Over the past two decades in the South African music scene, the name Albert Frost has become synonymous with talent, hard work, dedication and passion. The energetic performances of this accomplished guitarist have dazzled audiences and won him immense respect, as he deftly alternates between genres and displays his finely-tuned skills in a way only a seasoned, versatile artist can.
In keeping with his reputation of being one of South Africa’s most prolific musicians, this year sees the release of his much anticipated third solo album, The Wake Up. According to Frost, the album signals the “start of a new journey” for him. “It’s an album that I've been thinking about for 20 years - all the experiences I've been gathering finally put into music of my own. It’s something I can be proud of,” he says.
In a departure from Frost’s blues roots, The Wake Up explores various musical avenues and melds stylistic elements of the blues, rock, psychedelic and African genres to create something he says will surprise and excite his fans. Frost says he explores all aspects of the guitar on the album: “I've used over 10 different guitars, acoustic and electric, to create my own musical soundscape of sorts.”
Recording The Wake Up was a labour of love for Frost, who spent 18 months tirelessly crafting his soundscape at VH Studios in Cape Town. “VH Studios has been my home away from home; it’s a first-class studio,” he explains. “At the end of the day, the more time you spend on songs in studio, the better they will sound. I managed to make an album in my own time, instead of rushing it. It took me a year of pre-production to find my formula, which I can now use as a basis from here on.”
As a dynamic artist with a clear, progressive vision, Frost has never shied away from collaboration throughout his career. He’s worked with big names on the local music scene such as Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis, Chris Chameleon and The Blues Broers, among others, and has either performed or toured with major international artists such as the late great Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré, British acts Finley Quaye, Simple Minds and The Rolling Stones, and REM from the USA.
His appreciation for collaboration hasn’t faded. On The Wake Up, he’s worked instrumentally with acclaimed bassist Schalk Joubert and celebrated drummer Jonno Sweetman. In terms of its lyrical content, songs on The Wake Up explore topics ranging from emotions such as fear, confusion and heartbreak to notions of family, companionship, acceptance and unconditional love. Most of the lyrical content on the album was co-written with other artists, including Hunter Kennedy, Robin Auld, Simon Orange and Albert Meintjes, who also co-produced.
During April, Frost will launch The Wake Up with shows throughout South Africa, with Joubert and Sweetman joining him on stage. Confirmed tour dates are as follows:
- 21-22 April: The Fugard Theatre, Cape Town
- 25 April: The Vulture Club, Bloemfontein
- 26 April: Atterbury Theatre, Pretoria
- 27 April: Good Luck Bar, Johannesburg
- 28 April: The Barnyard Theatre Gateway, Durban
- 29 April: The Chairman, Durban
- 30 April: Caversham Mill, Howick (KZN)
- 1 May: The Showroom Theatre, Prince Albert (Western Cape)
For his upcoming performances, Frost promises fans “diverse material, mostly new, showcased in electric and acoustic set-ups, each with a certain energy... The Wake Up is all about bringing something fresh to the show, as well as incorporating the concept throughout the performance. My sound is changing with this album so I hope people like it as much as I do!”
The Wake Up is currently available on iTunes, as well as selected music outlets and at live shows. Go behind the scenes into the making of the album in the video below.