You know you are getting old quickly when it feels like it was just yesterday that last year’s Hennessy Artistry series kicked off.
We saw Zakes Bantwini, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Zonke and Tamara Dey, to mention a few, perform.
Looking back, you might think that line-up cannot be outdone, but with Hennessy announcing its acts for this year, only good things lie ahead.
Introducing the class of 2012, where the old meets the new, we have legendary singer and song- writer Caiphus Semenya, mingling with new kid on the block Zakwe and man of the moment AKA. House music star Bucie and pop stars The Arrows will make things more interesting.
But there wouldn’t be any fuss if Hennessy was not known for doing the impossible.
Each year the company seeks out a diverse group of talented people to collaborate and come up with a song for Hennessy.
Theoretically, that could go either way. Either the product will be a classic hit, but if artists do not gel because of their differences, it will be a flop. Since failure has never been an option, it will be interesting what the artists come up with.
“The process of blending is integral to the creation of Hennessy. And the same can be said of music. Both require just the right amount of each element to reach perfection and again this year, the Artistry team believe we have successfully brought consumers the best blend of talent, genres and generations,” said Aimee Kellen, Hennessy SA brand manager.
Semenya said: “I know it probably does not look like it, but I listen to these youngsters.
“I know a bit of what Zakwe does and have heard a few nice songs from AKA, so I am sure we will work well.”
Working on a song they have called Dancing Forever, Semenya said this gave him a chance to figure out how to put these youngsters in his future projects.
“Music is always evolving and I am always open to new ideas,” he explained.
The youngsters were as excited. As rappers, Zakwe and AKA said they were familiar with his classic songs and thrilled about being in the same creative space as him.
“I can’t believe this is actually happening,” said AKA.
“We all grew up on Mr Semenya’s material and I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would meet him, let alone work with him.
“I am so humbled and will make it worth his while,” he said.
Zakwe was equally in awe and he should be, considering he has just made it on to the scene and Semenya said he listened to the rapper’s music.
“This is a dream come true, man,” said Zakwe.
“You know, the song that is going to come out is going to be epic. We have done some work on Dancing Forever and our differences are our strengths,” he said.
In accordance to the Hennessy Artistry tradition, after the song is done, a few shows are done around the country and then there is big finale party, known as the Halo concert.
This year the Halo showcase is scheduled to happen on August 31 at Hush in Rosebank.
Fans will get to see what these artists have been cooking up over the past few months.
• To get more information on event dates and ticket sales visit Facebook.com/ HennessySA. By doing so you stand a chance of winning a VIP table for you and three friends at the build-up event in your region.