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Connell Cruise-ing

South Africa-born pop artist Connell Cruise has been making quite a stir across the seas. With the recent release of EP 'Into the Wild' with label Island Records this stir is predicted to get even bigger. We sent him a few questions to find out about life in the Big Apple and new EP.

Your musical success has seemed to have been a rather quick process. What do you attribute this to?

That's kind of you to say. I must admit, it has been a rush since starting out two years ago, but we're not anywhere to boast about yet. There's still a lot to get done and to get going. The secret, I think, is hard work; being prepared and having a great team around turning the talk into action.


What is it like being signed to international label Island Records? How did that process go down?

It's mad, in all the best ways. It's been a journey since late last year when 'Into The Wild' started getting some attention from overseas. Andrew Mitchley and David Gresham (my label in SA, David Gresham Records) spent more than a few months flying back and forth between Joburg and New York having meetings and formalising the deal. For a long time they didn't tell me what was going down, mostly to protect me I think. This business is filled with high hopes and dashed expectations, but luckily everything worked out great in the end and here we are, halfway around the globe taking my music to the world!


What has it been like living and working in New York? What has the response to your sound been like?

New York is like living in a movie, or living out the lyrics of a song. It's a massive place and there's always something going on. So far I've played three shows in the city and all of them have been packed! I've discovered that there are a lot of South Africans living here and that's been a cool surprise when hitting the stage. I just found out that I've been booked for my first NYC residency at the Rockwood Music Hall!


Do you plan to stay in the States?

Yes, I've got work to do here and, until it's done, this is home. South Africa is where my heart is though and always will be.


It must have been pretty cool to be blogged by Perez Hilton. Did you see a dramatic increase in YouTube views after that?

Yeah! He's been awesome, commenting on my 'Into The Wild' music video and the cover I put out a few weeks back. It's crazy how connected this world is.


What's the next adventure?

USA Tour!


Quickfire Questions

What's the first thing that pops into your head when you read the following words:

Skipping ropes: Don't trust them.
Bananas: Never walk into a room eating one.
Shakespeare: Ah! There's this famous theatre company that puts on Shakespeare plays in Central Park every summer. I've been wanting to go to that - thanks for reminding me!
The Little Mermaid: I have a thing for redheads.

Into the Wild is available on iTunes
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About Ruth Cooper

Ruth is the production manager at Bizcommunity, as well as a editor of the Lifestyle section.