Let’s get it on, Baby, at the Joburg Theatre!
Lloyd Cele doesn’t need any introduction because his reputation precedes him, but he is making a dramatic change in direction in his theatrical debut in LET’S GET IT ON – THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF MARVIN GAYE at the Joburg Theatre (7-16 May 2015).
Before I interviewed Lloyd, I had the ask the show’s producer & director, Simon Myers, the obvious question: Why Lloyd? There’s so much talent in South Africa- and I couldn’t imagine anyone else besides Lloyd Cele playing this role, but I wanted to know what it was about Lloyd that made Simon cast him in the lead role.
Simon says, “After seeing his audition tape it was clear that Lloyd was the one for us. His voice and onstage presence is something that will make this production very special.”
Edward Chamberlain-Bell: This is quite an ambitious project, considering that you’re making your theatrical debut playing the lead in the highly acclaimed theatrical production of the legendary Marvin Gaye- how do you prepare for each of the challenges? What has been your biggest challenge?
Lloyd Cele: I prepare myself mentally firstly. Staying positive and surrounding myself with positive thinkers has always worked for me. I perceive every challenge as an opportunity to grow as an artist and as a person.
Back in the day as I was starting my career, one of my biggest challenges was quiting my full time job as front end developer for an IT company; then also asking my wife to quit her job as a Creditors Clerk to persue my dream of being an Artist. This was not easy, I had to take a step of faith to achieve and live my dreams. It has been one of the most rewarding thing in my life.
ECB: Any aspects of Marvin Gaye’s music & life that resonates with your own?
LC: Marvin grew up in church ; and so did I . This is a part of me that I’m proud of ; and the foundation of my faith and success. The support structure I have from church till this day helps me to stay grounded. A lot of principles and values from church has helped me in many ways. Marvin sang his heart out in church and as a child whilst singing in church you could see that he had been blessed with an extra-ordinary gift. The heart and soul in his music came from his foundation in church.
ECB: What are your favourite Marvin Gaye’s numbers to perform?
LC: Sexual healing, Let’s get it on, Mercy mercy me, Grapevine, Inner city blues, Ain’t no mountain high enough…
There’s a fine line between paying tribute to an artist without sounding like karaoke.
ECB: There’s a fine line between paying tribute to an artist without sounding like karaoke. Are we going to see some of that “Cele Magic” infused into Marvin Gaye’s music?
LC: Absolutely. This is one of the reasons that I took up the role. I have freedom to be myself but still respect Marvin’s soul. Marvin will never be replaced; he’s the prince of soul music, He’s a legend. I aim on giving people an unforgettable experience of Marvin’s music and his life. This will be trully breath taking for the fans.
ECB: What one thing you were surprised to learn about Marvin Gaye when preparing for this role?
LC: That he was killed by his Father. This relationship about him and his dad; is quite tragic and very emotional. To say more would be giving away too much of the show.
ECB: What one thing would your fans be surprised to learn about you?
LC: That I am a versatile artist ; who is not afraid to take steps of faith and jump in the deep end. My musicality will also shine ; as I would be playing a piano as well.
ECB: Since being runner up in Idols you’ve established yourself as an award winning musician, radio presenter and you’ve written your biography. Now you’re talking your first theatrical role… what next?
LC: The next phase is yet to be discovered; i am still young and have many more dreams to achieve. What’s important to me is learning and growing and even more importantly is inspiring others not to be afraid to have big dreams and to follow their dreams. My life is living proof that dreams do come true.
ECB: Considering your hectic schedule, how do you relax?
LC: Playing my favourite game on Xbox “Fifa” this relaxes me , and also spending quality time with my family. Playing soccer or drawing; as long as I’m with them I feel complete and this relaxes me.
ECB: We know that you are going to rock this performance, but the anticipation is killing us, so we have to know if you are going to perform Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine?
LC: Absolutely yes 🙂 and many more .
ECB: Famous last words …
LC: Never give up …. if I can achieve my dreams; so can you.
Buy tickets to see Lloyd Cele performing Marvin Gaye’s hits in LET’S GET IT ON – THE LIFE & MUSIC OF MARVIN GAYE at www.joburgtheatre.com.