There are few singers who are able to create music that truly speaks to the heart.
With his latest album, RUITE OOP, Herman Kleinhans proves that he is one of the few songwriters who has mastered this skill and also moves out of his comfort zone by including a few upbeat songs on the track list.
The winner of Afri-Visie’s Songwriting Competition’s latest studio album, which contains everything from emotional love ballads to light-hearted party music, has a mature contemporary sound and is the result of months of planning and hard work. It boasts 12 tracks, written mainly by the artist himself, with the exception of three songs of which he co-wrote two with Bok van Blerk and one - Ons Kan - with his girlfriend, Maryke.
“The theme of the album is ‘Life in South Africa’ and it addresses various topics - ranging from depression to love. It was important to me that each track is of exceptional quality, because I will be singing it for a while. This is the biggest reason why I do not sing commercial music, because I will never be able to pull songs like that off on stage,”
“However, this album is also an attempt to get a little closer to the market that thought ‘Kamer 4’ was beautiful, but too slow. Tertius Human and all the other musicians on board did a brilliant job on the album and everything sounds great. So, I am looking forward to hearing what people think.”
Although she does not really want to single out a favourite, the singer reveals that he likes Messelaar and Brandewyn Drink, because he is very pleased with the end-result.
“‘Messelaar’ is about depression and has really turned out to be something special. ‘Brandewyn Drink’ is a cheerful song that makes people feel good,”
the star explains, and according to him, the title track should also resonate with a wide audience.
“After the year we have had, I think we all just want to hit the road and move around freely again and that is what the song is about. Of course, good ventilation also plays a big part in our fight against the virus, so maybe this track will even save a life someday.”
His latest single, Vliegtuig, was just released and is about his relationship with the love of his life, Maryke, which he met on Tinder.
“One day I left Maryke’s kitchen table full of salt after making popcorn and messes up the bed that she has already made. She wasn’t pleased with me at all. I wrote the song to make up for it. The name, VLIEGTUIG, is based on our dream of owning a plane together someday,”
The music video of the track was filmed by Wian van der Walt of the Coolerbox Brothers in various locations in and around Port Elizabeth. It shows how their love thrives in this old city.
“In the video, Maryke and I revisit some of our favourite childhood locations. From the houses we grew up in, our schools and church, to our favourite Chinese takeaway restaurant. Those places where our paths must have constantly crossed, without us knowing it. This project also gave us the opportunity to show just how beautiful our city really is,”
shares the singer.
Furthermore, he is very proud of the fact that the album was released alongside his own app, ShareTime. The purpose of this is to create a platform that makes it easy for people to help each other with their time and he believes that it can really make a difference.
The song, Ek Wonder, is also the official theme song for the Solidarity Helping Hand and Boere Droogtehulp SA NPC for the Project 40 inisiative that ensured that forty trucks full of animal feed could be sent down to Beaufort-Wes. This inisiative also makes it possible that forty underpriviliged students can go and study during 2021.
The music video for Ek Wonder will be released during the week of 7 December 2020. Keep an eye on the Helpende Hand social media pages for it.
Herman was born in Sunland in the Eastern Cape. He has been very passionate about music from an early age, sang in the choir in primary school and participated in various music concerts and competitions. In high school he was part of the music group, Slagyster, which released the hit Kantlyn that was number one on MK89’s 6@6 for six weeks. However, he only started making music full-time in 2012.
Over the years, he has had the privilege of working with several big names in the industry, as songwriter and musician, and has achieved numerous career highlights, including a Ghoema Award for the Public’s Favourite Duo or Group as part of the group, TWEE, as well as a SAFTA nomination for the music he and Dawie de Jager created for the kykNET series, Alles Malan.
When he is not singing, he keeps himself busy with developing and marketing his new app, as well as managing his two other businesses, TWEE Vellies and TWEE Plakkers, with Maryke.
The artist has great admiration for local singers like Coenie de Villiers and Stef Bos and enjoys the music of international groups like Queen, Kings of Leon, Dire Straits, Mumford and Sons and Coldplay. He would also like to work with Zahara someday if the opportunity presents itself.
Herman believes that life is what you make of it and that you should make each day count. His new album is a combination of heartfelt music, which is enjoyable to listen to and will make fans look forward to relaxing evening in front of the fireplace. His unique approach, versatility and soothing voice are the perfect ingredients for a recipe that will remain popular for many years to come.
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