Three UCT students are through to The Voice SA finals

16 May 2016 | Story Chido Mbambe. Photos The Voice South Africa.
UCT student, Richard Stirton, and alumni Zoe Modiga and Jeremy Olivier, have made it through to The Voice SA finals.
UCT student, Richard Stirton, and alumni Zoe Modiga and Jeremy Olivier, have made it through to The Voice SA finals.

UCT student Richard Stirton and alumni Zoe Modiga and Jeremy Olivier have made it through to The Voice SA finals.

The Voice SA is a talent contest that aims to find the nation's next big star. Finalists are coached by four famous local performing artists – Kahn Morbee, Lira, Bobby van Jaarsveld and Karen Zoid – who personally select their own candidates during the auditions.

Stirton has joined Kahn's team, while Modiga and Olivier chose to join Lira's team. The singers will be coached throughout the competition by a professional team to ensure they make the best use of their talent, vocal ability and character to make it further in the music industry.

Richard Stirton

Richard Stirton, an enthusiastic sportsman, discovered his musical talent after he injured his back while playing cricket and decided to pick up a guitar. The UCT BCom management student is grabbing every opportunity to hone his skills in front of an audience.

He has spent the past year doing gigs, and has performed in Barnyard shows. Stirton is one of the singing waiters at Cape Town's famous Stardust restaurant.

Striton, who sang Bon Iver's “Skinny Love”, impressed all four coaches during the blind auditions. Kahn was the first to turn his chair, with three other judges following suit. Stirton followed his heart and chose Kahn, who referred to him as “an innovator” and an “inspiring musician”.

Richard's blind audition

Zoë Modiga

UCT alumnus, Zoë Modiga, who is originally from Pietermaritzburg, won a SAMRO music scholarship in 2015 to study anywhere in the world, but she decided to put it on hold to enter The Voice SA. Zoë grew up in an academic family, so she pursued music at the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. She focused on classical music, clarinet, piano and voice.

She later enrolled for a degree in jazz at UCT's South African College of Music to master performance. Currently she is a full-time musician, singer-songwriter and composer, whose mesmerising performance of Hozier's “Take Me to Church” convinced Karen Zoid and Lira to turn their chairs. Modiga chose to join Lira's team.

Jeremy Olivier

UCT alumnus Jeremy Olivier grew up in Zimbabwe, where he joined his first rock-and-roll band at the age of fourteen. He attended UCT's South African College of Music and obtained a degree in jazz performance. Olivier is currently an in-house performer at the famous Twelve Apostles hotel and spa in Camps Bay.

He has already released five singles to radio stations since 2012, with the latest one charting at number 31 on Heart FM.

Olivier entered The Voice SA with the hopes of winning Lira's favour, as she changed his outlook on life when she had a heart-to-heart with him at a gig a few years ago. To Jeremy's surprise, all four coaches fought over him after his rendition of John Legend's “All of me”. Olivier chose to join Lira's team.

Jeremy receives a standing ovation from the judges

What next?

The future of the contestants is in the hands of the nation as public voting is now open. The outcome of the public votes will determine which one of the remaining singers will be named The Voice of South Africa.

The Voice SA airs Sundays on M-Net, DStv Channel 101, at 17:00.

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