‘Deep, dark and mysterious’ is how Cape Town’s ambi-electro-dreampop duo – sexinadream – describe their sound. After the successful release of their first single titled ‘Pink Box‘, founding members Mavis Vermaak and Wessel Albertse are ready to release new sounds to the world’s ears. We decided to find out how this electro-duo goes about making beats and what sets them apart.

image: Rooiwolf Studio


sexinadream started back in March 2012, what were the reasons for you deciding to wait till June of this year to have your public debut?

M: Just practicalities. We jammed in studio for a couple of months after meeting last year in March. We made it ‘official’ by choosing a name round August, and started preparing to play live in December. With other obligations and work deadlines we only managed to play our first gig in April this year, and then some more deadlines and further obligations, and our first public gig only came together in June. It’s been a bit of a juggling act, but in a way the gradual transition has been a good thing for us. In retrospect, things have been falling into the right places at the right times.

W: I guess you could say we only really met back then, and still didn’t really know that we will actually become a band. We eventually came up with so much material that we decided to create sexindream. After that it was quite a long process of getting ready for live performance as we have never done this before and needed to learn a lot of technical skills to be able to present our act the way it should sound live.

You debuted your first single, ‘Pink Box‘, at Manilla Bar, there was also talk of a video in the pipeline. Has there been any development on that front?

M: Yes, we are working on the ‘Pink Box‘ music video right now and it should be out within this month. The concept has changed a couple of times, but the final one is something quite out of this world. Wessel and I really improvised on a non-existent budget and let our imaginations run wild; we really seemed to make something out of nothing with this one. In terms of producing the video, shooting, editing and effects, it is once again Wessel that made it all happen.

W: Yes, definitely. Initially we had quite an elaborate concept for the video, but unfortunately it fell through due to the same old industry killers, budget and time… we are now in the process of creating a simpler lyric video for online release within this month.

image: Wiehahn Diederichs


Pink Box‘ has gotten local and internet radio airtime; do you feel more pressure to release more material after its success?

M: Not so much pressure, but we are definitely inspired by the positive reaction to ‘Pink Box.’ We are working on two tracks for release at the moment, and have a lot of rough material that we are keen to start polishing.

W: Excitement more than pressure, I think ‘Pink Box’ was just an ice breaker for things yet to come, we have a lot of surprises and material in the bag, and we just need time to finish it all.

The new single,’Swimming’, is due for release in July, what can we expect?

M: ‘Swimming’ is a light and breezy, poppy tune. It’s very sing-along, happy, easy listening vibes.

W: Hopefully by the end of the year

image: Rooiwolf Studio


When picking gigs, or other acts to perform with, what do you look for?

M: We will consider and appreciate any other bands/acts expressing interest in sharing a line-up with us. When organising a gig ourselves, it’s always cool to perform with other artists who are doing unusual, original, innovative stuff, pushing boundaries and breaking new territory.

W: Something different, unique and people who are following their own identities as musicians and not copying other international or local acts.

A lot of electronic groups from Cape Town tour up to Jo’burg – is that on the agenda or are you planning on establishing yourselves in Cape Town before you move on to the rest of the country?

M: We love travelling and meeting people. I think once we really get going with gigs, we would consider playing wherever opportunity presents itself. But it definitely makes sense to go play a few gigs in Jo’burg as soon as it is possible for us to do so.

W: Once we have an album ready a country wide album launch tour will be in order, but hey we’re always open for invites to just go and jam.

image: Wiehahn Diederichs


You described the process of making music ‘very organic’, with Mavis focusing on the lyrics and Wessel doing the sound. Do you guys have a process/formula when it comes to putting beats together?

M: In terms of making beats, that’s always Wessel’s department. I might add a keyboard melody here and there on occasion. The songs mostly come into existence each in their own way. Sometimes I have a lyric prepared that matches a piece of music Wessel plays to me. But often Wessel will just play me a new piece of music, and the words will arrive out of nowhere to merge with the music in a very organic way. ‘Show Me’ and ‘Be Here’ are good examples of such songs.

W: We have a certain kind of unspoken formula but it’s more a process of just jamming in the studio and seeing what comes out. It’s a very collaborative effort where we both sometimes make music or write lyrics.

sexinadream is definitely a stand-out name; did you think you would get asked about it as much as you do? What is the story behind it?

M: I think we were somewhat aware that the name would pique people’s interest – the word ‘sex’ just seems to do that – and I think that has been to our advantage. But it also has a deeper and very personal meaning.

I think in a way it sums us up as a creative entity, the themes of relationship, co-existence and the mysteries of creativity and the creative process. I also like that dreaming about sex actually has nothing to do with the physical act of sex, so there’s that slight twist in there too.

W: Yeah it’s amazing how conservative some people still are about the word sex.. The music is definitely sometimes dreamy sometimes sexy, I don’t think anything else would really fit as well.

image: Rooiwolf Studio


What gives sexinadream an extra edge, especially when it comes to videos and live shows?

M: This is a hard one to answer. It’s difficult to comment on yourself and your art objectively. Perhaps what sets us apart somewhat is that our ‘sound’ and live performance is not derived from anything external or pre-existing, that it comes from a very intuitive place.

W: Our vibe is definitely unique mostly because we are constantly exploring sound and not restricting ourselves to a specific genre, or identity.

We also explore our songs visually and aim to be doing a complete audio visual integrated show in the future.

image: Wiehahn Diederichs

Would you say the relationship between visuals and audio is mutually exclusive or something that cannot be separated? How do you portray this relationship in your songs?

W: Music can always be enhanced by visuals and vice versa. On its own it’s also a different kind of magic and I think it leaves more to the imagination. Together they form a symbiotic relationship that really enhances the sensory experience.

What was a) the visual inspiration n and b) the audio inspiration for this EP?

M: I will leave these two questions to Wessel to answer, as he makes all the visual magic in SIAD

W: a) – is mostly inspired by b)…

b): Inspired by life, dreams, sex, relationships, letting go, swimming naked, staring at the sun for too long and boozy studio sessions.

image: Wiehahn Diederichs

Please tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you see the following words:


Transcendent – Love
Motion – Ocean
Noise – Boys
Sex – Dream
Colour – Light
Space – Peace
Create – Life


Transcendent – a very awesome synth with massive delay
Motion – universe
Noise – record
Sex – fluffy cuffs
Colour – Cyan
Space – is the place
Create – always

When will sexinadream be performing next?

M: We will probably only play another gig in about two months’ time, as Wessel is going on a much-deserved holiday in July/August. We are working on a sit-down, ‘softer’ set at the moment, in addition to our party/dance set. We would like to perform the softer set in dinner theatres and smaller venues, and do the party set in clubs and at festivals.

So, realistically, we should start hitting stages around SA in earnest round about springtime.

W: End of August/early September.



interview: Chanel Carstens

Images: Wiehahn Diederichs, Rooiwolf Studio