Graeme Watkins has always been involved with theatre, drama and music. After completing a degree in Theatre and Performance at UCT, he followed a career in music where he formed a Swing trio called “It’s a Swing Thing”.
Graeme took a chance by entering Idols, and ended up as the runner up in the annual talent search. Rock band, The Graeme Watkins Project, have since gone on to produce two albums; “Corridors of the Mind” and “Soldier On” as well as two independent singles, “Love In Abundance” which has charted on radio stations across the country and “You Come Running” which has only recently aired on radio stations. The latest single was also accompanied by a cool, immersive 360 video of them performing the song in studio, which has been getting great responses. The band has had several chart topping hits, 2 SAMA nominations, a YOU Spectacular and MKTV nomination and also performed at the prestigious MuseXpo in Hollywood in 2012.
Graeme is also part of a swing music trio called Swing City which is made up of himself, Loyiso Bala and Nathan Ro. 2014 was a fresh start with Swing City teaming up with 6 time Naledi Nominee, Bryan Schimmel, as music director. 2015 saw this dynamic trio take on recording their debut album “Well Swung”. This fresh album has been selling exceptionally well, filling a major gap in the South African market. On the album, one can find collaborations featuring the likes of Lloyd Cele, Shoowop Shop and Chiano Sky. December 2016 saw the trio team up with loved artists to record a live show called Mnet and Friends: A Swinging Christmas. It was aired over Christmas and was a great success! This year, the guys have gone back to studio to record their much anticipated second album.
In an individual capacity Graeme was also a Fleur De Cap Nominee for Theatre. Graeme is also a voiceover artist, actor, TV presenter and MC.
Rudo Pieterse has become part of the South-African music scene furniture as a multi-instrumentalist across a wide variety of genres over the last 20 years. Playing anything from upright bass to mandolin he has been involved in many interesting projects and responsible for more than just a few groovy bass lines in the SA music archives. Artists from his colorful discography includes Swing City, Karen Zoid, Nduduzo Makathini, Daniel Baron, RJ Benjamin and Connell Cruise. Rudo works as musical director and arranger at Gracepoint church and has composed many of the well loved songs being sung there. Since his early days studying bass under Svetlana Gildebrandt at the London based Musicians Institute Rudo has grown into a mature multi-instrumentalist as show cased in his recent solo ventures, Solo Jo, where he plays guitar, upright bass, ukulele, and using his voice with a loop station to create beautiful live rearrangements. His creative approach and knowledge of music has always been an invaluable asset to the GWP song writing process .
Ryno Zeelie has been an accomplished guitarist for over 12 years. First picking up a guitar at 16, Ryno has methodically established himself in the South African music scene, and to date, has played with a number of South Africa’s top artists and Theatre shows.
Ryno first got his big break in Theatre, and today, is one of the most sought after guitar talents in South Africa. Ryno is wealth of knowledge and has gained industry experience from playing guitar on some of South Africa’s biggest tv shows like Idols SA, The Voice SA, Clash Of The Choirs, Strictly Come Dancing to name a few. He has performed and toured with some of South Africa's biggest artists and played on multiple theatre shows such as We Will Rock You, Rent and High School Musical to name only a few.
Ryno also runs his own recording studio, Figure of 8 Productions, providing his production and engineering expertise to many of the artists who come through his door. Figure of 8 is proud to have hosted and recorded the talents of Mi Casa, Tresor, Idols SA, AKA, Elvis Blue, Kahn Morbee and Jimmy Dludlu to name only few at their premises. Ryno’s skill and intense understanding of his medium has been an asset to the collaboration of the Graeme Watkins Project. His sheer brilliance in terms of understanding music in general has been pivotal to the song writing process, and makes it easy to see why this young man is constantly in demand.
Matthew Marinus has been a prominent figure in South Africa’s music industry for over 13 years. It is hard to pin point Matthew’s exact direction in the industry, as he has excelled in so many aspects of it. Lending his talents to various aspects of the music industry from Theatre to Commercials, he found his place working amongst some of South Africa's top talents "In Studio" with the likes of: Zebra and Giraffe, Fevertree , Liam Kelly, Pres (coca cola popstars), Farryl Purkiss, RJ Benjamin. To top it off Matthew has extended his field of knowledge into cinematography and editing, combining his love of music and film, and lending his talents to producing EPK’s and Music Videos to the local music industry.
Matthew’s extensive knowledge and experience has been an asset to “The Graeme Watkins Project”. Since joining the band, Matthew’s eclectic understanding and alternative insights brings life to each and every song, as well as playing a prominent role in the song writing process.