Sidetracked with Back2Basics: Singing the Gospel from the heart

[notice]A monthly interview column in which Mike Beets tunes into the heartbeat of Christian musicians and the SA Christian music industry.[/notice]


back2basicsIf you listen to Radio Pulpit or frequent church bazaars and festivals I am pretty sure you have tapped your feet to a catchy Back2Basics tune. Their foot stompers and catchy remakes have been a part of popular church culture in Afrikaans churches for as long as I can remember. Their unique blend of mixing Christian based lyrics to popular culture music has earned them a large and unique following; especially among the unchurched and people that have left the church. Back2Basics have been around for over 20 years and have released five Gospel Albums to date. I had the privilege to catch up with them for a little Q and A regarding their latest release; “Jesus Heers 5”. 

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Sdtrckd: Where did it all start for Back2Basics?

B2B: We we’re secular from 1990, and then turned gospel in 2004.
Anita decided she does not want to be part of the secular scene anymore round about 2003. Up to that point, we did an upbeat version of “Amazing Grace” at our secular shows. The other members of the band had the same idea but didn’t verbalise it. On one of the secular albums Anita added gospel songs for her part of the CD. This CD was sent to Radio Pulpit and had an impressive reception. This sealed the deal for the band. From then on it was only gospel. We had to wait until all 3 were spiritually ready and on the same level. 

Sdtrckd: Where did the name “Back2Basics” originate?

B2B:  God decided on the name for us in 1993. We had a secular deal with CAP Records. We decided on the name there. But looking back we know its God who chose it as later we realised it was back to the cross. Back 2 Jesus, hence Back2Basics.

Sdtrckd: Does anybody in the band have formal musical training?

B2B: No, Nos taught himself the guitar; Sharon can play a tiny bit and Anita tried for awhile. Anita and Sharon cannot even read notes, we work by hearing.  We don’t bother ourselves with others judging what a true artist really is. To us it is just our voices and talent to write that counts. Like Aaron was given to help Moses; so Nos is there to help us. Nos is our musical brain. Anita and Sharon give the vocals and emotions and Jesus does the rest. Nos can read notes, programme music, play guitar and little keyboard too!

Sdtrckd: What made you guys decide to sing solely for Jesus?

B2B: After Ds Johan Els from Radio Pulpit invited us to the “Klip-Kerk” in Bloemfontein there was no turning back! You can’t! Once you truly give it to Jesus, it changes!

Sdtrckd: You guys have garnered a huge following with your recipe of using popular songs with Christian based lyrics; do you think this is the biggest contribution to your success?

B2B: The biggest thing is what Jesus has done with our music and what He still does. He has His plan;  He knows how to reach those that have been disappointed in the church, and broken and hurt by other Christians. He knows who He wants to reach and what it will take.

Sdtrckd: “Jesus Heers 5” has been released with all original music, how was writing and recording different than the previous 4 volumes?

B2B:  It’s all our own tunes and everything is fresh. Nothing borrowed. It was our task. Sing a new song!

Sdtrckd: What has been the reaction to the new album from your fans?

B2B: Not sure yet as we only released it in May 2015. Although many people have requested new and original songs from us for a while. 

Sdtrckd: What are some of the songs you guys love to do live and why?  

B2B: On the “Jesus Heers” volume 1-4 we like the soul songs;  like “Ek Is”,  we really feel God’s presence with that one. Nos likes all the upbeat ones, people always ask for something fast when we perform. With “Jesus Heers” Volume 5 all of the songs are special.

Sdtrckd: You guys have taken a unique approach to spreading the gospel, and it has proved to be quite effective. Do you believe that we need more people taking the “out-of-the-box” approach to worship and evangelising to the un-churched?

B2B:  We believe God has something for everyone. What works for one person doesn’t work for the next. God sends us to those who have been hurt and disappointed by other Christians.

Sdtrckd: What advice would you have for people that feel called to be worship leaders?

B2B:  Make sure it is what God wants, then do it and expect nothing in return. Just do it.

Sdtrckd: What, do you believe, is right and wrong with worship music and the “industry” in South Africa?

B2B:  The only thing important is to sing the Word; which is the Gospel. There is a lot of seemingly “gospel” music going around with plenty of misleading stuff. Make sure the cover of the album does not portray occult like images. If it does, we believe it portrays something other than the true gospel and Jesus.

Sdtrckd: What’s next for Back2Basics?

B2B:  Jesus Heers 6, 7, 8 …..  

Sdtrckd: Where can we get a copy of “Jesus Heers” Volume 5?

B2B: You can download the album on iTunes or get it at any CUM bookstore.

You can check out some of their music here;

You can follow Back2Basics on Social Media via the following links;





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