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Born and raised in the working class community of Beacon Valley, Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, Blaq Pearl is the only daughter, with two brothers, of Mr. and Mrs. Van Rooy. A gifted singer and writer, she also holds a degree in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of the Western Cape. Blaq Pearl is a proud social activist and youth development worker her inspiration from God, her parents, family, friends, neighbours and self. She is driven by a desire to tell her own story and the stories of others. Janine / Blaq Pearl is also a Life Skills Facilitator and works with various organizations in different sectors that involves youth at risk, HIV/AIDS and women’s issues (in the communities, schools and prison). She transfers life skills using music and arts (poetry, creative writing & drawing) as methodology.
MUSICAL BACKGROUND: Started writing at the age of 12 to simply express herself and because she 'wanted to change the world'. Her first piece titled, ‘Life’s No Metaphor’ developed into a song. From that time already, she was doing choruses for her late brother ‘Devious’ (1977-2004), who is also her biggest musical influence. From 2005, she started performing professionally at various types of events. Her lyrics and music contains strong social content touching on controversial and tabooed issues and is about empowerment and real experiences, strength and motivation. She describes her music genre as a fusion of African/ Soul/ Hip Hop/ Jazz/ R&B. In 2007, she launched her first Music Video & CD Single “Life’s No Metaphor” and started formulating a backup Live Band (5-piece), currently 4-piece, they have been performing together ever since. Later, The Levi’s Young Guns Initiative sponsored her second Music Video “A Peoples Worth”. All can be seen on Channel O, YouTube & other networks. She featured in Oprah Magazine, Television shows Hectic 9nine & Keeping it Real and various media like newspapers and radio stations, also judging talent competitions and participated on BBC in a special interview project with Alan Shearer followed by a Dutch/African radio audio documentary. Blaq Pearl represented South Africa at the B-Connected, Music May Day festival, 21 & 22 May in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her other performances include Live at Oppikoppi, Obz Festival various Government Award Ceremonies, UDF Re-Launch and other festivals eg. The Franschoek Literary festival, The Jazzathon, City Concerts particularly in Mitchell’s Plain, traveled to Sweden (Stockholm) in March doing two Youth Culture & Arts festivals, Badilisha Poetry Exchange Festival, during the World Cup at various Fan Parks in Cape Town. Furthermore she was the only female collaborating alongside 7 independent male artists, in the popular theatre production: AFRIKAAPS (HipHopera) which debut at KKNK & ran at The Baxter theatre. This production won several awards at Kyknet Fiestas. Then the production went on to a successful tour in the Netherlands. She also featured in another grand musical production at Artscape Theatre during “Suidoosterfees” titled “Mitchell's Plain - A place in the sun” accompanied by a book. 2011 she completed her record ‘Against All Odds’ and has been promoting & touring since launching her album at the start of 2012. In 2013, she enjoyed another successful run of “’n Plekkie in die Son” at the Suidoosterfees in February. RECENT SWEDISH TOUR: 14 APRIL - 5 MAY 2013: Västerbotten Theatre’s Storytelling Festival has invited Blaq Pearl to the Storytelling festival 2013, from 15th – 29th April, 2013, in Skellefteå, Sweden. She will be conducting six workshops for high school students. They will be invited to express themselves artistically, while Blaq Pearl will also aim to inspire and encourage them to participate in the Storytelling performance on Friday 26 April, in Skellefteå. The workshops will take place at schools in Skellefteå, Robertsfors and Norsjö, as well as the Youth House in Skellefteå. Blaq Pearl will also perform at additional solo and collaborative shows with local artists while pm her tour of Sweden. OTHER PROJECT: The Blaq Pearl Documentary/ Film are currently in production. The project, which is about her life is called “Blaq Pearl” and will be produced by a group of film makers from the Red Cross Film School in Sweden (Stockholm). It’s earmarked to be released later this year. ASPIRATIONS: To contribute to positive change and empowerment in our country, particularly in the music and youth sectors. To be a successful person with continuous growth and inspire upcoming artists & musicians