Louis Fivaz - As Die Gode Droom

2009-08-28 15:39
As Die Gode Droom

His third album, As Die Gode Droom, is a winner among kuierpop records, if only because the genre is creatively bankrupt as a whole. His gatstampers are jolly, his ballads are beeldskoon and if the man were to say this is his best album yet, I would believe him. Fivaz sidesteps the “jy/my/vry/bly” school of songwriting in favour of a poetic, but economical style.  “Pak jou tas en kom gou weer terug, neem SAL se eerste vlug,” he pines on “Liefde en Parrafien”: original but simple, and not a single mention of the Hartebeespoort Dam… I might be in love.

But like so many others, Fivaz flirts with Afrikaans pop’s latest cash cow, the Boere Pride treffer.  “Van ‘n Boer Ontneem” is as much a plagiarised political manifesto as it is a live tune for Aardklop. Struggling farmer refuses to be chased away from his land (presumably by darkies with assegais... or a notice of expropriation), won’t be cowed by crime waves or general adversity… you get the idea. Now, I feel for Louis. He is from a small town in the Free State, after all, and it’s not unlikely that he has strong opinions on the ‘plight’ of the Boer. But in the wake of “De La Rey”, these Boere Pride songs have become a business unto themselves and I can’t call his (and Fredi Nest’s) bleeding-heart plaaspop anything but a cash-in or a cheap shot. Or both.

On the other hand, maybe it’s about time that Afrikaans pop got political. Sure, it might seem like a one-way conversation, but this is how communities find themselves: in music. If the kunstefees crowds want to radicalise and sing deuntjies to express their values, why stop them when the alternative is vanilla sokkie pop, the kind that makes you thirst for fresh beer instead of identity? The kids are listening to Fokofpolisiekar, maybe the parents in Prieska and Fiksburg and Brits should have their own food for thought, however unappealing or stale it may seem.

The politics of pop is a minefield, folks, and Louis Fivaz isn’t the first or the last word on it. He’s just a musician, after all, and As Die Gode Droom is just his third album.

Louis Fivaz could have been a star. If it hadn’t been for “Liewe Lulu”, if he hadn’t signed for the wrong record label, his online bio implies, he just might have been the next Steve Hofmeyr. But a life of commerce followed instead and only lately has Louis’ singing career been resurrected in earnest.

GPT 2009/07/28 9:51 AM
Dankie Niel, jou artikel het my geskool in die woordeskat van Afrikaanse musiek en ek kan nou konteks vind vir my waardering van kuierpop en gatstampers!
CC 2009/07/28 1:11 PM
Who would want to be the next Steve? Really! Louis is in a different class... a better comparison would be with Koos Dup: meaningful lyricks and soulful tunes! Unlike many others one gets the sense that Louis does it for the love of the music and not a quick buck or fame.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.