to do in our own lives and as a band” said the lead vocalist, Greg Jorden. The Joburg-based band know perfectly well how the working culture of the City of Gold can affect our daily living. “People are just getting through the day; just ticking through one day after the next, after the next–they lose sight of the end” Greg said. Skylight speak to its listeners that “it’s more than getting through the day” said the lead vocalist hoping to shine light onto monotonous lifestyle of those who know what it’s like to be living for the next day.
The Skylight guys laugh and joke about their history and how they came to form the band they are today. The band of Four–Greg Jorden, Pete Klien (bass), Brad Cummings (drums) and Wesley Ayliffe (guitar and vocals)–are friendly and comfortable around each other, “That’s thing” tells Greg, “that we are friends before anything else”. The band started in 2009 with friends Greg and Brad who met bassist Pete playing at a Christmas Carols event, “there is no cool way of saying it,” Pete laughed, “we met at the Christmas Carols.” Wesley, was the last edition to the band; “we met in studio and we just had a great vibe,” Greg added.
Before their debut release, the band had a successful year in 2010 playing at Joburg Day and succeeding to the top 21 performers of SA’s Got Talent. Encouraged by a fruitful year, Skylight hit the studio to write and produce an album with legendary producer Darryl Thor. Spending time “capturing ideas”, Skylight were able to take their ideas to Darryl who “coloured in the lines… and brought our songs to life” the vocalist excitedly explained. Darryl played a huge role in shaping the album and transforming it–taking it a lot further than they could have done alone. The recording process took a lot longer than expected when the lead vocalist developed nodules on his vocal chords. Losing his voice during the recording process, Greg explained that it was a “major set-back”. After a two-year recovery of vocal training and small lifestyle adjustments, Greg feels confident that Skylight will be in top-form, “I think that my vocal coach wouldn’t let that happen to me [again]”.
Later that evening, Skylight started their set while the excited audience anxiously awaited as the first chords were struck and the loud beat of the drum resounded, letting loose to their song ‘Give it up’. The audience is fully taken within the music and seemed to get lost within it. Showing off all their hard work and perseverance over the past 3 years, the music is tight and perfectly timed. Nodding their heads and moving to the beat of the music, it was as if the audience did give it up, for a short while, and just experienced the here and now. Nearing the end of the set, Skylight humbly said some special Thank You’s, a truly inspiring way to launch an album that speaks of ‘more’ and a greater purpose.
The launch of their album is the starting line in which Skylight hope to connect with others through Made for More. This year is going to be one where they will be sincerely “playing their hearts out” tells Greg. Patiently working up to this point for three years Skylight step out in strength playing for listeners to join in along their journey, all the while bringing some light in these busy times.