Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
16 Sep 2015
12:00 pm

Connell still cruising the USA

Genevieve Vieira

Connell Cruise signed the biggest record deal in South African music history with Island Records last year.

For the past year he has been commuting back and forth between his home city, Johannesburg, and the Big Apple. At 28, he is living the dream. Though it’s been a true adventure, it’s not always fun and games. New York is a whole new ballgame. No longer is he competing with 10 or 20 local acts but with a multitude of aspiring talent all looking to get their big break.

Performing at some of the best known venues in the city, the singer/songwriter is slowly establishing a loyal fan base and putting SA back on the map. “It definitely feels like life moves faster here, the city never seems to stand still; something is always going down in New York,” Cruise says. “It’s got a great vibe, magical even, almost as if you’re living out a movie scene. It’s the kind of place where anything seems possible.”

Cruise recently released his new EP, Into The Wild, together with a New York-inspired music video. The EP was produced by Ido Zmishlany in Brooklyn, and is a lot more upbeat and less gloomy than his debut offering.

“I wanted to put into music what it felt like moving from Johannesburg to New York, that’s really what Into The Wild means to me. Each of the songs on the EP come from this transition period of moving and how I’ve tried to handle the change – in myself and in my relationships.”

Having learnt a lot not only about the music industry itself, but life in general, Cruise says: “Life doesn’t wait for you. When it happens, it happens and it’s up to you to make sure you’re ready for it.”

Asked how the industry there differs from what he is used to in SA, he says: “It’s just so much bigger, the scale is enormous. The parts are all the same. They just move in much wider circles and there are a lot more of them.”

He’s also had some classic foreigner moments, such as walking down the left-hand side of stairs or sidewalks. “People here get so ticked off,” he says. He also had the experience of getting stuck in a lift which, according to the locals, happens a lot. “I had groceries and a book with me so I wasn’t stressed. It got sorted surprisingly quickly,” he says.

Though a great adventure, Cruise remains positive about his home country, saying he is a South African through and through. Aspiring to new heights, he aims to make us all proud.

“Some things are in your blood, unchangeable,” he says. “That being said, there’s work to be done here still and until it’s done New York is home.” Asked what he misses most, Cruise says: “My family.”