Based: Cape Town
Vernon Bernard is a singer-songwriter and motivational speaker by profession. Soon after birth he was diagnosed with an eye-condition called “Glaucoma” and immediately thereafter underwent numerous unsuccessful operations in an attempt to restore his sight. He was thus declared clinically blind and attended his entire school-career at the Pioneer School in Worcester, which is the School for the Visually Impaired and Blind.
He never allowed circumstances get the better of him and excelled beyond expectation in so many aspects of his life. He mentions that he’s so grateful for his parents who brought him up by not coddling him due to his lack of sight because it had a remarkable impact on his life, such as him becoming Head Boy of his school and also being involved in sports where he became the youngest member of the South Africa Senior blind Cricket Team (Blind Proteas).
While Vernon always had a tremendous love for music – teaching himself to play the drums when he was ±12 years of age – he did not always know that he wanted to get involved in music. Only after winning his school’s annual talent show, singing for the first time ever to an audience, and receiving encouragement from many people did he then consider singing more.
This feat became the catalyst in him pursuing a musical career as a solo artist where he soon began performing at small venues and functions and was soon requested to open the shows when well-known artists came to town to perform. Realizing this was his passion and something he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he recorded his debut CD in 2014, where he opened the show for Mathys Roets in Middelburg.
Vernon decided to enter The Voice SA after watching The Voice America and knew that if the competition was to come to South Africa, he would love to be a part of such an experience. The fact the show is only about the voice and not the hype and look, was an especially big driving factor for him.
Vernon would love to collaborate with Bobby van Jaarsveld; Charlize Bergh; Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber to mention a few. His ambition for South African music is to see more SA artists appearing on international charts, such as The Billboard Chart and UK Top 40, because he believes “We have such amazing talent in SA and the world needs to hear our music.”