The 47 year old Henry Philemon ascribes the inspiration behind his debut album, Man of Definition, to the death of his father, Peter. In addition to mourning the loss of Peter, his family had to endure a lot of hardships and this encouraged his family to stick together through thick and thin. His track, Bambelela, is an ode to sticking together as a family and as a result, becoming stronger as an individual.
This year, the jazz artists from Toekomsrus won the award for Best Urban Jazz Album at the 16th Metro FM Music Awards and he is nominated for a South African Music Award in the category of Best Jazz Album. Both award ceremonies celebrates excellence in the South African music industry by honouring musicians who did exceedingly well in their field.
Henry comes from a musically gifted family. His mother, Betty, was a backing vocalist for Margaret Singana his father was an accordion player. His family’s love of music began to rub off on Henry when at the age of 5, he began to develop an advanced understanding of music.
He is a keyboard playe, guitar player and songwriter, having worked with some of industries most respected artists. Some of the artists he has worked with include Condry Ziqubu, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the late Nana Coyote and Senyaka.
He defines his contemporary jazz album as a “very fused album, with African elements and also alternative sounds from abroad”. It is also inspired by the sounds of Stevie Wonder and Russell Ferrante of the Yellow Jackets. Henry worked on the album with Ramon Sampson, winner of the 2008 US drumming competition, on drums and Alvin Hendricks, who is the legendary player on SA Idols, on bass guitar. Shaggy Scheepers from Freshly Ground was also on the team.
Source: News24 (Edited from an article written by Noko Mashilo), other