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There is nothing about Hasan Green that screams “gospel music”. He dresses like a pop star and talks street, but once you hear him sing you know where his heart is at.
We caught up with the American singer, who was in the country to record some material with local talents, to find out what he had been up to.
“It’s my second time in South Africa and I am so blessed to be here,” said the somewhat shy Green.
On his first trip he was intro- duced to Solly Mahlangu at the TV channel One Gospel, a meeting which him saw being invited to Mahlangu’s show at the State Theatre in Pretoria where the American performed. The response of the South African audience planted a seed in Green’s heart and he knew he would be back.
“I was kind of shocked because the people responded so well. They did not know Hasan and yet they were so welcoming of my sound,” he said.
He met a few more artists who are big in gospel music and most were welcoming and expressed an interest in working with him.
“I met Loyiso Bala after attending one of his performances. He then invited me to his home,” the singer explained.
“We talked about doing some collaborations and him producing a track for me, so that meeting gave way to me coming back. We are working on a song called Tomorrow and Loyiso took the song, added the Soweto Gospel Choir to it and did the vocal arrangements.
“We have also recorded a video for that track,” he said.
Green has been singing since he was only five years old, so it comes as no surprise to his family and friends that he took his talent to a professional level. Another sensation discovered on the internet, Green’s YouTube videos resulted in him being hired to sing at people’s weddings, proposals and church services across the world.
In fact, his first trip to the country was as a result of some locals spotting him on the internet and giving him a call to fly down.
“For me this is just the start. I am working hard with my team to introduce my brand to South Africa. Loyiso has agreed to produce some work that I may do with other local artists to make my sound more accessible here,” Green said.
Given that many US artists promise to work with our talent, yet nothing ever comes of it, it is commendable that in Green’s case it is bearing fruit. With musicians such as The Parlotones and Lira trying to crack it in the US, it is good to see the reverse happen in South Africa.
Green returns early next year to do a live DVD recording.