Pebbles Expressions

What do The Flintstones, The Manhattan Brothers, Caiphus and Letta, Port Elizabeth and London and a beautiful new voice on the SA music scene have in common. A friendly, vibrant, soulful singer named Pebbles.

In 2003 Pebbles sung the title track to groundbreaking hip hop/poetry and R&B Expressions CD that saw Outrageous Records recording Jozi's hottest acts including H20, The Originz, Amu, Selwyn, Tumi, Skwatta Kamp and others. On the CD Pebbles also sings the hook to Zubz tribute to SA women 'Multiple Choice'.

'Expressions' is a song that the singer/songwriter of the track says is about letting out what you feel inside. "Expressions are reflections of who we are inside," says the 27-year-old singer. "I just heard the beat and it inspired me to write what I was feeling at the time."

27 year old Pebbles first sang the theme song for SABC 1 music TV show Bassiq and then made her CD debut on 2002's Outrageous Records compilation Rage where she contributed to the hip hop (H20, The Originz) and kwaito mix (Spyro) with beautiful R&B and house songs ''Destiny', 'Could It Be You', 'The Reason', 'Take Me' and 'Count Your Blessings'.

Pebbles has been into music since she was a little girl growing up in the UK. How did she end up being born in PE but living in London, England? "I was there since I was one, my mum was studying there…" As a child growing up there she liked R&B from the likes of Whitney and Karyn White and was a Madonna and Wham! fan too. But her tastes went deeper too - her step-father, Sanza Loate, was a member of South African legends The Manhattan Brothers and he honed her musical talent. He played African jazz and the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra all day long and "he'd make me practice scales on the piano and sing old jazz songs. "She was happy to oblige because "I wanted to be a star and I wanted to sing…when we had visitors I'd have to sing for them and I loved it!"

Life in PE was mightily different from London. Aside from a completely different culture and space, her schools in the UK were multi racial, when she got to PE's Alexander Road High in 1993 the Model C system had only just been released and the proportion of black kids at the school was tiny. She also couldn't speak Xhosa at that stage, but she laughs as she remembers, "I had to learn, there's no way you can't speak your own language, people will look at you like' Who The hell do you think you are?." "

After that this Mary J Blige, Jill Scott, George Michael, Joe Nina and BOP fan began working in her family's car spares outlet in New Brighton P.E. Aside from entering a local singing contest held by a local newspaper she didn't do much in terms of pursuing her music career. Till one day, the same friend she used to go to perform with at Rhodes called from her job at the media company Black Rage Productions in Johannesburg "I'd been lazy about it, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have gotten involved in this whole music scene", she kept hassling me to come to Jo'Burg. " As luck would have it, Black Rage Productions was starting a record label, Outrageous Records she told label head Dzino about Pebbles. She came to Jo'Burg, Dzino heard her sing and 'that was it.'

Of her work on the Rage and Expressions CD she says "It's great that I get to do stuff that I enjoy and these guys let me do what I wanted to do, I have my own style and they didn't try and make me change that or sing like someone else. I've got creative freedom."

'Expressions' sees her exulting people to be themselves.

Her stunning voice has caught the attention of other artists too - maybe you've caught her on stage singing the tracks Seventy Six and People Of the Light with top Jozi band Tumi and The Volume - both the songs are on their upcoming live CD.

She's already started recording tracks for her solo debut in 2004.

Though her songs can be described as R&B, Pebbles who is the mother of six-year-old Lungelo ('he's the light of my life - the beacon that keeps me focused') and who's grandmother named her after Fred and Wilma's baby in The Flintstones cartoon has her very own description for her sound, "it's playful soul, it can't be defined into one genre of music, it's music from the soul with influences of everything I've been exposed to from jazz, to R&B and Hip Hop and even house!