Religious Beliefs Keep Band Going

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK It’s a local band called G3, namely, ‘God, George and Gustav.’ The talented brothers Gustav and George Pickering chose this name because they believe that God is life and acknow-ledgement should be given to Him as the Giver of gifts. This is the motivation with which this band started seven years ago in Namibia when the two musical brothers who are passionate musicians started their singing careers. Speaking to them at a recent performance at the one-year anniversary celebration of the outdoor advertising company Eishisha Media Network, it became clear that G3 were weaned on the sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Sir Cliff Richard and the Tempatations. The music the two brothers enjoyed so much when they were young derive from their father who himself was part of a band during his youthful years. Twenty-seven- year old Gustav was the first to pick up the guitar and 23-year-old George followed soon afterwards. As time went by they soon became a hit amongst their peers, performing at school talent shows. “In 1994 we started singing seriously as part of a group called Success under the directorship of the 1997 Winner of the NBC Music Makers Competition, the late Zane Hudson. We enjoyed a wonderful four years together before the group decided to part,” said George. From the start music has always been part of them and even though the elder brother studied Human Resource Management and his brother did a Media course they still continued to make music together. They further climbed up the musical career ladder when in 2001 they were runners-up at the NBC Music Makers Competition, where they won the categories for Best Namibian Composition and Best Own Composition with the hit sings ‘Hope in Namibia’ and ‘True Friend’ respectively. Their music trends however did not stop there. A local businessman noticed their God-given talents and sponsored the young brothers to develop their skills further in London. “The London experience was absolutely brilliant, especially having to learn how to deal with different kinds of people. The challenge for us was mostly that you don’t always know what people feel, as they don’t really express themselves,” said George during a short break. It was in the United Kingdom in 2004 that they staged a successful concert in Osterley in West London. They also acquired the enhanced skills of guitar playing having undergone tutoring at a specialised guitar institute whilst being abroad. Echoing his brother’s sentiments, Gustav said that the experience abroad changed their whole perception of success. “When I left I thought success was matched with signing the BIG recording deal and making loads of money. Now I realise that success is who you become. The character to me now comes first,” explained Gustav, with George nodding wholeheartedly. Just like they learned from life’s experiences, their songs, which are a mixture of soul, jazz and light rock, depict everyday happenings. Music is the one thing that comes naturally for the brothers and as they performed the audience was mesmerised by the captivating music somehow depicting a mixture between traditional and modern. During their four to five-hour rehearsals before their performances they are also accompanied by percussion player Anthony Goliath and Joanna Stielow who plays the violin. While the first ever song by G3 was called ‘Never Mind Changing’ a love song inspired by Billy Joel, the local band is focussing on natural Namibian sounds. “We are trying to keep it original because we are proud of Namibian sounds and that’s exactly what people from outside want to hear, something different,” said Gustav. While music may seem just a relaxing sound for most people, the two musicians agree that it is more about expression and sending messages of hope, love and sadness. “We all go through different experiences in life and we want our music to bring a message of hope and also encourage people to think about things in life that really matter,” said the younger brother. So far G3 has performed at various up-market and popular venues in the city and recently recorded their first ever single with world-renowned producer Christian Polloni who has worked with the likes of Papa Wemba, Alpha Blondie and Carlos Santana. Proceeds from the track soon to be released will help the brothers to accomplish their dreams of acquiring music degrees and recording their debut album. For now the two brothers Gustav and George want to be remembered as “the brothers who worked well together”.