Trying to describe the dynamic four-piece Yndian Mynah is a troublesome task. This instrumental band’s departure from the conventional rock sound and adoption of a more complex musical style has set them apart from all other South African rock bands.

In light of their new single, ‘Gestalt’, due for release on 28 October and their much-anticipated album, The Boys Scribbled Like Mad, dropping on 25 November — we felt obliged to pick the brains of the boys behind Yndian Mynah and find out what they were up to. 

One Night in Cape Town With Yndian Mynah

Yndian Mynah

[Yndian Mynah’s The Boys Scribbled Like Mad cover image. PHOTO: Sourced/TheGoodTimesCo]

The four musicians who make up Yndian Mynah all met in their student years. They shared a flat in Cape Town where they spent their evenings playing guitar and jamming out together. After some time, they realised they had the potential to create something truly remarkable. 

After Yndian Mynah was formed, the band started playing in tightly-packed intimate venues and quickly progressed to festival stages across South Africa. In 2019, they went on to release their debut album Velvet Youth — which they recorded, produced and released through their own independent label, Mount Wave Studio. Fast forward to 2022, and Yndian Mynah has their second studio album soon to be released and has played iconic venues all over South Africa.

The Mastery That is Yndian Mynah

Yndian Mynah

[Yndian Mynah cover shot. PHOTO: Kenan Tatt]

Inspiration came from a variety of different places for these four virtuosos. Guitarist, Matthew Dickinson, draws his musical inspiration from iconic bands such as Metallica and Dire Straits. He, however, also gives special mention to “a random classical guitarist” who played in the casino bar in Sun City. 

Fellow guitarist, James Acker, tells us he draws inspiration from fellow South African bands, “I was inspired from a young age when watching South African bands back in the early 2000s like Fuzigish, Impropriety, Neshamah and Pet Flyz. Watching live music and seeing the fun those bands had was a big inspiration to make music with friends,” he says. 

Kenan Tatt, who plays the drums for Yndian Mynah, got his start in music in the church, where his father influenced him. “I remember lying down with my head inside the kick drum and closing my eyes when he played,” Kenan tells us, “My closest friend, John van Zyl, introduced me to drums and percussion. I was instantly hooked and the first real band I crushed on was Yeah Yeah Yeahs,” he adds. 

Bassist, Jonathan Ueckerman, credits his musical inspiration to the bassist from a South African band called Peculiar People — also giving special mention to the impact the church and the Holy Spirit had on him. 

This vast array of influences has shaped the post-rock, dreamy psychedelia, and progressive rock sound we know Yndian Mynah as today — not bound by language or genre. This allows for high-energy performances that focus on both the visual and instrumental journey, wide open for personal interpretation.

The Story Behind ‘Gestalt’

Yndian Mynah

[Cover art for single ‘Gestalt’. ARTWORK: Ender]

Yndian Mynah will release their last single ‘Gestalt’ on 28 October in anticipation of their upcoming album. ‘Gestalt’ is four minutes and forty-nine seconds of instrumental bliss. The group is truly adept when it comes to showcasing their musical ability, scattering unexpected structural changes throughout a track and dotting it with euphoric guitar riffs.

According to the band, ‘Gestalt’ is a play on the idea of togetherness being more powerful than the individual. The song is built on the simple structures that each band member plays, but together they sound big and uniform. 

Gestalt teaching is based on the idea that people learn by watching and understanding things in relation to each other, not just on their own — a theory Yndian Mynah draws on when it comes to their music-making process. 

“I liked the idea of gestalt theory, and superimposing the idea of it onto what it feels like being part of something that is bigger than just yourself,” says Matthew, adding that he sometimes overthinks during the songwriting process but finds joy in seeing the final product. After each band member has added their part, Yndian Mynah works like one big machine instead of a bunch of individual parts. 

“There is always a sense of togetherness on stage when you see the crowd responding to the music. No one in our band is leading the feeling. It’s because of all of us together that it makes what people experience. It creates gratitude for us, and another type of collective togetherness we all feel at the same time,” Matthew adds. 

For Yndian Mynah, when it comes to their creative process, each song is different. At times, something is born out of something as simple as a guitar riff. Other times, there will be a specific idea the band wants to write about. However, the process always entails the band working it out together. 

The Boys Scribbled Like Mad

In the past, Indian Mynah normally engineered, produced, and recorded all of their own music. However, what makes the long-awaited album, The Boys Scribbled Like Mad, different is that the band approached the legendary Dane Taylor, from TAYLOR Soundworks, to take on this project with them. 

“It was really fantastic to work with someone like Dane who really added to the overall sound and recording experience. He really helped us bring these songs to life based on his engineering experience and mixing knowledge,” explains James. 

Another thing that makes this album unique, is that the whole project was tracked and recorded live over two days. “No click or metronome, just record and play — something that really helped us capture the energy and feeling of each song,” says James.

Yndian Mynah’s Performance Highlight Reel 

[Yndian Mynah performing at Wonderland. PHOTO: Pierre Rommelaere]

We asked Yndian Mynah to share some of their favourite songs to perform live and what those songs mean to them. Here is what they had to say: 


‘Eisbein’: “We wrote this song together in a strange time and it was a huge release writing it. [It is] still a huge release performing it for me. It’s very direct with the audience and you can’t help but feel the energy it gives off.”

James and Matthew:

‘Ridge Forrester’: “This is always a fun and powerful one.” 


‘Socks on Astroturf’: “The chorus is this very simple bass riff and I can close my eyes and become the feeling it gives. It’s the kind of song that really makes me feel weightless in the best way possible.”

Bigger and Better 

[Matthew Dickinson at the Jim Beam Welcome Sessions. PHOTO: Chelsea Ann Peter]

Establishing yourself as a band in South Africa is not an easy task. Yndian Mynah has experienced some of the challenges that come with the territory — making music, finding ways to make money, and making a name for themselves in a “DIY” format. However, these bumps along the road have only pushed Yndian Mynah to be consistent and use these challenges as a means to hone their authentic style. 

The group advises local bands who are just starting not to let their creative process be hindered by anybody else’s ideas or opinions. They also emphasise the importance of attending live shows together, as a band — as this strengthens your relationships within the live music scene. 

You can catch Yndian Mynah live at Bohemia in Stellenbosch on 27 October alongside Moskitos. Thereafter, on 5 November, they will be playing at Gorgeous George in Cape Town with Holograph. Their album The Boys Scribbled Like Mad is due for release on 25 November. 


It’s a good thing I’m better at my job than I am at driving. Otherwise, we’d all be in big trouble. On the note of things I enjoy more than driving, the local music scene is very dear to my heart — put me in a crowd in front of a band instead of behind the steering wheel any day of the week.

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