Chance encounter yields fame

2018-07-26 06:01
Gerrit Matthee and Emma de Goede from the alt-pop band Emerger.

Gerrit Matthee and Emma de Goede from the alt-pop band Emerger.

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It was a chance encounter at a high school talent show years ago that set the stage for one of the country’s rising music groups.

The alt-pop duo Emerger have just been recognised as Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight for July, proving that success often comes to those who wait.

“We are thrilled,” says the group’s Gerrit Matthee (27). “There are so many great new artists out there and to get this feature is a true honour.”

Matthee (producer/ multi-instrumentalist) met his bandmate Emma de Goede (25) (vocals/piano) in 2008 while at school at Hoërskool DF Malan in Bellville.

“I heard Emma sing at the school’s annual talent competition and was instantly blown away by her voice,” recalls Matthee.

He invited her to join his then band Lemolow “and the rest is history”. They played together for a few years before taking a break to focus on their full-time music studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT). De Goede earned her BMus in Jazz Performance and Matthee graduated with a BMus in Classical Composition.

After finishing their studies, the world got a glimpse into their talent when, back in 2013, their song “Break & Fall” was chosen from 5000 entries as the winner of the Avid and Abbey Road Studios International Song Contest.

“This was a massive moment for us, but due to our studies, we placed Emerger on hold until we could give it the attention it deserved. So, the band has been in the pipeline for quite a while, but I’d say it officially formed when we started recording and producing our debut album Bloom in 2017,” says De Goede.

The eight-track album was mixed and produced by arguably some of South Africa’s best engineers, including Christian Wright (Ed Sheeran, Coldplay), Johnny de Ridder (Fokofpolisiekar), David Langemann (Freshlyground) and Andrew Rawbone-Viljoen (Al Bairre).

The group has seen a meteoric rise since Bloom’s official release earlier this year. Not only did they join other South Africans like Tholwana and Alice Phoebe Lou in being featured as Apple’s New Artist of the Month, but they were featured on BBC Radio in June as part of the BBC Music Introducing show.

Find their music on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube and more. Follow They are also on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.


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