Talented up-and-coming Hartbeespoort singer-songwriter, Kerry B, has just released a new single and music video that is sure to make waves in the music industry. And it is no wonder… this bubbly singer ‘sees’ music!
Kerry Botha (35) was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called synaesthesia, which causes people to experience things through their senses in an unusual way. For example, experiencing colours as sound or an emotion as taste. In other words, when you experience one of your senses through another. In Kerry’s case, she sees music as colours. “I see a kaleidoscope of colours, rainbows… it is amazing,’ the bubbly artist says. The condition was only diagnosed late in her life and while growing up she thought all people experienced music like this. “I used to ask people if they also see the beautiful music, and now I understand why I was looked at strangely sometimes,” she laughs. “Now I think it is cool… very cool!” she laughs. Although music has been a passion since she was little, she only pursued it when she was in her late 20s. “I didn’t have an easy childhood. I have a mild form of autism, Tourette’s syndrome and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I wasn’t diagnosed as a young child and my parents did not understand. They thought I was a difficult child, and too loud. I used to sing the same verse over and over, or listen to the fridge’s hum and try to match the pitch with a key on the piano… My dad discouraged any music activities. If people had known, my childhood would have been much easier. But on the positive side, it made me strong, strong enough to now enter the tough music world at my age,” she says. She started taking piano, singing and songwriting lessons with the idea of becoming a music teacher. “I sing all the time. When the pandemic and lockdown hit, I used to escape into the mountain near the estate where we live. One day I was sitting in a tree and sang my heart out, not realising the valley acted as a megaphone. A resident spotted me with binoculars. Imagine, this 30+ woman singing in a tree!” What Kerry did not realise at the time was that this incident would be the first step in her music career. The resident organised a music evening where she was encouraged to do something with her talent. “This gave me the confidence to approach a music studio.” And a year later her first album, The Tree Singer, with ten tracks, all written and performed by Kerry, hit the music industry. Although it was well received, she feels that she is only now starting to find her true sound and is very excited about the direction in which her music is heading. A music video of her new single ‘Did it mean nothing?’ was filmed in a single room in her home. “This video was so much fun to film. It was a long day, but it was the most rewarding work I have ever done. I believe the genuine joy we all experienced on the day will reflect on screen.” ‘Did it mean nothing?’ is a song that speaks of pain and frustration but also of hope. “The point of the song is to urge the listener not to let the small things get you down. And don’t listen to the drama around you!” Kerry’s sound is unique. “It is definitely ‘dancy’ pop, but with an uplifting message.” Kerry finds inspiration for her songs in the things that bring her joy. “Being able to write is also a healing practice.” Kerry lives with her husband, Derek, and two four-legged children in an estate in Broederstroom where she loves being close to nature. “I am hyperactive, I cannot sit still. That is why I love my hobby, pole fitness and roller pole.” She sees the confusion on my face and laughs. “Roller pole is pole exercises on roller skates. A Hartbeespoort pole fitness instructor actually started it. It is so much fun.” For Kerry, the highlight of her career to date is that she can follow her passion and be recognised for what she can do. She has two more singles scheduled for release later this year. “I am happy because I finally do what I am destined to do – music! And I can bring awareness to the conditions I suffer from and maybe make some children’s lives easier. “ Watch Kerry’s video on https://youtu.be/G7Ei62a1S8M. It is also available on all major streaming platforms.