Q&A With Sean Koch Trio

Q&A With Sean Koch Trio
In Music


Sean is a young, talented musician and songwriter, born in Kommetjie, Cape Town. His music is a fusion of alternative folk, naturally blended into a foot- tapping, fun-loving country surf style. Playing the djembe from an early age taught him the rhythm and beat which subtly speaks through his smooth guitar riffs and softly sung lyrics and it is this fresh and individual sound which has garnered him a rapid breakthrough into the incredibly rich and diverse CT music scene.


Folk/ Acoustic/ Reggae/ Ambient/ Singer-Songwriter


Cape Town

Band Members

Sean Koch: Guitar, Vocals
Shaun Cloete: Bass, Lead Guitar, Keys
Ross Hillier: Drums, Percussion



Sean Koch (1)  Sean Koch (5)

How did the band start?

The band started when Ross(drummer and D.O.P) introduced my old recordings to Shaun (Bassist and producer) who liked the sound. We met up for a beer at our local watering-hole and decided to start this project together and record an EP named, ‘Natural Projection’ which was the name of the first song I ever wrote.

I (Shaun Cloete) had never heard anything like Sean’s songs  in my entire life. I quit my corporate job a month before we went into production of Natural Projection and have never looked back.

Tell us a bit more about what makes you guys tick as a band?

What’s really important to us is playing shows and spreading a positive message. Watching people connect with the music is also really important as there is meaning behind every song which I think many people could relate to. Also just seeing how things are changing for us for the better inspires us to get more creative and work on our act.

What are everyone’s roles? I.e. who is the hipster, the jester, the trouble-maker, etc.

Sean “laughalot” Koch –  The Idea Machine/Trouble Maker/Captain Good Times

Shaun Cloete: The Thinker/ Music Mind/ Dad

Ross Hillier: The Director/ Visual manipulator/ Granddad

What has been the biggest highlight of your career this far?

We are currently experiencing our biggest highlight. Traveling Germany and Holland in our tour van with our hero of a manager Leila, playing shows to the warmest, friendliest people north of the equator. The people themselves have been  a massive highlight they have been nothing but accommodating and kind towards us.

We saw that you have a European tour coming up, that’s super exciting! How did it come about?

Its one of those awesome right place at the right time kind of moments, Leila Benameur of Benameur- Promotion was traveling Namibia and South Africa at the exact time of our EP launch. A bit of fortune and a few months later here we sit typing this interview from our tour van while en route to the Surf and Skate festival in Hamburg, Germany!

Sean Koch (8) Sean Koch (9)

Who has been your most profound international musical inspiration?

Xavier Rudd, Angus and Julia Stone and Ben Howard

And who has been your biggest local musical influence?

Jeremy Loops for sure. We got a lot of respect and admiration for how Jem has structured his career.  Alice Phoebe Lou is another sister that we have immense respect for.

What do you think about the SA music scene right now & where do you see it going?

Right now the local scene is as interesting and exciting as its ever been. Its become realistic for a local act to have a little EP launch at The Waiting Room and then find themselves touring Europe 3 months later. The South African creative scene as a whole , is on the map in a big way.

What are the top (3) songs on your playlists right now?

Shaun Cloete:

Esmeralda – Ben Howard

Rebel Rose – Alice Phoebe Lou

Down South – Jeremy Loops

Sean Koch:

In Dreams – Ben Howard

Amadou & Mariam –

Xavier Rudd- Follow the Sun

Ross Hillier:

Du Hast – Ramstein

Theme tune for Knight Rider – Unknown

Hier Kom Die Bokke – Leon Schuster

What do you think about your music?

Our music might not be very technical or complicated but it comes from a very inspired place in our hearts. Less is more kind of approach.

All bands have road trips, tell us about your most epic one?

It’s the one we are currently on. We are at a complete stand still on the highway as we type this. There are these hysterically funny German guys behind us that are celebrating their best mates bachelor party. They have cracked open a bunch of drinks and are playing soccer on the highway. We are going to go join them, brb…:

If you were Frodo would you have cast the ring into the pits of Mordor, or would have kept it and become the next Sauron?

Throw the ring everyday of the week!

Have you got any gigs where we can catch you once you get back from Europe?

We are most likely going to take a break from gigging after this tour to produce our debut full-length album. We’ve got quite a bit of new material that we are so happy about and cant wait to get it out to you!