The translation of the rapport article by Herman Scholtz
Most of the Afrikaans music on the market is neither new nor original.
When the “bearded woman” Conchita Wurst of Austria hit the international scene last year as winner of Eurovision song contest, it got the attention of a lot of South Africans and they suddenly became aware of this contest and the sub culture of music it represents.
But South African are listening to Eurovision songs for many years says Roy van der Merwe, the president of he Eurovision fan club for countries outside of Europe. Around 80% of the South African music scene is Eurovision related says this Johannesburg citizen who have attended the contest over several years.
He helps South African artists to obtain the rights to record these songs and keeps detailed record of all the covers done in South Africa.
Eurovision who allows each member country to send one entry to the contest. It is enormously popular and the contest had made stars of people such as ABBA and Celine Dion.
It started in 1956 and 52 different countries have at least entered once.
Since the start of the contest, there has been approximately 1600 individual songs says Van der Merwe. Of these 1600, at least 400 have been covered in AFRIKAANS and several of them had been huge hits.
This 400 are however only the official Eurovision entries. Since Van der Merwe helps the artists to liase with the overseas composers, he also keeps record of the songs that have been in the selection progress of countries and many of these have come to South Africa to become Afrikaans hits. We call these Euro related songs. Taking this into account, almost 80% of the Afrikaans music industry is Eurovision related.
It started way back. Bles Bridges recorded tons of German songs. Manual Escorcio’s song SOVEEL HERINNER MY (so much remind me) was Ireland’s 1970 winner, ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING. The 1972 entry from Luxembourg APRES TOI has been translated by Bles & Sunette Bridges, Ge Korsten, Janita Claassen and Patricia Lewis and with three different sets of lyrics.
Rina Hugo’s hit JY’S VIR MY was the Spanish 1973 entry ERES TU.
A far more recent example is UITKLOPHOU (knockout punch), the title track of Karlien van Jaarsveld platinum CD. This song was Georgia’s 2013 entry WATERFALL.
This is just the Euro related market. Various singers have gotten the right to other songs by overseas composers to use their melodies and translate the lyrics. Snotkop en Moniqe Foxx got people’s feet tapping with their song PARAPAPA, but it was two BRAZILIAN rockets CIDINHO and DOCA who did the original song RAP DAS ARMAS in 2007. They were the composers of it.
The song is about the Brazilian police and their fight against crime and drug smuggling.
The Afrikaans version (the music video) shows Snotkop who is a weekend alone at his parent’s house and is holding a party. It contains lyrics like
EK SOEK JOU IN DIE SONSKYN HIER NABY MY
MY ARMS OM JOU SEXY BRUINGEBRANDE LYF
I want you in the sunshine here next to me
MY arms around your sexy brown tanned body
Van der Merwe says covers are international phenomena. In fact, his dream is to see every Eurovision hit done in Afrikaans.
But because of the stigma in South Africa over covers, a lot of artists lie, or just keep quiet over who the original composer is and just simple say IT IS UNKNOWN.
The song farmer ANTON GOOSEN differs radical and says this tendency is a sewer tsoenami that has hit the country. It is all about a quick fix to success. The artists record something from Europe, which is already a hit. Why do they do it? South African people understand English and should listen to the English song is they wanted to (He fails to understand that the majority of covers are from songs in OTHER LANGUAGE).
Although I wont say it is as bad a murder to cover a song, says Goosen, the big crime is that the royalties leave the country for Europe while this money could have much better be used in South Africa (Again he fails to understand that the royalties for composers are such a small part of the recording – most local artists spend the most money INSIDE South Africa on the expensive producers and promotion of the their CD’s).
He added it has now become so bad that most South African composers are only interested in writing lyrics to existing melodies and no new ones. He then said there are some original artists like LAURIKA RAUCH (and again he has not his facts as two of Laurika’s biggest hits like op BLOUBERG SE STRAND is originally UDO JURGENS songs) and DAVID KRAMER. These two will stay popular as their work are original and local. He says the cover songs (which again he referred to as translated although many have total new lyrics in Afrikaans and is not even related to the original lyrics – for example UITKLOPHOU) has a tendency to be DOEF DOEF (difficult to translate DOEF DOEF but mainly the GERMAN SCHLAGER beat music) music with shallow lyrics (yes there are some with shallow lyrics, like many EDUROVISION songs indeed but there are also some with absolute brilliant lyrics).
HERE SOME OF THESE COVERD SONS ON NETWERK24.com