Gift was the runner up in Season 3 of the reality talent show, which saw controversial contestant Karen Kortje take the ‘Idols’ crown. Two years later he released his debut studio album, ‘Back To You’, and went on to receive a South African Music Awards nomination for Best Neo-Soul Album.
But while it seemed like Gift was living his dreams, he was secretly yearning for recognition as the respected R&B singer he always wanted to become.
He spoke to the Daily Voice ahead of the launch of his new album, ‘Never Letting Go’, this weekend.
“After the show, I released an album entitled Back To You and worked and worked. But even then I never got my ultimate dream: I wanted to be a top R&B singer in the country and break records,” he confessed.
“But it did not happen for me. I ended up sabotaging it, all I did were covers and I wanted to write. To sing other people’s songs while I can write did not work.”
Despondent and disappointed, Gift packed his suitcase and moved back to Mossel Bay the following year.
“I was depressed; it messed up my marriage, although there were a lot of things that messed up my marriage,” he continued.
“By late 2008, my album was declared dead. Then it was downhill and I took a year out.
“This new album, ‘Never Letting Go’, to me means never having to conform.
“The songs that I put on there are exactly the way I wanted them to be, I wrote nine out of the ten tracks.”