Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Etienne Steyn sings about Happy Dayz
As I mentioned, the family went to Buffelsfontein this weekend, where we relaxed and recharged (even though Jasper needed stitches in his knee!) And as yesterday was a day-off for Heritage Day, we spent some time at the West Coast National Park where we dodged tortoises, had competitions as to who could see the most animals, and had a good lunch at Geelbek Restaurant which is situated inside the park (and has been there since about 1708!).
I had been telling Jasper about ‘Eve’s’ footprints, found near the park some years ago, and thought it was cool to find a cast of the prints inside the information centre at the restaurant. They are estimated to be some 117 000 years old, and Jas will think carefully about where he leaves his own muddy footprints from now.
I was contacted a few weeks back by a new young Afrikaans artist, Etienne Steyn that I hadn’t heard of before, and when introduced to his music and video, was interested to find out more about him.
Etienne has played in a few groups over the years, such as Denizen, Goose Gap that had the hit “Sugar Up My Lolipop”, while also working in the recording industry. He filled in as lead vocalist for a Cutting Jade national tour after their lead quit the group, and in 2005 some of his first Afrikaans tracks started making waves, which touched AKA Records.
His debut album ‘Storie van my Hart’ was released 6-months later, and immediately nominated for a SAMA for Best Pop Album.
I am featuring his video Happy Dayz, about his own grandfather, Oupa Pottie. Etienne explains that Oupa Pottie survived World War II, and as is the case with many veterans, it was only in the last few years of his life that he opened up about his experiences.
Etienne says, “Hy het baie gespekuleer – oor how manipulerend die politici is… oor hoe onnodieg ‘n oorlog is…” (He spent a lot of time speculating about that time... about how manipulating politicians are… about how unnecessary war is…)
And when Etienne used to take out his guitar, Oupa would sit quietly listening, and then ask, “Etienne, speel vir my Suikerbossie in ‘n ‘sad way’!” (Etienne, play Suikerbossie in a sad way!).
His grandfather was also very fond of the old war-time song ‘Happy days are here again’ and enjoyed getting the whole family to sing it when together at gatherings.
Etienne lost his grandfather in 2003, and as couldn’t be there at his passing he wrote this song in Oupa Pottie’s memory.
Judge for yourself, but I think he is very talented!