Ruan Greeff, a Nambian jewel
Evany van Wyk
Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know him by his stage name, draws his inspiration from.
This musical genius was born and bred in Windhoek. When Greeff finished high school, he went on to study towards a bachelor’s degree in psychology because he wanted to become a forensic psychologist. His love for music was stronger, however, and he followed his heart and decided to make music instead. He says he always wanted to make music but he was scared that people might not listen.
“I found out that they do listen and it’s an honour and a pleasure that that is the case,” he said.
Greeff remains a Namibian resident, but travels to South Africa and Germany for long stretches at a time.
“It has been easy adapting in the new countries because I know that I am coming back to the beautiful and diverse Namibia,” he says.
Motivation for his music and in life has always come easy, as anything out of the ordinary helps to bring perspective to his everyday life. He says that it’s not only one thing but a series of experiences or stories that he can use as a basis for a new song.
“You never know when creativity will strike or what its source will be,” he explains.
A humble heart, Greeff says that his accomplishments are few, but the challenges he encountered are quite a lot. Learning to deal with disappointments is one of those challenges he had to overcome. Greeff believes that even if you feel your music is good, you should work as though it’s not. The road to success is never a straight line and you’ll always have to regroup, rethink and re-apply yourself.
“You have never really "made it" you are simply always making it. It’s very humbling, but also fuels my drive,” Greeff says.
The music industry has changed a lot and nowadays it’s all about streaming. Greeff says that making and selling albums are dying and the music business is not for the lazy and faint-hearted.
Greeff admits that his parents were not too happy about him becoming a musician but that they could see how much he loved it
The standard of living for musicians is always questioned but making money as an entertainer is not impossible. In 2020 Greeff has plans of moving to Germany, but will continue making music in Namibia, South Africa and possibly Europe.
“Lastly, to all the aspiring musicians, work very hard and a little smart and most of all, be careful who you take advice from,” he advises.