Calling Afrikaans musicians to audition at Cedar High

YONELA SINQU

The Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV) is again affording budding Afrikaans musicians the chance to shine at its auditions which will be held at Cedar High School in Rocklands this Friday March 4.

The competition is open to both young and old – to those who sing, play an instrument and those who have written Afrikaans lyrics.

Finalists get the chance to work with professionals in the industry, where they are taught how to compile an album to marketing themselves. Hosting the auditions for the second time since 2014, Afrikaans head of department at Cedar High School, Stephanie Ingham, said there were a lot of talented people who did not have musical background.

“The competition is open to everyone. Some people sing very well, but don’t have their own lyrics and others can write, but can’t sing. The finalists will be equipped with all the necessary skills to become a professional musician. At the last auditions we had in 2014 some people came with instruments and others came with backing tracks,” she added.

Although Afrikaans lyrics are among the requirements of the competition it is open to all genres. “They say reggae is an up-and-coming genre.”

Among the whos who of showbizz who will be visiting the school during the auditions include Afrikaans hip hop artist Hemelbesem, born Simon Witbooi.

Having hosted the auditions and being an art-focus school, Cedar High Afrikaans teacher and former pupil, Courtney Edwards, was proud to mention that one of the finalists of this competition came from the school. Of the seven contestants who were chosen from Mitchell’s Plain and Atlantis, Whaden Johannes is fast making a name for himself as an artist. With his musical background it almost came as no surprise for Mr Edwards to see his former classmate named as one of the finalists of the competition.

“Whaden was always looking for an opportunity to expose his talent. He wrote his own lyrics. He was just so musically inclined and now he is earning a living through his talent.”

Despite he did not win the competition, Mr Johannes said for him it was not about winning. “I never won, I was one of seven finalist who all became one group, now performing together. This achievement is a dream come true, I am now more positive about life. It was never about winning – it always has and will always be about learning more about my craft,” said Mr Johannes.

He said the competition was more about writing, therefore for a week he was writing like there was no tomorrow. “I was taught a bit more about music on stage and performances, how to manage myself as an artist – that came of asking lots of questions to facilitators.”

With musical talent and attending an art-focus school, Mr Johannes said choir practise those days was one of the things he enjoyed most.

“Music was one of my ‘major’ subjects at Cedar. I did not perform a lot, but practise was always a joy and I loved going to the music room. Music has always been with me since a very young age,” he adds jokingly. “Influenced by Emo and Luqmaan Adams (who attended Spine Road High School, also in Rocklands), David Kramer and Taliep Petersen. I still idolise Emo for all his achievements and what he has become.”

Mr Johannes laughs even more when asked with what he was currently busy with in his career. “Where do I begin? ATKV is keeping me quite busy. Crescendo in Konsert is being showcased at quite a few festivals namely Woordfees, KKNK, Suidoosterfees and more.Then we are also doing Die Song wil my nie los nie, also playing at a few festivals; Woordfees and Suidoosterfees are two of the festival it can be seen.

“I am also cast in Ek Missie Ses, a production playing at Suidoosterfees from Saturday April 30 to Sunday May 1, also at KKNK I can be seen on stage with Afrikaans: Herlaai a CD, a project I was part of last year.

And many more work that cannot be known by the public just yet, all info will be posted on my Facebook page: Whaden Johnson.”

AuditIons for the ATKV Crescendo competition will be held at Cedar High School from 8.30am on Friday March 4.

For more information on the auditions, call Stephanie Ingham at 072 190 0110 or Courntey Edwards on 084 482 2575.