Cape Town - Jarrad Ricketts remembers his very first public performance. It was at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone, and he had written the lyrics on his hand.
"I sweated so much that the ink started to run and I couldn't make out the words. I was in front of this audience trying to make out what I had written and they were giggling and laughing."
That was his favourite performance so far, as his family were there to support him. But Cape Town's latest pop sensation is sure that his performance at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on Saturday will become his new favourite.
Jarrad earned his spot at Africa's grandest gathering by winning the third annual espYoungLegends 2018 Competition, a contest involving the public voting online.
"There are so many artists out there who want this kind of exposure. I feel so blessed and fortunate. You're in this new world. Its been amazing," he says.
Besides his performance on Saturday, Jarrad will also be performing at the CTIJF's free Community Concert on Greenmarket Square on Wednesday.
His tracks New Life and Take Me To Your Heart are also climbing the charts at radio stations across the country and he is busy recording his first album.
Jarrad says: "There's still a lot of work. I think these are massive stepping stones for me. I've been doing this for a long time and this is such a massive window of opportunity and I really want to take full advantage... There's still more to come."
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* The 19th Cape Town International Jazz Festival takes place on 23 and 24 March 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Day passes are still available at Computicket: http://bit.ly/2ziapOM. For the full CTIJF 2018 Artist Programme, visit www.capetownjazzfest.com
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is a water-wise event. For more information, please see their Water Usage Advisory: http://www.capetownjazzfest.com/water-advisory