Cape Town - Strandfontein born and raised, Atlanta, Georgia-based multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and designer Darren English has just won his second Global Peace Song Award (GPSA) in Los Angeles for his song Requiem in Peace.
“With the impact that Covid-19 had on artists with the lockdown, we couldn’t perform or meet up, so I decided to write some new music and record all of the instruments by myself,” English said.
He didn’t expect anything to come of it initially, but as people started downloading and listening to his composition Requiem In Peace, he received positive feedback that influenced the submitting of his song for a second Global Peace Song Award.
“To find out that I was one of the winners in the jazz category really blew my mind, thinking of how it all started as an idea in Strandfontein and during lockdown. I’m grateful to everyone from around the world who voted - I share this award with you all,” he said.
The award was no small feat as the judging panel comprised Grammy award-winning musicians, Emmy award winners and was connected with the UN World Day of Peace.
English was the recipient of this award in 2018 as well for his composition Pledge for Peace. It was written for the South African freedom fighters from his multi-award winning debut album Imagine Nation on Hot Shoe Records, which has received rave reviews and awards in South Africa, the UK, Europe, and the US.
Pledge for Peace, which features the voice of Nelson Mandela along with English’s stellar band in the US, has become his anthem and has afforded him special mention at the Mandela home in Soweto where he performed the song. English has stood out as a pioneer in his field with awards and recognition globally
DownBeat magazine said: “English’s playing is grand, his vision impressive, his range limitless.”
Jazz Times magazine said: “Darren English is a young South African trumpet player who is a force and a voice to be heard and understood. His tone is like crystal, clear and flawless. His phrasing is spot on and his sound is heart-warming and pure.”
Apart from winning two Global Peace Song Awards (and being the first in Africa to do so), English was also a 2018 honoree of the Atlanta Georgia GSU 40-Under-40 Most Influential & Innovative Award, two-time recipient of the Fine Music Radio Award. He is the 2012 Samro Overseas Award Winner, and received JAZZIZ Magazine Critics’ Pick for Best of the Year 2016 and The Huffington Post US/UK Best of 2016 with his debut album.
English also received the Honour Recognition by Dr Max Price at UCT for being the first student in the history of the university to be awarded 100% full scores for both major and minor Honours recitals, which still stands today.