Kagee brings some In­dian spice to ev­er­green songs

Fu­sion of clas­sics, rock stan­dards and Asian in­stru­ments

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SINOLWAZI APRIL

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 bar­bara@op­u­lentliv­ing.co.za on 079 403 2393.

sinolwazi.april@inl.co.za

Se­lim Kagee takes an­other step for­ward in his ca­reer.

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