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The thing about Lira is that her philosophy on life is so much a part of who she is as an artist.
This is particularly evident in her latest offering, ‘The Captured Tour Concert Film’. Her last DVD, ‘Life – A Celebration’, proved it in terms of sales and the recording standards of DVDs in South Africa.
“Yeah, the first DVD set the standard,” she agrees. “And my production company and I were like, ‘what are we going to do differently?’.”
The result is the ‘Captured Tour’. Twenty-thousand fans, five cities, four arenas and one field.
“People said we could never do it, but we did,” she smiles proudly.
“As for the DVD, I wanted to show that full-on concert experience.
“I wanted to take people on a journey. I wanted to show people who I am.”
The DVD is shot from a fan’s and an artist’s perspective.
“The idea of being interactive with fans comes from when I watch the audience. Some are screaming louder than me. Some are mesmerised. I wish I could take it from their perspective and try and find out what causes them to react that way. Then they pull out their phones. Suddenly there were people proposing at my show. I realised that is what we had to capture.
“For the tour we had a travelling team of 45. It was sponsored by the Southern African Trust, Nokia, Kaya, Heart, Gagasi and Algoa, but there were no cash sponsors. I was so scared. Oh, the panic and stress and then the relief when I saw the patrons just having a good time.”
The idea was also to make it special for her die-hard fans. They decided on superfans in each region for the shows and those fans had access to everything in Lira’s life on the night – backstage passes, even access to her wardrobe. This is also captured on the video.
“Then I was thinking, ‘it’s costing an absurd amount of money’ so I decided to go the whole hog and include every single fantasy – the dancing, the guitar, everything I have become.”
And what a show it is. It is a visual and aural feast of music and professionalism with attention to the tiniest detail. This includes her and her dancers wearing clothes that are co-ordinated with the lighting. In between each song she tells tales and teases the audience, almost flirting with them. Lira speaks truths and gives her philosophy on life.
A highlight is her performance with RJ Benjamin. He sings his big hit ‘Change the World’ and Lira comes in with Phil Collins’s hit ‘Paradise’. Beautiful stuff. There is also a guest appearance by Proverb.
Now Lira has turned her attention to the US and has been touring extensively.
“Internationally I am at a point where I can create an album at my own pace. I want to take my time. I have intentions of moving from South Africa. I have two seasons of touring the US and go back again in October. The media over there love me. That’s what’s delicious; they like my hair, my African swag. I am celebrated as a South African.
“National Geographic did a feature on me and managed to make it inspirational and entertaining and that’s the unique space I am filling. It’s so exciting. There is no pressure. I need to take time to get creative again. I am really in charge of my own world. How fortunate is that.
“I own my own record label which means I have creative freedom. I am free to pursue my own international career. I am someone who is comfortable in her skin. I am not trying to be like anyone else. I am doing me. I am being the best that I can be. It’s a great way to refine my craft and my art. I have been able to create something unique on every level. I have created the world of Lira. I am not the only one in it, however. I am also a wife, a star, a daughter. I have attracted a lot of love into my life including my fans. That works for me.”