Hands down my favourite music duo in Cape Town, Digby and the Lullaby are musicians in the truest form – their sound is unique, their intimate gigs are magic and they’d never dream of selling out.
Rouchelle’s breathtaking voice pairs beautifully with the blues-inspired notes from Darren’s guitar to create music to daydream to – melodies that speak poetry, life lessons and a longing to love. Friendly banter between songs makes their act all the more intimate and authentic.
Comparing themselves to the likes of Angus and Julia Stone, I first saw Darren and Rouche play at a silent gig in 2011 at Pincushion Cottage in Scarborough, where they were going under the name DieselVanilla. Now rebranded as Digby and the Lullaby, this duo continue to grace the stages of the real Cape Town musos: Alma Cafe, Cape Town Acoustic and Folk Festival and new music experiences Studio 7, as well as playing regularly at major cities across the country.
“Our music is inspired by other songs, life, movies and of course, love,” says Darren. “I would describe our acoustic sound as honest, atmospheric, romantic…”
Only in South Africa would talent like this remain so underground and we’ve been blessed to attend numerous small gigs of theirs over the years – even enjoying a casual friendship with Darren and Rouchelle, who recently tied the knot as a couple and are as authentic in real life as they are on stage.
Rouchelle is a beauty with raven hair and a playful style, such as wedges paired with skinny jeans or long ethereal dresses, while Darren’s understated look is characterized by his dusty copper beard and ironic wit.
Hailing from St Francis Bay and Uitenhage, Darren and Rouchelle met in East London in 2010 at a singer songwriter competition, and are now based in Cape Town. For fun, Rouchelle loves interior design and decorating, a passion she is currently studying part time, and Darren loves flying – give him anything with wings and he’s happy.
While Digby and the Lullaby has experienced a level of success, for example winning a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the 2014 National Arts Festival, Darren explains that making a living as a musician in South Africa is a tough business and often a labour of love.
“It’s an interesting journey breaking into the music scene in South Africa; the music business has changed dramatically and still continues to change all the time,” he explains.
“For example, the digital age has made it easier for everyone to put their art out there and this in turn has made it way harder to get noticed, so we always appreciate it when people turn up to see us play. To us it’s more about how many times someone has seen us perform or actually listened to our music than the amount of social media followers we have.”
Their journey has taken this duo to New York, where they recorded their debut album The Somewhere Wind in New York with indie producer Kieran Kelly – and they are now building a sound studio in their Edgemead home, with plans to record their second album. Another aspiration is to play at bigger venues and offer people an even better show.
Digby and the Lullaby recently released their first professional music video, which was created with actor and director David Morin, who has worked with the likes of Jennifer Aniston among other Hollywood stars.
“David shot both this music videos for us without any budget – we just used what we had and had tons of fun!,” says Darren.
See their video for song The Somewhere Wind here:
See Digby and the Lullaby’s upcoming shows on their website, which is regularly updated: www.digbyandthelullaby.com/shows