A singing star emerges from Kalk Bay’s subway

Morne Holland, who sings in the Kalk Bay subway, will perform on stage at the Cape Town Arts Festival this Saturday.

A busker will swap Kalk Bay’s subway this Saturday for the main stage at the Cape Town Arts Festival where he will perform songs he wrote.

In June, Morne Holland auditioned in front of a panel of judges at the Castle of Good Hope for the festival’s Beyond Busking programme.

To be selected, he had to prepare a 15-20 minute audition that would impress the judges.

“There were about 20-to-30 of us auditioning, and I was determined to make it through,” he said.

Holland and six other street buskers were chosen for a mentorship programme to receive vocal training by songwriter and author Clive Ridgway and instruction in stage presence, songwriting, music arrangement and studio production.

“This programme provided me with the opportunity to develop my skills and talents and helped prepare me to perform my new song,” Holland said.

I am a Busker, a song he wrote after the 13-week mentorship programme, pays tribute to all struggling buskers.

“Busking is a hustle, and by that I mean we’re all out here in the streets every day, trying to make some money. This song has motivated me to carry on,” he said.

Holland started making music at the age of 18, and he has performed alongside Alistair Izobell, PJ Powers, Loukmaan Adams, and Nur Abrahams. He has also played with several bands in and around Cape Town and has performed in Turkey and Greece.

He will perform three original songs with a live band during the festival, which will be held at the Castle of Good Hope on Saturday October 29.

“I’m nervous but at the same time so excited,” he told the Echo.

In a statement, Yusuf Ganief, the festival’s executive chairman, said he believed there was a wealth of talent performing on the streets in the province.

“It is heartening to see how small steps in the area of skills development and opportunity can change the destiny of individuals whose plight appears hopeless,” he said, adding that Holland had the potential to become a sought-after singer, songwriter and performer.

Among other things, the festival will include local musicians, poetry workshops and performances, a craft and design market, a fine arts exhibition, a wellness and cultural food market, lifestyle talks, master classes, and youth edutainment. Entry is free.