The versatile Petronel Baard, who grew up in Villiersdorp, has loved music from a very young age. Her mother and uncle (who was head of- and conductor of the Drakensberg Boys Choir) is the reason for her love for choir music and her exceptional voice was discovered at the age of twelve. She regularly experiments with various genres, but ever since her younger days in Johannesburg, she has always aspired to work with the deep house/trance genre. Little did she know that an opportunity was on the cards for her.
In 2018 her path crossed with Gavin Jay and DJ Keyz through a mutual friend, Walter Blaq from Crystal Blaq Entertainment (Facebook) and founder of the culture forum, MOCCA (Mossel Bay Creative Cultures Association) where Petronel is currently very involved. He, as well as the group, was part of the massive musical movement, Soul Festival of Mossel Bay, which trained artists at a series of Open Mic events, over a period of six months, to share a multi-cultured stage with Riku Lätti and Friends on “Die Wasgoedlyn”. The initiative added great value to the professional growth of artists/musicians. The Mossel Bay Municipality received huge praise for their support in this cause.
That historical day was recorded – a show of almost seven hours long, and a documentary was put together by the same film maker, Efpe Senekal, who would eventually film SEEK THE LIGHT, the song which was born from this gathering. He also filmed the beautiful video of Petronel’s single, Life is Good.
Since that festival, Petronel wanted to work even closer with these artists and for it to form part of her theatre development – something she has a deep passion for https://www.facebook.com/teaterkafee/
They are also currently working on fortnight performances via social media on their Mocca Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/creativeculturesmosselbay/
During August 2019, Petronel paid Gavin Jay and DJ Keyza a visit in KwaNonqaba, Mossel Bay, and SEEK THE LIGHT was born. The song was released on Workers Day, 1 May 2020. “The song is about poverty and social class division. It boasts with a house/trance style, something totally different to what I am used to. Gavin Jay, is however a phenominal rap artist and our voices compliment each other which makes for a very interesting end result,” she says.
Watch the video which was put together from home videos and from Internet videos by Rapid Digital SA, who takes care of Petronel’s technical requirements: https://youtu.be/RtPNlGMfnRs
An excited Petronel explains about the recording of SEEK THE LIGHT: “I was blown away on that sunny afternoon in a humble small home, just like my own, when the producer, DJ Keyz, showcased what he had done with Gavin Jay’s music. I improvised five or six layers of my own classical style music over the modern music. We just played around, but because of my classical training, the words just came to me… “Seek the light”. During that moment, the lyrics referred to the poverty I saw around me, yet still strong and proud. I just knew we had to seek the light and accept and understand one another’s reality. Something that became very clear now, during Covid-19. Gavin then added his rap and a genre of deep house/trance, mixed with hip/hop, was born. The five or six layers which I then recorded over theirs, became the song.” Petronel and Gavin wrote the song and DJ Keyz recorded, mixed and produced the song.
“Every day you live and die…every day you try and try…every day you die and try and die…seek the light”.
Even though we are facing difficult times, we have all faced difficult times before. We are all the same in that regard.
Whether it is circumstances in our head or in the world, we have to seek the light.
Supporters/followers can join Petronel on Facebook to find out more about her upcoming concerts and bookings.
This song will be available on all digital platforms soon.
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