Kagee brings some Indian spice to evergreen songs
Fusion of classics, rock standards and Asian instruments
CAPE TOWN pop-opera sensation Selim Kagee will perform in two world-first shows at Artscape this weekend, with an orchestra and an Indian ensemble.
“The Indian instruments have never been combined with a classical voice before,” said Kagee.
This concert is his biggest to date. He will sing numbers by artists such as Elvis Presley and Andrea Bocelli, performed with an orchestra, band, choir, backing singers as well as Indian musicians.
“I love mixing things up and adding elements of surprise within a show and presenting classically inclined music with a popular sensibility in a way that all people can relate to”, he said.
With one of the country’s top musical directors, Raymond Verster, at the helm, the concert features the Hugo Lambrechts Orchestra conducted by Riaan van Wyk, with a band and choir. They will be joined by Donne de Kock on lead violin, Babu Parker on bansuri flute, Akash Srikewal on sitar and Vishen Kemraj on tabla adding a unique and exotic flavour to the concert.
“The reason we decided to include Indian musicians is that we’ve reworked some of the arrangements for this concert. I noticed from my previous shows, there were quite a few Indian people in the audience and I wanted to bridge cultures and bring the East and West together. That’s the underlined ethos of the concert,” said the musician.
He and his team spent the last year creating the show. “Lots of effort and time went into creating the concert and it’s exciting to see it come to life.”
Fans can expect to hear re-imagined renditions of evergreen songs such as Wonderful Tonight, Surrender, O Sole Mio, Can’t Help Falling In Love as well as the title track of his debut album – Cry For Love.
“Come to the show to be mesmerised by the full experience of what I believe entertainment should be,” he said.
“We spent a the past year creating the show and its quite exciting to see it come to life.”
“I’m grateful to be doing what I’m doing considering that I didn’t sing before I was 20 years old, all I wanted to do was to be able to carry a note.
“I enjoy moving people and their emotions in whatever way I can,” he said.
Kagee has come a long way. He started acting in plays as a teenager, but wanted to sing so badly that he decided to attend a music lecture.
“The lecturer told me, everyone can sing as long as you use the proper technique,” he said.
He began training while on his gap year in Britain.
He came back to Cape town and the same lecturer, Wendy Fine who told him anyone can sing, introduced him to music teacher Jean Stewart, who was an a retired opera singer.
“She took me under her wing and trained me and taught me technique for 10 years.”
A few years down the line he met respected songwriter and producer Clive Ridgway, who was impressed with his voice. After teaming up with him, the two embarked on a journey that culminated in EMI Music signing Kagee to its international label.
His 12-track debut album, Cry For Love, projected him into the world of contemporary classical music. In 2014, Kagee sang the South African anthem in Perth on live television for the Boks vs Australia rugby match, as well as the Welsh anthem in Durban and Nelspruit.
In the same year, he performed at the Sergio Franchi Memorial concert in Connecticut, alongside top opera and classical pop singers from around the world. In 2012, the opera pop sensation also recorded with the international female group, Celtic Woman, on their 2012 Christmas album.
Selim Kagee with Orchestra and Indian Ensemble at The Artscape Theatre today at 8.15pm and tomorrow at 5pm.
Tickets are at R300 and R350 at Computicket.
The Sunday performance is exclusively for corporates. To book corporate tickets contact email@example.com on 079 403 2393.
Selim Kagee takes another step forward in his career.