SA born pop musician turned international superstar, Connell Cruise, is back SA this month (March) and April for his Into The Wild Tour .
Connell Cruise is a singer, writer, actor and a model from Johannesburg but now resides in the USA.
With shows lined up in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, this will be the first time Connell tours South Africa.
The pop star has been successful in his career, In 2013, his album produced 3 number 1 hit singles and also received three South African Music Award nominations in 2014 for Best Adult Contemporary album, Male artist of the year and the Record of the year.
Representing ZAlebs, I had a chat with Connell to find out more about his SA tour.
Hi Connell Cruise, it seems like you are a man of many talents, how has this year been like so far?
(laughs) that’s the nicest introduction I’ve heard. Thanks for saying that, it’s been an awesome year - and it’s only just started! My first international EP is well underway and while there’s a still lot of work to be done I think this year got off to a great start.
You have also enjoyed performing in international stages as well, are you staying overseas for good and where are you based?
Yes, I’m based in New York City *sings* “concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do…"
You’re in the country for your Into The Wild Tour, what can your fans expect from this tour?
I’m so amped for this! It’s my first national tour so I’m giving it everything I’ve got. The show is packed with all the songs from my first album that fans know well as well as some brand new music from my upcoming international debut album. This will be the first time those songs would have been heard live in SA! Above all, it’s a show for the fans. There have been some great moments that have led up to me getting signed to Island Records in the States and putting this Into The Wild tour on the road and all of those moments trace back to my fans being the greatest in the world. This is my chance to say thank you, and to sing my heart out for them. All the listings and tickets are available at www.barnyardtheatre.co.za - hope I see you there!
Which city/province are you mostly looking forward to perform at during the tour?
All of them, every single one.
Who are the international artists you have worked with and what have you learnt from them.
I’ve been hanging out with the American Authors a lot lately in NYC - they’re coming to South Africa in May for the Parklife Festival by the way, you should totally go and check them out. We’re playing a set together - and with their meteoric rise around the world I’m learning a lot about how to navigate the international music scene. Above all I try to live by this one piece of advice I received: “Don’t Mess Up”.
Your debut album did very well and even received three SAMA nominations; did you expect such success with your first album?
Every artist hopes for success but it’s not something you can ever predict. It’s a crazy gamble, putting your music out there for the world to hear. I’m really grateful it turned out the way it did. I’m still so blown away by the way SA got behind my first album and I’m deeply honoured at being recognized by my musical peers.
Some of your songs have also received airplay in different countries such as Brazil and Mexico who all have different kinds of music and culture. How are you able to fit in all different types of audiences?
I like to think it’s the sincerity of the music. I work hard on making sure the songs and the performances are true to who I am, hopefully that translates well.
Tell me about your involvement with Tommy Hilfiger International?
Tommy Hilfiger is an awesome brand and I’ve had the privilege of teaming up with them for several shoots and performances. I like the vibe, it’s classy and elegant without being pretentious.
You have been nominated as one of the best-dressed celebrities to look out for in 2014, Do you have a stylist?
(Laughs), that’s good to know. I’ll definitely look out for that. Yes I do, Benita Wright takes care of my hair, Sonja Schroder looks after my skin and in South Africa Ntsako Mitenda is the only name I trust when it comes to styling my outfits. In the States I work with an incredible team of people under the brilliant Meredith Traux and Shaina Feldman.