I would like to stand and applaud the Afrikaans industry. I would like to clap 'til my hands ache and then I would like to yell accolades from the rooftops. WELL DONE!!
Huisgenoot's Skouspel – 4 shows sold out in a few hours – that's 22000 people – incredible. I watched it on DVD – it is an international production worthy of great acclaim. 20 plus artists, an orchestra, a choir, a shit hot band, what a stage, great camera work, (the sound could have been better, but it was still good) - what an extravaganza!
The English industry (if there is such a thing) full of its ignorant, trend following, wannabe elitists can get on its knees, pucker up and kiss the Afrikaans industry's ass. Nianell – what a class act, Dozi – you have an awesome presence and holy crap you can sing!
Theuns Jordaan – what a voice. Steve Hofmeyr – let me explain to those of you that have not had the privelidge of witnessing this man perform – he is a born entertainer, he can sing (oh can he sing,) he is loved and adored by many, many South Africans, he won a SAMA award for highest selling album, he fills the Super Bowl and hundreds of prestigious South African venues BY HIMSELF, he stands up for what he believes in and above all, amidst a hail of negative publicity, he has maintained what I believe is the most important quality in a public figure – integrity. He is a bona fide superstar and he has done it all with harsh critics and little or no help from radio stations. If you dis Steve you are dissing yourself and you are publicly declaring your narrow minded ignorance.
Please understand me – there was a Jurie Els moment or two on the dvd that I quickly fast forwarded. Where was I when that memo was sent out – then again our English industry has also found a new term for the word "pathetic" – POP IDOLS (Veronique excluded.)
That is what I love about the Afrikaans industry – they present it ALL – all the genres, old and new, warts and all, and we get to make up our own minds as to what we like and dislike – unlike institutions of the English industry like 94.7 that will only give airtime to what they think is worth listening to – they will only play the boring, over-polite, pop meanderings of the international industry – oh they say they support SA talent, but only if it fits what they think is hip – we the public decide what is hip - NOT YOU. 94.7 should play Steve, Nia, Theuns and Dozi every day while proudly shouting "They are ours – South Africans!" 94.7 DOES NOT SUPPORT LOCAL TALENT. If your local song even slightly smacks of the 80's 94.7 will not play it, yet they play an enormous amount of international 80's music. I was told by Andy Thomas of 94.7 (and he is not even on the playlist committee) to stop singing because my vocal style is out of date – that was an incredibly hard and painful criticism to hear – thank God I recovered and put his pettiness behind me – I now tour Southern Africa with my band and we are doing well – we perform often at the many Barnyard Theatres to sell out crowds. What blows me away the most is that the demographic that the Barnyards cater for is basically the same demographic that 94.7 tries to cater for – adult contemporary, rock loving, predominantly Afrikaans speaking, housewives etc. Andy Thomas, upon hearing that I had a talent for entertaining, said that it is easy to entertain and get a great response in the pubs and clubs. He completely brushed my talents aside, talents that have made my life make sense for 20 years now, he scoffed at them. Andy, you have no fucking clue at all – the pubs and clubs are the hardest environment EVER to entertain in – anyone who gets half a response in the pubs will kill in a theatre or at a concert. You not knowing this only blatantly displays your ignorant self-importance. You would not have a job if it was not for songwriters like me.
What's with KFM in the Cape – they will present to a certain extent in Afrikaans and play Afrikaans ads, but they will not play Afrikaans songs – if I was Afrikaans I would take that as an insult, in fact as an Engelsman I take it as an insult anyway.
And another thing – ROCK, my favourite genre, is alive and very well in the Afrikaans industry – YES!
The Afrikaans industry has MK89 – brilliant! A music channel on DStv that plays predominantly local songs (English songs included!!) – WELL DONE!
Look, I will be the first to say that Fokofpolisiekar are beyond me, but they have been given a voice and are very popular with a whole pile of disgruntled youngsters – can you imagine the so called "less conservative" English industry supporting a band called Fuckoffpolicecar!
Have you heard Reana (Nianell's sister) – outstanding! Then there's Ghapi (Phillip Botha) – what a drummer, what a singer, what a songwriter! The musical penmanship of Koos Du Plessis, Koos Kombuis and James Phillips – exceptional! Do yourself a favour and buy Wouter Van Der Venter's latest album called "Sonder Jou" – it's a masterpiece – these phenomenal talents almost help me overlook the fact that Jak de Priester sings out of tune live.
What about KKNK, what about Aardklop, what about Innibos and the many other predominantly Afrikaans oriented festivals? Our English industry with its "oh we're so cool" bullshit has been left in the dust – WAKE UP FOR FUCK SAKES!!
The industry and its artists in this country make up a musical family – a family should love no matter what – a family should protect and nurture, it should encourage and help – this makes for a very powerful family, a family to be reckoned with – the Afrikaans industry has done this – I say again well done. The English industry has not done this, not even close and yet it has the flaming audacity to look down its nose at the Afrikaans industry.
As an English artist I have been applauded and accepted by many in the Afrikaans industry – I humbly thank you and apologise profusely for the English industry's snooty oversights.