Theatre Interview: Stephanie Baartman – Music Of The Night, Or Evoking Visual Emotions

February 1, 2022

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By BRUCE DENNILL

Stephanie Baartman is a South African singer and actress best known as Bibi in the kykNET soapie Getroud Met Rugby. She started singing professionally in 2010, when she was a contestant on the third season of the reality television competition Supersterre where she reached the top three. This afforded her the opportunity to sing at various festivals around South Africa as well as for audiences in Germany and Portugal. Stephanie also empowers women through motivational talks. Stephanie will sing alongside Craig Urbani, Carly Graeme, Adrian Galliard and Emma-Jean Galliard in Music Of The Night, which will run at both Centurion Theatre and The Dome On Melle.

 

What is your first and most important goal as a musician/artist – to tell a story (literally via lyrics or metaphorically via music); to inspire an emotion; to lift a mood; to get people moving? Perhaps it’s something else, or a mixture of these?

I think people hear beautiful music all the time, but my goal is to tell a story through music that moves them and leaves them wanting more. I believe that music needs to bring healing and that’s what I aim for in each performance.

 

Does your style reflect that of the artists you love or respect most?

Yes. I grew up with the music of Whitney Houston and Motown greats such as Gladys Knight, Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson. My style is definitely inspired by the soul they poured into every note they brought out.

 

Do you write music, and if so, what sort of mix is involved in terms of discipline and inspiration?

I do not write my own music, but I choose music for my repertoire that suites my voice and more practically to fit a theme or outcome that is in mind for a certain audience.

 

Name an artist or band who is, in your view, criminally underrated, and explain what it is about them or their sound that excites you?

I recently discovered music by LP [Laura Pergolizzi]! Definitely an artist with the most criminally underrated voice of our time. She has an operatic, punk rock style which gives her one of the widest vocal ranges possible. This woman is a belter who aims to connect with her audience visually to evoke an emotion. That is my aim as well.

 

How do you keep up or improve your skill levels? Is it all about practice, or are there other factors that help you to get better at and understand more about your craft?

Practice, definitely. No one has ever just ‘arrived’. I recently heard someone say, “The day you think that you’ve arrived you are actually on your way out”. So I aim to improve my craft daily by listening to other musicians and how they train. Daily vocal warm-ups is still the most important trick I learnt to strengthen the vocal muscle.

 

Tell us about Music Of The Night? What – for you – makes these songs so important and long-lived, and what about them excites you in performance terms?

After being faced with this dark pandemic for the past two years, people are  looking for something positive and Music Of The Night is definitely that and so much more. The music is timeless and absolutely beautiful with something for everyone to keep going with a new glimmer of hope for a better 2022.

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