Elandré Schwartz grew up in Despatch, a small town in the Eastern Cape, and had a major passion for music. He also had an incredibly unique voice which prompted Sony Music to surprise him with a record contract live during an interview with Bok Radio. Now, after wowing audiences with his debut single ‘Afrikaans Sal Bly’, Elandre opens up about his just-released new album ‘Kleindorp-dromer’, his humble beginnings and making an impact through music.
Congrats on the new album! What inspired you to name the record ‘Kleindorp-Dromer’?
Thank you! It’s still so unreal. The name ‘Kleindorp-Dromer’ is a summary of my life. I feel like I have always been a dreamer and I grew up in the small town of Despatch. I feel like the title represents me and my music wonderfully.
Tell us a bit about your humble beginnings in the music industry.
There weren’t many opportunities to perform down in Despatch. Therefore, I took every chance I had to be on a stage. I did everything from bar gigs and karaoke nights, to singing competitions and church bazaars. It was only after I moved to Cape Town that I was able to get more opportunities to perform and interact with other types of creative people. I learnt a lot from them and this allowed me to focus on my ambitions. This lead to the ‘Tougher Than the Rest’ cover I did and the radio interview that changed my life.
Your record label surprised you with a deal on live radio. What was that experience like?
Everyone was really welcoming and supportive. This helped calm the nerves a bit. It can be overwhelming to perform live on radio – especially when Sony just dropped a record deal on you! It was an experience that I will never forget.
Your debut single ‘Afrikaans Sal Bly’ is taking the country by storm. What inspired the single?
I am proudly Afrikaans and I wanted others to see the importance of being true to your roots. It’s a song so many people can relate to and I’m so proud of it.
You’re one of the most unique acts in the Afrikaans music space right now. Why do you think people are identifying with the music you make?
I try to be honest and real in my approach to my art. I’ve been told by fans that they can relate to my music. I’m thankful for this because I put a lot of myself into my music and I believe I write from an emotional perspective.
How does it feel knowing your music has made an impact on so many lives around the country?
It feels humbling to know that so many people have allowed me into their lives. I don’t take that honour lightly. It’s euphoric and a dream come true.
This is just the beginning of your journey. What goals or dreams do you have for your future?
I want to enrich Afrikaans music and create a platform. I want to use my status to help other “Kleindorp-Dromers” like myself reach their full potential.
The lyrical content on your album is phenomenal. How do you go about writing a good song?
I love observing the world around and use those real-life experiences in my music. To capture these real life moments, I make sure my writing is swift and spontaneous and I’m so happy with what we created on this album.
Country music seems to be a genre which has really inspired the overall sound of the album. What draws you to that genre?
It reminds me of home and the many good times I’ve had with my family. Country music was very present in my house growing up and it’s a genre I really relate to.
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