Teacher, songwriter and bilingual - Bianca Blanc is a unique talent

2018-10-06 13:00
Bianca Blanc

Cape Town – The South African music scene is small but filled with lots of hardworking stars like Bianca Blanc. 

Channel24 met her for coffee and found out what inspires her to not only write music in both Afrikaans and English, but also to become a special needs teacher. 

Bianca also let us in on what she loves the most about being a local musician and what frustrates her about it, too. 

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As we hurriedly sit down at our table, the coffee shop is bustling with customers and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get our orders taken anytime soon. 

So, I dive straight in and ask Bianca what made her want to take the sometimes treacherous path of being a singer-songwriter.

“Well I have always had a passion for music” she says smiling, “I grew up listening to amazing artists, from The Beatles to AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses; I grew up listening to fantastic music. And when I started playing music and started singing, I realised immediately that this is what I wanted to do for a living.”

That was it… you just felt it in your bones? 

I felt like, I have a calling and I want to eventually go study to become a special needs teacher but apart from that I feel like music is what I should be doing. It’s how I express myself. And it’s how I have met many amazing people in my life. 

Tell us more about that, because those are two seemingly, very opposite things. Being a special needs teacher means a quieter more studious life whereas, being a musician usually means that you have to be very social and like to party.

What draws you to both?

I don’t actually like parties, I work during the week, I am a vocal coach. And then on weekends I do my gigs and perform at festivals. But I have always wanted to become a teacher. Recently, I was introduced to three special needs kids in our family. So, my aunt had two special needs babies and my other aunt had one special needs baby; she had a little girl and she was deaf. And being in contact with someone who is special needs, it made me realise that I want to be a special needs teacher and that I want to work with people like that. Because not many people realise that a special needs child is someone extremely, extremely, special. 

So, that’s what inspires your one career, what inspires your song writing? What’s that process like? 

Mostly my songs are love songs. Whether it is love that went wrong or love that I see someone experiencing for someone else. It’s usually about love but I try and find inspiration everywhere. Like, someone in my family saying that they’ve had the best day ever and I’m like, ‘okay, I’ll write you a song for that.’ So it’s interesting, you try to use inspiration from everything around you. 

What a lot of people might not know is that you write in both English and Afrikaans, is the process different for each language? 

Usually when I get an idea it’s like, ‘This would be great in Afrikaans’, but the emotion is better expressed in English and then sometimes vice-versa. Usually, when inspiration strikes, there’s one thing or phrase that works and I build around that.

When it comes to working in this industry, what is your favourite part and what makes you want to pull your hair out? 

My favourite part must be the musicians that I meet; I haven’t met - in the entire two years that I have been making music – an artist that is rude or didn’t want to work with me or who was negative towards me. They are very friendly, very helpful. Everyone just wants things to work. So, that’s probably my favourite part. Then, my least favourite part would be people who take advantage of artists, to say, ‘Listen we can’t pay you, this is for exposure.’ It’s hard because people take advantage of artists. And they just think because we are giving our time and performing that they don’t need to pay us. So, it’s hard sometimes but people do music for the passion.

In those two years have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?

When it is a really big show I still get nervous but when it’s smaller like a market or something like that then I don’t get nervous anymore. But this morning I had my first television interview on Espresso show…it was so stressful. 

What time did you have to be there to perform? 


That’s so early, so you had to wake up and sing?

Yeah, pretty much. 


When it comes to performing on stages all around Africa, what are your favourite venues to perform at? Intimate? Or the bigger the better?

I love big music festivals like Splashy Fen. But I also love smaller markets and more intimate venues. So, it’s a mix of both to be honest. 

Lastly, what advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t stop trying after you’ve heard no. 

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