Sit down with Afrikaans music legend Laurika Rauch in rare interview

Cape Town – It’s a cold and rainy Thursday afternoon as I make my way to GrandWest. I’m feeling honoured and nervous at the same time as I will be sitting down to chat to one of SA music’s greats, and a personal idol of mine, Laurika Rauch.

We’ve crossed paths previously, and by crossing paths I mean that I was once invited to be in the audience of a live DVD recording of her more than 10 years ago by a mutual friend. We know many of the same people, but I’ve never had the opportunity to interview her, until now.

Laurika is in-between rehearsals and soundcheck at the Grand Arena for the Liefde by die Arena show when I am escorted backstage.
She greets me with a smile as I introduce myself and invites me into the dimly lit backstage room, offers me a bottle of water and puts me right at ease as we chat about our parallel paths in the music industry.

On collaborations

For the Liefde by die Arena show, as well as Liefde by die Dam which is happening in August, Laurika will be taking to the stage with an array of Afrikaans artists including Die Heuwels Fantasties, Loki Rothman and Jo Black. I have to ask: “How did it all come together?”

“There’s only one answer to that, and that is Pierre, Pierre Greeff. It’s his initiative and it’s just unbelievable to be part of it. I think his starting point is to try and crossover so you can put different styles together on one stage, which is a very big privilege to be a part of. It’s going to be a very interesting cross section of the music industry at the moment,” says Laurika.

On how working with Die Heuwels Fantasties came about, Laurika explains that it all started when she was busy putting a repertoire together for her latest album, Die Reis, which was released in October 2016. “We started looking at songs which I could record again, as I’ve been quite successful with covering songs … So when my producer asked me which songs I would choose to do now if I could, I told him in passing that I really love Klein Tambotieboom. He then said okay, let’s record and ask Pierre if he will do it with you,” says Laurika.

And as they say, the rest is history. Laurika’s most recent album features about six collaborations with different artists. And for her, it’s an organic process rather than a planned one. “Bittereinder’s Jaco van der Merwe sent me an e-mail five years ago and said let’s do something together. And when it came to this album I let him know, are you ready to do something together?” laughs Laurika.

“Is there anyone you still want to collaborate with?” I ask. “It depends on what crosses my path, rather than me initiating it. And sometimes the chemistry between you and a musician is just perfect and then you just go with it,” says Laurika.

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