Listen: Music, soundtracks are Wesley West’s food

Henry

As a musician and songwriter, Wesley West is taking deeper roots in the South African music and film industry.

This Johannesburg musician lives in Welgemoed, Cape Town these days, and tells RNews’s studio that he has always had a love for film music.

He recently scored the soundtracks for movies like Sniff in the nose, The altercation, Influenceable and Dina Dawn writing. He is also a session musician and recently appeared on the SABC 2 programme, Music Connect, appears. He also performs with African artists such as Lucinda Neethling and Schalk Bezuidenhout.

Wesley is also a music producer, and has, among other things, the singer Augusta Zietsman’s latest short album, breakablesmanufactured.

“Music is extremely diverse. You don’t have to be a pop star in the spotlight to be a full-fledged musician. On the contrary, there is so much you can do: You can be a composer or work as a sound engineer, you can work on film and television sets, and you can start your own business.

“The more different things you can do as a musician, the more sources of income you have. I started by working for people for free and later, when they got paying projects, they used me again because they had worked with me before. It is so important to build good contacts and relationships.”

Wesley says he already had a curiosity about music as a child and was always hungry to learn more about the theory of music, how harmonies work, and how creativity and emotion go hand in hand with music.

“I have been on a never-ending journey of discovery of sounds since I was a child. I can also play quite a few instruments, such as bass guitar, drums and trumpet, but piano and guitar are my main instruments,” he says.

According to Wesley, he has always had a love for film music. “I am grateful that I can live out my dream of making music for movies, to convey the emotion of the story through sound.”

The altercation is an Afrikaans dark comedy in which actors such as Simoné Pretorius, Sean van Noordwyk, Altus Theart and Lindsey Cele appear. Morné Strydom wrote the screenplay and Philip Nolte directed.

Jennis Williamson and JC Snooke directed the movie, Snuff in the nose, manage. Wesley says that he works closely with the directors of the movies when writing a soundtrack.

“Every director has a vision for his story and a message he wants to convey, and as a composer you have to follow the director’s vision. However, the world of music is so big and it is possible to put your own stamp on the music, because it is a piece of yourself that you put in the music.

“The different directors challenge me to think further and deeper again and again, and to create a unique soundtrack for each movie.”

  • Listen to the full interview with Wesley West at the top of the post.