The Thursday Interview: Connell Cruise

We recently caught up with rising music star Connell Cruise about his new album, life in the music industry and THAT single that didn’t stop til it hit the top!

How did it come about getting signed by David Gresham Records?

It was middle of 2012 when I first met with DGR, at the time my only experience was in Gospel music and the demo I submitted was designed for a Gospel album. I was very graciously told that DGR specialized in mainstream music only and I walked out of that first meeting having made good friends, but no business. I’ve never found out what happened behind the scenes in the days following that meeting, but a few weeks later I received a call from Andrew Mitchley at DGR. They offered to take me into mainstream music! David Gresham saw potential and I saw an opportunity. We haven’t looked back since.  

What is the state of the local music industry at the moment, in your opinion?

I am blown away by the amount and the quality of new music, new artists and new songwriters hitting the scene. I think it’s a great time to be a musician in SA. The industry has been injected with a fresh dose of creativity and it’s come alive. There’s so much opportunity and still room for growth. The market may be small demographically but with globalization being what it is I don’t see that as an obstacle, I see it as a platform, a step up to greater things.  

Congrats on the huge success of your single ‘Not Just Friends’! Did you expect the song to do so well on radio?

Thank you so much! I can honestly say that NJF has completely surpassed all our expectations. There’s no formula to this, it’s not something one can predict and in a way, I’m glad it’s like that. It’s way more fun this way. I can’t tell you how happy and grateful I am for all the love and support that NJF has received so far. 

How would you describe the type of music you’re currently doing?

It’s a broad spectrum Adult Contemporary sound with a twist of RnB, Rock, Gospel and Pop thrown in. In terms of style there’s a bit of everything but the content and the theme is what ties it all together.

Your album is out. What can fans expect from this album?

It’s my debut album, so we wanted to make a good first impression. The album tells a story- from beginning to end- with themes like breaking up, starting fresh, looking for love. It deals with personal and real emotions that I hope everyone can relate to. I had the privilege of working with two of the top SA producers; Ziggy at the David Gresham Studios and Theo Crous at Belville Studios and hearing what they have brought out of the songs makes me really proud to be able to put the album out there. It’s got a causal but honest feel about it, I’m hoping that after listening to the album, people would be able to say “yeah, I know what that feels like”.  

Where can we see you perform live?

Performances are being lined up right for the rest of the year; best place to keep updated is via the website: or to keep an eye out on Facebook (/connellcruise) and Twitter (@connellcruise). 

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