Interview by : Ezelle Louw (@lupaphotography)
Photographs supplied by : Heritage Sounds
Our mission is to promote and get to know more people that work “behind the scenes” in the music industry. First up is Brendyn “Rusti” Rossouw owner of Heritage Sound Studio situated in the historic builidng in Heritage Square. He gives us some insight into his life, what it takes to make it in this industry and his most embarrasing moment up to date.
Not only is he a producer / sound engineer, but is an established drummer, singer and songwriter. The man oozes talent and passion for the music industry. You can also see him perform with his equally talented wife “Evelyn Hart”. Get to know the man behind Heritage Sound…
“Take risks, be precise in them but remember that fear will make you mediocre” -Brendyn “Rusti” Rossouw
Tell us where Heritage Sound Studios is situated?
Heritage Square, 65 Buitengracht Street.
What has been the greatest highlight for you at the studio thus far?
Co-Producing and engineering the SAMA award winning “Dirty Skirts” record last year.
What is your current favourite piece of equipment you own?
Hmmm this is a toughy but I would have to say my pair of AEA R84 Ribbon mics with their matching preamp (Such a nerd answer).
You’ve spend some time in USA.What valuable lesson did you learn there in regards to music?
Take risks, be precise in them but remember that fear will make you mediocre.
What is your vision for every artist that comes into your recording studio?
That they have have a safe, relaxed environment to be creative and share their lifeblood with the world.
Any advice for musicians recording for the first time?
Remember that people connect with the song (melody, lyric, hook) before a killer recording. Make sure you have crafted and workshopped your songs properly before even considering stepping into studio.
Was there a definite moment where you knew that music was the way you wanted to spend your life?
Oh yes… 😉 Sitting in a killer studio in downtown Nashville recording 3 of my own songs back in 2006. I realized then that there was no other place for me in this world.
You are also in the alternative folk trio, Evelyn Hart, tells a bit about the band?
Well, my fiancé “Evelyn Hart” and I have been working on this material for a while now. She is such a ridiculously talented songwriter and my best mate “Stephen Deck” has joined us on electric guitar. We’re loving crafting this sound. Alternative, synthy guitars, with Orchestral mallets and swelling cymbals to gorgeous, dynamic female vocals and Celtic moods on piano, Strings, French Horn and Harp.
I hear you travel back to Nashville yearly, to keep up with the recording trends? Tell us what Nashville offers that inspires you to bring it back home?
The beautiful people! I have friends and a mentor who have become like family. Some of the most current stuff is coming out of there. Their approach to the whole recording process is just so relational. Such an awesome community. Their fearless approach to the process and performance is truly inspiring 😉
You’ve worked with a wide range of artist, including Freshlyground,Taxi Violence, The Sleepers, The Dirty Skirts etc, how does it feel to know you’ve covered a lot of different genres / bands?
It really does keep you on your toes. I’m actually still pretty new to all of this so I get nervous before every new project 😉 I think that is a good thing. I never want to click over to auto-pilot mode. I don’t think you can EVER stop learning in this industry. I just love the hang in studio, plenty laughs but you also get to know people at their most vulnerable place, music comes from a very deep space inside. I am so freakin blessed to be exposed to so much raw talent and HARD work through these artists.
What international and local producer do you admire most?
Daniel Lanois/ Brian Eno. Locally it’s pretty much all of them! There is such great work coming from SA! Especially love Daryl Torr’s work on “Zebra & Giraffe” and “Dear Reader”. Theo Crous is a true legend and my mentor friend “David Langemann” has taught me so much of what I know. I have worked with Brian O’Shea a good few times as well and he is such a a great example of managing people and performance.
The best piece of advice you’ve received in the music industry?
“Don’t be known as the cheap guy” a very good friend in the industry told me 😉 Until that point I didn’t believe in myself enough and I gave pretty much everyone my “bro rate” 😉
If you are not busy making waves in the music scene, how do you spend your time otherwise?
Golf, Fly-Fishing, Eating, hanging with my dearest ones and laughing a lot!
Top 3 SA bands at the moment for you?
aKing, Matthew Mole, Goodnight Wembley!
What does your studio offer that is unique?
240 year old Yellowood floors and nice 4.2m high ceiling!
Where did you cultivate your knowledge of music?
Berklee College of Music
We know musicians have some interesting embarrasing moments on stage, do you have any in studio?
I fell asleep while editing once. Client was sitting next to me! Wahahaha! Anyone say narcolepsy?
What current exciting project are you busy with?
“Goodnight Wembley!” full album
What band / artist would you love to record in SA?
Me! My brother is epically talented! I think I believe in him more than he does at the mo.
Name 3 essential requirements for someone who want to record / produce music?
Patience, Passion, Money for gear!
What track is currently stuck in your head?
Matt Corby’s “Brother”
Describe Heritage Sound in sentence.
A great place to call creative home 😉
Where can we follow / contact you on the social networks?
Twitter – @heritagesound .
Facebook – www.facebook.com/heritagesound
Website – www.heritagesound.net