If music is food for the soul, then JP Barnard was born with an uncontrollable appetite as he has devoted his life to music and believes that a committed musician must have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This means that JP’S days, and ultimately life, is filled with living out his passion – music.
JP started with humble beginnings and was born in the small town of Carletonville, in the West Rand, where he shared his home with a loving family filled with musicians. JP is the fourth-generation musician in his family, but the first who is pursuing a career as a full-time musician. Before realising his amazing musical talent, JP could be found on the sports field, competing in different sports and he even reached the provincial level as a sportsman.
At the age of 16, JP faced a major tragedy regarding his health which changed his life completely. His participation in sport ceased and during the time he recovered at home, he grabbed his guitar and taught himself the skill of guitar-playing without any other external training. JP watched music videos of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles and Bob Dylan and strengthened his skills even further through various learning manuals and the internet. It was during the time that he faced adversary where he realised that he has a natural talent for music that he couldn’t ignore.
JP is currently an independent artist but started out as part of several bands during and after his high school career, one of which was called “Blankrupt”. JP mentioned that the sense of belonging in a group of musicians is an amazing feeling, but that he is currently focusing on his vision and that being an independent artist gives him the freedom and opportunity to explore his individuality within his career.
Being a solo artist doesn’t isolate him from others and JP is no stranger to other musicians and role players in the music industry. JP values building and maintaining relationships with people who share his passion and his care-free and open-minded personality ensures opportunities to establish good friendships with influential
JP Barnard joined MAD Entertainment with André Kilian in 2015 and was introduced to various music festivals in South Africa where he had the great privilege to perform in front of thousands of people alongside other performers.
During his time with MAD Entertainment, JP also had the opportunity to not only perform but also to coordinate events, get involved in the marketing of festivals and to guide and support other upcoming artists and promote their careers. JP learned that it is important to have excellent networking skills and that the people you meet when you are on-stage and behind the curtain, including other musicians and role-players in the industry, can have a great impact in your career. According to JP, networking is the skill of not only selling or marketing your music but also selling and marketing yourself as a brand, which is very necessary for the industry.
JP has also appeared on your television screen numerous times on programmes such as JukeBox, Fiesta with Sandra Esterhuizen, and on a production of “Kook, Proe & Liefde” on Via. Apart from the television screen, JP likes to visit Loftus Versveld Rugby Stadium where he has performed in front of thousands of Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs fans, and also performed at Loftus Park.
This is particularly special to JP as he has always had a love for rugby and had the dream, as a young boy, of running out on the rugby field as a Blue Bull rugby player. Little did he know that these paths of sport and music will cross in his future and now he finds himself on the field as a performer – ultimately a dream come true. JP also performed in the Castle Corner for VIP guests during the international rugby test between the South African Springboks and New Zealand All Blacks at Loftus Versveld in 2018.
Non-Profit Organisations and campaigns lie close to JP’s heart and he has performed at the National Tekkie Tax Campaign and at CANSA Relays, of which the biggest was in Potchefstroom in 2016. JP believes that you should use what you have to make a difference in the world and if you put good vibes out in the world, good things will come back to you.
During September 2018, JP celebrated 10 years in the music industry and released his first album, “Die Tyd is Nou”.
JP mentioned that his album and the featured songs are mostly inspired by his hardships and own experiences throughout his life with the intention that his audience can relate to his music. JP has a big love for rock-&-roll music which inspires his style but he is definitely invested in all of the music genres.
JP Barnard finds himself currently as a project coordinator at Emkeí Holdings. Emkeí Holdings is striving to link with the best entertainment that Africa and South Africa has to offer to celebrate the uniqueness and amazing talent that our continent has. Except for the Africa Music Festival, JP has a busy year ahead of him in terms of focusing on the marketing of his CD at shows and in retail stores and shooting music videos for further marketing.
He also wants to expand his music to radio stations for it to reach a bigger audience.
When asked what advice he would give to upcoming artists, JP mentioned that perseverance is the key to success as musicians must prepare themselves for difficult times, fighting for opportunities and hearing the word “NO”. Even though the music industry is not the easiest industry to be part of, if you step into the industry for the love of music, and not the race for money, you will enjoy every moment of the amazing journey that lies ahead of you, just like he did.
His time is definitely NOW!
by: Chanel van Staden