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South African star makes the Ugandan gospel scene twinkle

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th May 2001 03:00 AM

A new R'n'B star is born in our midst. A star with everything it takes to make it big on the international urban contemporary music arena. The right flavour, attitude and voice.

A new R'n'B star is born in our midst. A star with everything it takes to make it big on the international urban contemporary music arena. The right flavour, attitude and voice.

By Sebidde Kiryowa A new R'n'B star is born in our midst. A star with everything it takes to make it big on the international urban contemporary music arena. The right flavour, attitude and voice. His name is Tony Bradley. You do not know him, yet but he is coming to you through your radio. Soon and very soon. The 27-year-old South African artist is set to shake up the local music scene with his exotic gospelcentric vibes. He has worked with everyone from Uganda's own UK-based Living Is Christ (LIC) in London to renown South African gospel group The Explainers, but had never, not until now, recorded his own album. Bradley is the music director at Prayer Palace, Kibuye. Now, freshly returned from Greg's Joint Studios in his hometown of Cape Town, Bradley proudly brandishes his debut project I Surrender. The eight-track album was partly produced in Cape Town, while the other part was produced here in Kampala by celebrated local producer Steve Jean in Kasiwukira Studios. Bradley's album will be released at a yet unspecified date in town this month. I Surrender is basically urban contemporary fanfare. Routine yes, but definitely dynamite. The opening track Don't Give Up is supposed to be mellow, but the synthesised beats below are hard and deep. It is hard to imagine it is a ballad. Your Grace is a delicious mid-tempo R'n'B track that, like most of the tracks on this album, showcases his soulful vocal prowess. The sensational On&On, a sweet haunting ballad, once again sees Bradley pushing his music way beyond the realms of contemporary gospel music, to another level. Bradley is a crossbreed between Marvin Sapp and Dawkins & Dawkins. Sometimes is ballad in the culture of R. Kelly's own trademark inspirational sounds where Bradley sings with the help of a back-up mass choir. With such touching lines as: God never makes a promise that he will never keep/ No matter what you're facing/ He will always make a way, this song will truly bless you. On the rendition of the popular church hymn I Surrender, Bradley drops the synthesised beats to sing over a piano. His multi-octave lush vocals without the cover of computerised beats, still sounds refreshing. Although new to Uganda, Bradley first skyrocketed to fame in 1997 while in London. He was lucky to record a single called Thank You for the Mandela Children's Foundation. This charity song entered South Africa's official charts at number three and gave Bradley an instant break through. Due to personal reasons however, Bradley did not pursue his career seriously. He instead worked as music director for several churches in London and took up production seriously. He moved to the US briefly before moving back to South Africa. Bradley came to Uganda in 1998 as a missionary. He has been producing and writing for other artists since last August, when he decided to revive his singing. He started by working with First Love on their single, You Are My Everything before hooking up with producer Steve Jean. "I just felt like the timing was right. I felt like it was time I came out as an independent artist. I feel I have matured enough in my craft. The quality of my song-writing is much better now and the songs are timely," Bradley justifies his move. Ends

South African star makes the Ugandan gospel scene twinkle

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