Musician retires after 200 albums

2019-04-17 06:01
: Warren de KlerkFoto:

: Warren de KlerkFoto:

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WARREN de Klerk, a 79-year-old Sherwood resident, who has been in the music industry for over seven decades, has reached his final goal of releasing 200 CDs.

The date, March 14, now holds new meaning for him as it’s the day he finished his last album called Top of the World.

“I regard it as a particularly special day in my music career of some 70-odd years. For me it’s a milestone of achievement,” De Klerk said.

He recorded his first album 15 years and 4 000 songs ago and plans to retire now that he’s finally made his target.

“These last 15 years have certainly been pretty hectic (musically speaking) with me spending many, many hours almost every day researching music, planning, preparing, recording, editing, checking and then doing the final mix.

“But I must also confess that it has been 15 years of great pleasure, happiness and joy - even though there were regular disappointments and frequent frustrations when things would not go according to plan,” he said.

De Klerk’s research has indicated that no other single artist in South Africa has come even close to this number. This dedicated musician has played all around South Africa, around Europe and Britain and in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Nigeria.

“I have played at many hotels right in the country and I have also had the privilege of spending two seasons entertaining on the cruise ships between South Africa and Mauritius.

“I have also performed at a number of Christian venues throughout South Africa and Israel.”

De Klerk has a love for all types of music, including gospel, jazz, pop, rock, country, light classical and Latin American. He has entertained at concerts, cocktail parties, corporate functions, modelling shows, gentlemen’s clubs, charity functions, church halls, open air stadiums, private homes and birthday parties.

De Klerk said that a number of his friends and family members have supported him and played a huge role in his success, but no-one more so than his late wife, Antoinette, who passed away 11 years ago.

“She was always there to stand by me, support by efforts, encourage me, spur me on, make suggestions, compliment me or offer constructive criticism, if and when she thought it was necessary.

“It is therefore with great joy and pleasure that I dedicate this, my 200th CD, to her memory,” he said. “I just know that she is very proud of my achievement.”

Back in February 2018, PE Express reported about De Klerk reaching 150 CDs. And now, little more than a year later he has added another 50, his last as it turns out, to his tally.

“Now that I have achieved my goal, I intend taking it easier, but who knows? Maybe the ‘bug’ will bite me again.”

AFTER more than 10 years, local resident Warren de Klerk (78) has finally reached his goal of recording his 150th album.

De Klerk, who lives in Sherwood, set a record in 2016 when he produced his 100th album, but he was determined not to stop there and set a new goal for himself to add another 50 to his tally in just one year.

“In December 2016, I was able to produce my 100th CD, but this was achieved over a nine-year period and to add another 50 CDs to this tally in just one year meant that I would have to average about four per month,” he said.

“Taking into account that each CD contains approximately 20 songs, this was quite a daunting task. This meant that there lay many, many hours of preparation, research, practice, arranging, editing and final recording ahead of me.”

On December 24, 2017, he finally reached his new goal. What sets De Klerk apart from other musicians, though, is the fact that he has never been interested in making money from his talent.

“Even though I have produced this many CDs, I have never, ever sold a single one, nor have I ever attempted to do so. Instead, I have had the pleasure of giving hundreds away (especially the gospel CDs) with only one thought in mind: to bless someone with the word of God,” he explained.

De Klerk was also determined not to conform to just one particular genre. His 150 albums, which are made up of more than 3 000 songs, cover nearly every type of music, including gospel, jazz, country, Latin-American, boeremusiek and movie theme songs, to name but a few.

“I spend between four and six hours each day in my music studio preparing, arranging and recording my CDs. They are a total one-man show.

“I do all the background instrumental music myself and then I add various voices (my own) to achieve the final results. This proud record could never have been achieved without God’s grace and mercy.”

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