Famous for 5 minutes: Ernie Smit - It’sTime for Love

2015-03-08 18:34

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Your previous album was released in 2010. Tell us what you’ve been up to?

Well, apart from being a working father, husband and musician, I have been working on music with the likes of Judith Sephuma and Khaya Mthethwa. Moving from Durban to Joburg has certainly kept me quite busy – with me working and being a father and husband.

You have a new album out. Tell us about it and how it came about

I started working on Time for Love three years ago after moving from Durban to Joburg. This being my sixth album, and the first one done independently, it’s like a newborn baby to me.

I collaborated with my longtime friend BeBe Winans on the song We Need One Another, which is a socially uplifting song. I also did a track with KB Motsilanyane, as well as Mandoza and Janine Price. There are two songs with my wife, Lucretia Smith. It has 11 tracks, mostly love songs, with one or two uptempo dance-inspired cuts.

I have always been big on love throughout my career – but yes, it is a much bigger theme with this album. There are times when work and career overtake other roles.

This time around, I have gone back to the basics of life, love and family as the cornerstones. It is important to strike a balance between work, love and family.

How did the collaboration with BeBe come about?

BeBe and I go back a long way. I called him and told him I wanted to do a song with him. He suggested I look into a song he and CeCe Winans had worked on but never got around to releasing.

I listened to the song, added African elements to it and sent it over.

He liked what he  heard, and it ended up on the album.

How has the music industry changed since you started out in the early 2000s?

Definitely, the industry has changed. When we started out, the record companies, particularly the major ones, dominated the space.

Now the artists are far more empowered, as they own their own recordings and products. I have gone from being a signed artist to owning my work.

The only partnership with major record companies is for distribution and the placement of our music at retail stores.

Does it mean the industry is more favourable to artists than it is to record companies?

Well, not too favourable. But what I am saying is artists are far more empowered now than they were before.

Social media has also changed the value chain, because artists can now get their music out through online media vendors such as iTunes without having to belong to the major record companies.

Do you have any words of encouragement for those who are struggling to find and keep love?

It is important for people who are looking for love to start by loving themselves first before venturing out to find love.

The best way of finding love is by being lovable first – love easily comes to those who are lovable.

>> Ernie Smith’s Time for Love will be available from the end of next month

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