Ernie Smith was born in Wentworth, Durban in March 1971. He started playing the 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 sounds of South Africa mentors like Jonathan Butler, Sandile Shange, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa and many others, coupled with his ambition to expose 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.
Ernie has featured with artists like Hugh Masekela, Family Factory, Themba Mkhize, Mthunzi Namba, Joyous Celebration and many others. He has written and produced songs for Deo Qurum, a gospel group currently enjoying a number one spot on Highway Radio, and winners of a recent South African Music Award (SAMA). Ernie's debut album is called "Child of the Light" and has been released by Sheer Sound. The album was produced by Ernie and co-produced by Jasper Williams and features a duet with Gloria Bosman and guest musicians like Themba Mkhize, Paul Hanmer and Marcus Wyatt. The album is a mixture of African musical styles, incorporating jazz and gospel and a definite R n' B influenced Soulful music.
"Ernie Smith" plays a mix of jazz grooves interwoven with smooth R&B moments,
Michelle Constant - Foxfire Media / SAFM
"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 as songs like the gentle grooving, funk-filled "Crazy" more than show."