1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Danny K”

Hurts So Bad – Danny K

Danny K

Danny K

‘Hurts So Bad’ appeared on Danny K’s eponymous debut album in 2000 and with its polished boy band-esque pop sound it rocketed to the top of the SA Rockdigest Charts and spent 5 weeks there.

The song features some Spanish sounding guitars over which K’s blue-eyed soul voice weaves a pattern of love and heartbreak while a solid dance beat bounces around. There is a kind of gentle funky strut feel to the song. It is the kind of song that requires singers to be dressed in an open white jacket and to clutch at their heart often to show exactly where it hurts so bad. The chorus, when it comes, rises in breathy harmonised vocals that would make Boyzone, Westlife and such like all proud.

This may not be to everyone’s taste, but it a highly accomplished song of this particular genre that would not have been out of place in the UK charts had Danny K managed to get an international break. Danny is probably South Africa’s best one man (boy) band.

Where to find it
Danny K – Danny K (2000), Gallo Records, CDGURB011

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Who’s That Girl – Danny K

J23 - Danny K

J23 – Danny K

There was an entertainer way back in the 40’s and 50’s called Danny Kaye (some of the older readers of this blog may remember him. He played the original Walter Mitty which was recently remade with Ben Stiller in the title role). Well, other than sharing a phonetic name with Daniel Koppel (aka Danny K), and the fact that they were entertainers, there is little else to compare the two.

One thing that Kaye could not do that K was able to, was to call on Johnny Clegg to feature on a hit of his, and this is what K did with ‘Who’s That Girl’. The song has a bit of a feel of one of those collaborations between one of those fresh faced youngsters with whiny voices (like Justin Bieber) and a rapper (like Will.I.Am), but more from the point of view of a style-clash coming up with a catchy pop song. Danny K’s vocals are made for silky R&B singing while Johnny Clegg is, well Johnny Clegg. On ‘Who’s That Girl’ these diverse talents actually work together with the song swinging between sounding like a Savuka song and something by Usher.

This is an usual coupling and one that produced a classic R&B track that one would have to search long and hard to find something similar to it. It is something uniquely South Africa, yet sounds like an international hit.

Where to find it:
J23, (2003), RPM Dance, CDRPM 1821
Great South African Performers (2011), Gallo, CDPS 029

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