Steffen List, a.k.a. TONETIC, is a Namibian singer-songwriter with European roots who writes, records, arranges, produces and performs for dance and film production and to live audiences on stage. Born on 18 January 1978, List grew up in various towns across Namibia, the country to which his grandparents migrated from Germany before the outbreak of World War II.
List began with cello at age 8 and started writing at 16 for the punk rock four-piece, Needles. His debut album, Tones of Red, was released at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre in Windhoek in 2013 and won Best Rock/Alternative Album at the Namibian Music Awards the same year. Release of the single, Undefended, in 2014 was followed by a tour of Germany.
In 2015 List was signed to JARO Media. The European release in that year of the Undefended EP will be followed by Tones of Red in 2016.
A combative romantic, List writes music that is driven by a personal dialogue with the mess of postmodernism. List’s influences are wide, drawing on finger style guitar, world music, folk, pop, rock and alternative. The music is a mixed bag, tailor made for other jaded romantics who seek a fresh view from the morass.
List is currently writing his second album, Illegal Blessings, which he describes as ‘all things unanswerable, immeasurable and curiously lingering’.
Botha Kruger, Wrong Rock Show, South Africa List’s music presents a challenge and offers perpetual rediscovery. What I love about List’s music is the complexity – that all too rare thing in music nowadays. The songs are not easy to grasp at first listen and sometimes move in surprising directions, and this ephemeral quality results in a feeling of lingering emotions, rather than concrete memories… which makes you go back. The few times I’ve seen List play live, the only constants have been singer-songwriter-guitarist Steffen List and bassist Afron Nyambali, and the changing line-up around them highlighted to me that List songs aren’t songs you memorise at rehearsal, they are songs you understand and interpret, whether it be for an acoustic set or on a rock stage. They will not suffer being treated in the same old way time and time again – they need to breathe, and to change. Which is why I like listening to List, as I need to breathe too.
Muse Magazine, South Africa It hits that spot between the now and the archaic, the coming and the present. Let’s not spoil the rest. Suffice to say, this is real good alone time music. And no, psychedelics won’t hurt. Two weirdly attractive thumbs up and a hi-five to this Namibian band. 9/10
Yuki Oyama, Graphic Designer, Japan “If one day i could have a walk in the clouds, i’d take it with these songs”
Rogan Kelsey, Mastering Engeneer, South Africa If you have any room in your heart for genius originality that screams from each passage of this years-in-the-making album, track him down and pay close attention. If you don’t find the melodies haunting you when you sleep then you’re probaly a Paris Hilton fan.
Lézeez Moonling, Activist, Namibia I spent years without a heartbeat…until i heard my heart in your music. I don’t just like your music, it is the texture of my soul.