Riaan has travelled the world, exchanging musical ideas and interacting with foreign musicians. Fusing his own ideas with these and local South African influences, he creates dynamic and delicate world compositions while maintaining his originality.
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For Riaan Nieuwenhuis his instrumental album, Instigator, the highlight of his career.
No lyrics. Only instrumental hard rock. The former Delta Blue musician Riaan Nieuwenhuis initially thought such an album was a crazy idea, but the positive response that followed after the release of Instigator, changed that thought. Rozanne Els interviewed Nieuwenhuis at his home.
"I love the album! "wrote William Moller, review editor of You and seasoned musician who also recently shared a stage with Rodriguez, in an e-mail to me about Riaan Nieuwenhuis's latest album, Instigator . This instrumental hard-rock project of Nieuwenhuis is something completely new in South Africa. In fact, in addition Mauritz Lotz's Six String Razor, he has not yet encountered something similar locally, And that is what makes the album so special.
Nieuwenhuis is a quiet man. He sat-lay on the dark blue couch in his living room and talking softly. His answers are measured but definite. Everywhere you see children's toys - something that looks like a green dragon is lying on a couch and elsewhere is a miniature horse which his 18-month-old daughter, Olivia, tires herself on regularly . But amongst the toys there are a myriad of guitars. Yes, the man may appear calm, but music is in his blood, and he also rocks.
Nieuwenhuis said it was a natural process that led to the creation of the album. "I have listened a lot to Karma to Burn, an instrumental hard rock band from America, and it impressed me tremendously. In addition, the music of AC / DC and Metallica has always influenced me, and I decided to go ahead with my crazy idea and make this album. "Besides , no one else is doing it," he adds. But it also meant that he had no local reference as measure and it was a challenge, he said. Yet it's nice to stand out. "Everyone wants to be special," he said. Many people laughed at him when they heard of his idea, but ultimately could not stop him, he says.
The response so far is so good that it is "tiring" (see critics response underneath). "There is a hunger and yearning for this" says Riaan. Especially amongst schoolboys. There has already been a lot written on Instigator, but to him Moller's reaction is the most important measure thus far. All of these are signs that the album is making " fresh waves ", he says. "You never know whether you creating something likable while you're busy with it, but it is through people's responses you learn."
But isn't it strange to make music with no words? His answer is immediate and clear. "No, cut the human tongue! I love lyrics and I write myself, and I'll do it again with a later project. But the instrumental music has its own challenges," he says. "The goal is always to have a good beginning and a good end, with variations worked in. You should always think about the listening audience and keep their attention." For this, Nieuwenhuis relies on technology. "When you have an idea, you can instantly record, listen, build and expand. This process you can do over and over until it's right." And when is right? He smiles and says: "The music is about the ecstasy I feel when I play. When you can just say, 'I dig this.'"
It is clear that Riaan is ecstatic about this album. In fact, he calls it the highlight of his career. "It was nice to play for Delta Blue, but one must think progressively. You cannot forever be the keyboardist for Delta Blue." His time with this group, and a variety of other projects, however, is not something he regrets. On the contrary: "I would have missed out on a lot had I not done this. I have learned so many skills and many styles from different musicians."
Through it all, music for him remained constant as did his passion for it.