About Us

“ Cleves and Bouas’s music is genuinely genre-busting. Sure, it is crafted out of folk-roots but somehow Bouas’s vocals, which are sweet, rich and soaring, actually reach beyond the usual folk styles… This is one album worth owning simply because there are a number of amazing songs.. This is an original variation on folk and world music.”
****  Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

Carl Cleves & Parissa Bouas – The Hottentots
Australia’s definitive coffeehouse couple

Carl Cleves and Parissa Bouas, better known in Australia as The Hottentots, are two of Australia’s finest songwriters, who weave stories with songs, touching a deep vein of humanity that leaves audiences moved and uplifted. Parissa’s dulcet toned voice and Carl’s warm rustic baritone provides the perfect accompaniment for his unique guitar style, honed over many years of intrepid travelling. Classic folk melodies combine with strong lyrics and an international flavour to provide a well-focused, fresh and definitive sound.
Admired and respected across the globe by audiences and peers alike, The Hottentots stunning discography boasts 6 critically acclaimed albums – 4 award winning independent records and 2 CD’s out on renowned German audiophile label Stockfisch Records.
Their latest CD for Stockfisch Records called Halos ‘round the Moon’ is out now with CD launches in Australia 2015 & Europe,  September –October 2014. See Gigs page for details.  Their fifth CD Out of Australia’ was released in 2010, on Stockfisch Records.   Awards include: MUSIC OZ – Best Folk;  Australia Songwriters Assoc. – Best Lyrics & Best Folk;  NCEIA – Best Album (twice), Best Folk, Best Acoustic, Best World, Best Adult Contemporary.  
Carl and Parissa have headlined at all major Australian folk festivals, including Woodford, Port Fairy, Blue Mountains, The National Folk Festival, Brunswick Music Festival and many more…Played top venues including:  MONA Museum, The Basement, QPAC,  BEMAC, Brisbane Powerhouse, KULCHA WA, The Boite VIC…. 
They have toured Europe 8 times over the last 12 years;  playing at a combination of cultural centres, theatres, churches, museums, wineries, schools, restaurants, clubs and cafes. They have toured Brazil twice, where they appeared on television, in theatres and cultural venues.  In 2007 they performed in Madagascar at the invitation of Hanitra Rasoanaivo, leader of Madagascar’s most famous export Tarika.
“House of Sorrow” from the ‘Out of Australia’ album, was recently featured in Porsche Magazine International’s cutting edge iphone scan, music streaming platform with over 400,000 listeners.
Known for excellence in music and sound, the German audiofile label, Stockfisch Records have produced, “Out of Australia” and the new CD "Halos 'round the Moon". It is a super audio, surround sound production by the famous tone meister, Gunter Pauler, recorded in his ‘state of the art’ studio in Northeim Germany, one of the best acoustic music studios in Europe. “ working with Gunter is a dream come true …he has worked with Eric Clapton, Sting, The Stones, Joan Baez…”

For lovers of an intimate musical experience, ‘Out of Australia’ is a collection of mostly story songs, covering a large range of topics: Way Down in the Mines, about an indentured labourer, Bethlehem Bell Ringer, with its sincere message of peace; Don’t Flowers Grow, the plight of refugees, Carmen, the loss of a loved one.… Along with Carl, on his Joe Gallacher acoustic guitar and voice; Parissa on vocals, guitar, shruti box and percussion, are a number of great musicians playing some extraordinary acoustic instruments such as: swarmandal, jew’s harp, tambura, hulusi, mbira, cor anglais, violoncello, dobro, upright & fretless bass… 

Folkworld,  David Hintz
“This is a gem and moves to the top of my listening pile.”     
Philip Adams, ABC Radio National                                                                    
“Parissa has a voice that would aggravate angels with its beauty”
 “With this album "Out Of Australia" Carl Cleves and Parissa Bouas prove yet again what strong songwriters and singers they both are…For lovers of an intimate experience… this album is an absolute must.”                           
Audiophile Audition
“Musical travelogue distinguished by stunning vocals and unique instrumentation...”  ****      
Debra Manskey,  Australian Songwriter Magazine
exceptionally well written music and lyrics, beautifully arranged and superbly performed”                              
Sydney Morning Herald, Bruce Elder
 “ **** Cleves and Bouas’s music is genuinely genre-busting. Sure, it is crafted out of folk-roots but somehow Bouas’s vocals, which are sweet, rich and soaring, actually reach beyond the usual folk styles… This is one album worth owning simply because there are a number of amazing songs.. This is an original variation on folk and world music.”

CARL CLEVES originally from Belgium is Carl Cleves is a contemporary of Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, Paul Simon, John Martyn and other great songwriters that emerged in the 1960s and 70s and with whom he shared the stages of the London folk clubs during the folk boom. But, unlike the above, Carl’s wanderlust led him to a life of travelling, following his muse, guitar in hand, to Africa, Asia, the Pacific, South America and Australia, where he has settled. Carl’s adventurous life has included stints as an antelope trapper in Uganda, relief worker in cyclone struck India, recording star in Brazil, radio broadcaster and ethnomusicologist in Africa and fisherman in the South Pacific. Carl’s first book, ‘Tarab: Travels with My Guitar” was published July 2008 by Transit Lounge.
 An excellent guitarist, multi-award winning songwriter, singer and storyteller,  Carl has won the coveted Australian Songwriter’s Assoc. Award for Best Lyrics and Best Folk Song, the national MUSICOZ award for Best Folk Song and has a shelf full of Dolphin Awards. His recent solo CD’s are: All Alone 2007; Tarab 2008. His latest CD The House is Empty 2012 has already been nominated in 5 categories at the 2012 MUSICOZ Awards.

Multi award winning, internationally renowned songstress, from The Hottentots,  PARISSA BOUAS released her long-awaited debut solo CD ‘The Full Force of the Wind’ in 2013.   This remarkable CD is a beautiful blend of Billie Holiday meets Tom Waits in a Parisian nightclub, where Gypsies play songs of love and loss, with an occasional distinctly South American twist.  PARISSA’S songs offer deeply compelling evocations of love, loss and heartache, while her voice offers a deep level of emotional authority and technical fluency. Her eclectic vocal styling’s lean towards the jazzy sounds of Melody Gardot and Madeleine Peyroux and are supported by rich and quirky arrangements, which draw on elements of vintage Gypsy  jazz, Latin and alt-pop. 

PARISSA’S first single, ‘Sad Eyes’, won the coveted SONG OF THE YEAR and BEST JAZZ SONG at the 2012 Dolphin Music Awards. In 2013 she won BEST JAZZ and BEST WORLD MUSIC for  ‘The Full Force of the Wind’ and ‘Honey and Candlelight’.
“Parissa … immediately engages by being blessed with a voice that has timbral overlaps with Billie Holiday’s. More significantly she shines the charm of that voice on some exceptional self-penned songs” 

PARISSA is also known for her work as an Artist Teacher and a Choral Director. Her songs are sung by choirs around Australia. In 2012 she composed and conducted the Fairbridge Festival Choir for their 20th Anniversary Celebrations. In 2009 she conducted the National Folk Festival Choir.  In 2000 Parissa, with Carl, co -wrote the anthemic “Put Your Hand in Mine” for the Woodford Festival Millenium Fire Event Choir of 700 voices, which she also conducted. It was transmitted by satellite to over 60 countries as part of the ABC Millenium program.   In 2010 she  co wrote the bilingual tune , “I Belong”, with Sydney film composer Nicolette Boaz, for the popular ‘Hypnopeadia’  WorldBeats CD, which was featured on Triple J.  Parissa’s haunting voice can also be heard on Peter Westheimer’s new “Tranzworld Express” CD and Yeshe’s ‘Roots and Wings’ & ‘World Citizen’ CD’s.  www.parissabouas.com

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