By Johannes Hangula
CONFIDENTE recently caught up with NAMAs best Afrikaans and best Kizomba winner who is also considered one of the rising stars in local music, Christopher the Grand.
I was born and raised in Windhoek, and my real name is Christopher J. Grant but I am well known as Christopher the Grand. At the age of five we moved to the southern town Kranzberg with my mother, but we later returned to Windhoek in 1992 when I was six years old.
I studied marketing at INTEC College. I started working doing part time jobs at the age of 15 to support my single mother.
How did your music career come about?
I was scouted by Ernst van Biljon at age 13, for the Namibia National Children’s Choir and that is where I started to perform. Furthermore I have always had a passion for singing. My mother had a band in the 70s with her brother called ‘Sahara hot’, and my uncle and aunts were also into singing.
In 2011 I met Lize Ehlers who introduced me to the Song Night stage. This is where I started to perform live in front of people as a solo artist. Ehlers further nurtured me as she exposed me to working with a live band. In 2015 I decided to record my debut album titled ‘Let me go’ which then led me to win best Afrikaans and best Kizomba at the NAMAs this year.
What type of music do you sing?
I am not sure if I have specific genre, but I love singing soulful music, blues and music with a purpose. My album however ranges from soul to Afrikaans, Afro-pop, House and Kizomba, so therefore it is very eclectic.
I was working as pharmaceutical sales representative, but I moved on to this career to being a fulltime songwriter because it is my passion and nothing else makes sense apart from doing music. Music completes me.
Tell us about those magical moves on stage?
I might sound cliché, but when I am on stage it is like everything else fades away or all the problems, doubts and all the fears of life go away. It is like one is a new person, and everything else goes away as I feel I am the person I am supposed to be.
So I guess is that alter ego that makes me strut out these moves. (Laughs)
Brief us about the Harambee song?
The Harambee song was inspired by the President’s Harambee Prosperity Plan. It was an official 75th birthday song to President Hage Geingob, something that was close to his heart and something he is passionate about, because he loves music. The song production cost was covered by sponsorship from the ‘We Care Trust’ a non-profitable organisation that aims to enhance the quality of the lives of children who are physical disabled, cancer victims and orphans. The song is part of my campaign that I am busy with titled Harambee through Music; basically it is about people and fellow artists in the industry to unite and pull together to aid in achieving Vision 2030.
What sort of impact you think your music has on people?
Most people who bought my album tell me that they can relate to my music and others even say that it feels like I have written the music for them. So my vision is for my music to have a positive impact and help people overcome their difficulties, help them to be better people, and for them to believe in their abilities.
What are you currently busy with?
I am currently busy working with the ‘We Care Trust’ as an We Care Trust angel on charity projects
and also at the same time busy with my second album that is to be launched in November.
Does your personality enable fans to engage you?
Yes! I have been told by fans that I have a great stage presence and I always engage my audience with my performances. The crowds seem to l o v e me and therefore I know my personality is warm.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015