After fifteen successful years in the entertainment industry, Jak de Priester has become a household name amongst Afrikaans music enthusiasts. The acclaimed Pretorian, who is known for his soulful voice, meaningful lyrics, energetic melodies and entertaining stage personality, boasts an impressive CV that includes ninth studio albums, a children’s CD and DVD, a book, a volume of poetry as well as various stage productions. Since 2012, he has also established himself as a television presenter.
In celebration of his thriving career, he has recently released a brand new album, 15 JAAR (15 Years), which promises to captivate listeners from beginning to end. “I wanted to celebrate my fifteen years in die music world with a new album. The theme song, is ‘15 Jaar Met Klavier En Kitaar’, and the CD is literally the product of how my skill as lyricist has grown over the years,” says the singer. “The release addresses various topics, including our country and its people, children, friendship, experiences of guests that appeared on ‘Reis Na Gister’, love and nostalgia.”
The ninth studio album contains seventeen original tracks, written by the artist himself that was carefully selected to highlight the success of his career. Aside from upbeat humorous songs and beautiful love ballads, the album also offers exciting collaborations with the likes of Steve Hofmeyr, Dr Victor, Bianca Pelser, Koos Kombuis and Charl du Plessis (the pianist). Soen die Reën, a heartfelt duet with Steve Hofmeyr, had 107 000 views within the first twenty four hours after it was released on Vimeo and caused quite a stir on social media. “I am very proud of the emotion Steve and I captured in our song, but each item on the CD holds a special place in my heart. I wrote ‘Rigtinglose Mense’ with Koos Kombuis, ‘Boervrou’ is dedicated to my mom, ‘Drakensberge Liefde’ is for my wife and ‘Mika se Song’ for my youngest child. I love witnessing the impact my songs have on audiences during live performances,” he shares.
Jak’s latest single, Reënboog oor Suid-Afrika, promises to impress even the most critical of ears. This collaboration with party music legend, Dr Victor, can be described as a feel good pop hit with an inspiring message. “I hope that this song will be well received, because it has an amazing vibe and a positive message. Dr Victor also brings some edge to the song. It is about places and icons in South Africa… about the fact that we all like to eat, dance and play… therefore, we must bring the rainbow back over our country… as it should be… because currently it is each colour for itself,” Jak explains about this dance track, which he has also written himself. A music video of the hit is planned for early next year and he is currently on tour with his brand new stage production, called Jak de Priester – 15 Jaar Met Klavier En Kitaar.
Jak, who grew up in Parys in the Free State, has been in love with music from a very young age. His career was officially launched in 2003 when he won the ATKV Crescendo Competition, which gave him the opportunity to release his first album, Sally Williams Nougat. The titular track was an instant success and can still be regarded as one of his biggest hits to date. During that year, he also received a Geraas Award for Best Newcomer. Various radio hits, awards, nomination and successful albums followed, including Sally Williams Nougat (2003), Strate Van My Hart (2004), Brooklyn ‘Poet’ (2005), Stellenbosch Lovesong (2007), Groen Mamba (2008), 16 Briewe Aan My Baby (2010), Die Liefde Los ’n Spoor (2011), N1 van my Hart (2012), Ek Reis Na Gister (2015) as well as the children’s CD and DVD, Myne, Myne, Myne (2014). He also starred in various stage productions like Underground, Strate Is Nie Stom Nie, Nataniël and Friends, Net ’n Bietjie Liefde Vir Die Langpad and more.
Furthermore, he also wrote and recorded theme songs for various kykNET series, including the popular soap opera, Binnelanders, 10 uit 10 and Reis na Gister, of which he is also the presenter. The show is already in its fifth season and secured him a nomination as Presenter of the Year in 2015. The musician was also responsible for the theme song of the Afrikaans film, Hoener Met Die Rooi Skoene, in 2017 and four of his songs were used as part of the blockbuster, Semi-Soet’s, soundtrack. Over the years, he has not only shared the stage with many talented artists, but also performed at some of the country’s biggest arts festivals and concerts like Huisgenoot Skouspel, Afrikaans is Groot, Innibos Kunstefees, KKNK, and more. He also has a huge fan base abroad and Sally Williams Nougat once made it onto the Top 20 of a British radio station. Two of his songs were also included in the new FAK Songbook.
Music is not Jak’s only talent, because he has also made name as poet and author. In 2005, he released his first volume of poetry, called Heuning in die Mond, followed by his first book, Brood, in 2010. One of his poems, Onsekerheid, was also included in the 2009 edition of the Groot Verseboek. Between 2011 and 2015, he was responsible for writing the column, Pa se Stem, for parenting magazine, Baba & Kleuter.
Jak still has many plans for the future and enjoys combining his talent with other artists. “I am inspired by the world we live and my own life. I appreciate the work of talented vocalists with an arty approach, like Amy Winehouse. Singers like Johannes Kerkorrel, Amanda Strydom and Koos Kombuis have all had an influence on my own musical style. I like doing collaborations and have already worked with stars like Laurika Rauch, Steve Hofmeyr, Koos Kombuis and Nataniël, and would also like to join forces with Amanda Strydom, Coenie de Villiers and Karen Zoid someday,” he reveals.
The industry has taught him a lot about patience, failure, success, stress and faith and he still believes that music has the power to heal anything. He truly hopes that his latest offering will have a sunny and meaningful impact on listeners’ lives.
15 JAAR is a must for any Jak de Priester fan’s music collection. It is a striking combination of heartfelt ballads and catchy party tunes, without which no playlist will be complete. His latest album and single is not only proof of how well he knows his target audience, but also showcases how much he has grown over the years.
SONGS ON THE ALBUM
Reënboog oor Suid-Afrika ft. Dr Victor
Soen die Reën ft. Steve Hofmeyr
Alles Vir Liefde
As Is Verbrande Hout
Vriendskap se Water
Rose & Jack ft. Bianca Pelser
Stuur Liefde Aan Ou Toks
Niemand Neem Hul Kwalik
Bo-Blink Boogie Woogie ft. Charl du Plessis
15 Jaar Met Klavier En Kitaar
Boervrou for Mom
Mika se Song
Ek Sny Dit Af
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
(PHOTO CREDIT: Gert Mulder)