In music there has been many piano legends who have graced the world with numerous songs that has stood the test of time. A few examples would be Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Billy Joel. When it comes to Billy Joel his song the Piano Man became a defining song for him, it’s truly who he is. Anyone to mention Piano Man, Billy instantly comes to mind. In South Africa there is another who’s destiny is clear, to one day have his name placed beside the greats that came before him. Meet South Africa’s own, “Piano Man” Henno William.
At just thirteen years of age he is already becoming a world phenomenon. Henno has not only caught the eye of Africa, he intrigues people on a global scale with his musical abilities. Henno’s fans are everywhere. His face, music and name are seen on social media continuously, driving even more people to learn who he is. Creativity and heart is what drives artists. This too is driving Henno. On South Africa’s Got Talent he became the very first Golden Buzzer. Through hard work and the love of what he does, has also caught the attention of New York and LA. His great journey is just beginning.
Henno was born March 29, 2003 in South Africa. He lives in the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria. When Henno was six years old, he was a huge fan of High School Musical. This is what inspired him to start singing. “I did little shows for my parents in my room standing on a table with a brush in my hand” says Henno. His dad use to sing and introduced him to the Golden Oldies. This was the first flame of a new star.
When Henno was in the first grade his teacher over heard him singing and playing, Drops of Jupiter to some of his friends. His teacher contacted his parents to ask for Henno to perform at the school’s weekly assembly. “I didn’t even know the entire, but that was my first public performance” says Henno. His parents realized it was time to put more effort into his talent when he was ten years old. He began his vocal and piano training at this time.
The piano has become an extension of his person with his fingers flowing effortlessly over the keys. For as long as he can remember, he had wanted to play the piano, and he received his first when he was seven years old. Henno got some piano lessons at school where they taught him to play songs like, Mary Had A Little Lamb. “I really hated it” says Henno. He started playing around on the piano and his dad taught him how to accompany himself playing chords. It was at the age of ten that his parents found a piano teacher that started teaching him how to play the blues, pop and rock. He loves the piano, and people worldwide are loving it with him.
The biggest highlight in his music career so far was being on South Africa’s Got Talent. “Working with a team of directors and producers on a large scale was amazing” says Henno. Henno wowed the judges and audience with his performance of Let It Be. Henno put his own spin on the song and that won him the first ever golden buzzer on the show. “I didn’t even realize they added it into last year’s season. I was so focused on my performance, and only when the gold confetti rained down on me, I actually realized what happened” says Henno. He was overwhelmed and completely surprised. He says he loves the buzz of live TV, and not a bit nervous. The golden buzzer sent him straight to the live semi-finals. Henno made his way to the finals. In the finals he sang his version of, With A Little Help From My Friends. Unfortunately Henno did not win the finals, but he did make a name for himself in South Africa.
His abilities as a singer/songwriter and entertainer has gained him many performances and fans since his beginning. One of his performances that has been memorable was on his thirteenth birthday. “I did not have an ordinary birthday party when I turned 13 this year. I had my own headline show at a theater in Pretoria” said Henno. All of his friends and family were there and at his concert he dropped his debut single, Beauty Queen. “That was pretty epic” says Henno.
After the release of his single Beauty Queen and the music video he was noticed by Kevin Liles and being signed by his management company KWL based in New York. They are planning some trips to New York and LA to meet with songwriters and producers. A plan is in the works to launch Henno in the US and international.
There has been many great opportunities for singer/songwriter Henno and he is always performing wherever he can. He does perform his own songs, but he also covers many artists. One of the songs he likes to cover is none other than, Piano Man. He says many people enjoy this song because it’s a feel-good happy song that has his own spin on it. Another favorite to sing is Elton John’s, This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore. “I love the bluesy feel of the song and hopefully I’ll get to perform that with him one day. Now that I would really like” said Henno. It is all about making music, he wants to perform and entertain. If it gets bigger and better each year, then that is a bonus for him.
Henno has completed a new single and video that will be out in early 2017. This was a thrilling experience for him working with producers and songwriters in LA, while he was in a studio in South Africa. All done by Skype and Dropbox. The instrumental and mastering will be done in LA.
Music is a big part of his life, but enjoys many other things as well. He says being from Africa the first thing people think is he has elephants and lions walking around in his backyard, but that is not the case. He actually lives in the suburbs of Pretoria, with malls and paved roads, but he does now and then go on safari to see the animals up close. He also likes playing basketball and soccer with his friends. He is an adrenaline junkie, and loves to go zip-lining, and abseiling.
The world of music is in need of a new and fresh pianist, a new face, a new vibe and Henno delivers on that need. He has a look that the girls will go crazy over, and the skills in writing that will take him to the stars. He is like the gravity in the stars, he pulls you in with his music and holds you there filling your soul with light. Many of those before him, like Elton, Billy, Stevie who had that power on stage to pull people in, and they have held on to those people throughout the years. Henno will be the same, he shares the same characteristics, it’s already being proven. Henno William is the new sensation, and South Africa’s, Piano Man.