“There are many South Africans who have left the country, because they believe that the grass is greener on the other side. I was one of them when I was in my early twenties. But our country and its culture are part of our DNA and, if you’re honest, you’ll admit that you miss it,” explains Weco van Basten, lead vocalist and songwriter of the group Victor Bravo, about the meaning behind their third single, which has just been released.
SUIDERKRUIS is a contemporary pop song taken from the arsenal of original music by this duo, consisting of Weco and lead guitarist – Jopie Pienaar. It was produced by Renier Henning Music and includes the musical stylings of well-known drummer Bruce Wallace and bassist Janes Blomerus.
“It doesn’t matter where in the world you find yourself. You will always be a South African. Rugby, braai, farming and Afrikaans is in your blood and will always be something you long for,” says Weco, who reveals that Heritage Day and the group’s performance at Aardklop in 2019 were the main inspirations behind the song.
“SUIDERKRUIS is very different from what we usually do. It has a catchy tune, which will lure people to the dance floor, without sacrificing its deeper meaning,” Jopie adds.
Download the single here:
Apple Music: music.apple.com/za/album/suiderkruis-radio-edit-radio-edit-single/1509810700
A music video of the song will also be available soon. It was filmed in the Johan van Rensburg Theatre at Hoërskool Drie Riviere and clever lighting was used to create a striking atmosphere that remind the viewer of the Southern Cross in the galaxy.
Their latest release follows in the successful footsteps of, Skemer, which was released in 2019 and topped Springbok Internetradio’s Top 20 chart for more than twenty weeks. It was also voted this radio platform’s Song of the Year for 2019 and was also play-listed on various other radio stations, including Groot FM.
Breakway Line, the duo’s debut single, was released in November 2018 and reaction to it was overwhelmingly positive. It not only featured on various big radio stations, but also topped the Springbok Top 20 charts for nine consecutive weeks.
The music video was filmed by Dehan Janse van Rensburg at Mediclinic Emfuleni and Duck Point Venue in the Vaal. In addition to the beautiful storyline (the song was written for Weco’s wife when he had to work away from home) and the breath-taking scenery in each scene, the video is also special because it was used as one of Troukoors magazine’s official styled photo sessions. Jopie and the love of his life, Rhoda Hartzer, also star in the lead roles of this video, which can still be seen on kykNET NOU!
A shared love and passion for meaningful music was what led to the creation of the acoustic duo, Victor Bravo, who have been performing together in the Vaal Triangle and surrounding areas since early 2018.
The group, whose name was derived from the first letters of their family surname – van Basten, has a very unique style, incorporating elements of Alternative, contemporary, Rock, Pop, Folk and Blues sounds seamlessly, to bring a fresh new approach to the South African music industry, which audiences of any age group would be able to enjoy. “The project, Victor Bravo, was conceived about two years ago from an idea I had. The idea was to create a platform, where music existed exclusively as music, without all the other sideshows,” explains Weco.
In the short time they have been performing together, the musical pair (who is also family) has enjoyed various career highlights. As part of the Local is Lekka competition and initiative; hosted by acclaimed Country artist Vernon Muso, VCR 90.6, IFM Radio 102.2, Mooivaal Media and Barnyard Vereeniging; they not only had the privilege of opening for comedy legend, Barry Hilton, but also had a their first radio interview to promote the show.
Furthermore, Victor Bravo has also had the opportunity to perform at Aardklop 2019, Boshof Skou, the On Tap Craft Beer Fest at Emerald Resort & Casino as well as various other venues in the Vaal Triangle, Pretoria and surrounding areas, including Stage at N12, Shovels Pub and Grill, Café Barcelona and various branches of Yami Rib & Burger. “Good music is supposed to speak to your heart and that is what makes us different. The songs we choose are meaningful, suits our style and sound and aims to deliver a deeper and more emotional message,” Jopie reveals about what audiences can expect from their shows.
The pair also collaborated with fellow-musician, Carla van Wijk, to create the group, Klankgolf, which toured the Garden Route in November 2019 and was very well received.
The Men Behind Victor Bravo
Lead singer, songwriter, rhythm guitarist and pianist, Weco van Basten, comes from a musical family and has been frequenting the braai and camp fire scene at family get-togethers for years. Mainly growing up in Sasolburg, the artist took music lessons from a small age, sang in the school choir and participated in every competition, arts festival and concert possible. During the last two years of primary school, he was also a member of the Drakensberg Boys Choir. Because he has always been passionate about entertaining people and sharing the stories in his heart, he went to America to study Drama and English Creative Writing. At this time, he was part of the acoustic group, Victim, who performed in and around Houston. The final two years of his Language Studies, was completed at North-West University’s Vaal Triangle Campus, where he also met his wife. Although he enjoys a wide variety of music, he lists artists like R.E.M., Cat Stevens, Sarah McLachlan, Eric Clapton, Ted Hawkins, Karen Zoid, Klopjag, Eminem, Koos Kombuis, Johannes Kerkorrel, 2nd Life and Jo Black as some of the biggest influences on his own musical style. Anything can inspire him to write a song at the right moment. He is, however, also able to create less serious material and enjoyed creating the hit, Boontasties, for trap artist BOON’s first album. A second song, Sê Net Wat Jy Wil Sê, was also accepted for the album, but has a completely different and more emotional vibe. He is currently also working on songs for two other artists.
Lead guitarist, singer and songwriter, Jopie Pienaar, is a passionate musician with a knack for making the guitar one of the lead role-players in any music production. Music has always been part of his life and is something that could always make him feel good at any stage of his life or in any situation he found himself in. After attending his first rock concert (Straatligkinders) at the age of fourteen, he bought a guitar and taught himself how to play. In high school he was part of the band, Mad About You, and was also involved in several music projects at his school and church. However, it is memories of him and Weco playing music around the camp fire that will always stand out and that he regards as the official origin of Victor Bravo. When he is not performing, he is also a fitness instructor at CrossFit Razmig in Pretoria and is working on developing his own talent and self-confidence as a singer and songwriter. Apart from his great love for blues music, he believes that groups such as Blink 182, Fokofpolisiekar, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kings of Leon had the greatest influence on his own guitar style.
Victor Bravo wants their music to be whatever the listener needs it to be at that particular moment when they hear it. “It must be jet fuel for the guys who want to party and enjoy it, but it must also be a gentle source of comfort to anyone looking for a shoulder to cry on at any given moment,” adds Weco.
What started out as a New Year’s resolution to make music for the sake of leaving a legacy, turned into an instant success story that exceeded the group’s greatest expectations so far.
SUIDERKRUIS is not only going to be a hit on the dance floor and at social events, but is also the next step in the very promising music career of this versatile group.