Carmen’s jazz a part of journey

2016-01-19 06:00
Carmen Xclusive makes magical music on her debut solo recording.  PHOTO: gary van dyk

Carmen Xclusive makes magical music on her debut solo recording. PHOTO: gary van dyk

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A musical journey that started in Mitchell’s Plain has reached a major milestone with the launch of Carmen Xclusive’s debut CD.

Many music lovers will simply know her as Carmen Herbert or, if you’re a bit more old-school, “Carmen from N2”.

She laughs when acknowledging her association with the popular band.

“Yes, that was a very important part of my life, my education and training in the music business, but it started before I joined them,” she says.

While, like so many musicians on the Cape Flats, the roots of her talent are in the church, she used to sneak away to the Inn on the Plain to listen to Rudolph Paulse and the band Horizon.

“I loved the music; it just meant something special to me and eventually I was persuaded to enter a singing competition there and the rest as they say is history.

“Offers came in for me to perform at cabaret shows and I was only 14 at the time, but I fell in love with the business and just enjoyed singing.”

Singing sweet 16As word spread about the young talent she joined up with Mike Kwagga’s Nuff-Zed when she was 16 and a year later joined the Wentzel brothers in N2.

“Performing with them for almost ten years was an exciting time for me. This was almost like me going to college and learning to hone my talent.

“Eventually I felt that I wanted to take a step up in my career by going beyond the club scene, get into the corporate scenario and work in a wider variety of styles.

“That’s also when I decided to become Carmen Xclusive as a brand that wanted to show the world my own identity and that there’s only one me,” she laughs.

Since then she has impressed music lovers with the best in the business in South Africa and discovered the jazzier side of her talent with Ian Smith’s VJR and various collaborations with the likes of Richard Caesar, Allou April and Robbie Jansen.

With the release of her album, Xclusive Nites @ Pigalles, she has surrounded herself with some of the best around town. Camillo Lombard produced the album with his band Top Dog backing her as well as a brass section comprising Ian Smith and Willy Haubrich.

Carmen confesses she has been going around to some of the popular radio stations but can’t get any of them to feature the album on their playlists.

This remains a mystery because every tune on this album is a carefully crafted gem.

“It’s an album of my favourite covers done my way,” she says.

“Volume 2 I am going to give the word some of my originals.”

She opens with the David Foster composition “Love that will Last” and the quality of the voice that made so many love her is immediately evident. The magic just keeps on coming your way.

She takes some pop classics like “Get Lucky” and Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” and twists them into tunes that could feature in an album of new jazzy standards. Even Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” features with a funkier kind of feel.

With a debut like this let’s hope Carmen gets back into the studio quickly to give the world some more of her musical magic.V For more information on where to get the album email or call Bernie on 079 871 9855.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.