Ernie Smith was born in Wentworth Durban in March 1971. He started playing Guitar at the age of 13, inspired by a mixed tapestry of jazz musical influences like Pat Metheny, George Benson, Larry Carlton and Wes Montgomery. Challenged by their individual, unique sounds, he began the search for his personal expression in an authentic African voice.
Propelled by the sound of South African mentors like Jonathan Butler, Sandile Shange, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa and many others, coupled with his ambition to express and attract young and old to listen to thoughtful music, he has developed a style of playing and singing that is an assimilation of Jazz, African and R&B references.
Ernie’s aim in the playing of his music is to spawn a culture that represents the free spirit of music that celebrates life and the willingness to share.
In 2001 Ernie Smith released his first Album, “Child of the Light”, which went on to win Major acclaim, seeing him win 1 SAMA award for Best New Comer, 1 SAMA for best adult contemparay and 1 KORA award for “Most Promising Male in Africa”. The South African star then went on to release his second Album “Lovely Things” which gave him access to a younger Rnb/Jazz audience, winning him a SAMA award for Best Jazz Adult Contemporary Album, 2002 and a METRO award for Best Jazz Artist, 2003.
Ernie’s rise to National acclaim in South Africa has grown to attract international attention, earning him production collaboration on his 2005 Album “My African Heart” with “Grammy award Nominee” Jonathan Butler, featuring Grammy award winner “Kirk Whallum”.
Ernie is set for the International release of his brand new Album, Everything Around Me. The album was written over a period of a year and was recorded and produced by Ernie in his studio at his home where he resides with his wife in Durban. This Album is flavoured with Jazz and African pop overtones and the unmistakeable Ernie “Love Song” Magic.
…” I Love being in Studio writing and singing, but nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing my music touching people through the gift of song.” – Ernie Smith
“…Ernie smith is the perfect 21st century artist. His debut album sees Smith offering up a musical melting pot that’s destined to find fans across a wide spectrum of music tastes.” – Diane Coetzer – Billboard Magazine