Music duo performs in perfect harmony

ROUCHELLE Hubsch is tiny.

When she stands on a stage with her piano in front of her, she almost disappears. But the minute she starts to sing, it is easy to forget that she is only 28 years old. Her voice has raw honesty, depth and a wise and engaging maturity.

Accompanied by husband Darren Peens (45) on guitar and backing vocals, this singer-songwriter duo’s, Digby and the Lullaby, indie-folk music, is emotional, personal, gentle, careful and unstoppably honest. Just like their love for each another.

They have been living a true love story. The road towards chasing their dreams has been uneven and imperfect, but that is what makes Digby and the Lullaby so special - their best memories and inspirations come from the unpredictable aspects of pursuing their art and love.

After withdrawing from the music scene during before and after the birth of their son, Rouchelle and Darren are once again ready to cast their indie-folk spell on audiences.

How they met

It all started with a song and a competition - and love at first sight, or rather, at the first perfect note.

Rouchelle’s eyes glint. “In 2009 Darren’s recording studio joined forces with a radio station in Port Elizabeth to find local singer-songwriters in a competition called Do You Rock?

“Armed with my song about finding a husband - I was very lonely at that time - I entered the competition and met Darren, who was part of the judging panel, the night of the finals.”

Not only did she win the competition and the chance to work with Darren in the studio, but also a husband.

From day one, their mutual fascination with music and adoration towards their favourite artists was the springboard from which they took off.

The couple moved to Cape Town where they pursued their music dreams - releasing their first album, The Somewhere Wind, four years later.

Recorded in New York City with Producer Kieren Kelly, the album is a reflection of their life stories and memories - all infused with true love and adoration. It bears resemblance to the works of Angus and Julia Stone, the same folksy element captured alongside its distinctly South African influences.

The road to their first album was not easy.

“We had to sell everything we had to go to New York,” says Rouchelle. “With only our passion for music left, we had to sleep on the studio floor while working on our debut album. But we came home with an album that we are very proud of.”

After spending six years in Cape Town, they returned to Darren’s home town, Cape St Francis, two years ago. This move also brought Rouchelle closer to where she grew up in Uitenhage.

Music and shows

With their music, Digby and the Lullaby gives people a glimpse into their own unique and colourful lives.

Describing their music, Rouchelle laughs, “Our music is a combination of Norah Jones and Damien Rice. Imagine they should have a baby - that will be our music. With a dash of Ed Shereen somewhere in the mix.

“It is very romantic. It is upbeat, but also relaxing.”

She says, “We are pursuing music, because it is our world. We could not picture ourselves investing our time doing anything else. Creating, producing, and performing music give us all the thrills, happiness, and the ability to express ourselves fully. It is just so natural; it is just a part of us.”

They thrive on intimate performances; from the first note audience members are drawn into a world of deeply soulful, personal and emotionally captivating music.

“We love to take people on a journey with music,” says Rouchelle. “And then there is the romance. It is inevitable.

“It is our biggest goal to inspire people to fall in love with themselves and one another, with a melody or something we say. But without making anyone feel they are being judged.

“We want to leave a lasting and positive impact on the lives of people listening to our music.”

National Tour - Jeffreys Bay

Digby and the Lullaby is set to embark on a national tour from August to October this year, to promote its single Rhythm and to raise funds through crowd-funding for their second album. It is hoped that the album will be released by the end of the year or early next year.

The tour will see the inspirational duo visit among others Uitenhage, Jeffreys Bay, Durban, East London, Bloemfontein, George, Cape Town and Graaff Reinet.

They will perform at JBay Bru Co. in Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay at 19:30 on August 25 in aid of the Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic.

Tickets cost R120 per person and are available at www.webtickets.co.za.