After a decade in the music industry, Joshua na die Reën celebrated the launch of a new album with a show at Atterbury Theatre this week, taking the audience on an emotional, but meaningful musical journey. With his new album he wants listeners to escape reality and remember what life is really about, and considering the emotional reaction at the launch, he undoubtedly succeeded.
In addition to celebrating the new album, titled Die Vallei (The Valley), he also celebrated his birthday on Monday, with his band bringing a cake with candles onto the stage and the audience singing Happy Birthday. This goes to show how deep this talented artist’s footsteps go – not only in the music industry, but in the lives of people around him.
Jay River, a talented musician in her own right, kicked off the evening with a couple of her own songs, after which Joshua na die Reën – whose real name is Jacques de Villiers – took to the stage. Both these artists’ songs have a way of pulling you in, making you feel every note deep, down within. Of course, with Joshua na die Reën, one can’t expect anything less than a strong, special message, as with all his songs since 2014. What stood out during this album launch, though, was how every song had been written and sung with someone in mind. His brother, his dad, his wife, his daughters, a band mate’s late father… While he wants the audience to feel life and truly be in the moment, he feels it intensely too and then, he sings it out with everything in him.
If there is one artist who can make a song tangible, it’s Joshua na die Reën. As he poured everything he had in him, out on stage, tears rolled down my cheeks. For those who hurt. For those who long. For those who have lost hope. Sometimes, even for myself.
With his album, Joshua na die Reën wants to bring a message that the inspiration for everything he takes on, comes from God. “I live with the overpowering feeling that no matter how big God’s creation is, he made me and you too,” he says. That in itself made the experience at the launch so much more special. It was real, and by real I mean it could be felt. The songs are relevant to every person open to listening and at the launch, the inspiration behind the songs touched the hearts of many.
Die Vallei consists of eighteen tracks – all originally written and beautifully put together with the help of Gideon Botes. Two of the songs – Stroom en Rivier and Die Groot Gees van Hemel en Aarde – are rather special to the singer-songwriter, even though he can’t really pick a favourite. Both these songs were recorded in his home studio and in it, you can hear his children and birds from the garden in the background.
The first single track and music video from the new album was released today (15 September 2023). It was inspired by an anniversary request from a listener, with the hope of restoring trust in his marriage. “We tend to look past the essence of who someone really is,” de Villiers says. “We all have things we struggle with, but we continue to be who we are in spite of it. That’s why it is important for us to see people for who they are and not for what they do.”
While we attended the album launch on Monday already, there are more launches happening:
15 September – The Roots Venue, Potchefstroom
16 September – Doxa Duo in Wonderboom, Pretoria
18 September – City Hall, Stellenbosch
Tickets cost R250 per person and are available on his website here.
Joshua na die Reën also has numerous other exiting projects in the pipeline, including the lead role in a movie called Reisigers, which is due to be filmed next year, as well as an awareness campaign about our responsibility to look after Mother Earth. He is also collaborating with the brand, NAVA with a series of clothes and accessories.