In The Limelight: South African superstar, Sasha-Lee Davids talks about new vistas in her work for 2021
|In The Limelight: South African superstar, Sasha-Lee Davids |
Music, stage and screen: Singer and song writer, TV presenter, reality TV star
Latest projects: New single: A Little Love [released January 22, 2021]; online concert: Sasha-Lee Davids Live – February 27, 2021 via Quicket https://www.quicket.co.za/events/128316-sasha-lee-davids-live/#/
New horizons in 2021: Sasha-Lee Davids: “For me, 2021 is about being ‘Original’.”
In 2009, Cape Town singer, Sasha-Lee Davids was made joint winner of Idols SA -the music reality show. There was a voting kerfuffle but Davids -18 at the time- was gracious, professional and never lost her cool. She was a star from the get-go. Over a decade later, she dazzles with her vibrant presence and positivity. She says: “In all of the bad of lockdown, I think it also gave us all the opportunity to create, to discover more of ourselves and what’s important, to re-evaluate our work ethic and definitely appreciate life more.” Davids is spreading the love around with her new single. A Little Love [released January 22, 2021]. On February 27, 2021, she will be in concert on the digital stage, with Sasha-Lee Davids Live. The concert is going out on a live stream but will feature all the bells and whistles of a live concert – full band, backing vocals and guest artists. The show will feature covers as well as new, original material, written by Davids. She says: “For me, 2021 is about being ‘Original’.”
TheCapeRobyn: Please tell us about your new single A Little Love [released January 22, 2021]? It is a very personal song?
Sasha-Lee Davids: “At the time when it was written, I was at a point in my life where I wanted to explore a different way of writing and also find out what it was that make my songs sound and feel like me. I realised that I’m at my best when I make it a little personal. The moment I wrote this song I felt it; because lyrically it felt good and it felt real. I wanted to shift my focus to a different sort of love, the love of life and living even when you’re not where you want to be in life yet. I wanted people to feel the same when they listen to it. I think we were all sort of forced to rethink our priorities when the pandemic hit. I realised how quickly life can change and how unprepared I was for it. In all of the bad of lockdown, I think it also gave us all the opportunity to create, to discover more of ourselves and what’s important, to re-evaluate our work ethic and definitely appreciate life more.
TheCapeRobyn: Let’s talk about your online show, Sasha-Lee Davids Live – February 27, 2021. This will be your first streamed show?
Sasha-Lee Davids: I have participated in a few online showcases, produced by Alistair Izobell, but Sasha-Lee Davids Live is my first online show that I am heading up. I’m very excited. There will be a full band and backing vocals, talented musicians and singers that I have worked with, over the years. The line-up will also members of my family. It will be a mix of covers and originals. Some of the songs may not be immediately familiar. Those who have followed my journey up to now know that I don’t always do what’s trending, so expect some surprises. I try to give people an experience of my own love of the kind of music I listen to and have them experience ‘Sasha-Lee in truth’. In the show, we are also taking a small trip down memory lane.
TheCapeRobyn: You have performed in many arena shows – so it is bound to be strange – performing for the digital stage?
Sasha-Lee Davids: It’s definitely very strange for me that’s why it’s taken me a while to get into it. I draw a lot of my energy or vibe from my crowd so this is going to be a different experience for sure. Nevertheless, I am excited and cannot wait to share my music with everyone. [Booking link for the live stream concert: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/128316-sasha-lee-davids-live/#/]
TheCapeRobyn: The live performance industry shut down on March 26 2020. Can you talk about projects that you have been involved with on TV/film?
Sasha-Lee Davids: I have been filming a new project of mine that will be released this year, so closer to the time there will be more details. I’ve also been asked back to present for Pasella TV and filming starts soon.
TheCapeRobyn: You have worked extensively with Alistair Izobell – your manager and producer- and have been in many of his shows at GrandWest?
Sasha-Lee Davids: After Idols I worked on a lot of shows that Alistair was been part of I had known about his work for a long while. How we started working together came about when he staged his theatre show, Kaapse Jol. Someone referred me to him. That led me to joining the production. I didn’t have a manager at the time. After that show, most of the people who called Alistair to book me, had seen me in Kaapse Jol. He became my manager. It just all fell into place.
TheCapeRobyn: Let’s talk about how the teenage Sasha-Lee Davids burst onto the music scene with Idols?
Sasha-Lee Davids: The finale of idols happened in March so I was 18 when I won. Idols was definitely the platform that started my professional music career.
TheCapeRobyn: How did you deal with the pressure around Idols and the mix-up with votes?
Sasha-Lee Davids: It was a very intense time but I was a very calm person. It didn’t matter how insane it went around me, I made my love for music overshadow what happened. I was just happy to sing. I have a beautiful family and most of my strength was because of them.
TheCapeRobyn: How did your entry to Idols come about?
Sasha-Lee Davids: I was on another reality show called Matrix that focused on eight random girls going on holiday with all sorts of challenges and games. One of the games had to do with a song I had to sing, the producer of that show happened to also be involved in the production of Idols and said if I don’t enter he will enter for me. That is exactly how it happened.
TheCapeRobyn: Did you manage to celebrate your 30th milestone birthday last year?
Sasha-Lee Davids: I unfortunately didn’t get to celebrate my 30th September 2021, due to the pandemic. My birthday happened at a time of major loss due to the pandemic so we were not in celebratory spirits. I also couldn’t get all my family and friends together because of restrictions so I decided not to, however, my six year old nephew Hunter gathered colour balloons and gave me a party hat. He did his own celebration for me which was really cute. I’ll be 30 all year. There is still time to celebrate.
TheCapeRobyn: You were born Atlantis in the Western Cape- one of 10 children. Are you the oldest? Youngest?
Sasha-Lee Davids: I was born 7th, so there are still three siblings after me.
TheCapeRobyn: Your dad is a pastor? And your mom is a reverend?
Sasha-Lee Davids: Yes, they are both in ministry as the founders of our church
TheCapeRobyn: Can you talk about your musically inclined family?
Sasha-Lee Davids: Yes, we are a musical family and all of our experience in singing comes from church. Music has been part of my parents’ life too with my mom playing the accordion and my dad playing guitar or drums. We had a lot of fun singing around the house. Everything turned into a song- even calling for a towel from the bathroom was put into a melody- ha-ha.
TheCapeRobyn: Your family appeared in the TV reality series, House of Davids 2011/2012. What was that like appearing in a TV reality series- together?
Sasha-Lee Davids: It was quite challenging to say the least, especially because we are all actually quite private, so to have cameras coming into your private space, your home and your life was the biggest challenge. At the same time, it was also lots of fun because it was new and we got to experience many things together as a family. We got to travel to Belgium together which would probably have never happened because there are so many of us. In the end people really enjoyed watching our family and to this day, we get requests for more seasons.
TheCapeRobyn: You have worked with your brother Laurenzo. Are you currently working with Laurenzo or others in your family?
Sasha-Lee Davids: I am still working with my brother Laurenzo. I will be involving him in my online show, along with my baby sister. I think they will always have some part to play in my music choices; my shows and ideas.
TheCapeRobyn: It looks like you went straight from school into a career as a professional singer and writer?
Sasha-Lee Davids: I attended Wesfleur Primary and Atlantis Secondary. Everything happened so quickly so it was literally straight from school to reality TV to Idols. There was no time to think or prepare, nothing.
TheCapeRobyn: You began your career, performing covers but increasingly you are writing your own material? Do you write for other people?
Sasha-Lee Davids: At the start of my career, I performed covers for the most part but now I’m adding more of my original work to my shows. I want people to get used to me as a writer of original music and get to know my music. I have not written for others yet, or let me say I have not approached the artists I’ve written for yet. This year I’m focusing on collabs and joint writing ventures. For me, 2021 is about being ‘Original’.
TheCapeRobyn: Who inspired you? What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
Sasha-Lee Davids: Well I’ve listened to Gospel music growing up of course, and we all know there’s a lot of soul in that. Later on I started finding love in contemporary classical music like Josh Groban and IL Divo and I have a great love for South African group Romanz. These artists may sound different to what I do, but I think they taught me restraint and control in my voice. I try to approach every song with discipline and focus. As for other influences, if I start naming artists now I will not stop.
TheCapeRobyn: How have you managed to navigate through the pandemic, emotionally? Were you able to be together as a family?
Sasha-Lee Davids: My family is big, but everyone lives in different areas so we also didn’t get to see each other. It was hard, especially for my parents knowing they have so many new grandchildren and didn’t get to see them. THE most important thing for me to do was use all the downtown to focus on my next moves for the next year.
TheCapeRobyn: We live in uncertain times – everything subject to change – however – can you talk about any projects which are on the cards for 2021?
Sasha-Lee Davids: There are definitely a few different projects coming up this year – if the year allows -of course. All the work that was put on hold last year will try to live and survive in 2021. I am hopeful that it will happen. With infection rates down and lockdown regulations eased [announced February 1, 2021], things are looking up for the music industry. I’m giving it all I possibly can to make 2021 a better year. For me, 2021 is about being ‘Original’.
|Sasha-Lee Davids- on social media|