Andrei Damane. Picture: Masimba Sasa
It’s been said that singing is an athletic endeavour. If this is indeed true, then 27-year-old South African singer-songwriter Andrei Damane is well on his way to attaining medal status.
Born in Mthatha and raised between East London and Port Elizabeth, he took naturally to music and theatre at an early age, learning to play the steel drum, marumba and brass section.
But in spite of him not quite making it to the top in two seasons of Idols SA, it’s Damane’s voice that later captured local audiences and which can now be heard on his EP (extended play recording) In and Out of Time.
The Citizen chats with this rapidly rising artist about his life, musical journey and the creative trajectory that went into creating such a hauntingly good EP.
It was a fantastic place to grow up, close to plenty of family.
Picture: Masimba Sasa / Facebook
I have loved music for as long as I can remember. I began playing instruments around Grade 2 when I picked up the recorder.
I played many other instruments throughout school without focusing on one specifically. These included steel and marimba drums, the trumpet, trombone and finally the piano.
I was in a school with a fantastic music programme and spent a lot of time with like-minded pupils who took the subject very seriously, so we really pushed each other to excel.
Being in the SA Youth Choir, music took up a very large part of my life, so all the pieces just came together.
I’m a baritone and my style is quite varied. It’s influenced by my classical and choral training, but also soul, R&B and alternative artists.
Life happened! I think the biggest lesson for me was not to judge myself based on what other people think or say.
I’ve chosen to hold myself to my own standard of excellence while reminding myself of my talent and ability. Doubts can creep up on you and affirmation is how you keep them at bay.
It was 18 months in the making, and taught me to be patient and a lot about how the industry works. In the arts, you work with other people’s creative exploits, which can be in conflict with your own.
In and Out of Time is available for downloading on all the favourite digital platforms and has been received tremendously well. It’s a good introduction to who I am as an artist and sets the tone for what comes next.
The challenge is to keep the beholders interested, which means flipping the script every now and then. The music I am working on now does exactly that.
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