Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Trevor Noah has pulled out at the last minute from hosting the MAMAs 2016, due to 'a severe upper respiratory infection'

Up close and personal with LB

2008-11-29 13:58
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On posing semi-nude for a women’s magazine and what he’d never do to promote the Loyiso brand?
Well first of all, I’d never pose nude for anything! Laughs. You know, I’m a Christian. But you know for the Marie-Claire shoot it really was nothing about posing nude and people going gaga or wow, look at this! If anybody buys the magazine and actually sees what it looks like, it’s not a pretty sight. I don’t exactly have make-up on and I didn’t shave because I wanted to portray a message. That it doesn’t matter whether a person is walking around naked in a place where they’re not protected, it never gives anybody a right to think this person is open to being raped.

His view on R&b losing its soul to the tits & ass factor
When people sing, people have a choice what they want to sing about. So if you want to sing about tits and ass, that’s the choice you have made. But it’s definitely not about that. That is not what sells R&B. What sells R&B, is that most songs on an album deal with the issue of love. Love is a huge factor, especially you know, for the youth. Um, so you can either say it in a nice way or you can say it in an ugly way.

How does he balance being a part of the Bala Brothers trio and his solo career?
I’m going to be honest, it’s very hard to balance the two. Especially because there’s two managements going on. But you know, those are both my passions and I love doing what I’m doing. So up until it gets really really hectic, I really hope that I’ll never ever have to make a choice.

LB’s dream collaborations I’d like to share a stage with um…although she’s kind of all over the place and people say “no she’s done too many singles”. I still think that Beyonce has one of the greatest voices we have right now. When I saw her live a few years back, I just thought , you know this girl, I don’t know how much she got paid for this gig but I really feel that she’s singing for me. I’d also like to do a track with Alicia Keys. Mainly because I think we’ve kind of had the same schooling in terms of classical and I’d love to be sitting on another grand piano next to her and just gazing into each other’s eyes and just singing a tune. (Grins). Locally, I’ve come close to working with anybody. I’m at a point where I can just pick up the phone and you know, we’re in studio the next day. But an artist who I believe has really come out to the top in the past few years is, Siphokazi. I’m absolutely enjoying her music right now and it’s growing on me. I’d love to write a song for her.

On featuring 5fm presenter Elana Afrika and working with upcoming artist Ofentse on his latest album I think Elana has the sexiest voice on radio and I just called her up because she’s also a good friend of mine and asked if she could hook up some vocals and she agreed. We had a great time and I just love her voice. With Ofentse well it’s really hard to find really good R&B male vocalist in Mzansi and a friend of mine told me about this guy from Pretoria who’s just come back from the States and will be releasing an album soon. So I called him up and was really impressed with how humble and talented he was and that’s how we hooked up.

-Gugulethu Mkhabela
Loyiso Bala is one silky soft R&B crooner. We caught up with Mr Man after his gig at Heartfm’s Birthday Bash in the Mother City recently for a quick one-on-one. Even though his voice was a bit more raspy than usual (we didn’t mind of course) he belted out a funky a cappella tune for us.
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