Friday, 20 May 2016

EXCLUSIVE! Jacques Terre'Blanche talks about Droomvrou and what makes him cry

After Jacques Terre'Blanche released the amazing Afrikaans song DROOMVROU, we called him up to find out how he is doing and why go for Afrikaans music.

“I'm a bit of a cry baby when it comes to watching anything remotely sad.” – Jacques Terre'Blanche

Why did you now decide to write an Afrikaans song and venture into the Afrikaans music side? Well as most of you might know, my father was Afrikaans. We grew up with English as our first language due to the fact that my mother is English speaking and she happened to win that battle. My father was forever on my case about writing and performing Afrikaans music. Since my dad’s passing just over a year ago now, it only seemed fitting to introduce the first Afrikaans song he ever played for me to the Afrikaans audience. I look forward to this new journey and am very excited to carry on writing and exploring the new market.

Tell me more about the start and meaning of your beautiful song, Droomvrou. Well as I mentioned, my father introduced me to this song when I was very young. Being the hopeless romantic he was, he used to tell me that the words to DROOMVROU was indeed the perfect love letter to the girl he never knew. I used to ask, "what about mom?" He used to hush me and say, "every man is allowed to dream!" 

I understand there are more Afrikaans music in the work for you - awesome news! Can you tell our readers how many Afrikaans songs you are planning to release this year? Yes, I am working very closely with my team at Select Musiek and we are coming up with some beautiful pieces. I am busy recording the next 2 singles at the moment and hope to release the follow up within the next 2 months.

And the much anticipated question: how about an Afrikaans CD? Well, if all goes according to plan with these next few releases, a full album is definitely in the pipeline. Considering the fact that the Afrikaans audience have embraced DROOMVROU the way they have, I see this being a very strong possibility.

Where did you love for Afrikaans started? My father being an Afrikaans speaking man, always had a beautiful taste in Afrikaans music. It's really thanks to him that I finally saw the light and decided to take it on. I know he'll be looking down very proudly, so this is also very much for him.

Why do you think it's more difficult to break the English market, or the Afrikaans music market? I think in this day and age, if you are capable of applying true emotion to your work, it should relate in any language. This is something I have come to learn. I have had great success with radio play in the English market, but at times found it to be too saturated. I am proudly South African and simply just want to create quality music, be it Afrikaans or English.

Besides music, what are you big plans for the rest of the year (seeing that we are almost halfway in 2016)? My company JT productions is always very busy developing talent and guiding up and coming artists into the music scene. So that always keeps me busy. Always busy gigging here there and everywhere, from bigger corporate functions to random public work, making sure I'm always on the go.

Tell us something about Jacques Terre'Blanche that fans don't know? I'm a bit of a cry baby when it comes to watching anything remotely sad.  I think what gets me the most is when I see hard work pay off.  When I see pure emotion and talent demonstrated in a humble fashion, I'm finished.

What do you call home? My safe haven. My reflecting tank. The one place I get to just put all my ducks in a row.

Who do you share you home with? Since the passing of my father, I currently reside with my mother and my girlfriend. As soon as mom is strong enough, we'll once again part ways as far as living is concerned.

Musos say that the local music scene and CD sales are on the decline. What do you think of this and what measures would you take to make sure you are  at the top of your game? This is definitely true. The trick is not to be fussy when it comes to work. We need to all drop the egos and take on any kind of work, whether it's glam or not. The digital market has grown substantially within the last few years, as long as you're working and showcasing your talent wherever, you're bound to find some sort of recipe that works for sales. Also, radio play is essential for any artist! Adequate air play, adequate digital sales.

Going back to your Idols roots, looking back at that, how has things changed since then for you? Well my whole life changed really. It catapulted me into the industry and lead me to making some really important connections. It's been a crazy ride, and I’ve enjoyed every second.

There are a lot of criticism for music reality shows like Idols, The Voice - what are your thoughts on this? I personally believe, credit where credit is due. If the shows create authentic new talent in this industry, then that is naturally a great thing. I think production quality is always something we could improve on, but that comes with time.

Your favourite song to sing in the shower is...Fly me to the moon. :)

What CD is currently playing in your car? All my rough single mixes. The stuff I'm working on right now. Making notes and studying what needs to be done next. Bit of a perfectionist.

Your song and artist for 2016... Coldplay - Everglow. My favourite band and I would love to sit with Chris Martin and write. It's on the bucket list. 

Your most embarrassing moment ever... Well one that springs to mind is me singing the national anthem at Monte Casino before one of the World Cup matches with absolutely no sound coming through the PA. I just carried on in pure silence for the duration of the song for a crowd of 2000. Not a great moment.

Weirdest fan encounter... I had a fan once come to one of my birthday gigs. He set up a party table in the middle of the night club that I was playing at. This table consisted of party hats for toddlers, creamsoda lucky packets and so much more. He stood on his own at his party table the whole night. I think people in the club at the time, honestly though they were seeing things. Bazar to say the least. :)

Any other hidden talents? Love my sport and play a lot of league and tournament squash. Also love to cook and pretty much take on anything that's entails creativity.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

#SAMA22 toasts Black Coffee for taking home-brewed sounds to the world

South African music is exploding on global stages thanks to trailblazers such as DJ sensation Black Coffee, who will be presented with the sought-after International Achievement Award at the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards. #SAMA22 organisers RiSA have announced that Black Coffee, whose real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo, will be honoured for flying the South African music flag loudly and proudly across the world at this year’s awards ceremony taking place on Saturday, 4 June 2016, at the Durban ICC.

The Durban-born SA music icon in the making has had a dream year by anyone’s standards which has seen him take the world’s dance capital of Ibiza by storm as well as criss-crossing the globe on a 17 country tour that spanned four continents over five months. This tour included dates in North America.

The profile and popularity of the Afropolitan house whizz and ace producer continues to soar on global stages. This year, Black Coffee ramped up his touring schedule, delivering more headline-grabbing performances at some of the world’s leading festivals, including a monster set at Coachella in California in April.

The rollercoaster year of career milestones and a skyrocketing international reputation was capped off by Black Coffee being chosen to grace the cover of MixMag – the first African DJ to have this honour – and being named the authoritative dance music magazine’s Star of the Year.

As if that weren’t enough, he scooped the Dance Nation of the Year Award for South Africa and Best Breakthrough Artist Award at Ibiza’s prestigious DJ Awards last year – and was featured by dance luminary Pete Tong on his popular BBC1 radio show.

Of his prestigious 22nd Annual South African Music Awards accolade, Black Coffee said, “I’m truly honoured by this great gesture. What makes it really special for me is that from the beginning I’ve always wanted to follow in the footsteps of Bra Hugh Masekela, Johnny Clegg, DJ Mbuso, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Busi Mhlongo, the late Lucky Dube and Miriam Makeba to name a few. These are people who strongly believed South African Music and Culture was not inferior, but even more special because of our diverse cultures. As a proud South African, I urge our youth to understand that the future of our country is in their hands, to leave the past behind, know that they can be anything they want to be and the World is their oyster. Trust Your Dopeness. This wouldn't be possible without my amazing team at Soulistic Music, Real Tone Agency and William Morris Agency. I dedicate this award to my beautiful Wife Mbalenhle and my children who allow me to continue chase my dreams. Thank you to the powers that be at the SAMAs for this Honour.”

This multiple South African Music Awards winner has bagged four #SAMA22 nominations, including in the hotly contested categories of Album of the Year (for Pieces of Me) and Best Male Artist, and shows no signs of slowing down in setting international dancefloors ablaze with his potent brew of homegrown dance grooves.

Black Coffee will be presented with the International Achievement Award during the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards, to be held at the Durban ICC on Saturday 4 June 2016. The ceremony will be broadcast live on SABC1 from 20:00. Tickets for the live spectacle are available at Computicket, starting at R350.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Voice SA tops the iTunes charts!

To give the talent on The Voice SA a taste of what it’s like to record their own tracks and have their music made available for public release, Universal Music South Africa – who will also be giving the winner of The Voice SA a recording contract – released the first of two The Voice SA albums as well as the singles of the top thirteen contestants on Sunday night (15 May). Less than 48 hours after this release, both the album and the singles are dominating the official South African iTunes charts, and currently, The Voice SA talent has taken over the number one spot on both the album and the singles charts!

22-year old Richard Stirton from Cape Town quickly climbed all the way to the top ranking with his stirring version of the Simon & Garfunkel hit “Sounds of Silence”, with Gavin Edwards (37) following hot on his heels, now sitting at number 2 with his moving interpretation of Coldplay’s “Fix You”. Almur Marais (25), also affectionately known by fans as “Stilfontein”, has also made the Top 10 with his take of the Alanis Morissette classic “One Hand In My Pocket” , while blind singer Vernon Barnard (22) and Thembeka Mnguni (32) are swiftly moving through the Top 40.  

Says Sipho Dlamini, Universal Music SA’s Managing Director, “We are thrilled to see how the public is responding to the talent from this competition as they take their first steps to building a future as a recording artist. As a label Universal Music South Africa is committed to nurturing and guiding them to a long and successful career.”

With less than a week to go until we find out who the winner of The Voice SA is, the race is on between the top eight talent to campaign for votes before voting lines close on Thursday, 19 May at 22:00. Herewith a breakdown of everyone’s voting details:

*In #TeamKaren the vote is between Almur Marais (25) from Stilfontein [voting no 17] or Thembeka Mnguni (32) from Durban [voting no 23].

*#TeamLira’s Top 2 are: Jeremy Olivier (40) from Cape Town [voting no 27] and Zoë Modiga (22) from Pietermaritzburg [voting no 32].

*In #TeamKahn the race is on between students Clemour Ngobeni (24) from Midrand [voting no 09] and Richard Stirton (22) from Cape Town [voting no 16].

*And in #TeamBobby voters have to choose between the 22-year old blind singer Vernon Barnard [voting no 06] and 37-year-old Gavin Edwards [voting no 02 ].

There will be a second album made available after the finale next week, which will feature tracks from the Top 8 finalists. All of these tracks will be available on iTunes, Apple Music or on Google Play. Visit mnet.tv/thevoice for more information and also remember to download The VoiceSA app on Android or iOS to vote and stay up to speed with the latest news about the show.

Roxette - Good Karma

Just last month, Swedish pop group Roxette announced that, due to Marie Fredriksson's health issues, they will no longer take their music on tour. Naturally, fans around the world were shocked by the news but Roxette sweetened the news by announcing that they will be releasing their 10th studio album 'Good Karma' on 3 June. The band also dropped the album's lead single 'It Just Happens' which was met with many positive reviews. The album is now available for pre-order and fans get the brand new single instantly.

Galantis drop 'No Money' as first taste off new record

We don't know about you guys, but Swedish electronic duo Galantis blew our minds at Ultra South Africa earlier this year. While they were here, they hinted that they will be releasing new music soon and have stuck to their word as 'No Money' drops worldwide. The euphoric single serves as the lead single to their highly anticipated second album. The track delivers the high-energy we've come to expect from the duo and the youthful vocals paired with an insanely catchy beat helps the song stand out from the crowd. The song is climbing up charts all around the world and you can get your own copy on iTunes.

Andra Day delivers on debut album

If you're a lover of old school R&B and Soul, you have got to add Andra Day's debut album to your playlist. Not only are her songs incredibly emotive, but the album was also nominated for Best R&B Album at this year's Grammy Awards. The album's main theme is one of heartache - and Andra Day digs deep within her soul and uses her music as a sort of therapy to get over a former lover. In fact, Billboard say that "she shouldn't be dismissed as a carbon copy [of Amy Winehouse] – the LP, inspired by an eight-year relationship's end, is too genuinely intentioned and rife with regret. It's hard not to sympathize when she bemoans".

Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis

Biffy Clyro fans all around the world rejoiced when the band announced that they will be dropping their seventh studio album, 'Ellipsis', on 8 July. We are as excited as the band is to showcase their brand new music with the release of this record. The first single off the project, 'Wolves of Winter' has given fans a great indication of what's to come. This is an album we can't wait for you to hear. 'Ellipsis' is available for pre-order on iTunes.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway

If you’re a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, we're happy to announce that the band has some great new music on the way! The band premiered their brand new single ‘Dark Necessities’ last week and announced that their upcoming 11th studio album ‘The Getaway’ will release on the 17 June. The album will include 13 brand new tracks and is the band's first release since 2011's 'I'm With You' which topped the charts in 18 countries. Pre-order the album and get 'Dark Necessities' instantly.

PHFAT & Mikhaela Faye Launch 'The Whip'

Revealing no intentions to slow down, PHFAT has released a brand new single entitled “The Whip”. On one hand a classic PHFAT thumper and on the other hand a completely new sonic adventure for PHFAT, the track was made hand in hand with the relatively unknown jazz musician, Mikhaela Faye. The Whip, kicks off with in classic PHFAT style, with a heavy layered bassline and a vocally dense rap chorus describing what seems to be a car chase scene. Halfway through the track suddenly explodes into completely new territory for PHFAT and we are introduced to otherworldly ethereal textures as well as the striking voice of Mikhaela Faye, speaking in first person to a wayward lover. We discover the extent of both her vocal range, her sincerity, and her proficiency on the keyboard before we are snapped back into a chorusing of both the artists voices as the track winds into its melancholy ending. “Working with Mikhaela was quite unique” says Smooth Mike of the collaboration “she’s an incredible musician technically, but more impressive to me in this instance was her willingness to see ideas through. Almost a dedication to creating the best song she could, even if she knew that being open would mean walking down a couple of fruitless paths and a fair amount of exhaustive discussion. That type of dedication is rare and I think travelling this road together meant that we both learnt a lot. Also, her voice is gimoungous.” Smooth Mike plans to keep the momentum going and “play a million rap shows and write a bunch of new music. There is still so much I want to do with music and live performance. Developing the live show and a new release are very much my priority right now.” The live show will morph slowly as fresh material is created. “I've always been obsessed with the live set and growing it goes through slow organic growth phases and revolutionary phases. People can expect a bit of both. The last half of 2016 is looking incredibly exciting.” As with past releases the track will be available for free download from phfat.com and soundcloud.com/phfat. As a minor update to the old model, the track will also be available for purchase from most major online stores soon.

KREEFTEGANG - an Afrikaans Folk Masterpiece by Hanru Niemand

Hanru Niemand - Photo by: Johann Sohnge
Afrikaans folk music fans and those following the underground scene will know that Hanru Niemand flies under the radar. Hanru’s music has probably not been playlisted on Radio Sonder Grense, and he has definitely not been seen doing a ‘sokkie-treffer’ on the Skouspel stage. However, this incredibly talented singer-songwriter from the Boland has been making a name for himself in less commercial music circles and boasts with a cult-like following ranging from the Cape region to Northern territory.

Amongst avid underground music fans, Hanru is well-known for his captivating music and witty lyrics. Hanru’s style of music is sometimes tricky to classify, consisting mostly of folk elements. He has been hailed as one of the pioneers of present day Afrikaans folk music. His music and performance also clearly has traces of blues and cabaret elements. Hanru’s music is quite frequently compared to that of legendary Afrikaans icons like Koos du Plessis, Jacques Brel and Herman van Veen. Even though his music has remained relatively unexposed in South Africa, he has been making quite an impression in overseas markets. Some of Hanru’s work has been translated to Finnish and is currently being translated into Russian by one of Russia’s most acclaimed translators [http://witkowsky.livejournal.com/].

One of the prominent themes in his lyrics and earlier work is his lighthearted, satirical view and sharp commentary on Afrikaans music and culture. Banting en Chips and Ek het ‘n Afrikaanse liedjie gekryf are perfect examples of this.

His new EP, Kreeftegang is his latest offering. The songs on Kreeftegang are timeless and tell tales of a time one wishes that Gert Vlok Nel would write just one more poem, a cold winter's night sky resembling the dotted feathers of an African guinea fowl, and the story of a reporter’s ball point pen. Hanru’s writing style and melodies paint each song on Kreeftegang a different shade of beautiful and honest.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Disturbed shine with The Sound Of Silence cover

When American metal group, Disturbed, decided to cover Simon & Garfunkel's The Sound Of Silence, the last thing they expected was the amount of global success they would have with the song around the world. The song is a favourite amongst many music lovers fans around the world couldn't get enough of their grittier version. The track jumped into the top 5 in many countries around the world, including South Africa and went on to top the US Mainstream Rock and the US Hot Rock Chart. Still haven't heard it?

Coldplay Reveal Incredible ‘Up&Up’ Video

Coldplay have today revealed the amazing video for Up&Up, the anthemic third single from their current album, A Head Full Of Dreams. Created by Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia, the video is a poignant, surrealist montage which alludes to contemporary issues. It also features racehorses galloping on water and a popcorn-spouting volcano. Up&Up is the closing track from A Head Full Of Dreams, which has reached Number One on iTunes in more than 90 countries, sold more than 3.5 million copies and cemented  Coldplay’s position as Spotify’s most-streamed band in the world. The song features a host of guest appearances, including vocals from Beyoncé and legendary Gimme Shelter singer Merry Clayton, as well as a guitar solo from Noel Gallagher. Having begun with a record-breaking run of dates in Latin America, Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams tour resumes in Nice on May 24. The tour will then take the band across Europe and the US, including four sold-out nights at London’s Wembley Stadium. More than two million tickets have already been sold for the tour. Coldplay will also headline Glastonbury Festival for a record-breaking fourth time in June.

Friday, 13 May 2016

VINYL RELEASE! Metallica - Ride The Lightning [Remastered 2016]

Metallica's second album Ride The Lightning available on 180 Gram Vinyl. Incredibly ambitious for a one-year-later sophomore effort, Ride the Lightning finds Metallica aggressively expanding their compositional technique and range of expression. Every track tries something new, and every musical experiment succeeds mightily. The lyrics push into new territory as well -- more personal, more socially conscious, less metal posturing.