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16 Oct, 2014

Rocking the Ride

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Matthew was two years old when he was diagnosed with cancer.

He suffered for a while, and then was clear. But then it came back. He suffered for about 10 years and it spread all over his body.

Shortly after his 14th birthday, he passed away.

His cousin, rising South African rock star Daniel Baron then wrote a song “A lion’s heart” in his memory.

“It was really devastating for our family,” said Daniel, “but he was always the happy guy, in spite of the pain and suffering he went through.”

So he decided to take on the challenge of riding the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge and announced this on air on Tholi B’s show on the Johannesburg radio station on 18 August.

“I became a brand ambassador for the Cancer Association of South Africa about two years ago and I thought that the least I could do is this Challenge,” he said.

So Daniel has started the Rock Stars Ride for Cancer campaign, which aims to raise R50 000 for the Association during the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge.

“I don’t think there have been many artists who have tried the Challenge, and it’s going to be a huge challenge for me because I’m not a cyclist at all,” he said.

Daniel stresses that the Rock Stars Ride for Cancer peloton is “not a closed peloton”.

“I’m going to have my band with me, and we encourage anyone who wants to be involved. And we encourage people to donate,” he said.

For this former De La Salle Holy Cross College pupil, sport was never really a priority although he did play both rugby and soccer at school level.

“My music was always the first thing on my list and it was what I wanted to do for a career,” he said.

After releasing his first album, “Its time” in 2012, Daniel’s career highlight to date was when he opened for Bon Jovi in 2013.

“My folks told me they used to listen to loud ‘80s music when I was in the womb and that must have got into my brain,” he smiled, “so I’ve been listening to Bon Jovi since I was a kid and they are my idols. So you can imagine, to play before them was literally mind-blowing.”

Daniel, who plays piano, guitar and drums but states that the piano “is my main instrument”, writes his own songs so you can bet that he’ll be writing a song while he trains for or rides the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge.

“I think I’m always big into writing songs that motivate people. On my first album, the hit ‘So Much More’ was chosen for a DSTV advert which is about not giving up,” he explained, “so I’m sure I’ll write a couple of songs on the bike.”

Check out Daniel’s website http://danielbaron.co.za/ for his tour dates, releases and all the information about Rock Stars Ride for Cancer.