VERANDA PANDA is the quintessential modern act. The duo from Durban, Jane Baillie and Liam Magner, are a live electronic act with a twist. The unlikely combination of EDM and violin as earned them chops as one of South Africa’s most original acts, taking them to stages across the globe.
Smile is about Veranda Panda’s joy and owning their individuality. About Liam accepting that sometimes he dresses like a hobo, and that Jane’s jokes can often be super dry. The verses are a tribute to Liam’s history, his family and neighbourhood (Kloof outside of Durban) that influenced him growing up.
“It is weird, it is us, it is OURS. We used to be nervous of our weirdness, our lyrics, production and style, but now we are more than happy to own what it is we do, because it is us. Not bought, not stolen, but 100% Liam and Jane. It is our tribute to this flipping rad life we are currently living, and how best to honour that,” says Liam.
Spreading smiles to make the music video:
To make the music video for Smile, Veranda Panda wanted to include their fans and friends and spread some joy at the same time.
In association with 5FM they launched a beautiful campaign on Hamman Time asking fans to tag them in photos of what makes them smile, using the hashtag #thismakesmesmile.
The response was fantastic and these images were used to make the music video for Smile.
“A quick scroll down anyone’s social media feeds is enough to kick-start a tension headache. We are obviously living in very interesting, tense and complicated times and sometimes you need to FORCE yourself to consider the good, the things that make you smile. It might seem trivial to some people, but to receive contributions from strangers that contained nothing but joy, had a knock off effect on us,” says Liam.
They made the video on their iPad:
Veranda Panda is something else. They made the music video in their lounge and spent their production budget on colourful cardboard and a salad, but be assured that the fun they had making the video was priceless.
About this decision, Liam had the following to say: “The decision to make the video on our iPad speaks to how we intend for it to be 100% authentically ours. From start to finish. There is so much nonsense going on in the industry and I think we are naturally running as fast as we can in the opposite direction to the manufactured and insincere. But it was so fun collecting all the pics from people and we just want to keep having fun!”
Catch Veranda Panda live at Splashy Fen on 31st March and at Surf Riders in Durban on April 6th.