Grethe van der Merwe


It all Started when...

Grethe was born early on the 9th of December 1985 - shortly after her mother went to a performance of the Tygerberg Youth Choir.

She was lured into this world by the sound waves of music and she’s been living life that way ever since.

After school she enrolled at Stellenbosch University for a BMus degree which focused on classical music.  However, after the completion of the BMus, she found herself knocking on the door of the head of the Drama Department due to a muscle related injury that caused permanent damage to both her arms.

After a lengthy evaluation process, Stellenbosch University finally admitted her into the MDram program with Cabaret as her primary focus.  Up to that stage, Grethe had mostly been exposed to classical music and only sang in choirs or in her shower.  Needless to say, she had to learn all the tricks of the musical theatre trade fairly quickly.

After the completion of the MDram degree, she continued teaching at Stellenbosch University with the great Marthinus Basson as her mentor for the next 6 years.  There she taught others to sing and came to appreciate the wonders of the human voice.

In 2013 she decided it was time for a new venture, but had no idea what that would be. She made the very responsible decision of jumping into the freelancing industry of South-Africa.

That Christmas her father gave her an unusual gift: a voucher sponsoring the recording of 4 songs at a small studio in their home town, Ladismith.  Now: up to that point Grethe had only been writing songs for plays, cabarets and children’s theatre. However: not wanting to disappoint her father, she agreed provisionally. “Okay fine. But only 4 songs.”  

Famous last words… the small country town of Ladismith in the Little Karoo, she met her producer and now friend, Jo Ellis, who helped her to fall in love with music all over again.  

At the end of 2014 she launched her first solo album, Ver van Hier, at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.  And the rest is history.