Rising South African singer and songwriter, Madelaine, celebrates new beginnings with her Afrikaans debut single, Ek Kies Vandag, which dropped all streaming platforms on Friday 9 June.
Despite being born into a very musical family and singing, playing piano and writing her own songs since a very young age, Madelaine took the leap into full time professional performing later than most, waiting until her 40s to fully commit.
“When I got the opportunity to write and sing in the ATKV Crescendo Auditions in August 2022, I had to go for it. I went into this journey knowing that I am now a middle-aged woman and the mother of teenage boys. Also, that I might not appeal to the majority of the South African market, but I still felt like I needed to showcase my gift and ability to sing and write my own songs,” said the 47-year-old former Strategic Planner and Project Manager.
Madelaine started her musical training with classical piano lessons at the age of 5.
“At age 10 (1986) I was selected for the NKP Kinderkoor which was later known as the University of Pretoria Jakaranda Kinderkoor. In 1989 I was selected to join the Northern Transvaal Youth Choir, but due to my parents’ financial position I could not accompany them on a European tour in 1989 and was subsequently dropped from the choir. Choir music has, however, always been a great part and love of my life. In primary and high school, I was always part of the school choirs and ensemble groups,” she reminisces.
After completing her schooling Madelaine, who grew up in Pretoria, became involved in the Christian performing arts group, African Breeze, while studying part-time through UNISA. This allowed her to travel internationally and get exposed to different cultures and music genres.
However, in 2000, she entered the corporate world and singing was reserved for lullabies and church pews until she resigned from her government job and is now dedicating her time to fine art and music.
Influenced by local and international acts such as Liza Beekman, Coenie De Villiers, Freshly Ground, ABBA and The Carpenters, the Afrikaans crooner describes her music as adult contemporary with a little bit of smooth jazz.
Her single, Ek Kies Vandag, forms part of a soon to be released EP that speaks to her life journey.
“I am at a better place in my life than ever before. I know who I am. I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. I have friends and family that support me. I have children that are my biggest cheerleaders. I have a story to tell and a message of hope to bring to everyone who can appreciate my music,” said Madelaine, who is currently going through a divorce after a 20 year marriage.
Her release today comes from deep personal reflection.
With music composition by Helmut Meijer, Madelaine sets out to deliver a song that is light and quirky but still poignant.
“I am so blessed to have him as my producer. He just ‘gets me’.
Madelaine says the lyrics of the song came to her when she woke up one morning filled with despair and self-doubt.
“A lot of things have been said to and about me (as a child and later as an adult). I took those words and believed them as they were spoken by people who were supposed to have loved me. I wrote the song as if singing about someone else, but then at the end I made the choice to not allow these words to determine my day or my future,” she said.
Music and art, more specifically singing, writing and painting, has given Madelaine a new lease on life as she finds herself excited about her budding career.
“Everything in life that happened and is happening to you has a purpose. You can either allow it to break you or you can learn from it and grow and become a better you. In the end, with the power of God in you, the choice is yours. You have the ability to speak life over your situations. You might not be able to change external factors, but how you see it and believe it and respond to it is fully in your power. You can choose a better you. A better day,” she says.
Ek Kies Vandag can be found on all streaming platforms today with a full EP scheduled for release hot on its heels.
Listen to the here, via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj5HMxlOa-Y
For more info you can also visit her website: https://www.madelaine.co.za
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MORE ABOUT MADELEINE PARSONS
Madelaine Parsons, is originally from Pretoria but has been living in the Northern Cape since 2000. For the last two decades, Upington has been her and her family’s home and she sees her heart rooted in the Kalahari.
Madelaine, born into a very musical family on her father’s side, has been singing, playing piano and writing her own songs since a very young age. Apart from school concerts, -choirs, -ensembles and -revues in which she many times played the main character, she also formed part of the former NKP Children’s Choir and later the Northern Transvaal Youth Choir. After completing her matric in Pretoria in 1993, she became involved in a Christian Missions (Youth with a Mission) and performing arts group (African Breeze) for six years, while studying part-time through UNISA. During these years she was also able to travel internationally and got exposed to different cultures and music genres.
However, in 2000, she decided to “grow up and get a real job”. She graduated with a degree in Human and Social Studies from Unisa and started working as a Strategic Planner and Project Manager, first in the private sector, but soon switched to Local Government and later National Government. Singing was now only done in the shower or when she sang lullabies to her children at night. A few times she tried to pick up her music by getting involved in worship at church, but time was never enough to juggle all the balls as a career woman, mother and wife. After a professional career of 25 years, she eventually resigned in 2022.
Her initial motivation for resigning was to spend more time at home with her children, who at that stage were both struggling with their schooling. Being at home also allowed her to dust off her dreams and passions and she has been crafting, painting and singing on a daily basis ever since.
In August 2022 she auditioned for the ATKV Crescendo singing and songwriting mentorship program. She was selected as one of the 21 participants from across the country who completed a very intense programme in April 2022 in Paarl.
Although she didn’t go through to the final round of the programme, she sees this opportunity as a stepping stone into her new career as a full-time artist and will forever be grateful to Robin-Dean Fourie (Die Hooflig) and Morne van Staden (Programme Manager) who made it possible.
Three of her songs have in the meantime been recorded by Helmut Meijer. Stiltes, written in 2001 and with which she auditioned in August 2022, as well as Exodus and Woorde); written during the mentorship programme in April 2023.