Guitarist Daniel 'Da Freez' Johnston checks in ahead of Womad 2019.

1 Tell us who you are and where you're from.

We're MY BABY from Amsterdam, a three-piece consisting of Cato van Dijck on vocals, bass and violin, Joost van Dijck on drums and guitarist Daniel.

2 Describe your sound in one sentence


It's roots-driven hypnotic dance.

3 What do you think is the key thing Womad festival artists have in common?

Most likely everyone has a passion for music, in particular for music from their own culture but also across many different ones. I think there is a strong urge and dedication to want to share that music, the roots and the evolution it has gone through. There is also a belief that people want to learn and create a greater understanding which brings people together throughout our global community.

4 Which of your songs is your favourite to perform live and why?

Probably Uprising because it always draws in the audience and gets them involved and expressing themselves. It's got that fight for your right vibe that people tend to gravitate to.

5 What can the Womad audience expect from your performance at the festival?

Our shows are generally a very high energy and danceable affair. But for Womad we'd like to diversify a bit and change up our set to allow for our more subtle folk-like material. After playing Womad UK in 2018 we noticed the audience to be very appreciative of that and expect a similar response at Womad NZ. But toward the second half of the show we will undoubtedly get into psychedelic trance frenzy mode.

6 Which other acts on the festival bill do you most want to see?

BCUC from Soweto, South Africa are friends of ours who we toured within South Africa in 2016, can't wait to see them again. Also interested in seeing sarod player Amjad Ali Khan and Baloji's set and many others.


7 What does success as a musician mean to you?

Being able to continue doing what you love, which is creating, sharing and performing music. Having an audience to play for who appreciate what you do.

8 What would you tell a young person wanting to be a successful musician?

You have to find out and define what music means to you, so you can more consciously follow the path of where you heart tells you to go. Then you know what you want to say or express in your music and people will recognise that and appreciate that.

9 Who or what excites you most about music right now?

The fact that we are connecting through music in a more global way ... through the world wide web. We can more quickly learn about each other. It allows us to create a better understanding of our differences but also our common ground as human beings. I think it sparks a message of hope in music which is so important. Perhaps that's only partial but even in the most tragic of circumstances there is a seedling of hope and it's important to keep conveying that truth in the music we write.

10 You can only fit one album by another artist on your device — what is it?

At the moment it's Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya's Live in Calcutta. Deeply soulful and moving music.

The Dutch-New Zealand trio are playing a series of NZ dates ahead of Womad in New Plymouth on March 15.

Tour details

Sun Dec 30 - AUM / Auckland

Sat Dec 31 - Rhythm & Alps / Wanaka

Sat Jan 5 - Blue Smoke / Christchurch *

Fri Jan 11 - Meow / Wellington

Sat Jan 12 - Cabana / Napier *

Sun Jan 13 - Smash Palace / Gisborne

Thur Jan 17 - Yot Club / Raglan

Fri Jan 18 - Soundsplash / Raglan

Sat Jan 19 - Neck of the Woods / Auckland *

Sun Jan 20 - Totara St / Mt Maunganui *

Wed Jan 30 - Luminate Fest / Golden Bay

Sat Feb 9 - Marlborough Wine and Food Fest / Marlborough

Fri March 15 - WOMAD / New Plymouth

*Tickets at

More Womad acts announced

Womad New Zealand has revealed seven new acts to join the 2019 festival lineup.

South London duo The Correspondents will take the Womad audience on a journey through a multitude of genres from jazz and blues to the nether regions of electro and drumʼnʼbass.

Joining the international line up is The Original Gypsies featuring key founding members of the celebrated 80s group.

Plus, performing across the weekend is the German DJ, singer, musician and producer Shantel & Bucovina Club Orkestar, and Sona Jobarteh - the first professional female virtuoso of the Kora, a pioneer in a male-dominated, 700-year-old hereditary tradition.

Putting the D into Womad in 2019 will be the late Janis Claxons' award-winning contemporary dance company performing "POP-UP DUETS (fragments of love)".

Meanwhile ... all the way from Aotearoa, the supergroup Congress of Animals - a collective of renowned Kiwi songwriters and solo artists, tracing lineage to many of NZ's most loved bands are making a welcome festival appearance as is "NZ's queen of drum and bass", homegrown Taranaki talent Mc Tali.

Womad New Zealand, Brooklands Park and the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth, March 15-17 2019.