Skylark reaches for the stars

Skylark reaches for the stars

CAN SKYLARK spoke to RAFIEK MAMMON about her upcoming show, ‘Overdrive’ at the Roxy Revue Bar from January 29 to 31.

Tell us more about Can Skylark?
Can Skylark is first and foremost a lover of great music. I’m a local independent entertainer from Cape Town, breaking into the South African music scene. I’ve started out with humble beginnings singing at church, and being brought up by a musical family, with my late dad as a drummer, music has always been a part of my life. I’ve performed at various tribute shows throughout the years, where I’ve been able to pick up and learn how the entertainment industry works and what passion and hard work is all about. I recorded and released my debut album ‘Pure’ in 2012, which has seen great successes and a few number 1 singles off the album.

How has the Music Scene in Cape Town, in South Africa treated you as a young artist?
The music scene in SA is a tough nut to crack. However, it teaches one to be persistent, to be humble, to make key decisions that will work in establishing your career, to know your identity and to always improve on the quality of your sound and music. There are definite improvements in our local music industry and many new young artists coming to the fore, me being one of them. I’ve had the opportunity to work with maestros and still have a long way in setting my name in stone as a prime SA artist.

You went to Los Angeles recently. What was that all about?
I’ve been so blessed to have been able to work with two of the USA’s top music producers and writers, Pam Sheyne and Andy Marsh, on my latest single ‘Timebomb’. We decided to broaden my musical style as an organic progression since the release of ‘Pure’ and introduce new sounds and new techniques in producing an album. I was fortunate enough to meet Pam Sheyne (she’s the one behind the multiplatinum single “Genie in a Bottle”, by Christina Aguilera), and we set aside a week of writing and recording. ‘Timebomb’ was written and recorded in two days.

What are the major differences, in your opinion, between the SA music scene and the Los Angeles music scene?
A major difference I would think is their processes. Everything is quick and straight to the point. They aren’t afraid to try new things, explore different sounds and achieve a whole new audience. It is buzzing with talent and everyone wants to be the next big thing. But again, this allows them to foster ideas and re-invent themselves to make sure that what they’re giving their audiences are the best.

What would you say to a young person wanting to make it in the music industry in this country?
Know what you want. Be willing to learn. Be willing to sacrifice. Stick to your guns. Be true to yourself. Just be yourself.

What would you have done differently with respect to your career to date, knowing what you now know about the music/show business industry?
I think my experiences have brought me this far, and I still have so far to go. I don’t think I would change anything because one can only learn through experience. In remaining true to oneself, I think standing my ground and holding on to the quintessential sound and integrity that is Can Skylark is one of my greatest achievements. As the saying goes, “Go Big, or Go Home”, so I’m always improving myself through my music, interactions and relationships.

Tell us more about what people can expect with ‘Overdrive’?
My shows are inspired to give my audience an amazing time and a fun experience with awesome music and a showbiz atmosphere. ‘Overdrive’ is an exclusive launch of my new sound and image. It features new music from my new album and some of my classic hits from my debut album.
Supporters can experience a new elevated sound from Can Skylark. More glitz and glam, a new, edgier sound with an unmistakable essence of Can Skylark that supporters have come to love! Great music and showbiz drama! The show also features performances by celebrity guests, SAMA Award Winning producer, songwriter and musical director of SA Idols, RJ Benjamin; as well as radio personality, producer and DJ, Diggy Bongz and SA Dance Music Champion DJ ONQ.

Where to from here for Can Skylark?
The only way is up! I’d like to increase my audience and international footprint, hopefully touring SA and then abroad. SA is a land of great opportunity, so I hope to collaborate with more artists and share my music with the world. If the opportunity arises for me to move to LA and establish my SA roots there and show the world what SA is all about, then sign me up.

* ‘Overdrive’ is at the Roxy Revue Bar at GrandWest Casino on January 29, 30 and 31. Tickets are R200 each (for exclusive media and celeb night on January 29) and R180 each for January 30 and 31. Tickets are available at or on 061 422 7635.