It is no secret that Namibia has produced some of the world’s best sportsmen, beauty queens, artists and musicians - one of them undeniably bluesman ‘Riaan Smit’ who has recently settled in the Cayman Islands, playing on international stages and doing what he does best - entertaining.
After establishing himself in Cape Town as a household name, and high-energy front man for successful South African band, Crimson House, which has been together for over eight years, this Namibian born musician ‘extraordinaire’ has also just released his first solo album, Man in the Hat. Riaan recorded the album shortly after surviving a shocking armed robbery attack whilst shooting a music video in Windhoek, where he was assaulted with a brick in the face. After undergoing corrective surgery he bounced back and shortly afterwards went into studio to record 12 songs for his new album.
His single track, Ode to Love, off the album, has soared to number 1 on the ‘King of Spins’ chart in the UK, just above Mariah Carey’s new song. This was followed by the worldwide launch of his album last Friday, which is gaining momentum on all the social media and music apps. In fact, Riaan hit the ground running after arriving in the Caribbean only three months ago, and has been jamming and performing solo gigs at many interesting little venues, beach festivals, boat parties, beer gardens, you name it, ever since. He has already lined-up a Cayman Island show schedule, whilst building up a strong following through his recipe of hard work and dedication.
Riaan has also landed himself a slot performing at the Kaaboo Cayman Festival, which takes place on February 15, and includes some major bands in the line-up such as Duran Duran, Counting Crows, Shaggy, Bryan Adams and Blondie, to mention but some. “As a Namibian boy from the smallest desert town in the world, I never thought I would end up on a line-up like this,” exclaims Riaan, who also jetted into Cape Town to perform with Crimson House, at the massive Kirstenbosch Gardens New Year’s Eve Festival, to bring in the New Year in front of an audience of thousands of partygoers.
Riaan will be setting up base in the Cayman Islands, but plans touring the USA, South America and Canada. He will also return to South Africa and back home to Namibia, for condensed tours with Crimson House, with the intention of tackling Europe with the band as well.
His persona as the dynamic front man established the incredible Crimson House band as one of the top acts in South Africa, while relentlessly touring and performing major festivals and venues big and small across the country. In one set, you can expect a wild ride of Folk, Blues, Rock, Punk, Metal, Grunge, Funk, Jazz, Country and Bluegrass.
Riaan also embarked on a three-month journey to the USA with a fellow band member, where they performed festivals in Arizona, San Diego, L.A, San Francisco, New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, and multiple dates in New York City. Whilst in the states he was invited into a recording studio, which had previously produced hit albums for the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, BBKing, and Elton John.
However, for now with a growing international solo career at his feet, Riaan is ready to take the world by storm, saying; “South Africa and Namibia have been good to me, and it’s never goodbye, but for now I must see what’s waiting beyond that horizon.”
“Man in the Hat” is available for download on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.
New Era Reporter
2019-01-25 09:52:22 6 months ago