HE STRIVES to make every tour different and has some surprises up his sleeve for his latest concert, says American R&B star R Kelly.
The singer will entertain at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Thursday and at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
The 46-year-old, whose hits include If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time, The World’s Greatest and I Believe I Can Fly, is in South Africa as part of his global Single Ladies Tour.
Joining him as support acts on Saturday will be stellar local talents Lira, Mi Casa, Khuli Chana, DJ Lulo Cafe and DJ Cndo.
“I feel so much love from the South African audience, I love being here… it feels like people really appreciate my music and we have a great time at the shows,” Kelly told The Mercury on Wednesday.
“I try to make every tour different and I think people will be surprised at some of the things we’ve got happening for these shows – but I can’t give it all away. Let’s just say fans are going to have a good time,” he adds.
The production will offer a mix of songs, both new and familiar.
“I will definitely try to get to all the songs the fans want to hear. I cover a lot of ground in a short time. But I mix it up and keep it fresh.”
It won’t be all work this time for Kelly, who has visited South Africa twice before – for Africa Fashion Week in 2009 and then for the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup.
Says the multiple Grammy Award-winner and nominee, who has sold more than 40 million albums: “I have told my managers I want some time to relax and vacation when I’m in South Africa this time.
He adds: “There’s going to be a lot of excitement around the shows but I also want to get out and meet people, and find out what they’re listening to. That’s the fun part of travel for me… finding out about new people and new music.”
Kelly is looking forward to getting to know more about South Africa and, in response to a question about whether he had tasted local cuisine, he replies: “I’m looking forward to that!”
Asked why his current tour, which was to have taken place in late March was postponed, he replies: “I just wanted to make sure it was the best show possible and sometimes that takes a little longer. But I know for sure we’re going to deliver a great show now.”
In recent weeks, the star has been working on his new album, titled Black Panties.
“We have just released the first single, My Story, which features 2 Chainz. It’s been great working with him and, musically, this album has been a lot of fun.”