By Natalie De Nadai
11 June 2008
East Torrens Messenger
Soweto Gospel Choir member Kevin Williams says the group’s message is simple: “We just want to see the whole world be united, be as one and stand together.”
After sell out shows in Adelaide last year, the choir is back with its “uplifting” beats and traditional sounds in its African Spirit tour.
The 26-strong choir is famous for matching dynamic beats, voices and rhythms with traditional African costumes – a combination that has proved popular with audiences the world over.
“At times we get standing ovations for some of the songs and at times they stand up and they clap their hands and dance to the songs,” Williams says.
“Especially in Oh Happy Day. If they’re familiar with some of the tunes they just get up on their feet and sing along with us.”
Formed in 2002, the two-time Grammy Award winners have sung alongside superstars such as Bono, Queen, Diana Ross and Celine Dion, and even gave a performance at Oprah’s 2007 new year’s eve party.
“That was a night to remember,” Williams laughs.
“You know, it was like all these people that are on TV, there were a lot of artists, and every time we were singing they were standing up and clapping for us and screaming. It was so exciting.”
But it’s not all about performing – the choir also supports charities and has even set up its own foundation for AIDS-affected orphans in Africa.
“It’s always an honour and a pleasure just to know that we’re not just thinking about ourselves but we are thinking for other people, and that we also have the heart for our country and where we come from.”