Idols star 'thrilled' to open for Ne-Yo
Johannesburg - South African Idols contestant Simphiwe Gwegwe could not be more thrilled about opening for RnB singer and producer Ne-Yo on one of his shows on his UK tour.
Ne-Yo's tour started earlier this week but Gwegwe says the hard work for him will only start tomorrow.
He had been frantically planning for his trip to Dubai where he will get to meet with three other artists from the US and will then head to the UK.
"This feels so unreal! It's one of those moments where I feel like pinching myself," he said, likening it to being part of "the Idols experience all over again".
Working on a new single
Gwegwe said he had always admired Ne-Yo. "People who know me have always compared me to him and spotted some similarities in us, in terms of image and performance," Gwegwe said.
He got the opportunity after American artist Tank, who came to South Africa for the RnB Music Explosion concert in September, approached his management asking if Gwegwe could perform at the concert. Because he was still participating in Idols he had to decline but explained that they could consider him for future projects.
Tank spread the word to Ne-Yo's management and when they heard him sing, he was called up to feature in the tour.
Gwegwe, who is working on his new single which will be out in late March, said he is trying to get his name out there, especially after his time on Idols.
Album due in June
He believes his story is similar to that of Idols runner-up Lloyd Cele.
"We might not have won the competition but we want to achieve so much in the industry," he believes.
The Port-Nolloth singer says through his hard work and perseverance he hopes to challenge the stereotype about small towns and its people.
He is set to release a full album in June.