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Catch a rising star

Classical-pop star Selim Kagee, described by Die Burger as "South Africa's own Bocelli", will perform at Cape Town's Baxter Theatre for one night only. We spoke to him to find out more.
Catch a rising star

Eugene Yiga: Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?

Selim Kagee: I was born in Cape Town, studied graphic design and trained privately as a classical singer since I was 20. My love of all things creative started at a very young age - with drawing, painting and sculpture.


And how did you get started as a musician?

Growing up, I had a great desire to perform and sing, though I only explored it in my early 20s when I got involved in theatre and acting, and eventually singing. After attending a lecture on singing and realising that there was a technique to it, I began to explore my voice, learning to sing through vocal exercises and through lessons from a lady I met [the late Jean Stuart] who happened to be an opera singer.

She saw something "special" in my voice that I didn't at the time and she took me under her wing and trained me for 12 years until I had a professional-sounding voice. After many years of training, doing musical theatre, my sound developed into what it is now.

I then met and teamed up with a great producer who produced some demos with me and we got signed to a major record label, opening the way for my album to be commercially available in stores and iTunes. Since then, I've been doing a lot of media promotion around the album and staging my own shows.

Catch a rising star

How would you describe your sound?

I sing mainly English and Italian songs, and my sound is a combination of classical singing and old-worldly crooning. The music I sing is normally deeply emotional and inspiringly exciting.


And what inspires your music?

I'm inspired by other voices. I like simple voices where the melody is clear and uncluttered.


What can we expect to hear at the concert?

The concert at the Baxter Theatre will be my biggest concert thus far. I'll be performing with a 22-piece orchestra. In the classical-pop concert I tell stories of my life and my journey into the music industry and link each song with interesting anecdotes. We're using large-scale video projections and a few interesting special effects to really bring the show alive. I love big spectacular shows and that's exactly what this will be!


And what are your plans for the future?

I will be doing more recordings over the next few months (including more original work) and planning my next big show at Artscape Theatre at the end of January 2014.

Selim Kagee performs at Cape Town's Baxter Theatre on 19 October at 5pm and 8.30pm. Tickets are available from Computicket. For more information, go to

About Eugene Yiga

Eugene graduated from the University of Cape Town with distinctions in financial accounting and classical piano. He then spent over two-and-half years working in branding and communications at two of South Africa's top market research companies. Eugene also spent over three-and-a-half years at an eLearning start-up, all while building his business as an award-winning writer. Visit, follow @eugeneyiga on Twitter, or email moc.agiyenegue@olleh to say, um, hello.

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