The function which supports a wide variety of genres brings together on a usual basis, a range of people from all walks of life; all with a common love for expression through music. Music lovers have for a long time continued to support the raw talent that is exhibited on this musically explosive evening. It was founded in April of 2011 by Award winning Namibian Singer and Actress Lize Ehlers together with Hendrik Ehlers and Sandy Rudd.
Event host Lize Ehlers says the use of this platform by young musicians is proof of the growing passion that Namibians have for their art. She says “It is always a beauty when we gather like this, because this demonstrates how genuinely we want our music, Namibian music, to grow and bear fruit.” Ehlers who herself has graced the stage a number of times, encouraged young people to exploit their talents and express themselves as best as they can. She urged those who have identified their gifts to take it upon themselves to get reliable training and guidance on how to handle and manage the career part of music, a rare opportunity that song night and its affiliate programmes offered to those who participate.
“Song Night provides a free platform including free professional band, free equipment, free venue, free stage and of course free musical and performance mentorship in order to educate and support upcoming Namibian singers, ensuring the sustainability of the Namibian sound.” Ehlers said.
The evening of the 31st of August hosted Namibia’s Jazz Queen, Sharon Van Rooi who graced the crowd with some of her best known hit tracks to the amusement of patrons. The “fabulously formidable and tantalizing bundle of joy” as introduced by Ehlers, narrated how she started her career at the age of 6, 34 years ago, rising to become among the most recognized musical sensations. She recalls that it was platforms, such as Song Night has proven to be that saw her share stages with some of the worlds most acclaimed musicians.
“I have been privileged to attend various cultural exchange programmes which have enabled me to interact with talented individuals of differing backgrounds.” The Jazz Queen advised young people to put in their best in growing their arts, “its exposure of this nature that allowed me to share stages with the likes of Mirriam Makebe, Tyrese Gibson, Shaggy and many others out their.”
The proud wife and mother of two said she enjoys the idea of passing on her gift to those that follow after her, a main reason for her lecturing role at the Namibian College of the Arts. Among other things, she is looking forward to sharing the stage at Hage Geingob Stadium during the Ringo Festival. This is one event that will feature some of Namibia’s finest talents. She encouraged participants and attendants to have fun and enjoy their growth in the music industry; a journey that she described as “bumpy but extremely fulfilling.”
Ehlers stated that “the stellar performance of Namibian Jazz Queen Sharon Van Rooi at the August Carry On Jazz Concert just cemented again the importance and relevance of a heavyweight supporting the program.”
Song Night has seen George Longane, Female Donkey, TeQuila, Lize Ehlers and many more supporting by performing. Song Night has launched music careers for Sean K, Christopher The Grand, Priscilla The Namibian Dessert Queen and Bradley The Falsetto King to mention a few.
Inspired by Spoken Word (a platform for poets) and Free Your Mind (a platform for comedians), Song Night is a sister project to those two long standing platforms. Many Song Nighters can also be seen performing at the Warehouse Boiler Room stage as an extension of the “gig live, get paid, market yourself and gain experience” initiative by Warehouse Theatre.
Hosts noted that Song Night would appreciate “more sponsors getting on board especially a giant company like MTC – who do great things for the NAMAS – would be a great sponsor to get Song Night MOBILE – in order to educate around Namibia and not only in Windhoek.” Meaning a Song Night Tour Bus with equipment to take their Ambassadors, Band and Host to do music development around Namibia! “Song Night sees FNB Foundation through RMB as the main sponsor, Warehouse Theatre, 99FM as the official media partner, HEC Productions, Nomad African Spa, Fantastic Sam, Nanewo, Mushima Investment, Melisa Poulton and dB Audio as heart partners.”
When asked on future endeavors, hosts said “Song Night brand is visible and original and will not be mistaken for anything else but a quality educational and entertaining development program and we want to tour and assist singers in the north, south, east and west.” Song night has also expressed plans to air on Television to enable a wider reqach to Namibians and the world at large. Song Night is looking into merchandising and would like to align with the right sponsors to make that happen.
Looking forward Song Night would like to purchase new equipment as this allows for rehearsals and professional shows, Song Night would also like make-up artist to support the event, fashion designers to dress the singers and of course a TV partner to join hands and take this international.
Song Night has not missed one show over the last five years, but has had to scale down on the number of shows every year to ensure a quality experience. Meaning, Song Night formerly took place on the last Wednesday of every month, but now since two years ago, it is on every second month.
This has enhanced the production and the training component resulting in the exellence that have now become Song night .
By Stephen Nyoni