A NEW VOICE
Well-known model and actor Benedikt Sebastian has released his debut CD after months of recording sessions in Cape Town under the guiding hand of legendary music producer Gabi le Roux.
Jy Weet Ek Weet contains 12 songs. They are honest songs with a good balance of deep themes, but not so philosophical as to alienate people. When last did musical innocence and elegance combine seamlessly in any language? Every song tells a story, in its own way. The music is not genre-specific; on the contrary, the idea was to not be easily pigeonholed.
Benedikt is a patriot at heart. You don’t have to be Afrikaans to value the language-related issues addressed on the album, with songs such as “Los Uit My Taal!” proving that protest doesn’t necessarily exclude pleasure.
Benedikt has a visual communications background. He is constantly toying with different aspects of creativity, from writing poetry to short stories, graphic design and drawing – with awards to show for his endeavours! With famous poet Engemi Ferreira as his mother, the literary blood flows thick in his veins.
And now he is a singer. He took to the stage for the first time in 2007 and since then has been honing his talent – and songs – to the point where he is now ready to put it out there.
As for what he hopes to achieve with his music, Benedikt says: “In various stages of my life music has had a big effect on me. Sometimes carrying me through an intense depro phase, for example after a break-up, or just to get me geared up for something – but at different levels it has helped me to get to know myself better, and to grow. If I can have a positive effect on someone’s life, that will make me happy!”
The personal nature of the songs on Jy Weet Ek Weet stems from his having co-written them; there are parts of him in there and you can hear the truth. A range of influences are also evident in the diverse themes of songs such as “En Ons Dans”, “Donker Engel” and “Vlieg”. And each and every song has an approach you won’t recently have heard around every corner.
Gabi le Roux, with whom the singer followed a very collaborative approach, is extremely excited about the project: “Afrikanership is warm and sexy, but our music is often still stuck in the rut of the old-fashioned ‘sokkie’ approach … We bring modern dance beats to the table, with sharp lyrics that will linger in your mind. We’re Afrikaans international!”
Gabi was responsible for the biggest crossover hit ever in South African music with “Nkalakatha”, Mandoza’s signature song. Add to that many an award and a prolific body of work with most of the major names in the local industry, and you have a producer who knows how to coax the very best out of an important new singer.
Benedikt says: “Each song consists of a combination of different factors and I would not have been able to release any one of them if it didn’t contain a very definite part of me.” Listeners will quickly realise they are not simply hearing a few songs; there’s a real person in there.
Not only has he done several radio and red carpet interviews but his debut music video was launched on Expresso, SABC 3 with a premiere performance. Benedikt was featured in magazines like Marie Claire, Heat and Business Day: Wanted and Taalgenoot. He also appeared on online media like Zalebs, Jacaranda Online, East Coast Radio Online, Wanted Online and Cape Town Music Scene. He will be featured in an upcoming ETV Sunrise special in July.
His tracks have already been heard on several local radio stations including Five Fm, MFM, RSG, UCT, Rippel, Bok Radio, Helderberg, Bosveld Sterio, East Coast radio, Afrikaans Alternative etc. pre-album release.
Vagabond. Intellectual. Modern. Bloody sexy and attractive. Energetic. Passionate. Benedikt Sebastian is all that, as well as a singer with a unique sound and approach. Here at last we again have a songwriter-singer who likes to think and for that reason has something to say. This much originality deserved to be heard, and for a long time to come.