INTERVIEW: Waldo Greeff

Hi Waldo, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’m great thanks! Some exciting projects I’m working on at the moment have me busy, but can’t wait to share it with you guys.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Breathe For You”?

“Breathe for You” is a mid-tempo love song with the message that you would do anything for your partner, including breathe for them. I wrote the song many years ago and actually gave it to Kelly Clarkson when I met her in 2010, with the hope that she would record it. Needless to say she didn’t, so I decided to record it myself. I then got UK songwriter Bethany Weimers to add her magic touch to the song and she contributed by writing the bridge of the song. I got Swedish producer Christian Rabb to re-produce the song and turn it into what it is today.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I remember sitting behind my piano thinking that I wanted to write a love ballad. I had a melody in mind for the chorus and I worked around that to create the rest of the song.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The filming of the music video was a special day for me because it was my first ever music video that I filmed. The video production company AVC studios in South Africa shot the video. They also came up with the concept of the video, which I loved. The idea of having an actress play someone who might be ill, put a physical spin on the title of the song. There are these scenes in the video where I have a pillow-fight with my love interest. I remember still finding feathers in my shoes two days after the video shoot!

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording process of the song was an interesting one. I recorded the majority of the vocals in South Africa. By the time that Bethany had re-written the bridge of the song, I was already in the UAE working in Dubai. I then found a recording studio in Dubai where I recorded the vocals of the bridge. I then sent the vocals back to South Africa for mixing and finishing the mastering of the song.

What role does South Africa play in your music?

Funny enough, ten years ago “Breathe for You” was one of a handful of English songs that I had written. Up to that point I had mostly written in my native language of Afrikaans. South Africa is such a beautiful country and it definitely shaped my writing style to what it is today. The music industry in South Africa is really small when compared to the States. For that reason, as a songwriter you learn to write by yourself. It’s not very often that writers would co-write. Having been to Nashville a couple of times now, it is fascinating to see and experience the co-writing culture that exists there. It’s always a great learning curve for me when I go to Nashville and get to collab with other writers. I love observing their writing styles and it always gets me out of my comfort zone which is so easy to fall into when you write by yourself.

How does your background as a teacher actually gets to influence your approach to music and the other way around?

Having songwriting as my passion is great for my students because I frequently teach units in my lessons where we create melodies, rhythms or lyrics. The students love the idea of creating something out of nothing and I often find myself surprised by the creativity that my younger students have. Kids also say the strangest things and I have a couple of times written down something they’ve said which I then turned into a song.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes there are new releases on the way and I am super excited about them! I am also working hard at getting my music easily accessible on most music platforms.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

My next single is called “Speechless”. The single will be released 22 Nov and the video a week after. It has a more commercial pop vibe and a really nice “sing along in the car” chorus.

Any plans to hit the road?

At the moment I am working towards having enough material available for an album and shows. I will be in in the States in June, July, August 2020 and plan on doing some shows. People can connect with me on social media to see where I will be and when.

What else is happening next in Waldo Greeff’s world?

I am writing a lot of new material and hopefully I will get to shoot visual content to release in the form of music videos. I am traveling to Australia in December and will hopefully connect with some producers there to work on new songs. In the meantime I am scouting out all the new coffee shops that pop up in Qatar as I love my coffee!!


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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