Rock group Wit Kasteel’s first single, a unique rendition of Laurika Rauch’s Die Nostalgie, made big waves in the music industry when it was released in 2015.
It topped the charts of Groot FM and Suidkaap FM for several weeks and the music video has had thousands of hits on YouTube.
This, as well as a Ghoema nomination for Best Rock Album (Wit Kasteel) in 2015, has laid a solid foundation for their second single, TOEGEWYD, and upcoming album to build on.
TOEGEWYD was created with the help of Muse Studios’s Hugo Ludik. “The song is about difficult times in life. The purpose is to encourage listeners to remain true to themselves during these times and not to give up,” they share about the meaning behind their long-waited new release.
“Your past can not determine your future. A positive mind-set can. Difficult times build character. Don’t forget about these struggles, learn from it and use it to your advantage.”
The single, which can be described as commercial rock, has a catchy tune and will appeal to fans of all ages. According to the group this song is exactly what the public needs at this point in time. “We feel that the song has an important message, especially in our current situation.
We have all felt uncertain about the future and have faced various difficulties in our lives. But we kept our chins up and continued to work hard to reach our goals.”
The music video will be released at the end of June.
Wit Kasteel is a Pretoria based music group, consisting of Clemond Dartnall (lead vocalist and guitarist), Ernst Nieuwoudt (lead guitarist), Reinard Kruger (bassist and back-up vocalist) andWaldemar Behr (drummer).
The group was founded by Clemond and Jurie Schoeman in 2011 because Clemond felt that he did not really fit in the corporate industry.
Neither of them could play guitar, but bought instruments and a sound system and started practicing. Waldemar and Reinard went to school with Clemond and after a chance encounter and an advertisement on Facebook, the two members joined the group in 2012.
Today, Clemond, Reinard and Waldemar are still part of the band, but in 2017 Ernst took over as lead guitarist.
According to Waldemar, the group was named after the iconic building in Erasmuskloof, the Spookhuis (Erasmus Kasteel): “We met at Reinard’s house to decide on a name for the band. There were several suggestions, but we were unsure. His brother had a Volkswagen Beetle that he sold that day and we wanted to drive the car one last time.
All four of us were in the car and started talking about band names again. As we spoke, someone saw the castle logo on the Volkswagen’s steering wheel. We took that as a sign and immediately decided on Wit Kasteel.”
Since starting out, Wit Kasteel has performed at a number of private functions, venues and festivals such as soos Innibos, Bieliemielie Fees, KKNK, Aardklop, Moepanie Oesdag, Rocking Potch and more.
Clemond Gregory Dartnall is the group’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist and describes himself as a normal family man. His mother grew up in a musical home and he believes he inherited his love for golden oldies from her, while his father taught him to listen to music with a different ear.
Ernst Nieuwoudt is Wit Kasteel’s lead guitarist. He moved from Paarl to Pretoria for work and that is how his path crossed with the rest of the group. Currently, he works at companies that develop and sell ERP systems, but reveals that he grew up in a very musical home.
Reinard Kruger is a bassist and backing vocalist from Pretoria, who draws inspiration from other people’s stories for his own songs. Music has always been one of his great passions and he believes that it is something that has to be felt.
Drummer and singer, Waldemar Behr, grew up in Pretoria and reveals that his music career officially started in the church’s band. Although he initially played the tuba (for which he received SA colours twice as part of the Best Concert Orchestra), he decided to take on drums when his friends wanted to start a band at school. Currently, he works for an IT company and shares that he feels much more comfortable behind the scenes than in the spotlight.
The group still has many plans and dreams for the future, which includes more live performances and an overseas tour. They would also like to collaborate with Fokofpolisiekar and to perform at Afrikaans is Grootsomeday.
“We feel that we are bringing a very unique sound to the market. We enjoy playing classic rock music because it tells the best stories and we want to share the best stories with our listeners,” they conclude.
TOEGEWYD has a fresh and unique sound and is a good indication of what can be expected of Wit Kasteel’s upcoming album. It also marks the start of a very promising chapter in this talented group’s music career.