Top Musicians Celebrate South African Legend, Johnny Clegg
Over 50 prominent musical artists, including Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford, have come together to record a tribute to Johnny Clegg, a true South African legend who has made and continues to make an indelible mark on music history. Last night, the recording was revealed to Johnny Clegg at Ellerman House in Cape Town, South Africa.
Singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist and musical activist, Johnny Clegg's infectious crossover music - a vibrant blend of Western pop and African Zulu rhythms - exploded onto the international scene and broke through barriers in South Africa. In an award-winning career spanning over three decades, he has sold over five million albums worldwide, bringing people from all backgrounds together.
Of Clegg's music band Juluka, formed in 1969, artist Dave Matthews remarked, "Juluka mixed culture and music in a way that had never been done. It broke down barriers. They joined the forces working to expose the hate-filled cruelty of the old South African system. And their music is slamming."
On September 10, 2018, many of South Africa's most popular and influential artists flew into Cape Town to share their time and talent in recording their own version of Johnny Clegg's "The Crossing" at Mothership Studios. The song was produced by Theo Crous and mastered in Los Angeles by Lurssen, a multi Grammy award-winning studio. Emotions were high, with smiles all round and a wonderful sense of camaraderie amongst fellow artists and friends, brought together by their desire to pay tribute and express their love and admiration for the great Johnny Clegg.
Watch the official music video directed by Carien Loubser of Brainwave Productions and the video of an unforgettable evening at Ellerman House by Etched Space. For behind-the-scenes images of artists at the recording and images of the handover, click here. The song is available for download on all digital platforms including Apple Music, iTunes, Google Playstore, Spotify and Deezer. All proceeds go directly to the Friends of Johnny Clegg Fund. For more information on how to support the cause, please visit the website www.friendsofjohnnyclegg.co.za.
Last night, on December 5, the song and accompanying music video were played to Johnny for the very first time at a private event, where he performed for friends and lifelong fans at the luxury boutique hotel, Ellerman House in Bantry Bay, Cape Town.
When the special version of "The Crossing" was unveiled, Johnny Clegg remarked, "I am speechless, thank you so much. This is an amazing moment for me - to have so many of my peers acknowledge the song and its sentiments, and that they can use that to further something much bigger than all of us. Thank you."
The same evening saw the launch of Friends of Johnny Clegg, a fund created in Johnny's honor to help alleviate the education crisis in South Africa. All proceeds from downloads of this special version of "The Crossing" will go toward this fund. These proceeds will be distributed by the Click Foundation, which targets young learners with an online phonetics-based program in centers across the country, ultimately aimed at creating a better future for the youth of South Africa - a cause close to Johnny's heart.
Paul Bruce-Brand, Ellerman House's General Manager and passionate music lover said, "This was an extremely unique, powerful performance which culminated in one of our final 'Ellerman Sessions' of the year. These intimate sessions embrace South African talent with fervor, offering a series of personal-storytelling evenings with local icons, from platinum-selling musicians to award-winning chefs. What a story Johnny Clegg has to share - filled with emotional tales of struggle and hardship, yet characterized by an overriding sense of joy, humor, hope and passion for this country."
Paul went on to explain how it all transpired: "Roddy Quin, Kahn Morbee, Karen Zoid, Theo Crous, my team and I, together with the other artists in our lineup wanted to do something special to honor all that Johnny has done and continues to do for music and South Africa. Given that our owner, Paul Harris has a vision for Ellerman House and is passionate about South Africa, it was natural for us to back an ambitious collaborative project. Never could we have imagined that it would snowball into something as large as it did. Before we knew it, everyone, from far and wide, wanted to participate. Local artists performed alongside acclaimed international artists Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford. It proved to be an overwhelming testament to Johnny Clegg and indicated the extent to which he has touched people's lives through his music."
Song Title: The Crossing
Artists: Friends of Johnny Clegg
Proceeds: Friends of Johnny Clegg Fund
Friends of Johnny Clegg artists who collaborated on track: Abigail Kubeka, Andre Venter, Andy Mac, Anna Davel, Ard Matthews, Arno Carstens, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Corlea Botha, Craig Hinds, Craig Lucas, Dan Patlansky, Dave Matthews, David Kramer, Dorothy Masuka, Elvis Blue, Emo Adams, Francois van Coke, Franja du Plessis, Gloria Bosman, Jason Hartman, Jesse Clegg , Jimmy Nevis, Juanita du Plessis, Judith Sephuma, Kahn Morbee, Karen Zoid, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Kurt Darren, Laudo Liebenberg, Lira, Majozi, Mike Rutherford, Paige Mac, Patricia Lewis, Peter Gabriel, Ross Learmonth, Somizi, Stompie Ernesta Manana, Thandeka Campher, Thembeka Mnguni, Tresor Riziki, Vicky Sampson, Victor Masondo, Vusi Mahlasela, Yati Khumalo, Zander Tyler (Jack Parow), Zolani Mahola
Band: Darren Petersen, Henry Steel, Schalk van der Merwe, Theo Crous, Kyle Petersen, Richard Brokensha & the RMB Starlight Classics Orchestra.
Produced by: Theo Crous
Directed by: Carien Loubser
Private and exclusive, Ellerman House offers 13 rooms and suites, a tranquil spa, two ultra-modern villas, indigenous gardens, spectacular Atlantic Ocean views, and easy access to local attractions. Modern cuisine, an interactive cellar of vintage wines, and an extensive art collection, enhance a world-class experience that is authentically South African. www.ellerman.co.za