Nü RYTHMO

Video and framegrabs:  Sam Smith  &  Wade Carroll . Text:  Alexei Obolensky .

Video and framegrabs: Sam Smith & Wade Carroll. Text: Alexei Obolensky.

We’ve long been fans of Mikey Feb

The graceful, elegant South African hailing from Cape Town silkiest abilities on water are paralleled on land. Easy going, super polite and with impeccable taste (his white 70’s Mercedes paying testament to that). We became friends at a music festival in Durban and since then have played tag across the Globe. California. J Bay. France.

On seeing the teasers of Nü Rythmo, it was love at first sight. The wave. The concept. The soundtrack. Silky serves and fun tubes to the beat of the African Drum. So, we called the man, as we had to know more. Well we say called, we whatsapp’ed. Are you aware that to my knowledge Spain and South Africa are the only two countries in the world to realise the potential, or indeed release the beast of the Whatsapp Voice note? Well now you do. I digress. Enter Mikey. 

Mikey! How are things? Where are you at the moment?

Whats up Alex! I’m at home it’s my fiancée’s birthday today so just been running that program! I’ve been good Just got home after a long string of trips. It’s been a super busy start of the year, did a few QS’s but mainly  freesurf trips which were super fun. Just got back from Sumatra with Alex Knost and Harry Bryant which was great. Good fun, rad people and good waves. 

We just watched Nü RYTHMO and loved the video — You’ve been absolutely scoring! Can you tell us what you can tell us about the wave & how you got led to it?

Thanks! I’m stoked that the movie is out. I can’t really tell you where the wave is haha. We wanted to do something in Africa and obviously music was a big part of it. I guess that was the inspiration, the vibrant and diverse music. There’s also a bunch of good waves over the entire continent, which are relatively untapped so we really wanted to marry the two, to find good waves and good music. A.V.G is really tapped in when it comes to Africa so when he mentioned it I couldn’t really say no to a perfect right hander. I did some research and the place is pretty well known for its music as well so that was that!

Has the wave been surfed before from what you know?

I think the wave has been surfed before by a few people but it’s pretty off the track.

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At the beginning of the video you can see two surfers waiting in the line-up. Was there other surfers/locals in the area? 

Ya, so those people in the line up those are some of the people, well a handful, of the first people to start surfing over there. That was about an hour and a half from the actual wave. Funny thing is that the people are local to there but didn’t know about the actual wave.

The right is obviously insane, although it doesn’t look like an easy wave to surf. Can you talk about the challenges of surfing it?

The wave is semi perfect. I think the scariest part was surfing by my self. I mean we had the crew and stuff but I was the only surfer. It was strange as I’m so used to being with and engaging people in the water. I would be running up the beach and see perfect ones coming through with no one. Obviously the locals were also looking at me like I was insane. I definitely wouldn’t change it. It was a rad way to experience it. It’s a great wave, really long. There’s another point near by which is super mellow, on the sand kinda thing. The end of the point has these steel breakwaters which are all under the sand, so you can’t see it. The first day the local’s were like ‘don’t go there’! I pretty much rode over it on the high tide then on the lower tide saw these big spikes poking up! It was a little sketchy. 

Can you talk about the board you took with you? It looks like you were ridding some less conventional vessels...

Ah, with regards to the surfboard. As we wanted to focus on music and the cultural aspects it’s great to match that with unconventional boards as you aren’t reliant on getting crazy waves. I was riding an MR that I got a month before the trip which I was stoked on. I didn’t want to get it off it. It was so much fun. It’s amazing to ride a board with so much history behind it and knowing that he took the time to shape it make me really appreciative. The other one was an off the rack Bonzer that one of the boys grabbed in France. So, so much fun to surf as well. Other than that I was just running my usual CI thruster.

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The music obviously plays a very important part of the video — Was using recording from local bands always the original idea, or it happened later in the editing bay?

The whole idea of going was to pay homage to the fact there’s so much rich music and culture and the more you can show that the more authentic it is. I think it really shows in the film with the live recordings. Sam Smith who produced the film got in touch with a local record label to try and source artists. He got this guy Steve who drove 48 hours, mostly in the rain to meet us in this recording studio. He just sat down and started playing. It was insane. His story as well was amazing and it just all felt so natural and organic. There’s so much music out there and we really wanted to show the African side that we have to offer over here. 

All the locals look like they were all see super cooperative, and ever organized parties…etc. Was filming this previously planned, or did everything just end happening when meeting them during the trip?

Going there to the coastal zone turned out to be way better then doing it in the city. Was great to film in the beach town — which was super rad in so many respects. Just by telling people what we were doing there, we met more people that would be down to help and share. Within a day or day some friends persuaded friends of theirs to come and set up and play in their back yard. It’s a testament to how amazing the people are and how much music there is there. 

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What’s on the cards for Mikey Feb in 2019?

For me, mixing it up this year. Not on tour so I have a lot more time for myself and more creative projects. . Joined the Vans family towards the end of last year which is great. After this film I’m super excited to do more creative stuff like this, in and out of Africa. I’ll do a few events, just the main ones as I still feel that is a part of me. But it’s great to have all the time I need for creative projects, I’m more stoked than ever to keep doing stuff like this. I hope people like it!

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