Brand new day for Zahara and Leroy Bell

VOICE POWER: Zahara and US singer/songwriter Leroy Bell in Johannesburg yesterday. PHOTO: BUSISIWE MBATHA
VOICE POWER: Zahara and US singer/songwriter Leroy Bell in Johannesburg yesterday. PHOTO: BUSISIWE MBATHA

MUSIC sensation Zahara has penned a new song - Hold On - which she will unveil to the public for the first time this weekend.

The recording of her first live DVD will be at Carnival City where she will collaborate with top United States songwriter and singer Leroy Bell.

Speaking to Sowetan together with Bell during a rehearsal at the Pyramid Venue & Conference Centre, the award-winning artist said this was a historic occasion for her.

Bell, who arrived in South Africa on Monday, features in Zahara's DVD recording on Friday and Saturday.

He will perform his well-known song Brand New Day as part of the DVD recording.

"She is an amazing singer who achieved success within a short space of time, a great singer and an accomplished songwriter.

"I had to Google her when I was approached to feature in this DVD.

"I got hold of her music, and simply fell in love with her voice," Bell said.

Bell is best known for being a finalist in the reality programme The X Factor, apart from his other musical exploits.

Zahara, however, said she was initially nervous about the prospect of working with Bell as he is the same person who has written songs for music greats Michael Bolton, Sir Elton John and the O'Jays, among other big international names.

"But since his arrival, the chemistry between us has been great. We connected easily when we were introduced [on Monday].

"Now is the time to work, and I know that we will perhaps fight, as this is inevitable in a creative space, and as long as the fight will be for the improvement of the DVD that is fine with me.

"I just love this man's voice and the fact that I titled a song on my album Brand New Day, just like he has done on his, this is simply an incredible coincidence," a casually dressed Zahara said.

The Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir will also feature in the two-day Zahara gig.

Zahara's producer Thembinkosi "TK" Nciza said this was another milestone for Zahara, to be working with a songwriter and musician of Bell's calibre only eight months after releasing her debut album Loliwe.

Meanwhile, Zahara, who is Nedbank's brand ambassador, yesterday teamed up with the bank to give 200 blankets to the Poelano Daycare Centre and Little Stars Early Child Development Centre in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.