Kerry, 30 songs and Idols

Vocalist Kerry Cherry with, from left, pianist David Langley, bassist Logan Byrne and drummer Riley Giandhari.

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BILLY SUTER chatted recently to KERRY CHERRY, when she was lead vocalist in The Music of Amy Winehouse and Friends, a showband entertainment that was presented early in September at the Rhumbelow Theatre’s branch at Tina’s Hotel in Beryldene Road, Kloof. The show also featured guest vocalist Mark Stewey Gokool, pianist David Langley, bassist Logan Byrne, drummer Riley Giandhari, guitarist Nick Pitman and the Heather Groove brass section.

Kerry-Lee and husband David Langley will perform tonight (Monday, October 2) at the BBC Beats evening, held every Monday from 6pm at the Berea Bowling Club hall in Ferguson Road, Glenwood, Durban. Admission is R50 each week and different acts perform every week. Kerry-Lee and David will present an informal showband entertainment titled Around the World in Thirty Songs.
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TELL ME A BIT ABOUT THE AMY WINEHOUSE SHOW, THE  VARIETY OF SONGS BEING USED AND WHO DECIDED ON A WINEHOUSE TRIBUTE?

The Amy Winehouse tribute show comes after lengthy discussions about paying tribute to someone I think is a legend in her own right. The songs were chosen based on highlights of Amy’s career and nostalgic flair.

I love the era that Winehouse loved as well. Her style is inspired by all types of jazz icons which is my forte.

DOES THE SHOW HAVE A NARRATIVE OR IS IT MOSTLY A SONG SHOWCASE? ANY PROPS, SURPRISES ?

The show does not have a narrative. I pride myself on great honest music and on spur-of –the-moment. honest storylines.

I usually take people on a personal journey, using the life experiences of the artist themselves. We have an eight-piece band and all collaborate to give music that is close to the originals.

HAS THIS BAND LINE-UP PERFORMED TOGETHER BEFORE?

We have all performed together at some point with each other in a duo, quartet or trio set-up, but we have not performed as one collective outfit on one stage simultaneously

WHAT SHOWS HAVE YOU PERFORMED IN AT THE RHUMBELOWTHEATRE – AND WHEN WERE THEY STAGED?

I performed alongside Jaziel vaugh’hann in a sold-out show, Fabulous ’50s, in 2010, and later that year I performed alongside Gino Veronie in a show called From Then Until Now.

In February this year I featured in a show called Mr Bojangles Dance, with the band Beate-Route, and in June  I performed with my band, paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald in a show called Ella and the Fellas.

WHAT PLANS FOR THE AMY WINEHOUSE SHOW – OTHER DATES PLANNED?

Our plan is to take the show in and around Durban initially, at place like Jazzy Rainbow, S43 and the university’s Centre for Jazz.

WHERE AND WHEN WERE YOU BORN AND HOW DID YOU ENTER THE SHOWBIZ PROFESSION?  IS SINGING A FULLTIME THING FOR YOU?

I was born on April 28 in the sunny city of beautiful Durban. I was approached by a family member who, unbeknownst to us at the time of recording, produced a South African Music Award-winning song in 2007.

I also made it to the Top 30 of SA Idols in 2007, and sang at various well-known venues in Durban and Johannesburg. I sing on a full time basis – currently at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga, as well as KuDaTa on Wilson’s Wharf, keeping Saturdays open for corporate events.

WHAT HAVE BEENCAREER HIGHS TO DATE?

Marrying my husband, who also happens to be one of the best pianists in Durban… and having a musician baby, to boot. Another highlight was meeting The Manhattans. Also, performing on the SA Idols stage.

WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Vibrant. Creative. Warm. Forthright. Colourful.

Kerry Cherry will perform a tribute to Amy Winehouse at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF (HOWEVER TRIVIAL) THAT PEOPLE ARE UNLIKELY TO KNOW?

I’m an exceptional chef. I owned my own beauty business at age 19.I was in an accident at the age of nine. I have two birthmarks on my tummy –  a brown one and a white one (I represent the rainbow nation). Also, I love the TCL channel on DStv.

YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT ON STAGE?

It would be a toss up between me falling down the stairs at the RhumbeIow Theatre while performing a disco song… and being forced against my will to do a bit of choreography and having my heel go straight through the floor. I was stuck…but I treated it as part of the choreography and continued doing a great show.LOL.

HOBBIES, PASTIMES AND FAVOURITE THINGS?

I love having my nails done.  Also enjoy freestyling with my hubby on some songs. My favourite thing is my phone. It is shallow, bit I’m nothing without it.

WHAT THINGS WOULD YOU LIST UNDER ‘VASTLY OVERRATED’?

Our president. A rock shandy. A GHD hair straightener on a person with naturally curly locks that sweats profusely. And stilleto heels.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING THING SOMEONE HAS SAID OF YOU?

That I’m quiet and reserved. Really?

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR YEAR SO FAR?

My hubby surprising me with a new vehicle. So spoilt!

WHERE WERE YOU BORN – AND WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY?

My most memorable birthday was my 28th. I actually didn’t celebrate, as my baby went for a doctor’s appointment for injections. Can you imagine the trauma?

WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS AND PHOBIAS?

I fear not being able to complete a task. Also, I have a phobia for dirty hands and people that tell lies.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN COOK?

Being multi-cultured there are many things I can perfect in the kitchen. However, I love Indian cuisine and I make a lovely biriyani. My favourite.

WHAT TRAITS DO YOU MOST DISLIKE IN OTHERS?

Tardiness. Unprofessionalism. Lies.

WHAT ARE TWO OF YOUR MOST TREASURED MATERIAL POSSESSIONS?

My car and my cellphone.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

Always dress up, be on time and be a person that honours their word

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ENSCRIBED ON YOUR TOMBSTONE?

She lived her life to the full.


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