Francois Van Coke has had an exciting few months. Not only has he become a dad but he also put the finishing touches on his second solo album ‘Hierdie Is Die Lewe’. The album contains the new hits ‘Mensdom’ and ‘Dit Raak Beter’ and is a continuation of the sound he created on his first record – different from the sound he created for himself in his bands. This week, the singer opens up about his new album, his personal new music video and being a dad.
Your highly-anticipated second solo album is here. How different is ‘Hierdie Is Die Lewe’ from your self-titled release?
The album is also a rock album, like the previous one, but I was very influenced by old-school pop music like The Beatles, Beach Boys and Roy Orbison over the last couple of years and I think that can be heard melodically. The style is similar to the previous album, but there was a definite pop approach to the production.
Your solo material has different sonic approach to that of Van Coke Kartel or Fokofpolisiekar. What sparked this decision?
Yes, I never want to make the same album twice and I think that can also be heard through my discography with Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel. When I started writing songs for my first solo album I really wanted to create something different again. The only prerequisite was that it did not sound like the other bands I play in.
‘Mensdom’ was a fantastic choice as the lead single off the project. What inspired the song?
The song is about the human condition and everything that happens between birth and death.
We love the video for your new single ‘Dit Raak Beter’. It’s quite a personal one. Why do you think the pictures and videos of you as a child help deliver the message behind the song?
The song tells the story of my life in a very broad and simple way. The images of my childhood, teenage years and early years in the music industry complimented the story told in the song. I think the director, Johan Beukes, did an amazing job of putting it all together.
You’ve said that ‘My Hart’ is your favourite track off the record. What is it about that song that stands out for you?
I really like the style of the song. It has this progressive rocking guitar riff played over a dance beat. I like the pace of it and it really works well in the live environment. I also like the lyrical content. It’s a love song to South Africa.
What was the writing process for this album like? Was there any message you wanted to send out?
The writing process was great. That is where I am the happiest. I wrote this album with my band, Die Gevaar, however, there wasn’t a specific message I wanted to send out. The album is just my take on how things are for us right now, in South Africa and in the world.
You’re a rock legend in the country. Why do you think so many around the country have identified with your music?
I think people identify with my honesty. I also really try and stay relevant the time and place we are in.
You recently became a dad! How is the little one doing and how had life changed over the past few weeks?
Alex is doing amazing. She is just over four months old now. I am in love. She has changed everything for the better and has enriched our lives massively.
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