About WilliamWilliam Blackrose is a Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Live Entertainer and part time web designer. His show consists of original songs, an array of cover songs spanning from the 1920's to modern day songs. As a part of his stage performance William does various stand-up comedy routines and crowd participation skits. On stage William performs with various live instruments including: Guitar, Piano, Percussion Drums and Harmonica.
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On the 17th of November 2018 William Blackrose released his brand new CD “TYD”. After 3 years of collaborating with musicians like Andries Botha, Denny Lalouette, Anton Botha, Vinnie Henrico and Bruce Wallace he released an all original album. This album contains 17 tracks of which 11 are in Afrikaans, and includes hits like Tyd, Did You Know and Valei Van Pyn.
After a limited release of his demo CD "Minor of Decent" William Blackrose was approached by BMG Records (Now SONY). After signing to the label the album was re-released as "Everything" Everything gained momentum on the South African pop charts and remained at the number one position for six weeks. Hit songs include: Everything, Walk Away, Call Me and The Night Love Made A Fool Out Of Me.
With Everything's success, William released his follow up album: "What About Me". The album was co produced by Kevin Kruger and featured some of South Africa's best Session musicians. William paid tribute to his idol "Koos Kombuis" by recording his hit song "Lisa se Klavier". One of the singles "When The Shadows Come was picked up by 5fm. What about me contains twelve original tracks and two covers.
With the "Afrikaans" market rising in South Africa, William decided to give his 3'rd studio album an Afrikaans title. The album was co produced by Robin Walsh who inspired William to purchace his own production studio. The Afrikaans song "Dixie" reached the top ten on OFM and was later covered by other musicians on their own albums. The album contains 14 original tracks including the hits Dansman and Angles.
The "Collections" album was an independent "Best Of.." release after BMG Africa was purchased by SONY Records. Although William had no say in the track order, the SONY producers listened to the albums and with fresh outlook compiled a "Best Of" compilation CD of William Blackrose hits. The album contained nine original tracks and one cover . Songs on this album include: Everything, Dansman & Angles.
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William Blackrose CDs
Please click the "Play" button on the "Playlist" window to the left to hear all William Blackrose tracks. Clicking on the shuffle button will randomly shuffle the playlist for you. Click below to purchase the albums.
- TYD (2018) Available on iTunes (Here)
- TYD (2018) Available on GooglePlay
- Everything (1997) Available on iTunes
- Everything (1997) Available on GooglePlay
- What About Me (1999)
- Wentelbaan (2003)
- Collections (2007)
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BIOGRAPHYWILLIAM BLACKROSE – BIOGRAPHY (1971-2019)
William Blackrose was born: Wilhelm Seidel in a miner community town called Welkom in South Africa on the 17th of November 1971. From an early age it was clear to his parents that William had an exceptional ear for music. At age 4 he sat in front of a piano and within minutes figured out that some notes sounded better than others when combined. One week later he composed his first song on the piano. William’s dad, a medical doctor, who always wanted to play an instrument himself, saw the potential and started buying him instruments rather than toys as gifts. His mom, a drama Major with grade one piano, started teaching him the accordion while singing to him in German.
In primary school William’s parents took him for an interview with Brian Matthewson, an acclaimed piano teacher that took on music students with exceptional musical skills. William soon started to attend his classes and learned advanced music techniques. William always struggled with the theory “reading” side of music. In less than a year William was kicked out of the music program when it was discovered that rather than reading the theory off the page, he memorized all the songs and one day forgot to turn the page at the right time in the song.
Without musical theory behind him, William started learning every instrument by ear and by age 12 he could play 10 instruments, which ranged from piano to pan flute. When it came to the guitar though he had no reference on how chords were pressed or how a guitar was tuned so he developed a unique tuning and his own made up finger arrangements. 10 Years later he would buy a book on guitar chords and learn them in under 2 weeks.
At age 14 William discovered the morbid British alternative band: The Smiths headed by front man Morrisey. The band and their lyrics would not only shape the way he saw music but would also shape the course of his life. The next day William wrote his first song with lyrics called: Run for Today about a nuclear hollow cast wiping out the human race. The same year he watched John Hughes’s: The Breakfast Club. Finding solace in the rebel character “John Bender” William became a rebel overnight and started exploring the punk and alternative music and fashion scene of the 80’s.
While working as a waiter in a local restaurant, he was given the opportunity by the owner to sing a couple of songs to his friends on Sunday Nights on a homemade sound system. In 1989 William used his restaurant savings to buy himself a 1973 Volkswagen Beatle, and soon thereafter, packed his Yamaha keyboard, a microphone and a small PA system into the back and headed for Stellenbosch, a university town near Cape Town.
Arriving in Cape Town, work as a musician was hard to come by, so William made ends meet by working the restaurant trade at night and attending Cape Town Technical College during the day to get his high school diploma. He rented a very small room in the mountains and between midnight and sunrise started putting together his musical act. All the music slots in Stellenbosch where taken, except for Sundays when no musicians where allowed to perform. After convincing a local restaurant owner to let him perform one Sunday night, William became the first musician to perform on Sundays in Stellenbosch. His popularity grew and he started doing more regular gigs in and around Cape Town.
Getting noticed as a small fish in a big pond, (Wilhelm Seidel) had to reinvent himself, so he started living out his alternative rebel dream by wearing only black on stage, reading self-written poems before his show, with a single black rose in a jar behind him on stage and then called himself The Black Rose. Philosophy and art students started noticing his act and started sending him sketches, poems and paintings solidifying the name. He would later discover that Blackrose was already taken by a band and then added William to the title.
As an intention to enter the Cape Town: Battle of The Bands, William collaborated with a couple of local musicians and started The Black Rose Band. William won the award for best overall musician and the band took second place in the competition. The Band was invited to Johannesburg for a couple of performances but split up a couple of weeks later leaving William behind. Between 1991 and 1994 William performed his original and cover songs in hundreds of venues in and around the Gauteng area creating a following for his original music.
After closing a gig one night for an old Stellenbosch friend ” Koos Kombuis” William was offered a permanent residency at a club in Pretoria called The Navigator which became the number one hangout in Pretoria. After making the owner a boat load of cash, he approached William and offered to pay for the recording of a demo CD in a professional studio. In 1995 William Blackrose: The Minor of Decent was released. Only 500 copies where printed. A good friend took one of the copies to one of the top radio stations in South Africa at the time and they started playing four tracks off the album daily. Soon BMG Records offered William a 3 CD record deal which he rejected 3 times because of his “I’m not going to sell out to the suits” rebel attitude. The record company persisted and William gave in 9 months later. The CD was rebranded and re-released in 1997 as the album Everything. The album sold 20 000 units over night and was at the top of the S.A. Top 20 for 6 weeks.
Vigorous touring sometimes 8 gigs a week) combined with continuous partying, smoking and drinking, William developed 7 cancerous nodules on his vocal chords and soon after his 2001 release of his second album “What About Me” he had to go for major surgery to remove the nodules from his vocal cords. There was only a 50% chance that he would be able to speak normal and even less that he would be able to sing professionally again. 1 Year after the surgery William was approaching dire straits and could still not even sing two songs in a row without fatiguing his vocals. A good friend: “Patricia Lewis” contacted William and asked him to become part of her road crew, and for the next 2 years William helped her with her sound and rig while she gave him the opportunity to try and sing one song a night as her opening act. 3 Years later he started doing solo shows again. Soon thereafter in 2007 he released his 3rd studio album called “Wentelbaan”
For the next couple of years, William had to retrain his vocal cords and did about 3-4 gigs a week. He also started writing hit songs for other well-known South African performers. At the same time, he had to fight several medical battles with issues related to weight gain as a result of taking cortisone in excess. He never again had the capacity to perform like before the surgery.
After losing almost 30 KG in 2013, William decided to start development on a new project. By this time, he was playing 4 different instruments on stage in his solo act. This time he decided to write and produce every single note, then played every single instrument and sang every single vocal on the new project. He then took his work to several professional studios and had some of South Africa’s leading session musicians reproduce the notation under his supervision. In total the project took about 3 years to complete. On the 17th of November 2018 William Blackrose released his new 17 original track album called “TYD”. Up to this day William still has over 60 unrecorded original songs.
William lives with his wife: Madelein and his 3 dogs in Hartbeespoort Dam and now prefers performing in blue.
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