Based: Cape Town
aKING is a melodic, alternative pop-rock band based in Cape Town, South Africa.The band was formed in 2007 when Laudo Liebenberg and Hennie van Halen started writing an album in their spare time. A few months later Jaco Venter from well-known controversial Afrikaans rock band Fokofpolisiekar, joined on drums along with Hunter Kennedy on rhythm guitar.
Two albums later and due to a busy schedule, Hunter was replaced by Andrew Davenport, which initiated the writing & recording of The Red Blooded Years.
When did you start making music?
I was very young when my mother taught me how to sing. My father was a minister, so every sunday she would teach me how to harmonise to gospel songs while he was spreading ‘the word’ from the pulpit. From there on my love for music grew rapidly and at age 11 , a friend introduced me to his father’s collection of folk and rock music. When I got home I immediately picked up the old nylon guitar that was lying around, and tried to write a song. It was a terrible song , but it got me practicing. Don’t think I will ever stop writing songs.
Jaco “Snakehead” Venter
How did you start in music and what previous projects were you involved in?
I started playing the guitar when I was 15 and joined my High School band, called 22 Stars. After kicking our drummer out the band and failing to find a replacement, I took the drum seat. I was 19 when I started drumming and joined Fokofpolisiekar a year later. After excessive touring and releasing 2 Albums and 4 E.P’s Fokofpolisiekar took a break and that gave me the chance to join aKING full-time in 2007. The rest is history as they say.
Hennie Van Halen
I’ve dreamt of being a musician from as early as I can remember, spending days curled up in front of my dad’s vinyl player listening to the old 70’s classics. Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, CCR. When I turned 13 my parents graduated me from a crummy nylon acoustic to my first electric guitar and this paved the way to starting a band in my final year of high school. This was short-lived, due to studies and a brief stint as an english teacher in China but a few years later, after meeting Laudo at a house party, I switched to bass guitar and started working on what would become our first album Dutch Courage.