Soweto Gospel Choir continues to shine

Soweto gospel choir: GalloSoweto gospel choir: Gallo

Its authentic African sound has won it millions of fans and after 10 years in the music industry, it seems the Soweto Gospel Choir’s success story is only beginning.

Already a successful group with international audiences, the Grammy Award-winning choir is not only headed to the US for music tours, but will also have its music distributed in North America. After a long and accomplished international career, the choir realised it was time to distribute its music internationally.

Since it is signed with Universal Music in South Africa, it was only logical for the choir to ask the company to secure an international recording deal. Fortunately, Universal Music Classics in the US jumped at the opportunity and signed a deal with the multi award-winning choir.

“It is really exciting to get an international recording deal, as it is very difficult to get one and we hope this will lead the way for other South African artists as well,” said co-founder and producer of the choir, Beverly Bryer. “And this couldn’t have come at a better time as the choir celebrates a decade in the music industry.”

When the Soweto Gospel Choir was started 10 years ago, no one expected it to be as successful as it is today, but its authenticity and unique African sound was the main ingredient that set it apart from other choirs.

Bryer attributes the choir’s success to luck and hard work. “We were very lucky when we entered the market, because there was no other choir like the Soweto Gospel Choir. And the talent in the choir was and still is amazing.”

It is really exciting to get an international recording deal, as it is very difficult to get one and we hope this will lead the way for other South African artists as well

Discipline is very important to the choir, as it travels all over the world for seven months a year.

“We were able to tap into the international market, because international audiences enjoy music that they are not familiar with,” said Bryer.

In its latest instalment, Divine Decade, the choir has collaborated with artists such as U2, Zahara, Johnny Clegg and HHP.

“The recording deal will also get the choir’s music to an even-broader audience,” she said.

The choir, which was formed in 2002, has performed for big names such as former US president Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and music legend Quincy Jones. But its greatest achievement was winning a Grammy Award in 2007.

The group has also performed with highly acclaimed international artists including Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Kirk Franklin and Bebe Winans.

Despite all its achievements, the choir — currently on a three-month European tour — knows there is still a lot of work to be done, especially as it would like to reach even greater heights.

“I hope we have another good 10 years in the music industry and we hope to get another Grammy award,” Bryer said.