10 questions with Jeremy de Tolly

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10 questions with Jeremy de Tolly

The Dirty Skirts lead singer on farm life, a Clarke’s burger and healing

Last updated: Thursday, 25 May 2023

South African indie rock band The Dirty Skirts are releasing a new series of EPs, starting with “Radiant Clouds” in May 2023. 

It’s their first new music release since 2012, when they won the South African Music Award (SAMA) Best Alternative Album of the Year for “Lost in the fall”. 

Get to know the lead singer, Jeremy de Tolly, with CapeTownMagazine’s 10 questions interview. And keep an eye out for the Radiant Clouds release. The first song, Doomsday Clock, is out on 26 May. Presave the new track

1. When and where were you happiest?

Most people don't know that I'm quite a hermit. I live by myself on a farm in the country and love it. I would say I was borderline crazy happy for the first half of 2021 when I was locked down and living on the farm. I took six months to rework my course, Awaken Your Radiant Voice, but I wasn’t very busy aside from seeing my one-on-one clients. I felt an ocean of peace for, like, six months and it was spectacular. 

2. My mental health hack is…

My mental health hack is to never stop working on your mental health. Meditate. See someone regularly, and do bodywork. The world is crazy and being sane requires work, but it's just the most awesome positive choice I think we can make.

3. My guilty-pleasure Capetonian food is…

A Clarke’s burger from the infamous Clarke’s on Bree Street. That brioche bun with chips, and with their crazy cucumbers that are sort of pickled with red onions. *heavy breathing*

4. Where do you find inspiration?

Lyrically, I find my inspiration in my journal, in all the fine details of all the feelings, thoughts and strange shadows that creep through. But I also find inspiration in my clients' lives. I work with trauma clients, and I learn so much about what it is to be human and overcome human suffering. It’s just such a beautiful, crazy thing, this short human life. Endless inspiration.

5. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

One of the greatest loves of my life is music, and the other is healing, waking up or spirituality – becoming sane and healthy and loving this life. But I also enjoy running, surfing and watching rugby. Balance.

6. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I think I would come back as a dog in a family that totally loves it and feeds it well, because I believe no one has more fun and loves more than dogs do.

7. What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would say, “Dude, you’re gonna be okay, stop stressing.” I'd give my 18-year-old self a big long hug, and just sit and talk with him and explain how it’s going to be amazing in the end. I was a stressed-out young man.

8. If you could invite any two people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why?

Salvador Dali because why not? Secondly, I would love to have Ramana Maharshi over for dinner, the great Indian saint of the last century. I want to just hang out with him. I don't think he would say much but we could share soul food.

9. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

Everyone should go on a vipassana meditation retreat; otherwise, if you can, go surfing in the Mentawai Islands. Or combine both.

10. My three favourite people/ Instagrammers are…

Siya Kolisi. He is just incredible, and his wife Rachel too. And then Dr Shannon Coates (@VoicePed), who's a total vocal pedagogy nerd and shares all the good stuff about how to sing and teach singing.


The Dirty Skirts continue as the original line up with Jeremy de Tolly on vocals and guitar, David Moffatt on guitar, Maurice Paliaga on bass, and Mark De Menezes on drums.

The themes of the “Radiant Clouds” describe a time of increased polarisation, social inequity, climate change, TikTok and AI, from our ordinary day to day perspectives. Stream Radiant Clouds from May 2023.


IG page: @jeremydetolly 
Jeremy’s music: 



We sat down with Deon Meyer about the new series Devil’s Peak

Siya Kolisi takes us back to his childhood playing rugby.

Get to know alternative pop singer/songwriter Jimmy Nevis.

Author behind Tiger Bay the Musical talks about love of theatre.


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