DHL Stormers and artists record Johnny Clegg’s ‘The Crossing’

The DHL Stormers and Friends
The DHL Stormers and Friends
Image: Supplied

The DHL Stormers have teamed up with various artists to record a tribute video of the late Johnny Clegg’s The Crossing as a team song for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

This is the song they would have sung in the changing room after every game before the current season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The song was chosen by team management as Clegg was a nation-builder who crossed over different communities, much like the Springboks did by winning the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

Featuring on the tribute are Cape Town-based artists including Francois van Coke, Amy Tjasink, Paxton Fielies, Marc Lottering, Zolani Mohali, James Stewart, Chantal Stanfield, Amy Jones, Chad Saaiman, RJ Benjamin and Heinrich Frans.

Take a look behind the scenes at the recording of Johnny Clegg's 'The Crossing' by the DHL Stormers and Friends. Hear from players and artists who were involved in this collaboration as they explain what this song means to them and why it was such a special experience. #iamastormer #dhldelivers @DHLAfrica @DHLRugby

Stormers captain Siya Kolisi said the experience of singing and recording the song had had a profound impact on the team.

Kolisi said Clegg was an icon of SA music and The Crossing was a powerful song, perfectly suited to the team’s 2020 campaign, even though they had managed to play only six games so far this season.

“To get the chance to collaborate with well-known SA artists and experience the teamwork that goes into producing a piece of music professionally, was something that we will all remember and cherish for a long time,” he said.

“With SA now in lockdown due to Covid-19, the song has even more significance and meaning.

He said the team hoped the song would help deliver some hope during a difficult time for all South Africans, and if it lifted spirits in any way, they would consider the project a major success.

Head coach John Dobson said the recording had taken his players out of their comfort zones and given them insight into the power of music.

Dobson said singing was part of rugby at every level of the game, and adopting The Crossing was a way of bringing the team closer together.

“The current uncertainty about the Covid-19 pandemic means that this is a daunting time for all of us, but if this song is able to bring us closer together — figuratively of course — then that would be one of our biggest wins this year,” he said.

He said the aim was that supporters and South Africans in general would take inspiration from seeing players alongside some well-known SA artists and celebrities, singing their hearts out.

The DHL Stormers teamed up with some top artists earlier this year before the lockdown to record South African icon Johnny Clegg's 'The Crossing' at the Academy of Sound Engineering studios in Cape Town (www.ase.co.za). The team has sung this song in the changeroom after every match this season and took it to the next level with the help of some pros in this version. Turn the volume up and get ready for some goosebumps. #iamastormer #dhldelivers @DHLAfrica @DHLRugby

Dan Shout, a saxophonist and staunch Stormers fan who walked a long road with the late, great musical orator, said: “Having played in Johnny Clegg’s band, for my rugby team to want to do a Johnny Clegg song was just perfect. I think I was definitely the guy for the job.

“For me, the song is extremely apt in that though we are in a difficult period right now, we too shall make our crossing to the next part of our journey after a period of mourning,” he said.

Clegg made an important contribution to SA society at a very difficult time and the team was inspired by the collaboration video that was made in late 2018, which saw artists from different backgrounds come together to perform his iconic song.

The Stormers are a diverse group of players who work together for their faithful supporters in much the same way.


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