It seems it’s a good time to be South African and a part of Epic Records, Sony Music’s label headed up by producer extraordinaire LA Reid.
On Thursday, South African-born, Greek brothers, Kongos, who are based in Phoenix, Arizona, were awarded plaques by Reid and Sylvia Rhone, President of Epic, on the occasion of their single Come With Me Now going Platinum and selling over a million copies in the US.
Congrats to Johnny, Jesse, Daniel, and Dylan Kongos – or, I should say, opa!
— LA Reid (@LA_Reid) August 14, 2014
The band has been riding an incredible year, with the single permeating the US, being played everywhere. They were supporting Kings of Leon on tour, up until Saturday, when KoL’s drummer Nathan Followill sustained a rib injury after a car accident. The tour has been put on hold, but Kongos will still be playing a few shows of their own in the meantime.
Then today, the news is out that South African singer Connell Cruise has signed a deal with Epic Records too, making him now label-mates with the likes of Sade, Outkast, Avril Lavigne, and Kongos. Under the deal, Cruise will record 4 albums. I spoke to Cruise ahead of the news going public, and he called it a “a dream I couldn’t have dreamed this big.” He is currently working on new songs in a Brooklyn studio for his sophomore album. Cruise recently scored a number 1 on the local iTunes chart in South Africa with the single Into the Wild, which he wrote via Skype wrote with American Authors’ James Adam Shelley and Brooklyn based producer Ido Zmishlany, who co-wrote the track Life of the Party, which has become a hit for Vine personality Shawn Mendes.