Today, on Cancer Day, Mathias Sercu launches the single: ‘What a beautiful day’. It’s not exactly a song you’d expect from a musician whose son was stricken with a rare and ruthless cancer. Still, Mathias wants to create something with his single. In addition to courage for many sympathizers, family and friends, he also wants to raise money for a noble initiative, led by his son’s doctor.
It’s undoubtedly the upbeat title and the upbeat melodic chain. What a beautiful day stands in stark contrast to the text about a man who loses his wife to cancer. And yet it is in no way meant as cynical, but rather a musical life lesson.
Mathias Sercu, often known as an actor, has been performing with his brothers for years. The musical project grew out of that Mathias Sercu & de Opportuiteiten, which he describes as the mixture between a concert and a one-man show. Songs of life with a twist.
Sercu is on stage with Rik Tans, founder and longtime member of The Skull Births, and his brother Sam. He was confronted with cancer more than ten years ago and has lived with a chronic form ever since. The plan was to go on tour with the group, but corona initially put an end to that.
Still, they worked on songs, e.g What a beautiful day. Literally written on a beautiful spring day, moreover, as a kind of consolation during a period when Mathias struggled with the grief of his brother’s cancer diagnosis and their mother’s unexpected death. “We’ve been performing again for a while and always noticed that the song did an incredible amount with the audience,” says Mathias. “I was surprised by how many reactions we got, even after the performances. People who had cancer themselves were cured or were confronted with it in their environment. It showed like no other how many people are confronted with it without us knowing. How many people would we cross in Colruyt, in the tram or in the rows of the theater? How many stories are there? It fascinates me enormously.”
As godfather to Levensloop in Kortrijk or to the defunct Inloophuis in Rumbeke (a meeting place for patients and carers, ed.) Cancer was never a far from bedside show. But a year and a half ago, the disease came terribly close, when his son Tore was diagnosed with a rare cancer. “He is doing relatively well today and we are not seeing any activity in his bones or central nervous system at this time,” it reads. “For the first time in 15 months, Tore can finally breathe again. He says he can be busy living instead of stay alive.”
So enjoy a beautiful day. But can Mathias still do it, after the past year and a half? “Yes, pretty much. Everything becomes even more intense, you live much more consciously. The intensity works in two directions. The grief is harder, but the happiness is greater. For example, we recently did an escape room with the whole family. Something I would never otherwise have would do. Scientists vs zombies. It was great. Those are the moments that you really enjoy.”
Like his daughter’s wedding last summer. “They were married by Tore. A beautiful moment. (think) Everything really takes on a deeper meaning. It also arms you against the difficult moments that have come or are yet to come.”
For Tore and everyone in the family, it is a veritable rollercoaster of emotions on a personal level. On a professional level, Mathias ironically goes through one high point after another. So the series Chantal he wrote, presented excellent reviews and ratings. In addition, he shot his first full-length film as a director last summer. J’aime La Vie which he also wrote himself is inspired by his brother’s story. “It was five intense weeks on the set. An amazing experience, indeed. Not once did I feel like acting, and I could honestly enjoy what I saw in front of me: insanely strong actors like Janne Desmet, Greet Verstraete and Jurgen Delnaet, who played at Champions League level.The film is slated to hit theaters next year.A third season of Chantal? I have been asked the question, but I want to focus first on the home situation, the assembly of J’aime La Vie and some performances of De Opportunities. We want to tour next season.”
What a beautiful day is now being launched as a single, not coincidentally on October 20, Cancer Day. “Actually, it is primarily intended as financial support for the Princess Delphine Van Saksen-Coburg Fund of UZ Gent. Doctor Tessa Kerre is chairman of the fund, which Art on the bed want to integrate art into the healthcare system. A kind of art room service for those confined to a hospital bed. A fantastic initiative that we are very happy to support. In this way, I hope to be able to give something back for the many good care and efforts that we have received from the hospital team for months.”
‘What a beautiful day’ on vinyl is for sale for 15 euros via www.wateenmooiedag.be. The first hundred copies are signed.