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Classic voice

Classic voice

After exploring several career options, Hardus Hartzenberg realised that in the end only singing would give him what he wanted out of life. By Benno Stander

While at an agricultural boarding school in the farming community of Jacobsdal, singing wasn’t really on offer as an extramural activity. But Hardus’s family loved to sing and he had many fond memories of family gatherings and the songs that went with them. Before Hardus moved to Jacobsdal he had fallen in love with the Lowveld when he lived here as a young child. His father was a carpentry teacher at Hoërskool Nelspruit for many years and when he got the chance, he moved back in an instant.
After school he went on to study electrical engineering and veterinary sciences before discovering his true passion in life. “After I had just started singing, a friend invited me to meet his aunt who he said would be able to open doors for me,” Hardus remembers.
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When he eventually showed up at the aunt’s house, he was surprised to find that she was Christa Steyn, famous South African pianist and singer who is best known for her collaborations with Jannie Moolman. As he entered, Christa asked him whether he had a demo and at the time he knew so little about the music industry that he thought she was referring to his car. To this he simply replied, “No, it’s an old second-hand.” Right there and then she put him in front of a microphone and helped him to record his very first track – a gesture that really did turn out to be a great advance in his prospects as singer.
From November 2011 he started singing full-time after struggling for about three years to make it in the tough economic climate. But he wasn’t going to back down and used every opportunity he could find to get on stage and deliver the goods.
Hardus describes his style as classical crossovers and is currently working on a classical rendition of some of Nickelback’s songs. His first CD contains an interesting mix of light Afrikaans music, some classic opera pieces and a couple of renditions. He is also working on a second album which contains many of his own songs that he hopes to finish soon.
“Writing music is a continuous process for me and takes place throughout the day in different situations. Sometimes I’ll be driving or just hear a sound and it puts me on a track,” says Hardus. His biggest inspirations are Michael Bolton, Andrea Bocelli, Brian Adams and Pavarotti.
But he admits that he is also a fan of Die Heuwels Fantasties. “One of my all-time favourite songs on the other hand is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’
“Although it actually has a very classical undertone, the song consists of many different styles and is truly a masterpiece in my opinion,” he remarks.
To keep his voice in good shape Hardus believes that practising vocal scales is still the best exercise. “They are like food to the voice. They stretch it and keep it supple and healthy. “Singing is much like any sport and requires a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and enough rest. I spend up to an hour a day doing intense vocal sessions but often break them up with rest periods to prevent overtraining.”
When not singing he spends time as volunteer at Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Badplaas and also does quite a bit of work for Look Good, Feel Better. This organisation does workshops for cancer patients to assist with beautifying them and restoring confidence during and after therapy.
“This is an emotionally taxing job and from time to time these ladies need a bit of pampering too.”  This is where Hardus comes in with his voice and does free shows and social events for the volunteers to reload their batteries.
“Be it people or animals, I find it difficult to see hardship and suffering and not do anything about it,” he remarks. “My career is really a blessing for me, since I get to do precisely what I love and still have enough time to spend with my daughter Laurize.”

Get in touch
To see what Hardus is up to visit his site www.theclassicvoice.com or order one of his CDs by mailing him on
info@theclassicvoice.com. Hardus will also perform at this year’s Innibos so check out www.innibos.co.za for the full programme.

 

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