A creative statement with Cantrel

In a modern music world where a lot of tunes and artists sound the same, a local muso is stepping up to the plate to create something entirely different with a bold and exciting edge. The well-known South African musician, Neil Breytenbach (keyboardist for award winning rock band, Prime Circle) is shifting melodies and creating new beats with his project, Cantrel. Potchefstroom Herald caught up with Breytenbach to hear more on what Cantrel and this musical direction entails:

  1. Where did the inspiration for Cantrel come from?  I see you list Fort Minor and Depeche Mode as influences. Is it the musical direction that you have always wanted to go?

I’m always writing different styles of music and I figured it would be a shame if those songs just stayed on a hard drive in my studio. So I’d rather put them out there for the World to hear. The musical direction for Cantrel will be more Alternative Electronic Pop with a bit of Rock and Hip Hop influence too. It’s a style I would like to experiment more with.

  1. How did you decide on Cantrel for your project/band name?

One of the meanings behind the word ‘Cantrell’ spelt with two L’s. Is to be Bold, independent, inquisitive and know what you want and why you want it. This basically resonates very well with me and is a Strong Statement. I Like the name.


Neil Breytenbach, the muso behind Cantrel

Neil Breytenbach, the muso behind Cantrel.

  1. How has the reception been to your latest single, Tough Life? To me there are a lot of different musical elements to it that keeps it fresh and exciting.

The response to Tough Life has been very positive, people are liking the track for its fresh different approach to music. That is my intention with ‘Cantrel’ is to keep things fresh, different and unpredictable on what kinda song you will hear next.

  1. What would you like to achieve with Cantrel in the short and long term?

Short term goal would be to finish off the album get some tracks rotating on a wide spectrum of radio, TV & online. The concept is to give back to the community by helping unknown vocalists get a platform and experience in recording & performing a song. Long term goal is to take this project on the road and perform it in as many countries as possible.

  1. Any specific artists that you would love to collaborate with?

There are so many amazing artists in SA at this point it’s really difficult to choose one. But I am totally open to any collabs that come my way.

  1. Artists that you listen to regularly for inspiration?

Muse, Fort Minor, Depeche Mode, Crosses.

  1. Is Cantrel something different to focus on – mainly stuff you would not be able to do with Prime Circle?

Cantrel is a sound far from Prime Circle. It is a Beast of its own & will keep Rolling forward so the World can hear it.

  1. What lyrical and musical themes do you want to explore with Cantrel?

Lyrically and the Story Boards would be drawn from moments and feelings that I encounter and experience at that given time of day. Musical themes would be ‘Alternative Electronic Pop Rock & Hip Hop’.

  1. Would you say that your experiences in music also shape the way in which you approach Cantrel and why?

Yes definitely from Top quality mix and masters, to live performances and the business aspect behind the music. Every element has to be strong and in place. Why: Because if you gonna do something, do it properly or not at all. So it might take a little longer but it will definitely get there.

  1. When can we expect a new album and what can fans expect from the upcoming full length album?

I’m planning on releasing a full length album in 2018. Fans can expect a fresh sounding album due to the fact that each song will have its own element which will make the album more interesting and not boring.

*Peace* and thanks for the interview.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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