My top 10 inspirational songs…

Music speaks to me. It’s my vice to block out negativity, frustrations and stresses that creep into my everyday life. It’s gotten me through broken relationships, the loss of loved ones and days I’d given up on myself.

Here are my saviours:

  1. My life is in your hands – When Kirk Franklin sings he commands your attention. And yes it’s a gospel song and I have no qualms about that. The message is clear… no matter what comes your way; the God of your understanding will comfort you and give you the courage to carry on. My favourite line: “Don’t you give up”.

2. Something inside so strong – Labi Siffre was inspired to write this song during the apartheid era and the lyrics stir my soul. It’s the song I play when people think I’m a pushover and don’t believe I’ll succeed in living my dream. It reinforces my purpose and drives my ambition.

3. You raise me up – When instrumental direction and Josh Groban intertwine you get a composition that lights a fire within. Another one for my creator whose lifted me up countless times, dried my tears and gave me hope to face another day. My favourite line: “I am strong when I am on your shoulders, you raise me up to more than I can be”.

4. Hero – Mariah Carey has to feature on this list, not because I’m biased and she is my number one singer… I consider this to be one of the greatest songs of all time. It helped me through my first break-up and gave me the strength to carry on. I came out wiser, determined to establish myself and not depend on a man to take care of me.

5. The greatest love of all – A song originally sung by George Benson and resurrected by Whitney Houston. It comforts my inner child, affirming my strongpoints, teaching me to love myself despite my shortcomings.

6. The climb – A Miley Cyrus track that captures the unpredictability of life in the form of a mountain that plants itself in your path. No matter how hard you wish it away it refuses to budge and you’re forced to claw all the way to the top. The journey reveals a great lesson… that I can’t always win and need to be patient to get to the other side like a soldier.

7. Somewhere over the rainbow – This is a magical song… not only for the fine voices that have sung it through the years but for the beautiful message it encapsulates… that anything is possible if you just believe. I love this rendition by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, he has a voice that is both soothing and refreshing 🙂

8. Skyscraper – Demi Lovato is a powerhouse. Her songs are laced with emotion and I lose myself in the lyrics. This song tears down my defences and makes me want to conquer the world.

9. It’s my life – A little bit of rock ‘n roll makes me feel like a champion and Bon Jovi does it brilliantly. The lyrics are the motto to my existence… I only have one life and I do what makes me happy. My favourite line “My heart is like an open highway, like Frankie said I did it my way, I just wanna live when I’m alive.” Couldn’t have said it better guys!

10. Music of my heart (‘N Sync and Gloria Estefan) – A song of gratitude to all those precious souls who helped me through it all. My circle of love… the one’s who never gave up on me, who held my hand, wiped away tears and continued to support me in every way. A massive thank you, I love you all tremendously and appreciate you  unconditionally ❤

 

Mesmerizing Mariah…

I’ve been spellbound by Mariah Carey from the moment she shot to fame in the early nineties with break-out hits “Vision of Love”, “Someday” and “I don’t wanna cry”. The attraction of course was the voice – pure, angelic with a super-talent of hitting impossibly high notes. She came across as an innocent starlit who had no inkling how stunning she was or how her music was going to take the world by storm. Two years later she released her second album of explosive hits such as “Emotions” and “Make it happen” and proved to be a force to be reckoned with.

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Picture from Big Concerts

One of her best tracks undoubtedly has to be “Hero”. I recall going through my first break-up, thinking my life was in shambles when I stumbled upon it. Needless to say I had it on repeat for a week. I swear that song mended my heart and made me believe there was a hero within! I could relate to so many of her compositions and felt as if she’d written them especially for me.

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Picture from Big Concerts

I’ve followed her musical career ever since and became one of her “lambs” as she calls her legions of fans. I’ve watched her transform her squeaky clean image to that of a sexy siren, eventually becoming the spectacular diva she is today. Mariah has dabbled in various genres and collaborated with a string of artists to immense success; however her musicality shines in love ballads.

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Picture from Big Concerts

When I got wind that Mariah was set to perform in Cape Town on the 26th of April, I went ballistic. I knew I couldn’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to see my much-loved singer live. Even my girls adore her, having been exposed to her music from a young age. Neil moaned over the steep price of the tickets, but I reminded him how we revelled in live performances and with some sweet loving, I won in the end 🙂

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Picture from Mariah Carey’s lambs

The 26th of April was a day filled with sunshine in Cape Town. The local radio stations were belting out Mariah’s songs and I was anxiously counting down the hours to the concert. As the time arrived to set off to the venue, the weather had become nippy and windy all at once. The Cape Town stadium is breath-taking, however the open dome doesn’t offer much protection and we went armed in warm jackets, scarves and beanies.

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Picture from Tracy Lange (Facebook)

Mariah’s show commenced at nine the evening. She was carried on stage, draped on a luxury lounger by her beefy topless dancers. She dazzled in a nude ensemble, flaunting her enviable figure, letting loose upbeat songs like “Sweet Fantasy” and “Emotions”. She sang “Always be my baby” and introduced her children, Monroe and Morrocco, dedicating the song to them. An aww moment for sure! Even when Mariah interacted with the crowd she sounded like a song bird. She attempted a “baie donkie” which had me in stitches!

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Picture by Big Concerts

During the course of her gobsmacking concert Mariah changed into a number of sequined figure-hugging dresses, each more fabulous than the other. She complimented these with riveting performances of “I’ll be there” with Trey Lorenz and showcased a digital duet with Whitney Houston to their smash hit “When you believe”.

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At the Sweet Sweet Fantasy Concert

There were moments during Mariah’s performance when I just sat back in awe of her flawless voice and the inimitable whistle she’s perfected. Her concert was like unwrapping your favourite chocolate, taking a bite into the gooey middle and falling apart at the seams. Mariah Carey exceeded my expectations and gave her lambs exactly what they craved … a sweet sweet fantasy 🙂

Musical Wonderland

My husband celebrated his birthday on the eleventh of February and apart from the usual fanfare we throw when it comes to celebrations of this nature, he decided to break tradition of going out for supper, opting to attend a concert instead:-)

The concert was a Love, Jazz and Duets show featuring South African artists, Zayn Adams, Nur Abrahams, Salome, Candice Thornton, Don Vino Prins and Jonathan Rubain. The show was held in the Baxter Theatre at the University of Cape Town in a delightfully intimate setting. The foyer of the theatre was buzzing with people, surprising me, considering it was a week-night! Seeking our seats and scanning the sea of faces, the crowd was mature and music-loving.

Show time began with the lights dimming, the only spotlights visible were those illuminating the stage. On either side of the theatre, melodious tones were carried by two musicians floating down the staircase, settling in the limelight. They were Jonathan Rubain playing the base guitar and Don Vino Prins on the saxophone. Following on their trail was renowned artist Nur Abrahams singing “Secret Garden”, flanked by the rest of the line-up.

I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Nur Abrahams perform before, so I was aware of his singing prowess, however this time around I was utterly astounded by his uncanny ability to mimic original artists’ voices and flavour it with his own velvety tone. He belted out powerful renditions of “Love times Love” and my favourite crooner’s song “My, my, my” with the sexy sounds of the saxophone puffed by Don Vino Prins. He sang a rendition of one of my favourite songs “Elvina” and I was rendered speechless. I truly felt as if I was listening to Beau Williams in the vision of Nur Abrahams! Wow, from these sultry songs, I could already predict we were in for soulful journey down memory lane and I was feeling nostalgic and in my element!

Next up was Jonathan Rubain, an up and coming artist on the base guitar who serenaded the crowd with “This I promise you” a song he performed for his wife on her twenty-first birthday. In all honesty, I could feel the passion streaming through him when he strummed this romantic ballad. Oh my word, goose bumps were electrifying my soul with the delightful sounds embracing my senses.

Candice Thornton strolled in and as I’ve never seen her perform before, I didn’t quite know what to expect. She sang “Close the door” and I was baffled as to how a woman could take on this raunchy Teddy Pendergrass number and claim it her own? I was mesmerized by her smooth chocolate voice and fell under her spell, wanting her sweet and melodious voice to flow into my mind and fill every fibre in my being. Her performance left me  soft, relaxed and in need of more tender loving care.

Alas, this was not to be for prancing onto the stage was Salome purring “Private Dancer”, an alluring rendition of this timeless classic. Salome is a performer of note, her voice is explosive and brimming with sex appeal. Her singing was sensational as she crooned out “For the love of you” and “I know him so well”. I was pretty much bedazzled after her captivating performance.

Out blazed Zayn Adams and the crowd erupted! It was obvious he was the star of the show and the magnetic force behind their attendance. He sang some of his own hugely popular songs like “Give a little love”, “Il Mondo” and “Love is in the air”. Oh my goodness, he sure knows how to infect the crowd with love, romance and wistfulness.

 We were in for a treat when Jonathan Rubain and Don Vino Prins staged a play-off to the delight of the crowd. Don Vino Prins opened with the classic “When I fall in love” and “When a man loves a woman” both beautifully serenaded with his saxophone. Jonathan Rubain played “One hundred ways” and concluded his musical match with “Can’t be with you tonight” and the throng erupted for everybody loves a Judy Boucher classic! No wonder he won:-).

The full ensemble performed a medley of Peaches and Herb songs “Remember”, “Let’s fall in love”, “Let it be me”, “Your mine and we belong together” and not forgetting the famed favourite “Re-united”, the lyrics echoed by music-lovers, clapping joyfully along.

The highlight of the evening, amidst this musical buffet, was a performance by Nur Abrahams and Candice Thornton singing “Finally found someone”. The combination of their talents and unique voices sealed the moment, sending shivers down my musical spine, holding me hypnotized, until I collapsed in a pool of love.

Oh my gosh, this concert set the tone for a week of love leading up to Valentine’s day. It reminded me of musical stalwarts of yesteryear who sang glorious songs in rich voices, conveying immense meaning and heartfelt feelings to lyrics, cocooned with melodies showering your senses, seeping into your soul. And even though these legendary music icons don’t reside on our shores, we are incredibly blessed to have our own brew of South African artists who are talented beyond measure and make us so proud to be part of this country. If you have the chance of seeing any of them live, please support them wholeheartedly:-)

A Musical Date Night…

So last night was Date Night – Instead of going out for a romantic dinner, we decided to spoil ourselves by attending the Divo’s 2014 music concert at the Grand West Arena in Cape Town. Neil and I share a mutual love of music, this passion for music is what ignited our spark of love many years ago and we still revel in attending as many concerts as we can:).

We were in for a treat as the line-up included performances by Nur Abrahams, Mario Ogle, the Black Ties, Alistair Isobel, Garth Taylor and the star act, Phil Fearon!!! A supreme feast for the eyes and ears, we were like two kids in a candy store:).

Nur Abrahams was up first… what a brilliant singer with an incredibly strong voice singing some of Cape Town’s all time favourite tracks such as “After the Love is Gone” – soulful:). Then along came Mario Ogle – and dynamite sure comes in small packages, for he has an explosive voice and sang many of his popular songs. I especially liked “Techno Fancy” which is so apt in today’s social media frenzy.

The Black Ties were next to perform. They include Chad Saaiman, Keno Lee and Lloyd Jansen. All top class performers in their own right. Chad Saaiman is super-talented and we’ve loved his music for years now ever since seeing him perform for the first time at Kirstenbosch:). When Lloyd Jansen sang “One last Cry” the hairs on my arms popped up – I could not believe that anyone could ever bring justice to that song other than Brian McKnight. The lyrics tugged at my heart strings and I was completely caught in the moment, closing my eyes and all I could hear was his magnificent voice – he totally blew me away:). The Black Ties sang “Love never felt so good” and OMW this had Cape Town singing and swaying to this popular song – AWESOME:). Alister Izobel was up next, one of Cape Town’s star performers – a show is not complete without him lighting the stage with his witty charm and super-dance moves. A performer of note and outstanding crooner of old time favourites like “Me and Mrs Jones” – he certainly had the crowd going.

One of the performers I really wanted to see was Garth Taylor. I knew his music from way back when and could not wait to see him performing live. Was Cape Town in for a treat:). He looks oh so AMAZING in skinny jeans, is lanky and gorgeous with the most POWERFUL voice to boot. But what really blew me away was his boundless energy and gyrating moves:). He had the crowd in stitches with his antics on stage and we couldn’t get enough of him:). When he sang his all time favourite song “Why”, he utterly stole the show:). I was asking “Why” did he have to leave – but alas all good things come to an end:(. But, I’m glad to say he has a new groupie for life:).

After the interval, the star performer Phil Fearon blazed onto the stage. He hails from Jamaica and has many favourites such as, “Dancing Tight”, “Everybody’s laughing”, “Fantasy Real”, “What do I do” and the best song for me was “This kind of love”. He had Cape Town dancers jazzing on stage to this rhythmic song and the crowd went wild:). What a way to end a spectacular evening:).

If I could bottle up the sheer delight one feels coming out of an evening like this, I would do so. They are memories I treasure and nostalgically recall time and time again chatting to loved ones. I look forward to many more concerts in the future, but right now I carry this wonderful memory around with delight in my heart and the broadest smile on my face:).