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Get set for Song Night 2015

Lize Ehlers’ vision for Song Night is growing every year and the founder is encouraging artists to grow along with her. (Photograph by Ibilola Odunlami)

This year, Lize Ehlers, the founder of Song Night, is not only looking to provide a platform for artists, but is lobbying for music professionals and singer-songwriters to assist those who are still finding their feet in the music scene.
The first Song Night event for the year will take place on 25 February with auditions on 05 February.
Eager to advance the skills of those with a passion and a voice, she said, “we have our stellar musicians because they are super professional.

They do their work and they do their work well. If we help and assist the new generation of musicians, we can maybe have contemporary music that reflects on the historical side [of our music]. It is that consciousness that we’re trying to spread about touching lives through music”.
Since Song Night started in 2011, Ehlers has been giving vocal lessons to each participating musician. “It has never been easy, but always worth it,” she said. She recognises that there are also other people who can cater to the various performers’ vocal needs, and offer a range of expertise.
“For example, with bass training, it would be lovely for someone who can do bass to say, ‘this is how I warm up, this is what works for my voice’. [Veterans can also offer] tricks and tips on how singers can calm down, or what they should avoid on the day of the performance”.
Ehlers is also working on creating packages for the corporate world. “Come to Song Night and you can get this male Acapella group that is ready to perform for the president” she said to drive home her point that companies do not have to fly in a performer from another country, but book locally and invest in Namibian musicians.
With her other company, Desert Digital Distribution, she is also campaigning to have Namibian artists booked internationally for festivals. “But the artists need to submit their music and meet the requirements,” she said, adding “we are here to promote original music”.
Unlike in previous years, Song Night this year will now take place every two months, giving promising musicians and organisers enough time to prepare and practice for each upcoming event.
Ehlers is keen to help motivated musicians focus their passion and become not just dreamers, but doers. “It’s also about having packages ready and not waiting for work to come to you, but going out there and saying ‘this is my product, you can hire me for the next event’. I really want to cultivate readiness this year,” she said.

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