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#JanBlohm to perform in city

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Blohm is considered one of South Africa’s foremost Afrikaans rock and blues singer/songwriters.

Jan Blohm. Picture: Facebook

RENOWNED South African rock and blues singer Jan Blohm will be performing in Kimberley with his band this weekend.

Born in Kroonstad as George Harry Kymdell, Blohm is considered one of South Africa’s foremost Afrikaans rock and blues singer/songwriters.

According to Blohm, he has been writing poetry “since he can remember”.

While he was heavily influenced by English music, his first love remains Afrikaans and he considers the language “holy”. His love of poetry can be felt in the poetic quality of his music.

Blohm has always been attracted to the music of Chuck Berry and the old rock ’n’ roll pioneers. He is inspired by the music of BB King, Muddy Waters, Rodriguez, Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, Stevie Ray Vaughan and ZZ Top.

Locally, he is a fan of Anton Goosen, Piet Botha and Gian Groen.

After school Blohm bought himself a special acoustic guitar. Driven by his absolute hatred of conformity, he started exploring the roots of rock ’n’ roll and blues.

In 2002, his music started to get noticed and he became a full-time singer/musician.  

During 2004, Blohm’s debut album, Melkstraat Confessions, appeared.  This album stole the spotlight at the 2005 GMT Awards when it, in the midst of fierce competition, walked away with three of the top awards. At the time, the GMT was considered the most important awards in the Afrikaans music industry. 

Melkstraat Confessions won the award for “Album of the Year” and the song “Breyten se brief” was awarded as “Song of the Year. During the awards, Blohm was also crowned as “Newcomer of the Year”.
During 2005, he received the award for “Best Rock Group” and he also made his debut as lead actor in the Afrikaans drama series “Dit wat Stom is”, after being approached by South Africa TV director Franz Marx.

He also wrote the lyrics and composed the title music “Dromer” for the series.

His second album, “‘n Stille Runaway”’, was recorded in January 2006 and all the songs were written and composed by Blohm himself. 

“‘n Stille Runaway” offers a variety of music styles ranging from rock to blues, from ballads to light jazz. A surprise on the album is that the artist can even play the piano that can be heard in two of the songs: “Ja Ma” and “Vanoggend Van Gogh”. The music video of the song “In Wens” was recorded during the recording of the album in Clarens, Free State.

Blohm’s third album, “Groen Trui”, was launched in November 2006 at the Performer Theatre in Pretoria. The CD contains (of course) its eponymous hit (Groen Trui) that became known through the TV series “Orion”. 

A new rock version of “Sondag lover” also makes its appearance and after years of waiting before being recorded, also “Johnny K” – Blohm’s tribute to Johannes Kerkorrel, Jimi Hendrix and other music masters.

Despite strong competition, he received two Huisgenoot Tempo Awards in 2007, namely “Favourite Rock Album” for “Groen Trui” and again for “Favourite Rock Group”.

In November 2007, his DVD, “Live at the Performer”, appeared. The recording was made during the launch of “Groen Trui” at the Performer Theatre.

He was crowned with an award in the category “Best Afrikaans DVD of the Year” at the 14th annual SAMA award evening.

In May 2009, Blohm announced his “7 Jaar” album, which was received with great praise and appreciation by the public, as well as in the media and in the music industry.

He was honoured during the same year with a Rapport VAMT (Vonk Afrikaans Music Award) for “7 Jaar” as the “Best Rock Album of the Year”. He also received a SAMA award for “Most Popular Afrikaans Rock Album” in 2010, as well as two Huisgenoot Tempo Awards for “Popular Rock Album” and “Alternative Music Video of the Year” with MK (Rosie).

During 2018, Blohm launched “Die Liefde Album”, his most recent offering.

Describing the “Die Liefde Album”, he explains that “love is the wealth every man desires”.

“When you have tried and experienced everything in life, when your pilgrimages have been trampled and your crossroads are traversed, when you have even chewed on the hardest precious stones of your past and made your peace with this past, once you get your licence for self-acceptance, only then, you experience the wealth that every man so desires – that is love.

The “Die Liefde Album” album is Jan Blohm’s latest release after six years and portrays the raw, honest truth that only Blohm can grasp in an album cemented with blues, rock and poetry.

The rebellious boy is now older and more mature. We are now experiencing a Jan Blohm that believes that in the times we are currently living, love is all the world needs.

You can hear this in his lyrics, with his passion in the silence between words, while his honest, raw acoustic melody picks up your heartbeats just like the strong guitar-driven “Die Liefde” album itself.
He does not believe in “second-hand” love. He believes love is a “doing thing” not a “saying thing”.

This was also the reason Blohm recorded the album with musicians playing simultaneously during the recordings. He believes this will be the heartbeat of the album – honest, raw and just love.

Blohm’s band members were also closely involved in producing this album, with its unique, warm, rock sound. 

He believes an album is not a mix of songs, but rather something you write like a love novel, with a start and an end. This he accomplished with his band members, John Masser on guitar and backing vocals, Francois Kleinhans also on guitar, Tinus Odendaal on drums and the well-known Danny Lalouette on bass.

Blohm says that while the album title might sound like something for “sissies” –  just as he was mocked at school when he wanted to draw portraits with charcoal – he is convinced that with this latest release he has walked the road of self-acceptance and can now rightly claim the contrasting title as the “Rock King of Hearts”.

The Jan Blohm Band will be performing at the Occidental Bar, Big Hole Complex, tomorrow from 8pm.