Design: Sean Roberts | Photo: Samantha Clifton
Theatre and music fans alike will soon discover that Grethe van der Merwe is not only one of South Africa’s young, leading musical theatre directors, but that she also proves in her upcoming second full-length album, 'Jy Weet' (You Know), that she is becoming a name to be reckoned with on the local Afrikaans and English folk / adult-contemporary music scene.
The unveiling of her new album is scheduled for Wednesday, 23 August 2017, at the Drostdy Theatre in Stellenbosch. She promises to take her audience on an unforgettable musical journey. The album was produced by Jo Ellis and his assistant, Christian Burgess (AKA The Chrissistant), at Blue Room Studios in Ladysmith.
Listen to the official title track 'Jy Weet' below!
One can easily define Grethe as a South-African Tori Amos with the distinctive influences of local legends like Amanda Strydom, Laurika Rauch and Karen Zoid characterising her musical style.
Grethe finds inspiration in the places she’s been to and the experiences she has lived through. She has infused these into the creation of her lyrics and sound. One of the tracks off her new album, Hierdie Plek (This Place), is certainly one of the most beautiful Afrikaans ballads to have been released in a while. Her father wrote the lyrics for the song about the Klein Karoo where she grew up - a place of unparalleled beauty and magic.
“Ek wil jou wys, ek wil vertel,
maar sal jy hoor, sal jy verstaan
dat hierdie plek se lyne, reuk en reliëf
na binne sy padkaart hart toe baan”
As Grethe also muses: “My lyrics reflect the things I see around me and tell the stories of the people who have made an impact on my life, whether good or bad. The music I create is a reflection of the emotional impact of those experiences on me and my mood at that stage. I listen to a wide variety of music and I love experimenting with various elements from these genres.”
Grethe’s variation of musical styles and her ability to create her own distinct sound comes through in each and every beautiful track on her album. She captivates listeners with her lyrics, incredible singing and melodies. With a BMus degree which she completed at the University of Stellenbosch as well as an MDram with Cabaret as her primary focus (under the guidance of her mentor, Marthinus Basson) coupled with her experience as a vocal coach, it is no wonder that she possesses the ability to deliver world-class performances on stage.
Photo: Samantha Clifton
One thing is for sure - Grethe is a new, refreshing voice in the South-African music industry as well as an inspiration to women. Women’s month in August will see the release of her latest album, Jy Weet - an album that’s honest, unpredictable and original and which shares the secrets, experiences, pains and pleasures of what it means to be a woman. Her lyrics voice that, which we as people often struggle to express and her music reminds us that no one is ever truly alone.
Make sure you don’t miss the launching of Jy Weet at the Drostdy Theatre!
Date: Wednesday, 23 August 2017
Address: 1st Floor, 48 Alexander Street, Stellenbosch, Western Cape.
Tickets: R120 pp (Cash bar available)