Okay, I'll admit, I'm spoilt! Usually, when I want to interview someone, I get their cellphone number and I arrange an interview directly.
Seems like things have changed since I last did an interview coz arranging the Loyiso interview almost became a headache!
Firstly, I was talking to the Publicity company handling everything 46664 (DreamCatcher), then it was Loyiso's PA and thereafter his manager. Okay, I paused for a while and wondered...."Did I miss something?"
Anyway, this wasn't about me so I forged on and the interview was eventually set up for Tuesday, 6pm. Traffic is a mess up so I arrive for the interview 7 minutes late and when I get to Suite 16, I ask if Loyiso is there and I get directed to a gentleman who's sitting on a nearby couch.
Okay, first of all he's not Black, meaning he can't be Loyiso. He's cute though, but still can't be Loyiso! Okay, not that Loyiso ain't cute but.....eish, let me just tell you what happened........I go to him anyway and he introduces himself as George, Loyiso's manager.
So what's Loyiso's manager doing here? I wonder! I don't always manage to control my mouth so the first thing I asked him was "Do you always accompany him to interviews??" I actually think I asked that before I even apologized for being late. heheheh
Hayi ke Loyiso joins us and we sat down for quite a lovely interview. Lovely, but very clean! Somehow having an artist's manager sitting there during an interview was quite uncomfortable for me but I know it's all about being professional and all but the thing is, I'm not professional in my interviews!!!!
Enough of my complaints, here's what went down between me, Loyiso AND George! Hi George :)
Brown Shuga: Do you think you've worked hard to be where you are today?
Loyiso: I've worked very hard but steadily. To me it's always about building a firm foundation, so that should anything happen, at least I'm still able to stand at the end of the day and rebuild. It's been like 8 years for me in the industry and it's all because my thing has always been about building longevity, obviously to be the best in the industry but to make sure that in 8-10 years to come, I'm still active in the industry .
BS: You'll still be singing Rn'B 10 years from now?
Loyiso: Not necessarily singing Rn'B, I"m a musician. Obviously people call what I do Rn'B....
BS: What do you call it?
Loyiso:I just call it music but I'm not gonna run away from the fact that it is Rn'B. My music has changed over the years and that's because I'm growing as a musician, not as an Rn'B singer.
BS: The growth part is definitely true coz if I compare this one to the previous one, there is definitely positve growth.
Loyiso: And everytime I release an album, I always go "oh, I don't think I can top this one." But all I need is time to grow and as long as I'm alive I'll keep growing. My music will grow coz my voice is an instrument but I use my whole body and everything is embodied in it. So the instrument goes with the person and my music is a reflection of who I am.
BS: Now unlike other artists, you didn't have to struggle to get into the industry. Things kinda fell on your lap, coz of Zwai and you getting in the industry the way you did, via TKZee.
Loyiso: Yeah, in the beginning people used to say I was in the industry because of my brother.Okay yeah, I'm not denying that I did join through one of the biggest bands but once again, all I needed to do was just to prove myself time and time again and what people are hearing is my singing, my musicality ...
BS: Do you think you sing better than Zwai?
Loyiso: (Laughs) No, hold on.... so it may seem kinda like a gimmick at first...but longevity man, I do it with pride and I don't try to deny the fact that it did pave the way for me but I knew that I needed to walk
in order to get to where I am right now. BS: So do you think you sing better than Zwai?
George: That question!!!BS: No, let Loyiso answer! I know it's probably not a fair question, but I'm asking it anyway.... Loyiso:
You know what, there are 3 brothers neh...BS: Yeah, the cute one and then you two.
George: You are so nasty!! Loyiso:
Yeah, there's the cute one and then us but I believe that we all express ourselves in our own ways. I'm the silky voice, Zwai's like the storyteller and Phelo is the beauty (or something that sounds like that, couldn't make it out, sorry)
...I cannot do what Zwai is able to do and in the same breath, he can't do what I'm able to do. BS: The projects that you guys did, the Bala Brothers & then then Gospel project with the family, what was that about, was it worth all the trouble? Loyiso:
Of course it's always worth it.
With everything that I do I always make sure that I reach people that haven't been been reached by my music before. That's why I still strive to make sure that my music is able to reach beyond the SA borders.BS: Would you say the family project in particular, was successful
It was! The family project showcased what families can do and I believe ukuthi SA and the world as a whole are losing family values so I think what we are trying to say is that if you as a family love sky diving then make sure that you take time out as a family to do that. Take time, get together and do what you guys know how to do best. Our talent was singing so we decided to come together as a family and do what we love doing, singing. BS: So will there be another album?
We'd love to do another gospel album. BS: Are you going to do it? Loyiso:
There certainly are plans to do another one.
BS: How tough is it trying to sell RnB or rather "your music" in South Africa?
It was so hard in the beginning because people used to judge you even before hearing what you do. But the people who used to judge are the people who never took the time to listen to the music. The ones who only hear 2-3 singles and already have something to say.
I just knew that with time, I was gonna find people who are like I am, if we say we are the rainbow nation then there should be a place for everything or genre possible under the face of the sun and I just thought that with time they're gonna start liking me because it's real and it is about being real afterall.
In the same way I feel that other people are doing other genres , which are obviously more popular than RnB just because those genres are popular, that's when you find people singing songs in Xhosa kodwa isiXhosa sabo is not even up to scratch. And I think tha's very disrespectful as far as I'm concerned..
People would be like "Why should I sing nge English if I can sing in Xhosa"
but the thing is Xhosa is not your language so why don't you sing in a language that you express yourself better in?
So yeah man, Rn'B is my life, it's what I grew up listening to, it's what I'm doing today and by doing Rn'B I'm being real to myself. BS: Speaking about ukucula ngesiXhosa, I was so pleasantly surprised when I heard Dali Wam coz you don't usually sing in Xhosa! How did that happen? Loyiso:
When I wrote it, I didn't decide I was gonna sing a Xhosa track, that tune just came to me and I started doing it...*he sings the hook...*...
that's why the English just flows with the Xhosa coz the same way Musukukhala was. Coz I sing the way I talk and mix it with English and that's what makes it South African. I mean you can't be singing ingoma ngamaqhalo whereas you don't use amaqhalo when you speak. I'm just being true to myself, I'm not trying to educate or whatever, I'm just being me! BS: Now Loyiso really, what was up with that
"featuring Elana Afrika" bit on the CD cover???? She is more of a backing vocalist than a "featured artist" c'mon! Loyiso:
I know, but the thing is I could have said "additional vocals by Elana Afrika" but she's a huge personality I just thought you know, for who she is, I need to give dues where they are due. BS: How did the whole thing come about? Loyiso:
I needed a sexy voice for the part and she's a good friend of mine and I thought becuase of her personality, she'd cut it easy. And even if a person doesn't know it's Elana singing, but that voice fits the part!
That's why I've never taken my material and said these are the best producers in the country I'm gonna work with them. I take my stuff to people that I believe will work hard on my album. At the end of the day I wanna produce a good album and for me it's not about saying I've worked with so and so. It's about the voice at the end of the day and finding the best voice for that part.
BS: What is your relationship with Gavin Rajah?
: My stylist, he's also in the song, BS: Was that part of the agreement?Loyiso:
Yeah, it was part of the agreement...I've know Gavin for some years, we've had a good relationship and this is just the start of a good thing. But I do have other sponsors like Carducci, and also Lacoste has been dressing me now for the past few months. Gavin is one of many friends.
BS: Nice. You're one of the people invited to perform at the 46664 concert. What does that mean to you?
That's a big honour, sounds like a cliche thing to say but it's one of those shows you see on TV and go "Eish, I'd like to do that
." BS: Why?
Let me just cut to the BS and say "It's a BIG show".
There's not one show I can remember, except the jazz festivals, where I've seen every single race being there. It's not a black, white, coloured or Indian show, it's just about people coming together because of the line up of artists. And also, it's a global awareness campaign. Look, I've done stuff on HIV/AIDS many times but it's for the first time being given an opportunity to go on a global stage and lend a hand through this....
BS: Anyone on the line up you are excited about?
Loyiso: Corinne Bailey Rae. I've got the album and I'm looking foward to seeing her perform. I just like her and I've grown to like her even more over the years.
I've seen Ludacris many times before and obviously the boys are there, Jozi, and I dig Jozi, then obviously Jamali as well.
BS: Did you get to meet Madiba himself?
Loyiso: Yeah, we met Madiba at the press conference and yeah I don't know if I can say anything new, he's just so humble. I mean that is the world's biggest icon alive. I was looking at a poll and apparently he's the 2nd biggest icon and I was like "after who?" And I hear it's after Coca Cola.
BS: That's amazing!
Loyiso: Yeah and he's one of us, and he shows that not only as a country but individually we can achieve great things.
For a young boy from eQunu to do it and have suffered so much and we are given even better opportunities than him in life so we should actually do better. Meeting such a great person, you start feeling great yourself.
BS: Do you think all these campaigns to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, do you think we are getting somewhere?
(Umm guys, I am shocked to learn that SA is actually the country with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalance in the WORLD!!!)
Loyiso: Well, you know the thing is the seed has been planted and there can never be enough, as long as people keep getting infected/affected in the country we have to keep talking about it.
BS: Abeva kodwa!
Loyiso: And unlike a lot of diseases out there, it's actually up to you to make sure that you don't get it.
BS: True. So why should I leave the comfort of my couch and go watch the concert live?
Loyiso: Well, that's because when you were watching the rugby world cup final you wished you were there. It's just like going to any other show, you know when you are at home you watch from 12 - 15 camera angles...where I've been to any show, I don't care if I see Michael Jackson as a small little spec on the stage but the spirit of being there makes you know that you're adding on to that show. When you're screaming along at home, it's not the same as being there.
And now it's not just about us, it's about the people that are there as well, lending a hand and adding on to the charity.
BS: And if you could change anything about uLoyiso, what would you change?
Loyiso: About myself? Probably get a six pack hahahah
BS: Don't you wish you were a little bit taller maybe?
George: She is nasty!
BS: What? I'm just asking....
Loyiso: Don't worry George, I'm used to her!! You must just ignore her and answer the question...
BS: What did I say??
Loyiso: (Laughs) Look, I understand the path that God has carved for me and once again it's just laying one brick at a time and you can check that it's stable, won't fall off. I feel sorry for these kids who win these competitions coz they are just tossed into the industry...
BS: Like abo Idols?
Loyiso: Yeah man and at the end of the day it's not about the fame, but how stable you are as a person. I know that what my dreams are, I know that I'm gonna achieve them and even more. ..
BS: I hear you're getting married...
(George makes a sound..... )
BS: George, you really shouldn't be here for this part. Don't you wanna go sit over there.... ??
George: (says something about "private".......)
BS: I know he doesn't like to talk about his private life....
Loyiso: No, I don't. but I'm not getting married...not anytime soon but I'd love to get married some day ...
BS: And do the whole kids thing?
Loyiso: Yeah have like 5 kids....Tenor, Alto, Soprano & a bass...and there's always that one who can't sing. He'll be the manager or something.
BS: Is there one in your family who can't sing?
Loyiso: No, there's no one who can't sing in my family.
BS: Anything else that you want SA to know about you? Who your galfriend is maybe?
(I actually forgot to ask him about this picture I took at Sbu's party....)
(George is already shaking his head..... )
Loyiso: Not public interest at all.
Just about my music and what I do. Apart from singing, I've written music for TV series Tsha tsha and Takalani and the fact that I'm just diverse when it comes to musicianship, more diverse than when I get behind the mic to sing.
BS: Any chance you might venture into acting?
Loyiso: If my music takes me there, definitely...it's all entertainment at the end of the day...
BS: Maybe one day we'll see you in Generations...
BS: Why not? It's SA's no. 1 show....
Loyiso: No comment....I'm not gonna start dissing anyone...
BS: (I turn to George) I really don't like the fact that you are here! This guy is behaving now......
Loyiso: But I'm always behaving...
George: Nothing to do with me being here...
BS: Well, I'm yet to see you without the cameras.
Let's talk about the Metro FM Awards. How many nominations did you get?
Loyiso: Two, Best male and Best Rn'B Award.
BS: Mmmhh, you are not taking Best Male, maybe you stand a chance on Best Rn'B.
Loyiso: Yeah, I saw your column!
(He's talking about THIS article)
BS: Oooh, thank goodness, I didn't diss you!!!
Loyiso: No you didn't. The thing is I don't even know that guy....
BS: You don't know him???
Loyiso: uLesego? No, I don't know him.
BS: You've never heard Lesego?
Loyiso: No, and the funny thing is that he's not even in best newcomer which means he's been around....
BS: He's new, this is his first album. You've never heard him?? (Okay, I overdid it here)
Loyiso: Oh is it his first album? All my friends know him but I don't....
BS: C'mon man, he won an award at the SAMA's and he performed, where were you?
Loyiso: Oh Lesego, I saw him in the tabloids man! Is he the one who was booted out by his girlfriend because he was drunk?
BS: That's what you know about him? Not his music? Hahahah That's wack!!
Loyiso: Oh yeah, I see that guy shame man....he probably needs it more than I do.
BS: Ouch!! Thats my man, give me 5!! That's the kinda stuff I've been waiting for you to say....
(George is so unhappy right about now..... )
BS: Hayi maan George, there's nothing wrong with what Loyiso said, he's just happy to give away the award as part of supporting his fellow man.
Loyiso: Yeah, it's really just a joke .....
BS: Thanks guys, that was all from me....
Loyiso: Yho, you are like, that's all you needed "Headline" ....
BS: Not but really, I'm done now...hahahah
Loyiso: I feel very pleased to see myself on the Metro's nomination list. It's great to have gotten there coz my album had just gotten out when I was nominated.
BS: Who are you nominated against on RnB?
Loyiso: It's me, Danny K and Tumi.
BS: Oh hayi ke, you'll take it.
Loyiso: Yeah, you did say in your column. Obviously we hope to take both and it's great to see Rn'B being represented in Best Male.
BS: Are you perfoming at the Metros?
Loyiso: No, but I'm presenting Best Styled Artist...
BS: They keep lying to you and saying you're stylish...eish, kodwa these people!! I'm done guys, thank you so much for your time!
Loyiso: (Laughs) Thank you.
George: You're ending on quite a note, "they keep lying to you"....
BS: George, relax!
And that was the end of my evening with Loyiso and my new favourite guy, George!
Catch Loyiso perform at the 46664 concert on 01 December 2007 at Ellis Park Stadium. Hope to see you guys there!!!
Let's do it for Madiba and help fight this monster.
We are number 1 in the world when it comes to HIV/AIDS prevalence....I'm scared!!!
If you didn't win a ticket on TVSA then get it from www.computicket.com