We want to make music for musicians to enjoy without alienating the rest of the listeners.
WORDS: AL CLAPPER
PHOTOGRAPHY: LAUREN BRITS
STYLIST: CHELSEA JANE
MODEL: AL CLAPPER
MAKE UP: MEGAN WYLIE
Androgenius is a 5-piece outfit comprised of Al Clapper (front man and songwriter), Alex Mayers (bassist and co-songwriter), Jarryd West (drummer), Michael Wilson-Trollip (synth/keyboard) and Callum Macdonald (guitarist).
Their sound fuses rnb and soul with hip hop, funk, and jazz to create a feeling they’ve aptly dubbed ‘soul hop’.
‘There is an inundation of pop, rock, and electronic music in CPT and the greater South Africa for that matter. So much focus on and support for these genres have created a large gap, a gap that we intend to fill with a fresh new sound, old soul hip hop, new jazz, groove centric music with a dangerously funky synth/electric guitar showdown.
We want to make music for musicians to enjoy without alienating the rest of the listeners. I am lucky to be supported by an incredible band, all exceptional musicians, who push the music way further than I could have imagined on my own.
Additionally, as the name suggests, the visual identity is something I want to push, too. As a homosexual male and person of colour, I think is important to express myself openly and comfortably for those who find themselves in less open-minded, less tolerant situations.
The mystery of androgyny, having characteristics of both sexes, can also be a curse. There is this feeling of being on the outside at all times. To some, I’m a boy who looks like a girl. To others, I’m a girl trapped in a boy’s body. In the homosexual world there are far more boxes to fit into, far more discrimination than I’d like to admit. ‘Too camp, too fem, too muscled, too twink, too gay, too straight-acting…’ and so on. It’s not just a case of being separate from heterosexuals. We’re just as separate in our own circles, so we’re scared to be ourselves. androgenius is an opportunity for me to embrace and celebrate my identity, to wear the clothing I want to wear, to sing the songs I’d prefer to sing and to challenge myself to do things I may previously have been uncomfortable doing. The more I explore this unidentified side of myself the more I can comfortably let it trickle down into my everyday life.
I’m having the best, most experimental time, doing and wearing the most outrageous things, challenging and then living up to a side of myself I am learning to be more comfortable with. I want to show people that they’re supposed to be who they WANT to be, not who other people tell them they are and I get to do this with the support of an incredible band, my incredible new family. I want to encourage people to let their freak flag fly, SO HIGH, to allow themselves the satisfaction of saying ‘I didn’t know I could do that.’