#MusicExchange: Rapid-fire Q&A with dynamic duo Saul City

Michele Covito and Lauren Manus from Saul City have an impressive, fresh sound that is difficult to characterise. There are distinct indie vibes and electronic elements to their songs, but they have been known to experiment with diverse sounds like jazz also, making their music a fusion of different genres.

The duo released 10 singles in 2020. Their latest release, No More, caught the attention of music lovers and could help to make 2021 the bands break-out year.

Saul City was initially based in producer and guitarist Michele’s home country of Italy for more than nine years, where they performed widely. But now the couple are living in Cape Town, which is home to singer and songwriter Lauren.

Listen to Saul City’s ‘No More’ here:

Positive start to year for Saul City

2021 has started well for the husband-and-wife duo, as they are now part of the music programme at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

The two started writing and producing for artists from the UK, Italy and Australia, and strive to continue collaborating with artists both locally and internationally. With 11 years of creating music together, they show no signs of stopping, using their cultural diversity and musical backgrounds to their advantage.

 The band has a flair for creating urban and indie productions with lyrical sensibility.

The South African catches up with Saul City

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Lauren and Michele enjoy collaborating with other artists. Image: Supplied

The new decade means?

A more fearless approach in showing who we are, not only as artists but in speaking about our future desires and hopes. 

Fame is about?

Fame should never be the main goal.

Retirement will happen when?

When we’ve made all the music we could make and have done everything we set out to do. 

What does music mean to you?

It’s a form of expression. However, we think it goes deeper than expression. It is a form of finding sanity, saying things you wouldn’t usually say out loud. Music is therapy and it is a gift.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

The creative process, finding the right words and the challenge of ensuring we are able to make tangible through words and singing the feelings we are unable to express.

Any funny moments on stage?

There was a guy who so badly wanted to join us on stage with his percussion, but he played an entirely different song to what we were performing. We thought it was pretty funny. 

Your heroes?

Jesus.

Which living person do you admire most and why?

We admire all the people who don’t care about being wrong when taking a step forward to make dreams a reality.

It’s your round: What are you drinking?

A nice glass of red wine. 

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The two have spent almost a decade living and performing in Italy. Image: Supplied

Dream gig to do?

Opening for Coldplay or John Mayer.

What makes you stand out?

The fact that we’ve been making music for almost 12 years and have been married for 10 years, People are always shocked when they hear this.

Nicknames?

Lauren: Nana

Michele: Miky

If you were not musicians what would you do?

Lauren: I’d be a writer.

Michele: Movie production. 

Pick five words to describe yourselves.

Genuine, social, hard-working, procrastinator, thinker.

Favourite South African songs?

  • Cry, smile and Dance by Judith Sepuma
  • Falling in Love with Jesus by Jonathan Butler
  • Back to the Beach by Shekhinah
  • Jika by MiCasa

Listen to Saul City’s ‘Amusement Park’ here:

Greatest Movie Ever Made?

Anything with Tom Hardy and or Denzel Washington in the staring role.

What song changed your lives? 

Alanis Morissette’s Mary Jane and The Cranberries’ Twenty One.

Who do you love?

 Family.

What is your favourite word?

 Obviously.

Favourite Fashion Garment?

Reebok Pumps.

Give us some proper slang and what it means?

 “I’m in my chops”, ie I’m really tired.

Listen to Saul City’s ‘Forgive’ here:

Top of your bucket list?

Being able to  tour internationally, placing music in a major movie, building a company to work with different kinds of artists and create great content.

Your greatest achievement?

Being able to make our greatest passion a job.

What do you complain about most often?

Waking up early.

What is your fear?

People being afraid to share opinions that are not truly their own, but rather conditioned to what the world deems acceptable.

Happiness is?

Being present and fully acknowledging the moment.

On stage you tend to?

Watch the audience.

The best life lesson you have been taught?

Rather than trying to control your life, live it searching for purpose as an individual. 

Where would you like to be right now?

We would like to be spending time with our friends and family back in Italy.

Do you do charity work and if yes, what?

Yes, we do. We’ve put together fundraising concerts both in Italy and online during COVID.  At this very moment we are putting together a campaign to raise money to clothe and provide food for orphanages in Cape Town.

Wishes and dreams?

Our greatest dream is to change, or at least make an impact, on the values surrounding the music business. 

Follow the duo on social media @saul_city on Instagram, @Saul City on Facebook and on their website at saulcity.com.

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