Jimmy Nevis
Jimmy Nevis
Tokai. 080414. Singing sensation Jimmy Nevis next to one of the luxury Jaguar vehicles which he and journalists were given to drive out to Franschoek for a Jaguar experience. Picture Ian Landsberg
Tokai. 080414. Singing sensation Jimmy Nevis next to one of the luxury Jaguar vehicles which he and journalists were given to drive out to Franschoek for a Jaguar experience. Picture Ian Landsberg

Jimmy Nevis’s long-awaited new single after the success of his debut album, is set for exclusive release on simfy africa via MTN. He was invited by an exclusive British car brand for a once-in-a lifetime driving experience around the picturesque Western Cape.


THE BEAUTIFUL alter native pop star who is Jimmy Nevis, dressed in black, surveys the fleet of expensive cars in the parking lot of The Last Word Constantia. He slowly walks up to the red XF-Type and says: “It’s built for me.”

He then surveys the rest of the cars which, like the animal they are named after, look ready to pounce.

It was an offer too good to refuse. A trip in a Jaguar convoy from the boutique hotel The Last Word Constantia to The Last Word Franschhoek, where we would have a tour of the nearby GM & Ahrends bubbly cellars. This would be followed by a six-course gourmet bubbly dinner curated by top chef Pierre Hendricks. The next day the convoy, which included the brand- new and insanely sexy Jaguar F-Type Coupé, would drive through the Franschhoek pass and cruise along the beautiful coast.

And what better companion to experience it with than the 22-year- old Nevis, who kind of fits in with the Jaguar’s new tagline: It’s good to be bad.

Jimmy’s music is commercial and catchy, yet has an underlying darkness to it.

First, there is his voice – immediately recognisable with his preference for adding staccato vocals here and there. There is an undeniable rap influence, but it is almost overshadowed by his haunting voice. He also enjoys mashing slow, dramatic beats underneath fast, intense drums.

The Capetonian first came to national attention with hits like Heartboxing and Balloons from his successful debut album, Subliminal. which was released in late 2012. Now he is working on the latest track, Misscato, which will be available exclusively on www.simfyafrica.com/za/mtn from Monday for the next two weeks.

About the track he said: “Misscato is a sweet wine. I am not a wine drinker (clearly, or he’d know Mosscato), but it’s a metaphor about a three-year relationship, maybe with this wine and the ups and downs during those three years. I am obsessed with sadness, but I do have a beautiful life at the same time. This song is first sexy, and then happy. I am glad I have made a happy song for once. It has given me a new start, creatively.”

The track was produced by Nevis who explained: “I suck at group work, I am not a team player.”

Back to the adventure. Nevis is driving and I am sitting next to him, listening to his tracks while the Cape Town winter rain keeps us company outside.

“I have never driven an automatic car before,” he smiles as we follow in the convoy. “However, this is a lot sexier than anything else I have driven. It almost encourages selfies.”

The professional drivers leading the convoy are travelling at a reasonable speed. Nevis leans over to the window and announces: “We shouldn’t be driving in the slow lane if we’re driving a car like this.”

He is clearly itching to open up this beauty and see what it can really do. Once or twice during the journey, I catch a glimpse of his carefully hidden wild-child side when he floors the accelerator.

The suites in The Last Word Franschhoek have heated flooring, heated towel rails and are warm and cosy, and we don’t feel like leaving for the next stage of the adventure.

However, once at the quaint cellars of GM & Ahrends, the fun starts as owners Gerrit Maritz and Albert Ahrends take us on their journey of making bubbly.

There is a grand piano and Nevis is encouraged by the invited guests to perform a few tracks. Of course, the piano is his main creative instrument and he astounds everyone with his spontaneous, heartfelt performance.

It is clear he has new fans among the uninitiated. Nevis is a natural performer and does not appear to suffer from stage fright. But outside of performing he is rather shy and unassuming.

He is then invited to perform the age-old French aristocrat tradition of opening a bottle of sparkling wine with a swashbuckling sabre. At first he is hesitant, but then he regains his confidence and swishes it with aplomb.

Back at the boutique hotel, we are treated to a bubbly pairing with a nouvelle six-course meal which is explained in intimate detail by the chef.

By this stage, Nevis is relaxed and enjoying the food, conversing with the dozen invited guests.

The next day, after a long, lazy breakfast, we depart for the climax of the journey.

The road leads up the momentous Franschhoek pass, with the tranquil patchwork beauty of the village below. As we wind higher and higher, we have a view of the convoy above and below us.

“It feels like we’re in a Jaguar advert,” observes Nevis, taking in the beauty of it all.

The road winds deeper into the mountains and we float through a wisp of cloud.

“Wow! We are in the clouds. I think this weather is perfect for the trip. God is great.

“I love hiking and I often go to the top of Lion’s Head in Cape Town and meditate about God.”

We come around the corner and there below us, sunlight sparkles on a large dam. It looks like a mirage. To top it all, the approaching paradise includes a rainbow.

At sea level, we drive past vineyards and through small villages. At times it feels as if we are the only humans for kilometres. One can see why the Western Cape attracts international tourists.

It makes for poignant sentimentality.

“One of the best experiences of my life was saving a sheep and putting it back in its pen with the others. I was on a trip with friends. I don’t know how it got out, but it was scary trying to put it back.”

As we arrive in the holiday/fishing village of Kleinmond, Nevis points to the river which flows into the sea – the perfect seaside picture complete with colourful wooden boats and jungle gyms.

“See that! That was my childhood, where I spent my holidays.”

As we drive on through posh Betty’s Bay and all the new mansions, the conversation moves to architecture and Nevis expresses his desire to study it some day.

He is currently finishing a sociology degree at UCT. He says it has taken a while because of his sudden, successful music career. However, he is “happy to finish it off and to finish off well”.

Is there anything he cannot do?

He thinks for a while and then smiles: “I can’t and won’t play rugby.”

The young musician puts his foot down and we go roaring past the trucks and cars, with Nevis grinning with glee.