Native Young

Those of you who come down here often (and break away from the mall to explore the beautiful harbour) will be well aware that we host incredible artists at the V&A, from our regular buskers to local performers who we are fortunate enough to be exposed to through amphitheatre concerts, Good Night Markets and the like. One of the most popular artists we’ve featured here over the past year is a band known as Native Young. We have received several tweets asking for  “the name of the band who was playing at Watershed earlier” so in case you still don’t know or just love music in general and want to know about what is happening in our local scene, this is a track from Native Young, a Kasi Pop outfit from Cape Town…

And here is a Native Young Street Jam in Philippi Township (Cape Town)…

"Native speaking to my soul - Watch out for these guys, awesome @VandAWaterfront." - Shaun Engel (@S3ngel on Twitter)


When asked how he would describe Native Young, songwriter and frontman Yannick says, “It’s a constantly evolving tapestry of culture, emotion and melody”. Formed in the garage of a Gugulethu marimba maker in 2014 – these are the new kids on the block that are blurring lines and breaking cultural barriers through their own distinct brand of ‘Kasi pop’.

With members stretching from Khayelitsha to Spain – Native Young is a 4 piece collective that hosts a menagerie of musical talent and eclectic taste. “This project is about returning to the grass roots of pop, it’s about the melodic core and simple storytelling” explains Yannick, “it’s this simplicity that has provided us with a vehicle for deeper cultural exploration both musically and spiritually”.

Their fresh collaborative sound has been creeping it’s way onto the local Cape Town music scene by way of enigmatic pop up street performances that have now become synonymous with the band, attracting the interest of UK indie powerhouse PIAS, who recently inked an EP deal with the guys. Native Young also collaborated with London based producer/DJ Attaque last year on his single ‘Future Earth’ which has received high rotation on BBC radio and Triple J in Australia.

As for the future, the band is currently hard at work writing and arranging tracks for their debut album which will feature a host of traditional African musicians. “Music is that ephemeral expression that connects us all” Yannick says, and It’s this sentiment that boldly shines in the raw and colourful tale of Native Young.