The upbeat tune and meaningful lyrics of Stephantasties’s debut solo single, DIS VERKEERD, not only showcases his voice, but is also the first track from his upcoming album, which is scheduled for release in 2018. The hit single promises to impress even the most critical of ears, much like this versatile artist has managed to impress in the entertainment industry over the past eleven years.
DIS VERKEERD (It’s Wrong) is Stephantasties’s first release as a solo artist. He wrote and produced the hit himself and describes it as a catchy Afrikaans pop song, which will definitely be a favourite on the dance floor. “It is about those feelings you have for someone that are so strong that it almost feels wrong. When you fall in love all over again every time you see that person,” explains the singer. “This is my first attempt as a solo artist and I wanted to start off with a bang, so I hope this song will have the desired effect.”
The music video of the single was also just released and although it is very simplistic, it complements the song well, because it still manages to create some excitement. “We had a very simple and minimalistic concept for the video. By using only a few lights and simple effects, we wanted to create a specific vibe for the song and introduce me to the public,” says Stephantasties about the video that was recorded at Foghound Studios and produced by Hencas van Huyssteen of Fuisteen Films and Ruan Kotze of The Reel Thing.
This talented Pretorian has been in love with music for as long as he can remember. His mother, Alta van Huyssteen, is an opera singer and he and his brother have been exposed to a wide range of music, from Queen to Roy Orbison, all of their lives. At primary school, he starred in various musicals and won numerous competitions. In high school he played drums in a Metal band that he and his brother started. After school, he studied music for a year, after which he had the opportunity to perform with a classical group in Spain for six months. Upon his return to South Africa, he joined the group, BRAVO!, with whom he released two albums. During this time, he also completed another music course through COPA as well as a qualification in Sound Technology from the SAE Institute. The big breakthrough in his career, however, only came in 2010 after he started working as barman and back-up sound engineer at the Barnyard Theatre. This paved the way for parts in various shows like Big Top Rock, 7 Wonders, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Kidz Rock and We Will Rock You in the Seychelles, allowing him to showcase his voice, dance skills and acting ability. In 2012 he joined the Afrikaans boyband, NRG, as singer, drummer and guitarist. The group soon became a crowd favourite and has already shared the stage with some of the biggest artists in the country, including Heinz Winckler, Kurt Darren, Nicholis Louw, Ray Dylan, Romanz and many more. NRG was also invited to be the in-house band for the Huisgenoot Treffer-na-Treffer show at the KKNK in 2013.
Singing, however, is not Stephantasties’s only talent. He is also a gifted sound engineer, keen lyricist and upcoming producer and was responsible for several of the songs on NRG’s latest album, Roulette. He also recently started producing music for other artists. When he is not busy with the musical aspect of his career, he is also an actor, master of ceremonies and television presenter (chatNOU on kykNET). He is also going to be part of the musical, Rock of Ages, which will be showing at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City during November and December
According to the artist, there is nothing else that he’d rather be doing than what he is doing now… except, off-course, if he got offered a part in Star Wars as he is a very big fan of this movie franchise. “I am inspired by everyday events and even by the music of artists I admire when writing my own songs, and sometimes the end-result is very different from what I envisioned at the beginning. I have great admiration for independent artists, who work hard to make their dreams come true, no matter what,” shares the musician, who lists Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, DJ Zedd and Nic Jonas as some of his current favourites.
The music industry has taught him not to compare himself to other artists and that success will be achieved at the right time. He, therefore, focuses on the opportunities he gets and the plans he has for the future, which includes a solo album and a collaboration with girl group, MWAH!. Although he does not want to reveal too much about his debut album, planned for 2018, he says that it will contain a variety of genres that will bring together organic and electronic sounds.
Stephantasties wants to use his music to shift boundaries within the Afrikaans music industry by creating a fresh and unique sound. “I don’t think that there is anything like DIS VERKEERD currently available on the market. I wanted to do something different, which audiences would still be able to relate to,” he says. With his latest offering, he does not only achieve this goal, but also reveals a bit about what listeners can expect from him in the future.
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