One thing is for sure, that the human race can be resilient. Let’s take this epidemic that managed to bring the whole world to a standstill for almost a year and a half. In South Africa our stats are high with the Covid infections, yet, our artists manage to take this as an opportunity to put new music out to the world.
In many interviews and press releases that I have read over the last few months, many songwriters tell us that the new songs we are hearing are old songs that laid somewhere in their cupboards. It was rush through the week, gigs on the weekends, festivals, TV shows etc before Covid. Now that we are calmer, the artists are bringing the music. Also, the new songs that are flowing out of the pens are also inspirational, to say the least.
Janie Bay feat Majozi & Early B – “My Lief”
Janie Bay released a new single “My Lief” (My Love) earlier in June 2021 and it features Majozi and the playful Early B. The video was shot in Hermon in the Western Cape by the talented Damiane van Reenen. Bay who collaborated with Early on the song “Die Heelal” in 2019 was eager to join her again for a song. Majozi and Bay spoke about collab and the opportunity arose when Bay started writing “My Lief”. Majozi wrote the English lyrics to the song.
“The message behind the song is just honesty and simple. Relationships are not always perfect. The song is about standing behind your love even if you make each other crazy” says Bay.
The video concept of the chairs in the open field, Majozi laying on his back and then later back to back with Janie – it speaks the message behind the song loud. It takes a lot of understanding your partner (husband/wife). You love everything you are even if they do drive you crazy.
Francois van Coke – “Ons Het Gewen”
Francois is not only the rebel leader of the lost Afrikaans youth of the early naughties. Nor is he just a singer/songwriter but he is a kickass boxer too. On 29 May 2021, Francois faced off with old Springbok rugby player, Derick Hougard in the boxing ring at the Sun Arnea. Francois had felt the inspiration from Queen’s hit “We are the champions”. He wanted a song to feature the lyrics “Ons het gewen” (We won) and “Ons is lewendig” (We are alive). He sat down with Hunter Kennedy and Fred den Hartog (Die Heuwels Fantasties) to pen down “Ons Het Gewen”.
The catch was that the song was written before the BOXOP and it made Francois more determined to win the match so the song can be released as well. It made him work harder, train harder, even shave his hair off. Tattoos and all, the rebel faced off the rugby player and the rebel won. The video was shot by Johannes Nel in a documentary style as Francois trained for the BOXOP and the actual match.
And what would Francois have done if he didn’t win? “I was thinking maybe calling the song something else and delaying the release… if I lost,” says Francois.
And how many rounds did it take for Van Coke to win the BOXOP? 6 nail-biting, gruelling, sweat and cheers to win the match.
Jacob Swann – “Brother”
You might have not heard about Jacob Swann, maybe if you are in the Mother City and surroundings. This singer and songwriter have been on the scene for about 5 years now. Of course, Covid brought it all to a halt.
In 2021 he has released his new EP “Brother” and the songs you hear was written in between lockdown levels and load shedding. The EP has both English and Afrikaans songs and it’s anything from love to hard times. He self-produced the EP and was recorded and mixed by Franco Gagiano (Upperroom Studio, Durbanville). Mastered by Tim Lengfeld.
Now, this is not a music video but it’s a beautiful song. Swann finds inspiration from artists like John Meyer, CCR, Marcus King to name a few. He almost reminds me of a young Basson Laubscher with the guitar. He is a simple artist perhaps but there is something that captures you. Have a listen and let us know what you think.
Matthew Mole – “I’m With You”
All-round good guy, singer, songwriter, wear his heart on his sleeve Matthew Mole just released his brand new single “I’m With You”. The video is quite cute, just like Mole, as he losses his bright yellow balloon. No other will do, he puts up lost balloon posters. And then he finds it, however, he sees another sad face putting up lost balloon posters – Bouwer Bosch. And Mole gives his balloon to Bosch. Sounds like Mole, doesn’t it?
“The bright balloon symbolises hope and the way our lives are affected when circumstances try to disrupt that hope.”
The video was directed by Jame Cairns, Michael Forbes and Jason-Haji Joannou.
Other songs we can recommend is Willow – “Lipstick”, Andy Grammer – “Lease On Life”, Van Pletzen & The Kiffness feat Kwesta – “I’m not a Ballie, I’m a Baller”,