Ultra Natives Interview

The Ultra Natives, who formed in early 2014, play catchy energetic tunes that tell entertaining stories with total disregard for genre.

“The Formation of the band was as a result of a number of factors”, says Greg Hadjiyorki Georgiades( nylon string acoustic guitar, ukelele, oud, vocals). He continued by explaining that the main motive for the band formation was to kick against the status quo with regards to the industrial classification of music into genres.

“One could describe our main objective as being genre free creative and entertaining music that transcends the industrial restrictions of genre and transports audiences to new areas of experience and enjoyment. We do this using instruments such as acoustic and electric soprano ukuleles, acoustic and electric guitars, North African fretless lute (oud), bass, drums, percussion and vocals”.

Their album ‘Ultra Natives’ is also a collection of strong vocal tunes mixed with hot acoustic instrument work on steel string and nylon string guitars, ukelele, oud, bass and drums. Their new material introduces electric soprano ukelele and electric guitars with surprising and exciting emerging sounds. The sound is unique with a variation of distinct African flavors that seem to transcend the borders of the continent thus creating the concept of ‘Ultra Natives’.

The album can be downloaded from various sites and is in the process of being re-pressed into hard copy to coincide with our new album release early in 2020. “We have a few single releases planned that will precede the album and eventually be part of the collection on the new album” Greg Explained.

Almost all of the artists and bands that Rock Tot has interviewed have mentioned that the main issue that they have had to face is lack to music venues; ”the lack of venues and the genre based bottle neck crush in getting to play festivals, is one of the biggest problems our band has had. An additional problem is the almost impossible task of successfully obtaining airplay on radio stations with strictly defined genre requirements”, Greg continued by mentioning that they overcome this by playing wherever they can and whenever there is an opportunity to open ears, hearts and minds of the many keen audiences ‘out there’.

When asking Greg what the best and worst parts are of being a musician, he explained that the best part is simply the fact that one is busy with being who one is as a creative that talks the beautiful language of music, ”This goes together with the pleasure of sharing music with all who are able to hear it and watching the happiness as people experience it”.

”The worst part of being a musician is the part where industrialization has created a cover mentality where audiences are cultivated to demand that musicians play covers. This is a big downer for an artist who is attempting to be creative in offering a fresh unique story, especially when it doesn’t fit in with the industrial genre status quo”, Greg believes that music is the most ‘captured’ art form and really needs to be set free for the benefit of the artists, audiences and the growth of the language of the music itself.

The time has come… We ask everyone we interview one simple question:

If you could change anything about the music industry in South Africa, what would it be?

”Music and industry are two words that should not be used in the same sentence,.. except for the sentence that I just wrote. It is a Frankenstein stitched together with money staples….and it walks funny. I’d like to see a relaxing of by laws that restrict the opening of music venues where the public can get up close and experience more than what they are ‘allowed’ to in the few available venues” says Greg.

The Ultra Natives have played many ”wonderful” venues around South Africa including some beautiful festivals, ”We have enjoyed every one and each has a special place in our hearts. Great times were had at African Beer Emporium, Market at the Sheds, STRAB, Oppikoppi, FORR, Rock Music Bistro, Good Luck Bar, Tings an Times, Rocky Ridge, Wolmer Rock Lounge, Up The Creek Fest, Solstice Beer Fest, Park Acoustics, Dullstroom Winter Fest and many more”.

Photo: Henry Engelbrecht

What’s next for Ultra Natives?

”..onwards to more fun, happiness and the liberation of peoples ears, hearts, minds and feet with lots of live shows and tours planned to promote our new album in the 2020 new year. VIVA MFF! (Music Freedom Fighters) Be on the look out for the MFF as it is something that we jokingly started but which seems to now show some promise as a grouping or gathering of like minded adventurous souls”.

Follow The Ultra Natives: HERE

Contact Them: Greg Georgiades – 083 7336849

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