IN ALL MY EXPERIENCES, THERE HAVE BEEN VERY FEW MUSICIANS WHOSE TALENTS EMBODY ALL WHAT A TRUE MUSICIAN SHOULD BE LIKE. AT A TIME WHEN THE MUSIC SCENE IS LITTERED WITH TOO MUCH BORROWING, ARTISTES RESORTING TO AUTO TUNING AND EYEBROWS RAISING, THERE IS ONE ARTISTE WHOSE MUSICAL STYLE AND DEPTH SETS HIM APART FROM THE MULTITUDE OF ARTISTES THE WORLD OVER. HE’S THAT ONE MUSICIAN. THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, LOYISO'S CREATIVE IMPULSES HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY A DEEPLY-HELD SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT TO IMPROVING THE WORLD THROUGH HIS MUSIC AND ACTIONS. WHILE MANY MUSICIANS FIT EASILY INTO A SINGLE CATEGORY, LOYISO'S UNIQUE MUSICAL VISION REMAINS UNCLASSIFIABLE.ONE OF AFRICA’S MOST SUCCESSFUL R&B ARTIST, I HAD THE PLEASURE OF INTERVIEWING THE SOUTH AFRICAN BORN MUSIC STAR LOYISO BALA


Seif Kabelele: When did you start singing and who inspired you to get into music?
Loyiso: I actually started singing when I was 3 years old and I remember being asked to come and sing on stage at church. While I was singing people were throwing money at me and I kept picking it up while I was still singing the song. It’s something I was born into and ended up loving.



Seif Kabelele: How has your family and upbringing shaped your singing career?
Loyiso: Since I started singing at such a young age and attended music school thereafter, it has taught me how to discipline myself whilst striving to become the best at what I do. And that has carried over into all areas of my life.

Seif Kabelele: What has been your most memorable experience as a musician to date?
Loyiso: I would sincerely have to say it was performing at 2010’ FIFA World Cup Kick-off celebration, right here in South Africa. Second to that would be performing @ the 46664 Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday dinner and concert in Hyde Park, London in 2008.

Seif Kabelele: How difficult has is it been trying to sell R&B or your style of music in South Africa?
Loyiso: When I started out, R&B was synonymous with American artists, so at first the South African audience didn’t take to a South African doing R&B easily. I think they felt that I wasn’t being myself. It took a few years for my music to win them over to my unique style of R&B and that is when the awards and platinum sales started. My style of music started out as pure R&B, however it has evolved to what is now classified as “Urban”, a fusion of contemporary R&B, soft rock and urban-styled pop
Seif Kabelele: Your Song, “Wrong For You” was written by Robin Thicke. How did you two hook up?
Loyiso:
Robin Thicke’s first album was produced by the same guy who I worked with on Wrong For You - Sundafu Kawah. So you can imagine how easy it was to have a song written by Robin Thicke on my album. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him in person and he kept canceling his trips to South of A.

Seif Kabelele: How are you managing as an independent artist?
Loyiso:
Individuals on the team have been delegated to fulfill a certain role that a functioning record label would be required to do, from label manager to sales to promotions to marketing and so on; I may be independent but I’m not alone in this at all. I still view this as a business and approach it as such.

Seif Kabelele: What are some of the challenges that you face as an independent artist?
Loyiso:
Being an independent artist forces me to keep on investing most of what I make back into my craft. Whether it’s studio equipment, music videos, taking a band to a promotional performance… the list is endless. You need to believe in yourself to do this because in this industry there are no guarantees.

Seif Kabelele: You have been around for over 14 years now. How have you grown over these years?
Loyiso:
I would say the key areas would be in terms of my music industry knowledge as a whole , and my confidence in my abilities as both a songwriter and artist, which has allowed me to ignore industry trends and focus on what is true to me and what I love doing. I have also improved tremendously as a performer over the past fourteen years and I’m older of course, and that brings with it new perspective. I’m grateful to God that how he raised me over these past fourteen years was not fast and fragile but slow and solid,lol
Seif Kabelele: Do you support any charity organisations?
Loyiso: Yes I do. I believe it is very important and that is just from my own personal experience. The reason that I am where I am today is because, way back then, a number of people were extremely charitable towards me when I needed it the most. And I will remain forever grateful to them. I was so inspired by their generosity that I also wanted to be a person who gives to others. So by working with charities, I feel that I am able to give back in whichever way I possibly can and it’s amazing and humbling to know that I am contributing towards improving others’ lives

Seif Kabelele: In  a 2008 interview with 46664.com, you stated that with all your success and accomplishments  over the years, this is no  doubt the greatest honor that  you have  received  was to be a part of such a prestigious event alongside the world’s most inspirational man, Nelson Mandela”. Could you tell the readers how you came to be selected as an ambassador for the 46664 campaign and the feeling performing live before a world audience at Hyde Park?
Loyiso: I was invited by the chairman of 46664 to an orphanage in 2007 (if I remember correctly) and a few days later I was called into a meeting to discuss me becoming an ambassador for the brand because of the way I apparently conducted myself during the visit a few days earlier. Performing before an audience of, what I believe was in the region of 50,000, was electrifying! I don’t think I can find the right words to describe it actually. But it was certainly an honor!

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