Brian McKnight on a Cape Town wedding and wanting to golf with Ernie Els

Brian McKnight. (Photo: Getty Images)
Brian McKnight. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cape Town – American singer Brian McKnight is coming to South Africa for a tour. The musician will tour with singer Brandy on The Legends of R&B tour which will stop in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town from Saturday, 9 December until Thursday, 14 December 2017.

I spoke to the singer on the phone about his new album, Genesis, what fans can expect from his tour and playing golf. 

On what inspired this record and how it strikes the right balance between old and new: 

For years now, I have been trying to figure out how to walk the line between today’s sound and what I do naturally and I think I’ve finally found that comfortable place to be. This is probably the most produced record I have ever made as far as machines and how people make records today. It’s the same sound, it’s the same singing; I just kind of wanted to make an actual sound. And if you listen to the first single, Forever, that is a precursor of what this record sounds like.

Hear the song and watch the video here:

'I sell nostalgia'

When I asked Brian if he would bring in some of his classics with his newer material at the show, he said: Oh yeah, I’m not a fool, I’m coming to play all the songs that people are expecting to hear. It would be silly of me to come to a show and bring the whole band and say: I’m just going to play this record and nothing else. I try to put the new songs sporadically through the show but I sell nostalgia. Twenty-five years of making music and that’s what this show will be. 

When I asked Brian, what keeps him coming back to the Rainbow Nation time after time, he said without hesitation: 

The fans…It’s one of my favourite places to play in the entire world. Just coming there and seeing people that I have seen before and one of the great things about social media is that people who have seen you before can tell you how they feel immediately. If they love you it’s great, if they don’t love you, it’s also fine. It’s the love and the anticipation and what they liked about the show. It’s always amazing because my fans take the best photos of me that I have ever seen. 

Is there one thing you always take on tour with you?

No not really, I got my guitars, I got what I need. If I can take my lady it’s a good thing, if she comes it’s great if she can’t come it’s not as great. 

Speaking of your lady, you’re going to walk down the aisle soon, but you’re also on tour. How are you juggling both?

You know what, the wedding is not about me, it’s for her. It’s all about her. However she wants it, (I just say) yes ma’am, from the wedding perspective. 

Maybe she would like to get married in Cape Town?

I’m sure she would. She came with me last time I came and we loved it.

Are you excited to share a stage with Brandy? 

We know each other, we’ve seen each other around. I wouldn’t say that we’re the best of friends. But it’s not that we’re not friends we just haven’t spent that much time together. I’m really looking forward to being there and having these shows with her and getting to know her as a person because I love her music. To be able to have that much great music on the same stage for so many shows is something that I am not even used to, but I am looking forward to it. She has one of the greatest voices I have ever heard. 

Fans might not know that you enjoy playing golf and are quite active. Do you have plans to hit the green on your trip to SA?

Yeah, I’m bringing my clubs. I played in Durban the last time I was here and I am looking forward to seeing other golf courses when I’m out there. Hopefully I can hook up with Ernie Els when I’m there and we can play some rounds. 

Have you played with Ernie before? 

No, I’m just putting it out there in case he’s listening (laughs). 

Tour Information:

Saturday 9 December 2017
Sun Arena, Time Square
Ticket Price: R480 – R945 


Sunday 10 December 2017
Ticketpro Dome
Ticket Price:  R480 – R1000
Cape Town

Tuesday 12 December 2017
Grand Arena, GrandWest
Ticket Price:  R480 – R945 


Thursday 14 December 2017
Durban ICC
Ticket Price:  R425 – R845