Meldau hopes to conquer the world
Something young, fresh and new has just hit the local music scene and his name is Dean Meldau. He is fresh from Hollywood where he spent two years studying music at the Musicians Institute, which is why his debut album is called h.i. - for "Hollywood Inspiration".
"Right after high school I left everything behind for a dream," said Meldau. "When I got to Hollywood I was scared and excited all at the same time. The title track of my album was written in the first week I was there.
"I was anxious and at times it got depressing, but I was struck by the normality of life there. Looking back, I think I could have done more with my LA experience, but the problem was that I could not work in America."
Despite that obstacle, he managed to be featured in music videos for Vanessa Carlton, Marc Anthony and Moby. He was part of the audience for the Dr Phil Show and was an extra in the movie Matchstick Men with Nicholas Cage.
"I got caught up in the rat-racing and I wasn't focusing on my music," he said. "The only time I was focused was when I was at school. "To keep up, I sold candy at rock concerts so I could get in for free and see all the different bands. I thought of establishing myself in America first, but when I came home for a holiday I was advised to start with my home base. That's why I'm pushing my album now."
The album is released through his own label, Vegastar Records.
"I believe if you can do it yourself, you can do it better and on your own terms. I'm learning a lot about the music industry and I have noticed that there isn't enough marketing going into local artists.
"It is known that Afrikaans music and kwaito sells, so that is being pushed. But everybody else in the middle is left to fend for themselves," he said.
Meldau is also working closely with Liquid Grooves, a music company that has been affiliated with the likes of Mean Mr Mustard and the late TK.
The striking thing about his music is his use of words. There is a lot of depth in his lyrics. "I'd say the lyrics in my songs are a life story of all the emotions I have been though thus far."
His sound is sensual, but if you had to categorise it, it would probably fall into the adult contemporary pop section. It's a cross between James Blunt, Coldplay
and The Beatles.
"When you're in a band, you have a certain sound. When you are in the studio, it is just you and the producer and anything can happen. I'm growing within my sound," he said.
The first single off his album is called Beautiful and is enjoying airplay on local stations. The video was shot in Belgium when Meldau was there for a couple of gigs.
"I'm hoping to inspire and motivate individuals through my music. If I can do that, I would have conquered the world."
How he got into music is an interesting story.
"I have always been an attention seeker and I remember this from since I was 10 years old. My brother and sister were always trying to steal my shine so I'd sing to get it back. But I was inspired by the Jackson Five.
"When I saw Michael Jackson for the first time I loved how he stole the show.
"I wanted that same kind of limelight for myself," he said.
He is new to the music industry so this means the attention-seeking is just beginning.