Music has the ability to mend and heal and Denzil Gershon Erasmus has captured the essence of the saxophone healing power through the love of music. Denzil says “through pain and hurt nothing ever stops me from reaching for the stars”. He has traveled extensively and performed on international platforms. His family and community are certainly in the forefront of his career.
Erasmus grew up in Cape Town along with his two siblings. His parents never married and go by the names of Amelia and Desmond. Both his parents had a deep rooted love for music. His mother sang in the church choir. Erasmus comes from a music background and is the first in his family to take music to new heights. He grew up playing the saxophone at church which is where the eruption of love for the instrument took place. He blends the sound of gospel and jazz which brings a dynamic music experience.
Denzil ‘s music career has led him to perform in South Africa, Namibia, Maputo, Botswana and international countries such as the USA. He says: “my music career has taken me from nothing to being a major contributor and influencer in South Africa. The saxophonist has almost 19 years experience in the industry and knows that it is the warm and smooth tone that vibrates through the instrument that keeps people listening attentively. The saxophone is the very instrument that has allowed Denzil to heal and touch souls effortlessly. The energy that he creates while performing helps him to connect and give to South Africa. “Music has always allowed me to be myself and the one thing that completes me. I find it easy to express my emotions through the saxophone” he says.
After his mom bought him the saxophone in 1997 he practiced hard to master his craft and made it his primary instrument to date. Even though he is from Cape Town in a neighborhood that was gang, drug and alcohol infested he still managed to find his way out of his childhood environment. Erasmus says “my community while growing up was also harshly influenced by GBV”.
“My destiny is shaped through music” says Denzil. He is grateful that along the way he met mentors that were older and wiser which helped shape his success. He does also admit that he does a lot of research. “I have always been inquisitive about information especially pertaining to music” says Erasmus. He strongly believes that music is his chosen path and should he have chosen differently he would be extremely unhappy.
Erasmus is currently working towards influencing the international space. “You can hear the difference in my sound especially from my last two EPs” he says. A month ago he released Celebrate in Africa and Devine Purpose. In 2016 he released his first album and says: “if you listen to that sound you can hear the difference between then and now”.
The saxophonist is working towards making his mark similar to the likes of Black Coffee and Ed Sheeran. He plans to enrich South Africa with all his international experience. Erasmus has not forgotten the African continent and says” “we sometimes head for international spaces and we forget about our core root Africa but more than anything Africa is high on my tour list”.
“My future plans are to open a music academy or saxophone academy. “Secondary to performing I love teaching”, Denzil emphasizes. Be on the lookout for Denzil Erasmus foundation in the near future where he will further his love for teaching.
“Music called me in a dream in 1997 where I was standing on a stage holding a saxophone and 2 months later I had the same dream and two weeks later my mum bought me my first saxophone “ he says.
Erasmus concludes: “open your eyes to your dreams and allow yourself to find your passion”.
By Sandra Lesenyeho