Search
  • The Sound Cafe

A Conversation With South African Rock/Blues Singer-Songwriter Ross Harding


By David Devo Oosthuizen.



Inspired by themes of love and time, South African Ross Harding is back with ‘Love & Time’ as the first single from his upcoming EP ‘Chapter II’. Recorded at Audio Nebula Studios, Ross worked hard during 2022 with producer Byron Muller to bring to live a commanding track reminiscent of the classic rock, grunge & blues artists of the past; potently fuelled by a blues-rooted consciousness that’s emotive, moving, and original. ‘Love & Time’ is available now on all platforms, and you can pre-save ‘Chapter II’ now on linktr.ee/rossharding


David Devo Oosthuizen, from his base in Cape Town, talked with Ross Harding about the release for The Sound Cafe.



Ross Harding is a Rock Singer-Songwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa. As a songwriter and performing artist, he personifies rich, versatile vocal abilities with expert guitar knowledge, and has gained global industry recognition for his command of blues and rock music, reminiscent of the classic rock, grunge & blues artists of the past. “And ultimately, that’s what Harding has done so well on his debut solo EP – he’s found himself a sound that’s full of emotion, passion and angst, but more importantly, one that celebrates the memory of rock music.“ (Texx And The City)


In 2017 Harding formed the blues rock band, BLACK HARBOUR BLUES, and has made local and international progress performing, touring, and recording with the band. Notable performances include a headline slot at the Drakensberg’s WHITE MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL, Main Stage at 2014's RAMFEST with Biffy Clyro, Trivium, Fouls and Killswitch Engage, countless local festivals, an acoustic international tour to Italy, and many independent shows throughout South Africa.


In 2018 Harding and Hughes hosted a sold out "HOUSE OF BLUES" show, which included some of South Africa’s top blues musicians - Andre Kriel (Black Cat Bones), Pepi Dimevski (Gunshot Blue), Richard Bruyns and others.


Ross Harding has supported major South African artists like DAN PATLANSKY, FOKOFPOLISIEKAR, THE NARROW, and PRIME CIRCLE and is able to enchant all kinds of audiences.


Performing both as a solo acoustic artist and with a band, Harding is able to captivate audiences with his vocal prowess and acoustic guitar accompaniment, while his trio band boasts mastery of the blues, classic rock styles, and original music. His debut solo record, REST & RESURRECTION, was released in early 2022 and has seen local and international recognition, with a follow up EP, called CHAPTER II on its way 4 November, including a music video that was sponsored by MTN.


Performances have included two Cape Town tours, with shows at the DAISY JONES Bar Stellenbosch and SABC’s ESPRESSO TV, as well as independent club shows throughout South Africa, with live recordings at DISCOVRTV Johannesburg and MIX FM.



A Conversation With Ross Harding...


David Devo Oosthuizen.

As a Rock Singer-Songwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa, you are not only an accomplished solo artist, but also formed the band Black Harbour Blues, and furthermore front the Rock Super Group Fear Of Falling. How do you manage to successfully juggle such diverse roles?


Ross Harding

At the moment I’m working on Ross Harding and Fear Of Falling – those projects take up most of my time. I love writing, recording, and being in studio, and finally performing that music in a live setting. So I’m pushing myself all the time to see what I can do musically. I love rock music, so being in different environments where I can express myself creatively is so alluring to me.


David Devo Oosthuizen.

As a full-time touring musician, how do you keep your inspiration. motivation and creativity alive and thriving, especially during long cycles on the road?


Ross Harding

To me it has a lot to do with lifestyle. I used to use booze and drugs to cope with life. These days, being sober I can find creativity in many places, ideas, emotions. I find if I’m generally motivated and feeling good, then I’m able to go into creative spaces, even really dark ones, without as much destruction as in the past. I confess music can still bring up dark emotions when I go into those spaces, but I think I can handle it better now. At the end, the music must act as catharsis.


David Devo Oosthuizen.

Your new single ‘Love & Time’ (out 16 September) is the first from your new upcoming EP ‘Chapter II’ (releasing 4 November). What can current, and new fans, expect from your fresh array of tracks, and how do these compare to your solo debut EP ‘Rest & Resurrection’?


Ross Harding

The songs on “Chapter” II are more mature, there’s been growth for me, even in a short time span. I pushed myself harder on this EP. It’s still bluesy hard rock music, but maybe with a little less self-indulgence and more care for tone and performances. I’m really proud of “Chapter II and I can’t wait for people to hear it.


David Devo Oosthuizen.

What all is in store around the release of ‘Chapter II’? How many singles are you planning, any Music Videos, and what about a coming tour?


Ross Harding

The first single is out on the 16th of September, the next is the 14th of October, with the EP out on the 4th of November, including a music video shot in a rad black and white behind-the-scenes style, for a dark bluesy song called “Black Sun Blues”


I’ll be on the road with the band for sure. We have some epic shows planned in promotion of the EP, including the EP launch party (11th November at an awesome venue called Bailey’s in Johannesburg with Dirty Moonshine and Jasper Dan). All the other dates and venues will be up on my socials for people to check out. I’m working on some European dates in the future too, and hopefully USA dates as well, so stay tuned!


David Devo Oosthuizen.

Where do your roots lie insofar as your drivers to originally adopt Rock and Blues? What inspired you to start playing?


Ross Harding

I had already been playing guitar for some time before I got deeply into the blues. I found this unbelievable magic in the blues that sends listeners into a trance, especially live. Much of the Ross Harding approach to rock music is to blend that live blues jam feel with my other rock music influences. In many ways my music is influenced by the blues guitar itself and being able to improvise live. I’m notorious for throwing my band in the deep end on a night. Sometimes I scream out chords and we literally do a whole show without playing anything we rehearsed, just because it feels right.


David Devo Oosthuizen.

You recorded ‘Chapter II’ at Audio Nebula Studios with producer Byron Muller. Byron Muller did the mix, and Rogan Kelsey did the master. How was this experience, and can you share any exciting tales from the studio?


Ross Harding

I’ve been working with Byron for years. I had a band called Fever Dogs and we recorded our album at Byron’s Studio in the East of Johannesburg. I think Byron just gets my music. He knows what I need for the song, and we’re both into the less-is-more approach. Great drum tones, bass guitars, real loud guitar amps, vocals, that’s it. There is value in production, sure, and other projects I’m working with utilize a lot of that, but the Ross Harding Band’s sound is drums, bass, vocals, and guitars.


David Devo Oosthuizen.

Any plans to tour outside of South Africa soon?


Ross Harding

It’s my dream to tour the USA, so hopefully in the near future I’ll be over there with my band, as well as Europe.


David Devo Oosthuizen.

Thank you Ross for your time, and we wish you all the best for the new single and upcoming EP. Any final comments, messages to fans, or shout-outs?


Ross Harding

A massive thank you for lending me this platform to chat about my music, and a special thanks to the fans for their support. I hope to catch you at a show in the near future and I welcome you to the Ross Harding family!





Website: rosshardingmusic.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rosshardingofficial

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rosshardingofficial