Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
3 Nov 2021
12:26 pm

SA musician Connell Cruise new single evokes good vibes and positivity

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Connell Cruise chats to 'The Citizen' after his latest single 'Endless Possibilities' was picked up by PepsiCo for their Quaker Oats TV campaign.

Connell Cruise. Picture: Supplied

Musician Connell Cruise is back with new music after successful singles such as Into The Wild and Take Me to the River. His latest record has even been used in a TV campaign by PepsiCo.

The South African recently spoke to The Citizen about his big move to the United States, Endless Possibilities and fatherhood.

The Citizen’s Q&A with Connell Cruise

The Citizen: You have a new record called Endless Possibilities. Can you tell us more about the song and the writing process?

Connell Cruise: Writing Endless Possibilities brings back such great memories for me. Ben Antelis and I wanted to write a genuinely uplifting song that evoked good vibes and positivity. The song we wrote got picked up by PepsiCo for their Quaker Oats TV campaign. I still remember the first time I heard the song playing on the TV – my wife started screaming in the next room!

The Citizen: Signing to LA Reid’s record label, Epic Records, in 2014… How was that experience like?

Connell: As a young artist, it was the ultimate. There is nothing bigger than that. I have so much respect for LA. That entire experience taught me a lot about the industry and myself as an artist. It opened doors for me that I can never stop being grateful for.

Follow up: And why did you decide to move back to your first label, David Gresham Records?

Connell: I never left David Gresham Records. Even when I was signed by Epic, and later by Island Records, David Gresham Records was still my label in SA. David Gresham, Andrew Mitchley and the team are like family to me. There’s a bond there, and a synergy that just works. We’ve done well together and the future looks good.

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The Citizen: You had a brief music hiatus in 2019. Was it by choice and how did you spend that time?

Connell: I think you’re referring to the time I took off in 2018 when my son, Ivor, was born. I suppose you could call it a hiatus but for me, the music didn’t go anywhere. It is a part of me. No matter where I go or what else is thrown at me, music will always be at the forefront of my life. My process requires me to live in the moment, really live in it. A moment like starting a family is a truly wonderful one to enjoy to the fullest. 

The Citizen: You have lived in New York in the past, meeting your wife there as well but you have decided to permanently move there. What was the reason for this decision?

Connell Cruise: My wife and I decided to move to the States in January of 2020 – right before the world turned upside down because of Covid-19. Living in America has always been the plan and has turned out to be the right decision for my family and our future.

Follow up: What have you been up to in America since the big move?

CC: Since moving to the US I have been juggling multiple projects – writing, creating and performing and really allowing myself time to learn new things and experience everything that comes my way. 

TC: The best memories that will stay with you of South Africa?

CC: South Africa is my home. It is a part of me and always will be. I cherish the memories of growing up in Johannesburg.

TC: What is currently on your playlist?

CC: Keb Mo, Ed Sheeran’s new stuff, and Stevie Wonder.

TC: Top five artists locally and internationally you would still like to work with?

CC: Ed Sheeran, Adele, Riana Nel, Ryan Tedder [and] Zahara.