Eastridge guitarist aiming for the stars

YONELA SINQU

Paul Daniels, 20, from Eastridge, was only four years old when his father got him his first guitar.

Now, 16 years later, his aim is to record his first single.

But first he will be jetting off with his group, Vision 33.3, to New York in May to perform with David Imole.

It seems as if he was destined to live a life filled with music.

By the time he was 11 years old his father bought him his first acoustic guitar, and when he was 12 years old he tried his hand at drumming. And by the time, he was 15 years old he got a drum kit. But despite having attended an art-focus school, Paul never sat in a music class – instead he took up dance as one of his subjects.

“At school I never got the opportunity to take up music as one of my subjects, but I played in the school band. I wanted to take music as one of my subjects. Too many things just got in the way and prevented that from happening. Those days I was also more into football until I was in matric.”

He initially wanted to be a chartered accountant but eventually went in a musical direction and ended up with a Grade 3 Trinity Accreditation, as well as Grade 5 music reading and Grade 6 practical accreditations. Adding to his impressive music CV are three gold and two silver certificates from the Eisteddfod at Stellenbosch in 2014 and 2015.

“Getting a gold or a silver at the Eisteddfod is not easy. It takes a lot of hours of practise. Also, because you compete against so many talented musicians, it makes it even more difficult to get that gold or silver.

“The Trinity Accredition means I can play on an international level – and that means a lot to me. I always wanted to be a chartered accountant, but when I was in matric, I decided to become a musician. But it’s not easy because I didn’t have experience in reading music, I was doing a bridging course at Stellenbosch University before being accepted in the programme to do a diploma.”

After his dream of completing a diploma in classical music at Stellenbosch University was cut short by financial constraints, Paul was about to give up his dream of ever becoming a musician. But a casual job where his father worked helped him turn things around. “Everyday when I went to work, I took my guitar with me. During tea and lunch I would just sit and play – that’s how my first song, Choices came about.”

When asked what had inspired him, he said his circumstances at the time which involved him to make a choice.

Focusing on jazz and gospel, Mr Daniels is now a member of Vision 33.3, which features his sister Jizelle and five of his friends.

Apart from trying to record a single, Mr Daniels would still like to go back to Stellenbosch University to complete his studies. However, in the meantime, he is extending his knowledge with a church group in Kuils River.

“I used to give music lessons to individuals, but I have since started working with a church in Kuils River. They are a lovely group to work with and I am really enjoying it.”

Although his album hasn’t launched, Mr Daniels’ talent is already receiving international recognition – he will feature in David Imole’s video which was shot in Cape Town last week. And in May, together with Vision 33.3, he will be jetting off to New York to perform with New York-based Imole.

But on the local front, he will be showcasing his talent at the Wonderkerk van Christus in Beacon Valley on Friday April 29 to help raise funds for the church.

Tickets to the show cost R50. To book call 074 891 1706.