Orielle Berry caught up with Alistair Izobell to find out more about one of Cape Town's most popular musicians.
Q: So much has been written about you - an illustrious career, a multi-talented artist. More than an entertainer. Creating magic on the stage. Please tell us something we may not know about you in terms of your life on stage?
A:That question always gets me thinking, because there is not much I have hidden from my audience over the years. That's why I have such a tangible and real relationship with my loyal supporters. I have though, many years ago, stopped chasing the dream, and just love now creating new projects and watching young artists in my space grow to in to what they supposed to become.
Q: Who is the man behind Alistair Izobell?
A: I am a dad, husband, son, friend and normal guy with much of the same challenges as others, but wake up daily with the joy of knowing that there are great possibilities that await me. I am passionate about everything in my life and in my space, and have a goal everyday to contribute to the betterment of someone who needs help on this journey.
Q: A little bit on your journey into the world of music and showbiz?
A: The journey started 32 years ago at the Baxter Theatre with David Kramer and the late Taliep Petersen. D6 the musical was the start and I guess everything from there was pre-ordained and decided long before I arrived. I went on to meet and work with incredible artists, veterans, legends and wonderful people. By age 12, I was singing with Stevie Wonder in Tokyo, 17 playing Ritchie Valens in the award-winning musical the Buddy Holly story, my 20's won the world recognised prestigious Sir Laurence Olivier award for best actor in a musical in London. Many albums later I started taking care of young singers and helping their career, Edith Plaaitjies (a 2018 Fleur du Cap winner) being one of them. I became a producer of major events in Cape Town, and starting directing and writing my own work at various theatres to sold-out houses. Now I am basking in the joy of doing what I do and surrounded by talent and love daily.
Q: You are truly a man of the Cape. What is it about Cape Town that inspires you?
A: I think the second you are born and your soul smells the soil of Africa and this city it cannot leave your system. I am pulsed and know that my heart beat is because I get to work in this amazing town of ours, surrounded by the aesthetic beauty we have that costs us nothing to enjoy, to the colourful humans, and the energy of this city. Our stories are rich and beautiful and celebratory...... What is there not to like or be inspired by?
Q: What is it about the Mother City (not the drought!!) that doesn't please you?
A: I wish that we would get to a place where we do not have people living in harsh horrid conditions, and that their socio-economic situations would change and that we could have young people thrive to become the best version of themselves ...
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
A: I do not have a style. I believe that music is the common language of all mankind and so it is with joy that I write and perform.
Q: Some of the highs of your career?
All I have done.
Q: Any lows?
I dont have any... They were all lessons.
Q: You are obviously an inspiration to many but have also performed with some of the leading lights of the industry. Your greatest influences and why?
A: Every single one that I have had the honour to work with has added some kind of value to my journey. Whether a conversation or a vocal lesson or a chord it was all part of my many influences.
Q: Please tell us about your performance at the jazz festival next Friday night? Are there surprises in store for the audience?
A: It would not be a surprise if I told you now would it? I am just going to do exactly what I have for 3 decades and that is perform for all I am worth, and make my audience’s soul smile. I have some wonderful and talented friends joining me, like Sasha Lee Davids, Elwira Standilli, Steh Mpufe, my awesome 8-piece band and we intend to have an absolute jol.
Q: Which performances of yours stand out over the years, above the rest and why?
A: I really have none, as every single one comes with a huge responsibility of making people happy so that is the only objective, to serve my audience.
Q: What makes you tick?
A: When people are determined to be happy and smile and understand that they are in control of their joy and space around them. I need to be around happy positive people.
Q: A message for your many fans? It can be personal, inspirational, whatever!
A: I am grateful that I get to serve you with my work, music talent and soul. I am very blessed to be loved by you and thank you for allowing me into your space. Be happy and present in your every moment and remember that life is a journey and not a destination.
* Alastair Izobell performs after midnight this Friday on the Basil Manenberg Coetzee stage.
For more details go to www.capetownjazzfest.com