DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival, presented by Nedbank, would like to pay tribute the iconic women artists who will be taking the stage at this year’s festival taking place on Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. These include long-time performance powerhouses and international symbols of the articulate, independent woman: Macy Grey, Lira, Judith Sephuma and Elements Of Life featuring Anane Vega, Lisa Fisher, Monique Bingham and Bucie.
After what promises to be once-in-a-lifetime Saturday performances by Arrested Development, Mi Casa and De La Soul, self-made SA music legend Lira will take the stage on Sunday with her highly popular fusion of soul, funk, elements of jazz and African soul. She’s guaranteed to warm up the crowd before legendary performances by Roy Ayers and The Jacksons.
Lira’s career has been meteoric. Following the success of her first major-label album Feel Good (2006), she received multiple well-deserved nominations and wins at the South African Music Awards (SAMA). She broke into the international market almost as rapidly as she did locally when the album was released in Italy in 2007. Its title track gained massive airplay.
She has since been a regular performer at every iconic event in South Africa. Lira was selected to line up with artists of the calibre of the amazing Alicia Keys, Shakira, K'Naan and John Legend at the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert. Those that were there swear she stole the show with her emotional rendition of ‘Pata Pata’, a hit song originally recorded by the late Miriam Makeba. Later that summer, she performed at the 92nd birthday celebration of former South African president Nelson Mandela. Her stunning performance of Mandela’s favourite (Something Inside) So Strong’ with the Soweto Spiritual Singers was arguably one of the most prominent performances in her illustrious career.
Home-grown jazz and afro-pop vocalist Judith Sephuma is known as South Africa’s ‘Best Jazz Vocalist’, having previously won this title at the Old Mutual ‘Jazz into the Future’ competition. She shot to stardom with her debut album in 2001, the critically-acclaimed ‘A Cry, A Smile, A Dance’, and has since never left the spotlight. As an accomplished dancer, she has been a celebrity contestant on the SABC2 reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing.
Success for this aspiring artist was always on the cards since in her early years. Judith has displayed incredible persistence to achieve her goals: having reached the finals of two major talent searches, the Shell Road to Fame and SABC1's Jam Alley Search for Talent. Her path to success came via an academic route (incredible as it may seem for such a dynamic live performer). She enrolled at the University of Cape Town to study a Performer's Diploma in Jazz and later an Honours Degree in Jazz Performance.
After the glowing reviews and immediate success of her debut album, her second album, New Beginnings won three SAMA awards (South Africa's highest music honour) for the album, the Best Female Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album categories.
The contingent of female artists who will be performing at this year’s festival also includes the soon to be 49-year old Emmy-winning R&B, jazz, and soul singer and songwriter Macy Gray. With her distinctive raspy voice this singer, actress and mother can make even the most uptight human swoon. This multi-talented lady has not only released six studio albums, and received five Grammy Award nominations and winning one, she has also appeared in a number of films, including Training Day, Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, Idlewild and For Coloured Girls.
While studying scriptwriting at the University of Southern California, Macy agreed to write songs for a friend, and a demo session was scheduled for the songs to be recorded by another singer. When the vocalist failed to turn up, Gray recorded them herself. She then met writer-producer Joe Solo while working as a cashier in Beverly Hills. Together, they wrote a large collection of songs and recorded them in Solo's studio. The demo tape gave her the opportunity to sing at jazz cafés in Los Angeles. Despite Gray's dislike of her own voice, she was signed by a record label, who later dropped her. In 1997, Zomba Publishing convinced her to return to music and signed her to a development deal, recording new songs based on her life experiences, with a new sound, and began shopping her to record labels. In 1998, she landed a record deal with Epic Records and rose to fame in 2000 with her triple-platinum debut album and No. 1 single ‘I Try’, and went on to win a Grammy.
Rounding off the strong female presence is Elements of Life, with three incredible female backing singers. This New York-based collective led by Louie Vega originated with the release of a one-off single, Elements Of Life, in 2000. Current contributors include Blaze singer Josh Milan, percussionist Luis Quintero, bassist Gene Perez, keyboardist Selan and singers Lisa Fischer, Cindy Mizelle and Louie's wife, Anané as well as two South African singers, Monique Bingham and Bucie.
Lisa Fischer is well known to any fan of the Rolling Stones, as she routinely performs sensual duets with the world’s leading frontman, Mick Jagger. In her own right, she’s a Grammy Award-winning vocalist and songwriter. Fischer rose to fame in 1991 with her debut album So Intense, which produced the hit single ‘How Can I Ease the Pain’. However, known for her wide, high-reaching vocal range, she is one of the most successful session vocalists of the era, having backed Luther Vandross and Tina Turner.
Ana Martins (aka Anané) is a singer, model and DJ. Martins grew up in the Cape Verdean capital of Santiago, before living in Portugal, and finally the US.
Cindy Mizelle is a singer from New York City, and one of the most sought after backing vocalists ever. She has sung with a number of acclaimed artists including: Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, George Benson and Mariah Carey. She also recorded a solo album in the mid 90s.
Monique Bingham is a legendary house music vocalist. A United States born singer, she is a South African by heart who has been in the music industry for over 20 years. She recently released a compilation album that features her hit songs from 1995 to 2015, titled ‘Best of The Last’.
Bucie is a South African R&B and house singer whose 2014 single ‘Easy To Love’ peaked at number 9 on the South African music chart.
To enjoy a power-packed female line up, book your tickets now to secure your place at this year’s festival taking place on the 8th and 9th of October at the newly revamped Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. With over 40,000 festival-goers expected over the two days, it is set to be a festival weekend of a lifetime that cannot be missed!
Tickets are available from www.ticketpro.co.za
For more information go to www.deliciousfestival.com