Music through Me

 My history into music

Music has always been a part of my life. From nursery school times when I’d raise my hand in a Hermione-like fashion to sing school related songs, to being surrounded by parents who listened to classics,  to singing the Beatles for my late grandmother and a few of her friends with a broom stick as a microphone. Like many other artists,  Michael Jackson was my favourite artist as a kid growing up. So much so that my father was forced to close the thriller pictures within the history edition album with post-its, as he knew I frequently looked at that booklet and was frightened of the images.

I always wanted to play drums as a kid but my mother did not like the thought of waking up to the sound of noise as she’d describe it. I started playing recorder as it was compulsory at my pre-school, and got the hang of it quickly as well as banging on the hand drums when percussion was needed. But music was still child’s play until we moved to Holland and my parents got me started with guitar which I reluctantly accepted. Gradually the instrument grew on me but few years after being back in South Africa after having been with a number of various teachers, who made the learning experience boring and miserable, I met a man in the 6th grade who became my teacher, mentor and close friend, Neefa Van Der Schyff. My love for the instrument began to grow. It was the beginning of the 8th grade when my song-writing came to life and it was this same year, after writing one of my first amateur songs, that I lost my mentor and dear friend. He was murdered in his home and the news struck me hard. He was the first person who encouraged me to write and sing and was preparing a small gig with a few of his music buddies so that I could play the song that I had written as well as some classical pieces for them. After Neefa’s death I continued playing guitar at my high school and writing music about girl issues and crushes. I wasn’t popular at school so this was my way of expressing myself.

My realisation

Even though I was writing music since the 8th grade, it only dawned on me in my matric year (final year of high school) that becoming an artist was something I wanted to commit to. My music class was given an assignment and the task was to write a composition which would count towards our final mark. A week after the assignment was allocated to us, 3000 lies was born. I spoke to my teacher asking him if I could speak to him after class about my composition and he was quite shocked that I had completed the rough draft so quickly. After class we had 10 minutes free to just chill and talk and I approached him to talk about my composition and somehow the information slipped out to the class that I had finished and it inevitably resulted in me sitting with my guitar and sweaty palms in front of my music class. Being at a boy’s school you can imagine the smirks and sniggering that I was silently receiving. Boys will be boys and having a laugh at one of their fellow classmates with lower scoring grades than themselves can be quite an appetising event to be presented with. As soon as I started the intro the whispering turned into hisses of silence and as soon as I began to sing those hisses turned into a nerve wrecking silence. As soon as I finished the song I packed up my guitar and bags and left the class embarrassed. I heard my name follow me as I left the building and stopped. It was one of my friends from my music class. He complimented me on the song saying that it was really good. I never believed him at first but he continued trying to convince me by telling me that at first the class was sure I was going to make a fool of myself but as soon as I was done they were impressed. This sparked off my belief in this path.

This was the starting point but the events which took place in Mykonos at the end of my Matric year, while a few friends and I were on holiday are what awakened my realisation. I took my guitar with so I could find Inspiration for new song ideas. I met a group of girls introduced to me by now close friends of mine who I met while on vacation in Mykonos. I played 3000 lies for my new friends and they were strongly affected by the lyrics as well as melody (according to them ha-ha). Back to the group of girls they introduced us to, we were all sitting down talking nonsense and indirectly flirting when one of my newly found friends said that they must hear me sing. One of the girls asked me if I have a recording to play for them and my friend stated “EVEN BETTER, he has he’s guitar here.” While I was arguing with these girls and my friends about how I never wanted to play, one of my friends went down to our room to fetch my guitar. He placed the guitar next to me and started taking it out when one of the girls claimed it was her birthday and I ended up being guilted into singing 3000 lies for my first mini audience. Half way through the song one of the girls got up and left the area, and instinctively I prepared my mind for criticism. After the song ended some of the girls surrounded me asking me to teach them how to play and they all complimented me on the song immensely and I was humbled. Later when we arrived back to our room my friend mentioned that the girl that left cried and she never left because the song was horrible as I thought was the case. This is the moment that made me believe that this is what I wanted.

Battle with the rents

The battle with the rents is a factor which had to be overcome, my father earlier in the year before the Mykonos experience put a video recording that one of my friends took of me singing 3000 lies on you tube without me knowing. The video got a few hundred views without any promotion involved and for the horrible quality of the video this was satisfying. This was the moment I knew my father was on my side. I was sitting in my room and had just finished writing my second song, I called my mother so she could listen to it, as the song is aimed at females and I wanted a female response. When I got to the second verse, my mother left the room and I disappointedly stopped playing and put my guitar down. My mother came back into my room minutes later telling me to get done as I had an audition with Waterfront theatre school for voice training. I was accepted by the voice trainer at the time and she trained me throughout 2011 and this was when I was started to get serious about this as a possible career path. 2012 has been the year that I started putting everything in place to start the venture. Luckily through all the convincing I had a loving sister and friends who supported me from the start.


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