Sydney-based EDM producer Dave Winnel is the latest to perform for triple j’s Like A Version segment, offering his take on Toto’s 1982 hit ‘Africa’.
Winnel was joined in the studio by Rob Edwards, Jack Robert, ANDRÉ and KLP, the latter two handling vocal duties while Winnel manned a rack of analogue synths, Edwards performed keyboards and harmonies, and Robert delivered electronic percussion on a pad setup.
While retaining key elements of Toto’s original – such as its iconic lead melody and the synthesised kalimba – Winnel and co. opt to make their cover more akin to a remix, flipping it into a driving electro-house track. Take a look at the performance below:
In an interview with triple j following the performance, Winnel said he chose ‘Africa’ because “when I was growing up, in high school, I was DJ-ing and I only would listen to techno music or trance music, but Toto’s ‘Africa’ was like the one song that, if I ever heard it, I could get down to and I’d be singing all the lyrics.
“No matter who you are, when you hear this song, you can just jump in and you kind of pick your own harmony to sing – even [if] you don’t know music. I think it’s a really special song.”
Winnel went on to explain that he crafted his own take on ‘Africa’ by ripping an a cappella version of the original track, and building a new instrumental around it. He was enamoured to make the track “something that you hear at a festival and just blows the speakers away”, citing Justice and The Weeknd as key inspirations.
For his original track, Winnel – flanked again by ANDRÉ and KLP on vocals, and Jack Robert on synth percussion – performed a mashup of his 2021 singles ‘Jungle Juice’ and ‘CEO’. Whereas ANDRÉ took the lead on ‘Africa’, though, the second performance saw KLP own the spotlight. Check that performance out below:
Last month saw Winnel drop his first new song for 2022, a horn-driven house track titled ‘Manea Romi’, for which he linked up with the Bubamara Brass Band. It came off the back of a lengthy string of singles trickled out in 2021 – in addition to ‘CEO’ and ‘Jungle Juice’, his releases included ‘Legends’, ‘Freaking Out’ and ‘Hallucinations’, as well as a remix of OKEY and Lovespeake’s track ‘Running Wild’.
Winnel is the fourth artist to perform for Like A Version this year, following The Jungle Giants‘ cover of ‘One Kiss’ by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa, George Alice‘s take on ‘Alive’ by RÜFÜS DU SOL, and Vera Blue‘s interpretation of ‘Stay’ by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber.