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Lourens & Esté Raaf

Chart topping, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Folk Pop duo.
Two passionate South Africans who are married & crafting together to create songs and play shows that inspire life and the pursuit of all it has to offer...

A recent reference in the media referred to these two as a phenomenon. A duo whose genre can’t truly be described and something totally fresh on the South African music landscape.

Their audiences literally stretch across all age groups and audience members describe RAAF as a must-see and a life changing musical experience. Recent audience members recall a RAAF show as follows: “There was...real owe it to yourself to attend a RAAF show at least once in your lifetime”.
"It’s rock 'n roll, it’s hard, it’s tender, it leaves you inspired, it’s the future of Afrikaans."
“RAAF is a stellar talent of which we can be rightfully proud”, writes another audience member on social media after attending a show.

RAAF’s humble reaction to these statements: “We just do what we do and we are thankful that people like it...”

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“We met as two ambitious young students at the University of Stellenbosch. After a few cups of coffee we soon realised that we shared much more than our common interest in music."

Lourens was a Law and BComm Investments student and Esté studied BDrama when they met.  They started the band in 2010 as a student side-hustle, finally living out a mutual childhood dream. 

"Today, after a stint in the corporate world, we are married and working as full-time musicians; pursuing our ongoing dream to inspire others through our music, style and performance.”

Their vision has for a long-time brought beauty, passion, and inspiration to those around them through music. This has been evident in the reactions from captivated audiences all over Africa and Europe; regarded as one of South Africa's most unique and exciting live music experiences...

Being on the road constantly, as Esté would famously tag #altydopreis, the couple is privileged to see and experience their beautiful South Africa and beyond in a unique way. 

This has also lead to involvement with their music in projects like the Make A Difference Leadership Foundation, the Community Conservation Fund for Africa and various other initiatives that align with their vision for development and positive change.  Read more about these projects here.

Even when not on a tour, Esté and Lourens are constantly playing tourist in their own country, in their own province, and even their own town.

They encounter picturesque nature and incredible people on their various tours. Sharing coffee, wine, conversations and meals amid all this lead to fresh lyrics, beats and ideas.

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Music, for them, is about capturing the essence of our existence in all its seasons. 


Soon Lourens and Esté will celebrate
twelve years since they started playing together as students in Stellenbosch and eight years since they exchanged the office for the stage to be full time musicians; it's been a few years of growth and evolvement in the industry.  This growth also lead to their transition to RAAF.

During 2020 Esté and Lourens used the gift of
time as inspiration to write their latest works.

Amidst the confusion, loss, healing,
freedom, and all other aspects humanity had
to deal with during this unprecedented time, they found the stories and lyrics to create various songs and their latest album PREDIKER.

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It’s hard to assign a genre to the music of RAAF. The style can be described as folk-pop. With foot stomping rhythms, hard hitting lyrics and hints of the dramatic, they are impressive to watch. “We like to refer to it as gourmet music… This term captures our vision as musicians: to produce music that is true to ourselves in the different stages of developing as people and creatives. To write lyrics and play songs that encourages good times, evokes emotion and sparks deeds of love, hope and change.”

Lourens and Esté have become crowd favourites for their variety in song writing, melodic storytelling and electrifying performances, inspiring the nostalgia of the legends of yesteryear.


"We have a great love for instruments; we are constantly on the look-out for interesting sounds to include in our oeuvre"


Currently they play 12 instruments between the two of them, gracing the stage with an impressive display of music-making gadgets, and allowing the sound of a full band. Their instruments include the Farmer foot drums, acoustic and electric guitar, electric ukulele, U-Bass, accordion, ukulele, harmonica, glockenspiel and various percussion instruments. They also sing, whilst playing the above.




Esté grew up in Graaff Reinet in a family where music was as essential as eating. Her father can play any instrument he picks up and her sister is a self-taught guitarist and vocalist.

Esté was the little girl who would sing to everyone and anyone. Together they made sure the house was always filled with music.


At the age of 5, Esté played the lead role in her kindergarten play and since then hasn’t stopped singing and performing. Soon after starting music lessons, she realised she preferred to play by ear and quickly discovered her talent for singing while playing an instrument.


She sang in various choirs, including the Cantare Children’s Choir in Johannesburg. From early on in her high school career, she started experimenting with songwriting and discovered a whole new love for music.


Esté studied at the University of Stellenbosch for a degree in BDrama with classical singing and cabaret as her majors. Although she’s never believed in putting music into an academic box, Esté completed her studies in music theory.

During her second year, she had the privilege to perform as a soloist for the Stellenbosch University Choir at their victorious tour to the World Choir Games in China.


Esté has a great passion for musical theatre and film. She also enjoys fashion and art. Recently she completed her studies as health coach and works passionately in this field in between the music.


She also wishes to further her knowledge and involvement in conservation. Her main focus is writing and executing music that is going to change the world – one song at a time. She believes in combining different genres to create new and fresh styles of music.


She also believes that music must be an extension of one’s soul and that it is an art form that gets way too little credit for its ability to heal and empower people.

Esté finished school in Oranje Meisieskool in Bloemfontein and was the vice primaria of her residence, Serruria at the Stellenbosch University.

She recently proved to be quite the poet - writing and framing once off works that she reads and sells as collectors art pieces at shows

Esté manages all the projects and marketing of RAAF alongside her husband.


Esté currently plays the following instruments for RAAF: • Vocals • Ukulele • U-Bass • Accordion • Kazoo • Percussion



Lourens grew up in the bustling music scene in Durbanville.  At the tender age of 8 Lourens built his own drum set from tins and Tupperware, after spotting a drummer in a movie, and played along to the tunes of Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix.


For his tenth birthday, he received his first proper drum set. After drumming to grunge and rock music with his brother, he performed his first gig in primary school.


By the age of 14 Lourens started writing songs and experimenting with different genres of music. His entire high school career was filled with rock and metal music and weekend gigs with his garage band.


Only when he entered the grounds of Stellenbosch University did he discover the enticing sounds of blues and folk. As a self-taught musician he had no desire to study music and instead opted for a career in law and investments, but many classes were skipped in order for him to strum the guitar with his mates.


In his fourth year, Lourens met Esté and after pursuing friendship for six months, he scraped up the courage to ask her out.

A week later they formed Bottomless Coffee Band and got their first gig. With his garage band and improvisational background and Esté’s classical and theatrical background, finding a sound that worked for them both was quite a challenge at first.

But somehow everything just fell into place and today they can’t think of a better way to share their love.


Today Lourens works full time in the music industry - managing the band and all their projects and initiatives alongside his wife.


He also keeps in touch with the world of finances by managing a few portfolios from his laptop after working full time as an investment analyst for 4 years. Lourens is passionate about personal finance and living every day to the full. He is fascinated with music production and wishes to still extend his knowledge and involvement in conservation 

Lourens matriculated from Stellenberg High School and is proud to have been in Dagbreek Mens Residence at Stellenbosch University where he left deep footprints as "Ser" leader

Lourens currently plays the following instruments for the Bottomless Coffee Band: • Vocals • Farmer Foot Drums • Acoustic Guitar • Electric Guitar • Acoustic Base • Banjo • Harmonica

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