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Voel Jy Die Genade is another uplifting, meaningful album from the local superstar who continues to spread his message of hope and faith.
More than 8-million views on YouTube. Seven Ghoema Awards. Hundreds of performances. Since his debut with Skepe in 2016, Jo Black has made an indelible mark on the South African music industry. One can even say that his rise to fame has been touched by grace.
Which is why the title of his new and very long-awaited album, VOEL JY DIE GENADE, is fitting. The album’s launch follows hot on the heels of the first single, also titled Voel Jy Die Genade, which was recently released to much acclaim. An instant hit – the music video has already had more than 250 000 hits on YouTube and reached the number one spot on iTunes SA and several radio stations in just three days – the single is upbeat and inspirational and offers a glimpse of what the rest of the album offers.
Speaking of VOEL JY DIE GENADE, Jo says: “I poured my heart and soul into this album. I worked incredibly hard on this project and hope that it will inspire those who listen to it, as it inspired me while I was creating it.”
The album offers Jo’s unique blend of faith, hope and love, and not only reflects his career to date, but also how much there is to be grateful for. It contains a variety of tracks, including his heartfelt rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which Jo says came together perfectly despite not having a plan mapped out. “We wrote about whatever came up, and somehow managed to turn it into a great album. Another act of grace. The biggest challenge, however, is that I had 35 years to write my first album, but only one year to write the second,” he jokes.
While Jo reckons that any one of a number of songs from the album could be a radio hit, he does reveal his favourite. “Spring is undoubtedly my favourite, as this entire journey has been a giant leap of faith.”
If the response to his very first single, Skepe, as well as his latest success is anything to go by, that leap has certainly paid off. Written by Jo, in collaboration with his long-time songwriting partner Johan Vorster, Christoph “Appel” Kotze and Roan Ash, Voel Jy Die Genade is true to the Jo Black brand – it is an Afrikaans rock song with deep lyrics and an even deeper meaning.
For Jo, who has loved music from a young age but who never dreamed that it would be his career, music must be three dimensional. “It mustn’t only be easy on the ear; it must also speak to the heart and soul. It must truly resonate with people,” he says. “The single, like the album, summarises the last two years of my life. When I look back on my journey, I realise that everything that happened was by grace. I hope it inspires people to also see and experience the grace in their own lives.”
As far as the music video for Voel Jy Die Genade goes, Jo saw it as an opportunity to introduce the people who have shared this journey with him. “While my music videos usually only feature myself, I never perform without a band. I wanted this video to include the band – they’ve had my back for the past two years and have performed with me in more than 550 shows.”
While Jo is quick to list those who inspire him – Robbie Wessels, Roan Ash, Riana Nel, Karen Zoid and Ross Learmonth, among others – he is a bit more secretive about which South African artist he’d like to share the stage with, saying: “There are quite a few… but watch this space.”
As for his plans for the future? “I take every day as it comes. That said, we are looking forward to some overseas tours and to sharing the new album with audiences across South Africa.” He is also working several business concepts and plans to open his own restaurant soon.
The artist, who describes his voice and style as ‘unique’, underwent a serious neck operation in September last year. While several shows had to be cancelled due to the procedure, he has made a full recovery – VOEL JY DIE GENADE is proof that he is ready for the next chapter of the incredible path that he is on.
Asked about the highlight of his career to date Jo, whose debut album Skepe reached triple platinum status and raked in a record number of Ghoema Awards – including Best Newcomer, Best Album of the Year and Best Digital Sales of the Year – says it’s difficult to pinpoint just one. “I have been blessed with highlight upon highlight since starting this journey.”
VOEL JY DIE GENADE is another uplifting, meaningful album from the local superstar who continues to spread his message of hope and faith.
Proudly associated with Inhoud Huis Musiek, Jo Black’s new album will be available from today, 8 February 2019 on all digital platforms and in all good music stores nationwide.
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