South Africa’s award-winning country duo is back with a brand-new single, Maatstaf Vir My Hart, which not only builds on the unique country-pop style they’ve become famous for, but which also satisfies even the most discerning ear.
The latest release by Heuning – the double act made up of Jeanette Pretorius and Hansie Roodt – combines an easy listening tune with goosebump-worthy lyrics that will steal your heart. The song, penned by Vaughan Gardiner, tells the story of someone who has lost her love, but who looks at the positive by cherishing the time they had together and measuring all potential relationships against the love they shared. “I usually write our music myself, but when we heard this song we immediately loved it as it fits perfectly with the style we want to convey,” explains Jeanette. “While the music is upbeat and energetic, I think the lyrics will truly resonate with people.”
The single is the first off their new album, due for release later this year, and a music video is already being planned. It is also the group’s first recording with new member Hansie, and they hope that their music will be meaningful to listeners; even if only to make them smile at the end of a long day.
Heuning’s self-titled debut album, which was released in 2012, was an instant hit among young and old alike. It not only won a Ghoema Award for Best Country Album and a Huisgenoot Tempo nomination for Best Newcomer in 2013, but also yielded several radio hits, including As ek Val, Bietjie Langer Bly, Drome, Skree and Ek Wil Met Jou Dans. In addition, it produced a number of successful music videos. The release of the album Drome in 2015 gave them an opportunity to perform at the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California.
Despite one of the original members, Henk Dercksen, going to Spain in 2016, the group was still in such high demand that Jeanette decided to swap the duo for a live band, which turned out to be very popular. Hansie, who played bass guitar for the band at the time, fitted in so well due to his talent and versatility, that it was decided to return to the group’s original format.
Jeanette Pretorius has had a passion for music from a very young age. She recorded her debut album with Boet Pretorius of Decibel Music at the age of 12, after which five other albums (including two for children and a country album) followed. Although she loves a wide variety of music, she lists Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood and Patsy Cline as her greatest musical influences. Passionate about family, Jeanette is not only a talented singer, but also an avid songwriter, yodeller and actress. In addition to many guest appearances on television, she has also performed on a number of lifestyle programmes, including Jukebox, DKNT, Noot vir Noot, Bravo, Kwêla and many more. “Everyday things that happen to me and the people around me, inspire my songwriting. I believe that music can help us turn negatives into positives,” says the blonde. That is why she believes that she must make the most of her God-given talent. When she is not performing with Hansie, she is hard at work on her solo children’s project. “I love performing with fellow musicians and seeing how people experience and enjoy the music when listening to it,” she adds.
Hansie Roodt grew up in a musical household. His dad was a master guitar player with whom his mom often sang, and his brothers are also keen musicians. His career, however, only kicked off in 2010. Since then, he has experienced many highlights and performed with many celebrities, including Mel Botes. He enjoys a wide spectrum of musical genres, ranging from Jazz to Heavy Metal, and has particular appreciation for the work of John Petrucci and Mark Knopfler. If he wasn’t a musician, he would have loved to become an army pilot. “I think that one can experience incredible freedom in the clouds… and ladies do love a man in uniform,” he says with a twinkle in his eye. The industry has taught him to always be prepared for performances, as there is nothing worse than working with someone who doesn’t know what’s going on. When not on stage, he is the music coordinator at his church. He also gives guitar lessons. “The best part of my career is meeting new people, touring the country and seeing how music touches people,” he says.
The pair has lots of plans and dreams, and hope that their music will continue to reach growing local and international audiences in future. MAATSTAF VIR MY HART is not only going to be a favourite on the charts, but will undoubtedly also build on the success Heuning has already achieved as an alternative country duo whose music speaks directly to the heart.