The singer and songwriter from South Africa known as Merique has released her latest rock record, “The Coming Dawn.” The LP contains eight original tracks for an approximate total listening time of 35 minutes. It has been proudly published on the Lunacy Records independent music label. Introspective, passionate, heartfelt and expertly written and performed, “The Coming Dawn” is the latest example that the African indie music scene is ablaze in 2016.
Asked to cite some key artistic influences, Merique notes, “I was exposed to many types of music as a child. In my teens, when I started performing, I studied a large variety of artists so it's hard to really say who my influences are. But if I'd have to choose a few I'd say: Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Whitney Houston.”
This amalgam gives music fans a good idea of Merique's own vocal style. She has a broad range largely in the upper register, and stays loyal to most traditional singing principles. Her studio work is unblemished by auto-tune, over-gating, and other technologies which might otherwise wash out her natural tone. Though she's clearly a practiced chanteuse, Merique's singing retains a certain raw quality that feels genuine rather than mechanically precise.
Fans of romantic themes in rock and contemporary adult music will be enthusiastic about Merique's lyrical clout, too.
She writes that her songs on “The Coming Dawn” concern “Mostly heartbreak and dealing with wounds from past relationships. It was actually quite funny – one of the band members turned to me after a session and said, 'Well, I hope your love life picks up!' LOL.”
Still: “It's not that bad though. These aren't 'slit-your-wrists' type songs or anything. They actually all have a powerful side to them where I'm saying, 'Yes, I've been hurt and I'm dealing with a few things, but I'll be okay! I'm looking up to the coming dawn.'”
Vocalist Merique Hanekom is joined on “The Coming Dawn” by Terry Scarberry on guitars, Dave Copenhaver on bass guitar, Steve Short on drums, and Ryan Jones on keyboards. The record also features strings arranged by David Powell.
Merique has been singing since the age of 14. She graduated from Somerset West music school in 2011 at the top of her class and held two choreographed, sold-out shows at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood, California, where she represented her home nation of South Africa. She went on to be the 18-24 Division and Industry Award winner. In 2013 she completed her VIDLA Certificate in Contemporary Vocal Teaching with Upper Merit while choreographing and playing a lead character in the acclaimed Afrikaans musical “Skalie Skinnerstories tref Stoffontein” [http://www.vidla.uk/].
Her current solo project began in 2015 and saw her recording at Studio Seven in Oklahoma City for Lunacy Records. She took advantage of her time in the USA to shoot an official music video for her popular single, “Last Love Song,” which appears on her new LP as Track 3 and will be available for viewing from Lunacy Records soon.
Merique's “The Coming Dawn” LP is preceded by three singles not on the new album, “Legacy,” “Butterfl-eyes,” and “Rivers,” the last of which was published to bring awareness to the condition of rivers in South Africa.
“This song is meant for raising awareness regarding the fragile state of our rivers,” Merique has stated. “Just as the rivers are all connected and flow into the sea, so we are all connected and affected by the most important source of life: water. We as humans have a responsibility to educate and make known the fact that we cannot live without water!”
“Rivers” was later associated with a video filmed on-location in South Africa by highly acclaimed film makers Flying Fish Productions, whose work can be seen on National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and BBC.
Merique has performed in South Africa at Bloemfontein, Bethlehem, Welkom, Smithfield (Free State), Rustenburg (North West Province), De Aar and Richmond (Northern Cape), Graaf Reinet and Cradock (Eastern Cape), various cities in Gauteng, Lambertsbaai, Somerset West, Paarl, Langebaan, Malmesbury, Moorreesburg Wellington, Stellenbosch, Oudtshoorn (Western Cape), and in the USA at Los Angeles.
“I'd just like to thank everyone who has encouraged and supported me up 'til now,” writes Merique. “Some are new friends, some have been with me from the very beginning and others, I have yet to meet! I'm so excited about what 2016 holds and look forward to sharing this journey with all of you!”
“The Coming Dawn” by Merique is available online at over 700 digital outlets worldwide.
Lead Press Release Writer
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