South Africa’s hot Ilán van Staden breaks the internet with cold pizza

5 min read

Hot newcomer, Ilán van Staden, loves cold pizza! So much so, that he decided to name his debut single KOUE PIZZA (COLD PIZZA).

This incredibly attractive and talented young man quickly made a name for himself following his signing with record label, Inhoud Huis Musiek and his subsequent casting in the hit musical Die Gelofte: ’n Musiekblyspel. He released a duet with Bernice West, Soen My Op My Mond, which was written for Die Gelofte and was an instant radio hit!

The single, which falls firmly into the College Pop Rock genre, is a feel-good track listeners will undoubtedly be able to relate to as it tells the tale of where love and pizza meet. “We all know about that cold slice of pizza left over after a night out or a fun get-together. During lockdown, I woke up to a cold slice of pizza one morning. It was so delicious that I had to write a song about it,” explains Ilán.

The music video for KOUE PIZZA tells the story of a hopeless romantic baker who risks it all when he falls in love with a client. “The video was directed and produced by Jannes Erasmus and Dan Rademeyer for Inhoud Huis Musiek and was shot in Pretoria (Bakehouse and Val-De-Grace). Along with some great character development, it is laced with fine humour,” says Ilán.

Watch the video here:

Music is all the singer-songwriter has wanted to make for as long as he can remember. He took guitar and drum lessons as a child, and as a teenager he started writing music and performing with his high school band. He was also the drummer and co-composer for various Sêr groups at university – he completed his master’s degree in Environmental and Biological Sciences at North-West University in 2019 – while playing with bands across Potchefstroom every chance he got.

Since then, he has been honing his skills as a musician and has tried to make the most of every chance – he reached the semi-finals of The Voice SA Season 3. Recognising the opportunity, he optimised the momentum created by the show by performing as often as he could. 

A phone call in January 2022 changed his life. “A decade’s prayers were answered that day,” says the 26-year-old. “Not only was I signed by Inhoud Huis Musiek, but I was cast in one of the main roles for ‘Die Gelofte: ’n Musiekblyspel’.”

For Ilán, being part of Die Gelofte has been an incredible experience which has helped him develop on a both a personal and professional level. Following 63 sold-out shows, he is now focusing on completing his debut album, titled Ontlaai, which will be released early 2023. Additionally, he is working on a worship project called The Shelter.

Ilán considers himself as just a guy from Krugersdorp who loves his mom and dad, and who is grounded in his faith. “I consider my entire journey as a story God has written for me. His provisions lead to every new page, and my choices determine what is written on that page.”

Being new to the music industry – and like many young people in general – Ilán has found himself wondering about his passion and place in the world. “A big challenge for me has been finding out who I am in the industry, what I want to achieve, what my purpose is, what I stand for, and of course what I am going to do with this gift that I have been given. As part of my journey, I’ve had to learn to break free from a rigid routine and step out of my comfort zone. I’ve come to realise that if I change my mindset from ‘what if it doesn’t work out’ to ‘what if it does work out’, God will take care of the rest.”

Ilán says inspiration for him is a strange thing. “While I am mostly inspired by my faith, which fosters a sense of hope and enthusiasm in me, some of my songs are more like conversations between myself and God,” he explains. “I am also triggered at times by something funny that has happened, or something I’ve seen, and I’m quite skilled at creating scenarios in my head. Of course, I’ve also woken up in the middle of the night with lyrics and melodies swirling around in my head. I like creating music that people can relate to, because it creates unity.”

He has already learned some valuable lessons from the industry. “One that stands out for me is that making music and working in the entertainment industry are two very different things. I am fascinated by the level of strategy and psychology involved in producing a song, and it has been very exciting to see how my music comes to life,” he says.

He has great admiration for many artists and the list of local talent he would like to work with is extensive. “Since hearing Riaan Benade’s voice I’ve known that I would love to team up with him. I would also like to collaborate with Demi Lee, Matthew Mole, Will Linley, Die Heuwels Fantasties, and Elandré.  Then, although we’ve already released a song together, I would definitely like to work with Bernice West again.”

Ilán also runs a music school, which he started in his parents’ spare room four years ago. The business has grown exponentially since then and he now manages a team of music teachers. Together, they offer weekly guitar, piano, drum and singing lessons. Additionally, he is looking forward to touring the country following the release of his single and upcoming debut album.

KOUE PIZZA is available for download here:



Instagram: @ilanvanstaden


TikTok: ilanvanstaden_official

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