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Afrikaans rockers make a joyful noise

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IOL Straatlig

Valencia Govindasamy

AFTER a two-year break, the Afrikaans rock group Straatligkinders (Streetlight Children, or SLK) is officially back with their latest album, Duiwel Dans, which was released on Monday.

This award-winning rock powerhouse hailing from Potchefstroom in North West are made up of Bouwer Bosch (vocals and guitar), Benjamin de Jager (guitar), Hein Kruger (bass) and Ruan Kruger (drums).

Bosch explained what fans can expect from the new album: “As writers and individuals, the album is definitely different from the others, it’s very polished and very well rounded off. It features some upbeat and dance kind of music compared to the previous stuff we’ve done.

“It’s not so serious, but it’s quite diverse. We want to make more happy music and up-tempo tracks, music that will make people dance; we’re also growing as songwriters.

“We worked with amazing producers as well. So our music can be defined as up-tempo, soft rock and roll. We’re an honest band and we write about the stuff we talk about in everyday life.”

Since the group formed back in 2006, SLK have come along way. They have been nominated for an array of awards from ATKV and VAMT awards to MK and Huisgenoot Tempo awards.

Having made eight music videos, they have also topped the video charts on the MK Top 10.

With all the success they have gained over the years as an Afrikaans band, Bosch says: “MK have treated us great for five years. We were one of the few Afrikaans bands when we first started out and they definitely recognise Afrikaans bands and they develop our music. We also admire so many other Afrikaans bands.”

They reunited this year with a fresh spin on things, and I asked Bosch about the two-year break.

“It had to do with personal reasons. Everything builds up, but we never had any bad vibes as a group.

“We had to kind of look at why we started the band in the first place and find ourselves, so we decided to take a break, but it’s good to be back and have a new album out.”

At the moment, SLK’s music only features Afrikaans lyrics. But according to Bosch, he would love to experiment in the years to come.

He elaborated: “We’ve never mixed our languages before. For now, I feel like there are still a lot of things that haven’t been said in Afrikaans.

“But we would definitely love to do an English album and see how people react to it. I mean, there are lots of opportunities with English and Afrikaans.

“For instance, guys like Die Antwoord are great on the South African music scene and their music appeals to lots of people. Also, I just love Gangs of Ballet. I think it would be so cool to collaborate with them.

“So we want to try to be more creative and look at ways to get a bigger market, maybe try to get an older crowd to appreciate our music as well… a wider audience maybe like on Jacaranda.

“We want to cater for all markets and try to pull it off because… it’s not only about making money, it’s about creating a demand, something everyone likes.”

So what can fans of SLK expect in the future?

“We definitely want to tour a lot. No matter where we go, people will get the opportunity to see us live.

“So we’re going to get on the road and we’re always trying to spice things up,” said Bosch.


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