Durban jazz voice lecturer has ‘X-Factor’ in the bag

2014-10-17 00:00

A DURBAN jazz voice lecturer is getting a taste of the limelight by coaching the contestants of South Africa’s first season of X-Factor.

Debbie Mari (44), from Glenwood, a jazz voice lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said the opportunity to work in production had been one of the most interesting things she had done in her life.

The live shows are currently being filmed at the Durban Olive Convention Centre.

“I have been passionate about music my whole life, and this is such an amazing experience.”

Mari has been working with the selected contestants to prepare them for the live show broadcast from Durban.

“It is so different working with some people who have not had a lot of vocal training and some who have.

“For some, this is their first time in front of the microphone,” she added.

Mari said that, although being a voice coach could be frustrating and stressful, you learn to work well under pressure.

“It is especially stressful when you have worked with contestants and they are on stage and you cannot help them any more than you have, or if they make a mistake,” she said.

“What you learn on this show is that, in order to make it in music, you have to put in loads of effort and have nerves of steel,” she said.

She said the fact that the producers used KZN talent to produce the show should be applauded.

Mari, the only voice coach on the show, said she was thrilled when she was given the job.

“Very often, those involved in projects such as this are brought from other provinces, sometimes just because the production company has worked with them before. So this was a good scoop for Durban and UKZN,” Mari said.

The celebrity judges for the first season are South African musicians DJ Oskido, Arno Carstens and Zonke.

The entire season is being shot at various locations in and around Durban.

• Catch X-Factor South Africa on Saturdays at 6 pm on SABC1.

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