Seaweed is the project of Wayne Harker...
Multi-Instrumentalist, Singer, Song Writer and Producer.
Born in the heart of Cape Town, in the infamous part known today as District Six. As his forefathers ascended from Hottentots and Huguenots Wayne was raised in a so-called European family, speaking English as the mother tongue. At the age of 14 he received his first drum kit and promptly disturbed all the neighbours. He started teaching him-self to the albums of his brothers and at the age of 18 occupied himself with Afro tribal rhythms, including many a course in Marimba.
“Living in S.A. obviously affected my musical tastes, the multi cultural scene was enormous. On the one side Afro beats, on the other came the European and U.S.A. musical styles. Bands like: The Police; Manu Dibango;
Sly and Robbie; Mhlatini; Sipho Mabuse; Pacific Express, Bob Marley; Osibisa; Feli Kuti etc...the list is long, that meant for me a vast range of influences: from blues to rock, Afro pop, reggae, jazz, funk through to traditional elements, to cut it short- a flexibility and know-how in many styles.“
His first success was as a teenage drummer, with the Ethnic pop band E Void. With them he experienced huge chart success in the late 80`s, topping giants from the Western Hemisphere. The band became a cult in South Africa and is part of the musical heritage. Sharing the stage with the likes of Miriam Makeba; Jaluka; Lady Smith Black Mbaso.
The band was a running success that eventually landed up in disputes. Wayne was forced to stay in SA while the rest of the gang left for England. That’s when the problems started. At this time Wayne was a prominent musician in SA that had managed to evade the obligatory Military Service.
“As a young teenager you cannot understand how the long arm of politics and propaganda dictate your life, regardless of your race or heritage, luckily for me I was a pacifist, I just wanted to make music not make war, so I decided to run away from my so called duty. With hindsight it’s only now I really understand the implications of Social Oppression”, Social Discrimination and Social Politics.
After being AWOL for 465 days and 48min Wayne was finally re-recruited by the Military Police. After being temporally discharged with a re-call up to Military Service, Wayne resumed his musical career and joined a Cape Town band called Askari. Signed once again to WEA SA, Wayne once again experienced success, not only as a musician but also as a producer.
`Askari was to Avant Garde for Africa, we were experimenting with mixing sequencers and live instruments far to early, for the SA Music scene“. The band reached the top ten of the SA Alternative charts. Shortly afterwards Wayne left his home country before having to once again face the authorities and Military Service. In London he once again joined up with former Evoid brothers and resumed his musical journey.
A second Album was released from the band E´Void on the record label Tusk Records S.A.The album included drum tracks from Wayne as well as a co-compositions.
After a few years of live gigging in all the well known Venues in London Wayne found himself stuck in Germany after a European Tour. He was refused re-entry to the U.K. by immigration officials. This proved to be a turning point and to cut a long story short, he was in 1992 forced to settle outside of the U.K. because of his origins. After a pause, Wayne decided to resume his career in Germany. Still today he resides in Cologne.
In Germany Wayne was forced to survive by working as a Sound Engineer and Producer and Musician for others. After years of struggle and cultural adaptations and many up and coming bands Wayne now decided to become active with his own compositions.
“ I became active with what we call “roots” and realised that I am no purist. The music is a fusion of styles like the fusion of cultures. Reggae..Afro-Funk Pop, Latin American Rhythms with jingly jangly guitars. Soul pop, rap and Caribic feelings mixed with South African rhythms and ethnic elements.
The debut Album `Culture Shock` achieved ernormous positive response even achieving the status of `CD of the week`on WDR 5 Rundfunk Europa in Germany.After years of promotion,live gigs and marketing Wayne is now concentrating on his second Album and hopes to achieve even more.