Swing City was borne of the love of swing music from three of South Africa’s most loved artists. A harmless side comment from one musician to another ended up in a serious discussion about producing a three piece singing group, backed by a full jazz orchestra and band, celebrating their love of jazz, swing and blues, but adding a modern day twist to the genre.
Swing City consists of Lonehill Estate’s Nathan Ro, whose love for swing music has always engrossed the pop/ rock singer’s iPod; Graeme Watkins, whose background in music and theatre started as a swing singer long before his success on Idols or in his indie rock band “The Graeme Watkins Project”; and Loyiso Bala, whose classically trained background in music saw the singer as part of the TZKee crew, the Bala brothers in classical song and in the pop world in his own successful career.
The three singers, already friends, jokingly commented what fun it would be to start a swing band. It would be years later, that they took the idea seriously, got into a rehearsal space with their friends from Figure of 8 productions and Swing City was born!
2014 Was a fresh start with Swing City teaming up with 6 time Naledi Nominee Bryan Schimmel as music director. The group teamed up with Adam Howard as producer on their debut album, Well Swung, which features collaborations with ChianoSky, Shoowop Shop and, of course, L’Loyd Cele: the group’s official right-hand man. The songs on the album feature jazz standards, Top 40 hits done in a swing style and a few originals.