Every week, there are props on Twitter for the Idols backing personnel.
There are hundreds more. Well, we’ve already covered a couple of the backing singers – in this case, they’re literally a couple! Kurt Herman and Tima Reece are married – he’s the inaugural winner of Coca-Cola Popstars and former member of 101; she’s a multi-Platinum, SAMA-nominated R&B singer. She’s also the Vocal Director on the show.
Their fellow backing vocalist is Margaret Manthata, a neo-jazz gospel singer and one of the founding members of Joyous Celebration! She’s also performed live or in studio with Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Gloria Bosman, Lucky Dube, Benjamin Dube, Sibongile Khumalo, Judith Sephuma and many more.
As for the band: you can think of them as Mzansi’s 21st-century Wrecking Crew – literally the best session musicians in the country, and they’ve been with the show for multiple seasons.
Musical Director and Producer (alongside Herman and Reece) and keyboardist Llewellyn George is trained in classical and jazz and has worked with an impressive repertoire of artists including Jimmy Dludlu, Danny K, Loyiso Bala, Judith Sephuma and Tresor.
He’s backed on the keys by Ezra Erasmus aka ‘Strixly’, a name he shares with his music production company. A member of the group Satori, he’s worked with international gospel artist Hezekiah Walker, Mandoza, Sliq Angel, Zola, Oskido, DJ Cleo, Lois Bala, Robbie Jansen, Zamajobe, Danny K, and the late Lebo Mathosa. He’s co-produced a Hugh Masekela album and shared stages with international artists Joe, Bebe Winans, The Manhattans, Akon, The Black Eyed Peas and John Legend.
Guitar duties are shared between Raymond ‘Ray Ray’ Green – who writes jingles for TV and movies and has worked with Danny K, Lebo Mathosa, TK and two former Idols winners, Elvis Blue and Heinz Winckler – and Aldert ‘Al Dirty’ du Toit, a former guitar tutor, multi-instrumentalist and member of the mammoth 15-piece troupe Bombshelter Beast.
The rhythm section consists of two members of LIRA’s band, Leagan 'StarChild' Breda on drums and Earl ‘Breezy’ Baartman on bass. The latter has also worked with Loyiso Bala, Mi Casa, AKA, Khuli Chana, Lloyd Cele, Kabelo and TKZee; the former with many of the same, as well as Israel Houghton. He was also the musical director on Tonight with Trevor Noah!
There you have it – they’re simply the best in the business!
Season 16 of Idols SA broadcasts on Sundays at 17:00 on Mzansi Magic Channel 161. Get exclusive updates and a behind the scenes look at all the action right here on our site. Don't forget to join the conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #IdolsSA.