Bittereinder is a three-man think/dance machine, one of the freshest bands in the current musical explosion emanating from the unpredictable city of Pretoria, South Africa. Jaco van der Merwe (rapper/lyricist), Peach van Pletzen (award-winning producer extraordinaire) and Louis Minnaar (multi award-winning visual artist and musical producer) lend equal impetus to the lyrical, musical and visual elements of the band.
Bittereinder formed early in 2009, and immediately began production on their debut album, titled ‘n Ware Verhaal (A True Story). The album took almost 2 years to complete, and in October 2010 ‘n Ware Verhaal was released through Rhythm Records, featuring powerful collaborations with Jack Parow, Tim Beumers (acclaimed Dutch rapper from Rotterdam), Tumi Molekane (Tumi & the Volume), Inge Beckmann (Lark), Richard Brokensha (Isochronous/kidofdoom) and Sev Statik (Deepspace 5, from New York).
All Bittereinder’s music videos were produced, shot and directed by the band’s own mastermind, Louis Minnaar, and they all reached MK’s Top 10 chart (South Africa’s premier music TV channel), including a 3-week number 1 spot for the third single “Slechte Mensen”. All 3 of their first singles reached number 1 chart positions on a number of radio stations across South Africa.
Following a hugely successful and much anticipated national tour starting with seven cities in a month, Bittereinder crowned the excellent reception of their debut album by winning the SAMA (South African Music Award) for Best Afrikaans Alternative Album of 2011 at the SAMA Awards Ceremony in Johannesburg in May 2011. The album and the first video were also finalists in the 2011 Tempo Awards. Before Bittereinder had even played one show they had already been heralded as:
“the best thing that has happened to local music this past year.” (Chutney de Ridder, Rapport)
“Bittereinder is the biggest thing to hit Afrikaans in months, if not years.” (Annie Klopper, Litnet)
“Bittereinder will most probably be the next alternative Afrikaans export to
Netherlands and . You want to find their album in your Christmas stocking.” (Jannike Bergh, Acoustic Image) Belgium
“Bittereinder is the next big thing…Jaco/Bittereinder could be to hip-hop what Hunter/Fokofpolisiekar was to rock in South Africa…a refreshingly real and honest Afrikaans voice, true poetry.” (Liam Lynch, Obrigado)
“Bittereinder is the real deal. This is one Afrikaans hip hop act you need to hear.” (Lloyd Gedye, Mail & Guardian)
“Bittereinder make a sick combination of awesome rhymes, harmonies and spaced-out, thumping beats. This album brings together some very diverse sounds and styles, which keep it fresh, and unlike many other rap albums it never gets boring.” (Ettiene Buys, The Urbanist)
“’n Ware Verhaal is an outstanding, refreshing musical explosion.” (Luzaan van der Westhuizen, Perdeby)
“’n Ware Verhaal is a complex and intelligent album. The music, an irresistible fusion of contagious sounds and powerful, poetic sentiments, is progressive, innovative and shifts the boundaries of hip-hop in the South African context.” (Republikein online)
Bittereinder has built a solid live reputation during 2011, buttressed by big festival performances at Ramfest CT, Ramfest JHB, KKNK, Gariep Festival, Aardklop and Oppikoppi. In August 2011 Bittereinder played their first international show at the legendary Paradiso club in Amsterdam, followed by a massive set at the Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands, during which they shared the stage with Dutch rap veteran Tim Beumers. Bittereinder will definitely be returning to the Netherlands in 2012.
In October 2011 Bittereinder began serious work on their second album.