Kenny Lattimore thrilled the nostalgic in Pretoria, R Kelly took to Soweto, Durban and Cape Town while “new jack” innovator Keith Sweat kept up with the (Robert) Gumedes in Mbombela. This trend is not new, as Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula had nineties stars Vivica A Fox and Brandy grace a sports awards event in 2011.Contemporary A-listers are hard to come by, though Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga have had sold-out concerts in recent times.
While Kelly is the most successful of the old bunch, Sweat is definitely the smoothest. At 52, he has not aged one bit, and still looks very much like the leather jacket-clad detective he portrayed in his Twisted music video. The singer was in the country to celebrate IT tycoon Gumede’s birthday party.
“I first came here in the early nineties and people have always treated me well over here. And the fact that I get to do what I do best is an honour,” says Sweat.
“To be invited by Robert Gumede was special for me because he started from humble beginnings and he gives back which is something that I really admire. And I am glad that he still listens to my music.”
Sweat has kept busy with numerous tours around the world and he has some other ventures that have kept him busy.
“I have a book out right now called Make It Last Forever, and I also have a dating site called Truelovemeans.com,” Sweat chuckles.
“I also have a syndicated radio show and am working on my latest album, called Dressed To Impress, and I am touring extensively with a trip to Germany next month, then Paris, London, Kenya and Uganda. So I’m busy with a lot of different things right now.”
The last time Sweat was here he took time to record a song with the late Lebo Mathosa, and he maintains that working with younger artists is a true passion of his.
“Most of the time when I get asked to do collaborations the answer will be yes,” he says. “I love working with different people from different countries as it helps with my growth and we can exchange skills and lessons musically.”