Up Close & Personal with Henri van Vuren

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Some background on Henri - his love for music, interests, favourite artists, favourite things & personal life.

I started singing when I was ±4 years old. I remember standing on a pile of wood while my dad was building something. I just stood there singing to all the ducks and chickens and even the cattle on the plot. We lived in Dundee at the time. I was born in Vryheid, Natal and went to school in Dundee primary.

My dad wanted to play the guitar, so he bought one and it gathered dust in the spare room. I started picking on the strings and I loved the sound it produced. My mother caught me playing on the instrument and asked me if I wanted to play it for real. I replied "yes, I would like to". At this stage I was 7 years old. Once a week I had to ride my bicycle about 7km to town for lessons. I remember my very first lesson - it was fun, but my dad did not know about the arrangement. We wanted to surprise him with a few songs on Christmas. That did not happen because he caught us one afternoon and there were no more surprises.

We then moved to Phalaborwa. By this time I totally ignored the guitar and all hope faded for ever playing again. After a year we moved to Boksburg where my sister and I attended school. My mother discovered another lady giving guitar lessons. I wasn’t interested in picking the guitar, I wanted to play and sing. After a year I quitted the lessons and started writing down the lyrics of songs I liked and Red river Rosie was the first one. I still play this song and I still like it as much as I did when I first copied it. Initially I struggled with the placing of cords but as the years went by it became easy.

Interests: I am interested in a lot of things, my favourites being: Hunting, Bow hunting, riding my scrambler on my dad's farm, just relaxing in the bush and watching the sun go down, playing the guitar and singing, collecting minerals and identifying trees. I like nature and feel free when I visit the Kruger Park.

My favourite artists: Juanita du Plessis, Nadine, Shania Twain, Neil Diamond, Jim Reeves, Charley Pride, Steve, Theuns Jordaan..... The list is too long! I believe every person who sings is doing it because they love it! I never criticize any artist because I know how tough it is.   

My 10 favourite things: My bow, my bike, my girl, my dad's farm, my car, my guitar, the N1 North, Kruger Park, my CD and having a nice braai!

Personal life. I was married for 9 years, and divorced a few years ago. I have 2 daughters named: Louise and Bianca.

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