Artist Profile: Ernie Smith

By PAUL BOTHNER MUSIC | June 1, 2017

Ernie Smith will be joining Timothy Feder at our N1 City Store on June 3rd. Take this opportunity to learn more about him.

The Career of Ernie Smith

Early Days

Ernie was born in Durban in March 1971 and started playing the guitar when he was 13 years old. His primary influences were guys like Pat Metheny, George Benson, Larry Carlton and more.

Ernie felt challenged by each of their unique sounds and styles. It was this challenge that began his search for personal expression. He found the tone he was looking for in a traditional and authentic African voice.

Ernie’s Expression

Ernie was propelled by the sounds of his South African mentors. He used this inspiration and his ambition to attract young and old alike to his style. He has developed a style of singing and playing that is best described as “assimilation of Jazz, African and R&B references.”

Ernie wants to build a culture that not only represents the free spirit of music but one that actively celebrates life.


In 2001 Ernie Smith released his first Album, “Child of the Light”. Child of Light which went on to win a SAMA award for Best New Comer. In addition, he also won a SAMA for the best adult contemporary album as well as a 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.

His 2005 Album “My African Heart” featured Grammy Award Nominee Jonathan Butler. Additionally, it also featured Grammy Award winner Kirk Whallum.

Ernie is about to release his brand new album, “Everything Around Me”.  [Click here] if you would like to learn more about this legend of South African Music!


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