Duo to breathe again in SA
Musician, songwriter, record producer and multiple Grammy Award winner Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and singer Toni Braxton have started their first African tour together after the release of their hit album.
Their first show was in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Friday and they start the South African leg of their tour in Durban tonight. Does Babyface know he has a large local fan base? “I really have no idea how big the support is,” he told City Press from Harare.
Edmonds produced Braxton’s first album in 1993. The song Breathe Again from her debut offering was one of the global hits, among other tracks on the album.
“Visiting South Africa is an opportunity to see what the country knows and to prove that music is a universal language we can all understand,” said Edmonds.
He says he and Braxton will be performing their individual songs and a few tracks from their recent collaborative effort – Love, Marriage & Divorce – which won the Best R&B Album award at the Grammys this year.
He said they decided on the album after Braxton vented her frustrations about the current music scene.
“She said she didn’t know what her place was any more and what to make of music. So I told her to make the album and the music she needed to make. We made an album about love, marriage and divorce because she had just gone through a divorce and that was what was real and relevant for her.”
The duo had no expectations of how well the album would do. It sold 67 000 copies in its first week and went on to sell 1.5 million copies in the US. It was one of the biggest-selling albums in South Africa last year.
“I told Toni it didn’t matter how it sold, as along it felt right for her.”
The duo starts their South African tour at the Moses Mabhida Stadium tonight. This will be followed by a show in Cape Town at the Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino on Tuesday and they will round off their tour with concerts on Thursday and Friday at the Ticketpro Dome in Joburg.
Tickets available at ticketpro.co.za.
– Gugulethu Mhlungu
Toni Braxton and Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds