Dubai, 22/1/2024 – Curtin University Dubai hosted a captivating speaker series featuring Wouter Kellerman, a renowned two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning flautist, composer, producer, and philanthropist. The event provided a unique opportunity for students and attendees to gain insights into Kellerman’s extraordinary journey in the music industry, marked by his significant achievements and impactful contributions. One of his main motivators was to represent South Africa in such a great capacity.
During the speaker series at Curtin Dubai, Wouter Kellerman shared his inspiring story of starting from humble beginnings, emphasising the importance of perseverance, passion, and creativity in achieving success. Students had the opportunity to engage with Kellerman, gaining valuable insights into the music industry and learning from his experiences. He shared awe-inspiring anecdotes of him starting from free performances and shows where nobody turned up, the rejections he faced, and finally reaching the 2nd goal he had set for himself which was to perform in front of 85,000 listeners live, and 700 million watching on TV. After this feat, he could finally focus on his 1st goal, which was to win a Grammy.
Wouter Kellerman’s musical prowess earned him his first GRAMMY® Award for the acclaimed album “Winds of Samsara.” This groundbreaking work not only secured the top position on the US Billboard Charts but also reached the summit of the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 International Radio Airplay Chart. The success of “Winds of Samsara” set the stage for Kellerman’s subsequent triumphs, including the release of “Love Language.” This album not only earned a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album but also debuted at the #1 spot on the Billboard World Music charts within its first week of release. In 2023, Wouter Kellerman celebrated his second GRAMMY® Award win for “Bayethe,” a collaborative masterpiece with Nomcebo Zikode and Zakes Bantwini. His dedication to his craft and his ability to connect with diverse audiences through his music were evident throughout the event.
Upon asking what his motivation was to keep pushing through the hard times, he responded, “I love challenges and puzzles, so I did believe all the way that it’s possible. But really what kept me going, and keeps me going is that I want to create music. My mom told me when I was young that talent is not that important, it’s resilience. I made sure to practice everyday, even if it’s 5 minutes. Perseverance is the secret, and you have to believe it’s possible and expect good things. People don’t see the opportunity, because they don’t expect it. You have to expect good things will happen to you and persevere”.
The event was a testament to Curtin Dubai’s commitment to providing students with enriching experiences and opportunities to connect with industry leaders and accomplished professionals across various fields. The university continues to foster an environment that encourages learning beyond the classroom, preparing students for success in their chosen careers.
His last bit of advice to students and adults alike is this, “Even if you have great passions for something, every passion will have hurdles, but if you don’t overcome the first hurdle, you won’t reach all the amazing things that could be in store for you. So find a way to make it happen, even if it’s an out of the box idea. If you don’t stop, you’ll get there”.