CASSIDY BESSA AND DANI VAN DER HORST

Robyn Ferguson is a talented South African guitarist. In addition to her impressive solo career, Ferguson also plays for numerous bands. PDBY had the opportunity to catch up with Ferguson shortly after the release of her latest EPs.According to Ferguson, “music is a form of expression”. She explains that she “fell in love with the guitar by watching someone else play and seeing the sparkle in their eyes” and that “[she] wanted to experience that sparkle.” The talented guitarist draws inspiration from “everywhere”, as she explores her own experiences, but also feels as though she is “mostly influenced by nature”. Ferguson describes her music as “pure alchemy”. She elaborates on this by suggesting that it is a collection of “bits and pieces put together like a mad scientist trying to make things work”. When asked how being South African influences her music, she explains that “being South African is not a disadvantage”. As Ferguson suggests “by saying that you are ‘only’ South African or ‘only’ a woman, you are putting yourself into a box”. Ferguson encourages musicians (and all people) to constantly evaluate their way of thinking and live outside of the box.

Ferguson has had the opportunity to play all over the continent and when asked about her favourite experience so far, she suggested that she really enjoyed performing at a guitar festival in Nairobi. She said her experience: “was more of a workshop than a performance but there were so many cool people to meet and learn from”. When asked about her experience of performing in bands, Ferguson explains that “with most bands it is a collaborative effort”. She suggests that “each person in the band is a gear in the machine and that it is never a ‘me’ thing but more like an ‘us’ thing”. Ferguson is an adaptable guitarist who draws a lot of inspiration from the bands that she performs with. When asked about her own music, Ferguson says that her favourite part of it all is “finding her groove and allowing her music to shine on its own”. She explains that her EP, Falling Forward, “is what really opened the floodgate for [her]”. Ferguson is proud of the vibe on all three of her original bodies of work and she is excited to see where it is leading her to. She explains that she “doesn’t have a favourite piece of work but rather loves how they are all coming together”.

Ferguson suggests that budding solo guitarists and new artists in general should “start off solo, get some material going and show up!”. She further emphasises that it is important to “work hard, play hard, and stick to your guns. Remember why you started. Remember your purpose and commit”. Her final advice to new artists is to “have fun and don’t stop. Believe that what you’re doing is cool and there will be someone else who thinks it’s cool as well.” Robyn Ferguson’s music is available on all major streaming platforms.

PDBY is the official student newspaper of the University of Pretoria.
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