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Violinist now also established singer

Many might recognise her face as the violinist for Sterling EQ, but Durbanville’s Renate Riedemann has found her voice.

Renate was still a member of the award winning instrumental pop group when she decided to sign herself up for singing lessons, equating the process to learning a new instrument. Along the way she discovered her “secret love for jazz”.

“It was never something that I was exposed to,” the classically trained musician explains, adding: “I am smitten”.

Sterling EQ had become a full time job for Renate and while she describes her three years with the band as a “wonderful experience”, she also wanted to create her own musical identity. As a freelance musician she found the fulfilment of playing for everything from theatre pieces to big pop shows.

While recording strings for an album that producer Johan Oberholzer was working on, Renate mentioned her singing to him and he opened up about his idea for an acoustic harmonic-driven Afrikaans act. The result was the folk Afrikaans girl-band Dogters van Man, which Renate joined soon after leaving Sterling EQ.

“It spoke to so many young Afrikaans listeners and they wanted something that wasn’t that commercial.”

The start of their success coincided with a tumultuous time in the South African record industry and they became something of a “one-hit wonder”, but it wasn’t long before she struck out on her own.

After recording “What Do You Say”, Renate, unaware of normal music industry practices, sent her track to radio stations herself from her gmail account and “by some miracle” RSG’s Amore Bekker picked up on the song.

Since then Renate has been signed to StoneBear & Mayor Records, an independent boutique label started by Helmut Meijer and Lukas de Beer.

Together they are working on a new single, written by Lukas, “Another Storm”, which she hopes to release at the end of February. The single may become part of a concept album combining instrumental and vocal elements, but Renate doesn’t want to make any promises yet.

Renate is waiting to build her repertoire before she performs solo shows, but in the meantime, music fans can catch her at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre on Sunday when she performs for Mauritz Lotz’s Kaleidoscopic Live show.V Tickets for the show are available at Computicket.

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