Listen: Loss, longing inspires Kirky’s latest release


Talking about the death of a loved one is never easy, but singer and songwriter Kirky van Kirkwood carefully approaches this difficult subject with a powerful new song about the loss of and longing for her mother.

“Song vir Ma” is the latest release from Kirky’s pen. She appeared on the Afrikaans music scene about two years ago with the debut single “Wie sê o vrou kan ni boer ni”.

Kirky, aka Christine Swart, got her nickname when she studied teaching at Wellington in the Western Cape and had to introduce herself to her fellow students as a first-year student. When she said that she was from Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape, the other students started calling her Kirky from Kirkwood, and that nickname stuck with her to this day.

Before she made herself at home in the Afrikaans music industry, she farmed on a citrus farm – not too far from her own family’s farm – with citrus such as lemons, oranges and prickly pears.

In the meantime, she started touring the country together with Esté and Lourens Rabé, known as the music duo RAAF.

Kirky tells in RNews’s studio that her mother died in 2015 and although a lot of water has gone into the sea in the meantime, she admits that it is still difficult to talk about it.

However, she was inspired to write “Song vir Ma” after she visited one Jakoos Scheepers and his wife on Patensie and they realized that all three of them had something in common: the loss of a parent.

“I sent Jakoos a message to ask if he would accompany me to a festival. I didn’t know him at all, but he still agreed. I went to visit him and his wife so that we could prepare for the festival, but we got stuck in the Patensie Hotel’s bar, as people in small towns do.

“Finally we went home where we lit a fire. The evening then reached the morning hours and Jakoos and I talked about quite a lot of things. We realized then that we had something in common: Me, Jakoos and his wife, Hilde, had all lost one of our parents.”

She never really wanted to talk about the loss of a parent, admits Kirky.

“A week passed and I was on my way to Patensie again. The conversations from the previous week were still grinding in my head the whole time and about 20 km before I got there, the idea of ​​’Song for Ma’ started playing in my head and I started making voice notes of it.

“I stopped by Jakoos and the song was basically finished. I then grabbed my guitar and played it for him. He and Hilde immediately liked it and that was important to me, as they were part of the process that led to the song.”

However, it feels like a burden is now off her shoulders, she says.

“All my life I never could or wanted to talk about my emotions. However, I realized that if I start writing about my emotions, it is easier to talk about them. I’m proud of the personal growth that writing and singing this has brought me and hopefully it can mean something to someone out there too.”

The music video for “Song vir Ma” was produced by Esté Rabé and Ruben Oosthuizen. The video material was mostly shot in Nieu-Bethesda, as well as on the Diamant estate in Paarl.

“Something I didn’t think about when I wrote the song is that it would make someone who still has their mother think about it. People come to shows to say that their parents are still alive, but that the song makes them wonder what it would be like to give up those parents to death.

“Unfortunately, one always only realizes the value of time with a loved one when it is too late.”

“Song vir Ma” is available on all major digital platforms.

  • Listen to the full interview with Kirky van Kirkwood at the top of the report.

Watch the music video for “Song vir Ma” here: