BY MUNYA VOMO
When the first season of The VoiceSA ended earlier this year, Richard Stirton, emerged as the winner.
While there were several people who could have taken it away from him, Stirton got the nod from his coach, Kahn Morbee, much earlier in the competition and The Parlotones frontman got it right in the end.
It turned out that South Africa agreed with him when they voted for Stirton as the winner. Now, sitting on his debut album, Middle Ground, made through Universal Music, the singer spoke to us about his journey so far.
“I feel so lucky that I could play a few of my originals for the guys at Universal and they liked them.
"They had an idea of what kind of album they were looking for and that was a commercial one. My sound is not commercial so we had to find a middle ground. That’s why I gave the album that name because I am grateful that I was allowed to play my own music. I have talked to other people in the business and they said they never get to say what they want. What the label says goes, so I am grateful I'm not in that situation,” he said.
“The album is mostly about relationships. I have been in relationships for a while and that’s where I usually write from,” he added. Speaking about how he had to balance what he wanted and what the label had planned, Stirton even wrote some commercial tracks.
“I wrote Our Night which is a cool commercial track, but it has an underlying theme of saying that we will do what we were born to do on Earth. I want to inspire people by saying if I can do it then they, too, can do it. There is no point in waiting till you are 60, then regret saying, ‘I wish I had done this or that',” he said.
Looking at how Morbee had backed him from day one, Stirton said he was grateful, but sadly they did not have time to work together on this offering.
“We did not have time to work together on this album. Not with the deadlines that I had. I can see something coming up from us in the near future. In fact, now that we are talking about it, we have a gig on October 26 at The Barnyard.
"Then we are playing together at Kirstenbosch which has been a dream of mine for the past two years. I had a picture of Kirstenbosch as my wallpaper, just wishing I could play there, and here we are. So we will see how far that goes,” he said.
If you are a huge fan, then Stirton has something in store at a city near you. All you have to do is keep close tabs on his calendar.
“We have an album launch in Cape Town at the end of November and then one or two in Joburg which we still haven’t finalised. We will also have a tour in Cape Town because I am from there.
"We will do a send-off tour in January to push me into the national tour. We want to have a plan to reach the people to show them appreciation for what they have done,” he said.
Middle Ground is available nationwide.