“My mom always told me to get a desk job, so I did… except mine has a whole bunch of knobs and screens on it!” — Jarred Venter
Local sound engineer, Jarred Venter, will soon be joining the tour team of international singer/songwriter, Kari Jobe, after being head hunted during her SA tour that took place in July 2014.
As reported in Gateway News, the songstress hosted a series of worship nights in South Africa last year, kicking off the tour in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Venter was approached prior to the event to assist with running the sound desk during the tour.
“At first glance of the email I thought it might be one of my good friends pulling a joke on me!” He explained. “When I quickly googled, I found that her tour manager was in fact the same person who had sent me the email!”
Venter had been working in Nigeria for a short period when he received the offer and ended up being the official SA tour sound engineer, manning the sound desk for all five concerts. It was during these events that he received an offer to join the team as Jobe’s official sound engineer. “I kind of laughed to myself thinking ‘did that just happen?’ and then I took up their offer!” He shared.
The tour ended in a whirlwind for the passionate 23 year old from Kimberley, and he was whisked away to the States to join the team as they toured more than 22 cities in under 2 months. “The team was just phenomenal and became my tour family. They are a genuine bunch of people.” He shared with Gateway News: “There is nothing fake about them and we all had the same desire, to reach out to people and worship His name.”
Venter returned to South Africa in November 2014 to begin the process of applying for a work VISA which has had its challenges. “It’s just something that the devil doesn’t want to have happen and this is why we are experiencing so many VISA issues.” He admits that it is a big step to leave the country and is thankful for the solid support structure he has at home and the warmth he’s experienced from the team in America. “I am really excited to see what my future holds for me, but I know that South Africa is still my home and a braai cannot be replaced by a BBQ.”
In the meantime, he has begun to work for himself and is contracted by other companies to operate the sound at their events. He also provides consultation, installation and training to churches. “At the end of the day I’ve just left it in God’s hands. I know He has a plan for me and that I need not worry.”
Venter has always been a man of faith and attributes his love for music and production back to his roots – his home church, City of Hope Christian Church, in Kimberley, where his father, Ps Andre Venter, pastors. “Growing up, I spent many a day at the church, taking on the role of operating the sound and everything to do with production.” He explained. “I learnt a lot from watching people and listening, especially from my brother-in-law Phillip.”
After finishing high school, he decided to focus his attention on the film industry and chose to move to Cape Town to study further. He obtained a BA Degree in Motion Picture, majoring in visual effects, while working part-time for an installation company that installed audio and visual equipment in churches. He later on joined the Hillsong Cape Town church where he served on the production team.
“When I completed my studies I realised that I actually wanted to focus more on sound engineering and production in churches.” Venter has had the privilege to man the sound desk at big Christian events, such as the Joyce Meyer Festival of Life in Namibia and the Hillsong Conferences in Africa. “These events are amazing for me! To see so many people hungry for the Word of God!”
He does not take his role as a sound engineer lightly and believes that he has been placed in that field for a reason. He shared “I am the one who helps to get the message out and helps to make the sound clear.” He believes that although he does some work in the secular field and some in the Christian field, it is during praise and worship that he is left in awe and where he finds his purpose. “When people worship and praise His name together, I get goosebumps!”