Being part of a musical family paved the way for a Beacon Valley man who picked up a guitar at a young age and has never looked back.
Gershwin Koen grew up in the church and said his love for music was sparked by his parents who always encouraged him to listen to music.
He was the last person in his family to pick up an instrument and the last one to get into music after his family members joined the music scene.
When he was 10 he taught himself how to play the flute and the harmonica.
At 13 he picked up the guitar and fell in love with it, he said.
His father, Graham Koen, would listen to the music of bands such as Kool and the Gang, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Stevie Wonder while his late mother, Levona Koen, would listen to gospel artists such as Andraé Crouch, Jimmy Swaggert and The Winans.
In 2017, Gershwin started Gershwin and the Music PTY (LTD), where he writes and produces songs for artists. He is a songwriter, musical director, session musician, radio plugger, music administrator and music teacher.
Gershwin attended Hyacinth Primary School in Lentegeur and Lentegeur Secondary School. He was the guy who brought the guitar to school and started playing and singing with his school mates.
“I would wait for the latest songs on the radio so that I could record it on my cassette to learn it later with my guitar. I taught at schools previously, prisons and churches. Those days taught me a lot, working with different people in different spaces,” he said.
In 2010, he lost his mother. He uses his music to pay tribute to her. “Me doing music is for her, dedicated to her. She liked to brag about her children. She was very proud that I was doing music. I also do this for my little daughter, Keon Koen, 1.
Gershwin received an opportunity to teach music at schools, churches and prisons in Cape Town. He used to be part of the resident band for the Expresso Show on SABC 3, and played with local and international artists.
Gershwin and the Music has achieved four number #1 songs in four months with Mitchell’s Plain artists such as Shana Ray, from Portland, Alana Wessels from Strandfontein, Tarryn Rose from Wildhood and the Echoes_ZA group from Bayview.
“Gershwin has pushed us so that we can give our best… He works hard to make music reach higher, our latest single has topped the charts as far as the United Kingdom.
“He goes beyond what is asked and he is like family. Working under his leadership is amazing,” said Tracy Phillips from Echoes_ZA band.
“Gershwin is passionate about what he does, whether it’s about music, sports or issues we face daily. He works extremely hard to get the best, I have to remind him to chill sometimes.”
Gershwin offers musical classes. For more information, contact Gershwin at 076 425 4202 or firstname.lastname@example.org