Msaki plans to thrill fans at the first Bassline Live

Part of the show will include a collaboration with dancer Kristi-Leigh Gresse, the current Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Dance. The support act for the evening will be Vinnie Mak from ALTBLK>>, the home of unique African independent artists, founded by Msaki.

South African folk singer-songwriter Msaki. Picture: Trevor Stuurman.

JOHANNESBURG - "I am excited to perform again at the Bassline Live at the Lyric Theatre. Our performance last May was one of my favourite shows of the year," said singer Msaki.

Bassline Live plans to thrill music lovers and get the year started with the first of the Bassline Live at The Lyric Theatre series at Johannesburg's Gold Reef City.

This year, Bassline, which has evolved over the years since being founded in 1994 by Brad Holmes and currently offers mobile Live Music, producing and promoting live concerts for broadcast and live audience, as well as festivals, said that it was taking the series up a notch with multi-disciplinary artist collaborations.

Their first concert of the series, on 25 February, will showcase Msaki as the headline artist presenting “Platinumb Heart”.

Part of the show will include a collaboration with dancer and choreographer Kristi-Leigh Gresse, the current Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Dance. The support act for the evening will be Vinnie Mak from ALTBLK>>, the home of unique African independent artists, founded by Msaki.

"It's always great to work with the Bassline family. For this show I will collaborate with dancer Kristi-Leigh Gresse during my set and my brother Vinnie Mak, from the ALTBLKcontinua community, who recently moved from the Eastern Cape to Jozi, and will open the show with his Buffalo City Blues," said Msaki.

Contemporary dance artist Kristi-Leigh Gresse won the 2021 Standard Bank Young Artist (SBYA) award in the Dancer category, joining a long list of prestigious artists such as Debbie Rakusin and Gary Gordon who have been recognised since the first SBYA award in 1981.

Gresse has collaborated with a remarkable variety of South Africa’s dancers and choreographers, developing her own "voice" as an artist as her work has cohered thematically around the politics of the body as well as expressions of collective and individual identity.

“Now more than ever we feel the distance between ourselves and the rest of the world. A collaboration such as this one provides a space for two or more individuals to explore their shared experiences in a creative space. Learning from one another. Inspiring innovation and adding to the collective conciseness. And thus for me, the work develops into a performance that can potentially be both mesmerising and transformative for anyone who gets to experience it," said Gresse on her upcoming collobaration with Msaki.

The KwaZulu-Natal-born dancer also won a Standard Bank Ovation Gold Award for Sullied at the National Arts Festival in 2018 and went on to win the South East Dance Award at the Brighton Fringe Festival in 2019, before being commissioned to produce a dance screen offering for the digital JOMBA! Festival in 2020.

The support act for the evening will be Brakpan-born Vinnie Mak from ALTBLK>>, the home of unique African independent artists, founded by Msaki.

Mak is a versatile musician who has dabbled in a multitude of genres; from the blues to hip hop and house, settling on his own Buffalo City Blues with his haunting vocals at the forefront.

Over the years, he has successfully staged performances in East London and Johannesburg and has been featured on the ALTBLK>> live music series in both East London and Johannesburg alongside some of South Africa’s top alternative talent.

“Audiences and fans of Msaki are in for such a treat, getting to see and hear her performing in all her glory within a live creative space that truly can’t be replicated and or felt through a digital space! We are also so amped, with restrictions having been lifted, allowing decent audience numbers, the artists and audiences can sense and feel that live performance electricity so sorely missed over the past two years,” said creative director of Bassline, Paige Holmes.

Last year, on 19 November, song catcher and founder of ALTBLK>> Msaki released her double album with a cohort of producers and contributors showcasing both sides of this prolific writer, singer, and activist.

Msaki’s decision to release two albums - Platinumb Heart Open and Platinumb Heart Beating - comes from her known duality among her fans.

Msaki has comfortably performed as seamlessly with an acoustic guitar as she has taken centre stage in front of a DJ booth on a dancefloor - from her 2016 Acoustic debut album, Zaneliza: How The Water Moves and a string of heart-opening protest anthems, to her multiple award-winning dance hits Fetch Your Life with Prince Kaybee, Ubomi Abumanga and Chasing Summer with musical brother Sun-El Musician as well as Sizophelelaphi with Oskido.

Msaki’s poetic lyrics and unforgettable melodies have landed right in the hearts of her growing audience just when they needed them most.

“The folk singer-songwriter side of me and the dance electro house, if broken down to its elements, are all the same. I’m in no conflict in the two worlds and I am becoming more comfortable with their interchangeability and being their synthesis point,” said Msaki

"After a tough past two years, the Bassline is relieved and proud to still be promoting great music and supporting and growing wonderful talent," said Brad Holmes of Bassline Live.

Bassline Live's first series for the year will be held at The Lyric Theatre series at Johannesburg's Gold Reef City with tickets available at Computicket and doors opening at 7pm.