Without any warning, Justin Serrao starts singing in Afrikaans.
This not only describes Serrao’s career, but also his latest YouTube video, a cover of Koos du Plessis’s classic Kinders van die Wind. After releasing two English albums as a solo artist (and working on his third, due to be out in August), Justin surprised everyone with a collaborative cover project called #ToeEnNou, which kicked off with this video. “This project is something Regardt Scheepers and I have been talking about for some time now. So we’ve knuckled down and got it going.”
“Regardt and myself got talking at his studio one day about the Afrikaans legends and then we decided to kick this off. The reason we have taken on this project of singing the legendary Afrikaans songs, is to pay tribute to these legends and founders of our proudly South African industry.
When doing covers, Justin says it’s important to remember that these songs are hits for a reason. “People hold them close to their hearts. So if you’re gonna sing it, sing it with meaning. There’s nothing worse than someone singing a song because they have to.”
“We definitely add our own flavour to the track but we don’t loose the essence of the song. Or whip it into a club beat chappies version. We respect the song and the songwriters and pay tribute to them.”
“The series title [#ToeEnNou] means we are taking a look back at these beautiful songs and songwriters. A look back in time with a twist from us.”
Justin is always enthusiastic about his projects, but was taken aback by the amazing reaction the Kinders van die Wind video got. “Really, to tell you the truth, the response has blown us away. We knew people would enjoy it but – wow. It’s really got us working hard on the next release.”
“Also a big surprise was being asked to open for Steve Hofmeyr at his two shows in Port Elizabeth on the 18th & 19th May while I’m on tour there.”
“I have heard some dodgy covers over the years by English artists and realize it’s a daunting task with pronunciations in Afrikaans. However, I feel we nailed it.”
“We’ve got 10 Songs to do in Afrikaans for the #ToeEnNou series. If the public has any suggestions on a song they think we could do justice please contact me at www.JustinSerrao.com
“I think we will stick to English & Afrikaans for now. Although there has been a lot of people pushing me to do a Portuguese song, so let’s see what the future holds.”
For now, here’s Justin and Regardt’s version of Kinders van die Wind: