Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

#MusicExchange: Heinrich Frans on music, ‘kwaai lappies’ and googlies

Rapid-fire Q&A with singer, producer and songwriter Heinrich Frans who will be fulfilling a lifelong dream of studying music at Wits University next year.

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In support of his academic endeavours, Heinrich Frans will be performing and curating a series of concerts for discerning music enthusiasts over the next few months.

The first show he will be performing, is on Saturday 10 October at the intimate and historic Erin Hall in Rondebosch in Cape Town and will feature Frans on vocals with the supremely gifted Angelo Syster on electric guitar.  

Under current COVID-19 regulations, no more than 60 people are allowed to attend this concert and all COVID-19-related protocols — social distancing in particular — will be adhered to.

 Sanitisation stations will be available upon entry and scattered throughout the venue. Audience members are encouraged to wear masks for the duration of the performance.

  • Tickets are available on Quicket.  

Who is Heinrich Frans?

Heinrich Frans entered the music industry as a professional singer at the age of 11 as a member of the St George’s Cathedral Choir. His live performances as lead and backing vocalist include work with Allou April, Ernie Smith and Wanda Baloyi.

He also performed as lead and backing vocalist for international artists, such as Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, Oleta Adams, Diana Ross, Bebe Winans, Josh Groban and Mark Fransman’s Strait & Narro.

Heinrich has released a three-track EP entitled Life-Stories and is available on all digital distribution platforms.

Over the last number of years, Frans worked as an audio engineer, artist manager and booking agent. He has also been a composer, pianist and film score composer, and served as a vocal coach, judge and musical director for the annual Shoprite Topstars singing competition.

In early March of 2020, Heinrich was commissioned by the founder of the highly revered, Music Exchange conference to co-produce (alongside RJ Benjamin) a star-studded rendition of Johnny Clegg’s The Crossing for the DHL Stormers and Friends Project — a unique collaboration between the rugby powerhouse and an all-star contingent of South African artists and entertainers.

Heinrich has performed for heads of state, including the late Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Thabo Mbeki.

RAPID-FIRE Q&A WITH HEINRICH FRANS

The South African caught up with Heinrich last week ahead of his show to have a chat.

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Singer-songwriter-producer Heinrich Frans. Image supplied

The new decade means?

Endless possibilities.

Fame is about?

Utilising one’s influence to effect sustainable change.

Retirement will happen when?

Retirement will happen when my legacy of change is established and able to sustain itself.

I don’t do?

Bad coffee.

What does music mean to you?

Without music, life would be meaningless.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

 Making people feel good while thinking more.

Any funny moments on stage?

I am a bit of joker. As such, it does not take much for me to catch the giggles while singing. This has happened to me many, many times.

Your heroes?

Winston Mankunku, Feya Faku, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Mark Fransman, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, André Petersen, Chantal Willie, Jacob Collier, D’Angelo and Joni Mitchell.

Which living person do you admire most and why?

 Kendrick Lamar. He made To Pimp a Butterfly, that’s why!

What is your most treasured possession?

 My ability to move people with music.

It’s your round, what are you drinking?

Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola all the day long.

Dream gig to do?

Any gig with my favourite musicians.

What makes you stand out?

I sing with my entire being.

Nicknames?

I grew a beard and then copped the nickname, Suge — as in, Suge Knight. I am still not sure how I feel about this…

If you were not a musician what would you do?

 I would be a cricketer. I still bowl a mean bit of leg spin — googly and all.

Pick five words to describe yourself?

Soulful, nurturing, bold, ambitious, loving.

Five favourite SA albums of all time?

Tribe – Our Language

Mark Fransman’s Strait & Narro – Ahead

Tucan Tucan – Xiluva

Marcus Wyatt – Africans In Space

Halles Komet – The Storm Inside

Greatest movie ever made?

Hitch

What song changed your life?

Walk Tall by Mark Fransman and Melanie Scholtz

Who do you love?

Jill Scott

What is your favourite word?

Diabolical

Favourite fashion garment

Adidas sneakers.

Give us some real slang and what it means

Kwaai lappies”… This is an expression that is believed to have been birthed in District Six. It is a compliment meaning that one is well-dressed.

Top of your bucket list?

A visit to New York City.

Your greatest achievement?

Waking up every day to do what I love doing most.

What do you complain about most often?

Racism.

What is your fear?

My greatest fear is that human kind will never know a world without racism.

Happiness is?

Music and long walks.

On stage I tend to?

Sing my face off.

The best life lesson you have been taught?

God is love.

Do you get worked up while watching a sports game on TV?

Hell yeah, I do! If it is an All Blacks game, I am usually ready to perform the Haka right along with them before we demolish our opponents.

Where would you like to be right now?

Anywhere but the White House. I mean, can you imagine?

Do you do charity work and if you do, what do you do?

Throughout the year, I spend music of my time and energy sharing music industry-related information and skills — in the form of workshops or master classes — with artists from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. I enjoy working with Music Exchange as the work is very rewarding and they do real tangible skills sharing.

Wishes and dreams?

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” – Martin Luther King

Listen to Heinrich Frans

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heinrich.frans.1

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bigphatvox/

Twitter: twitter.com/heinrichfrans

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