Mzansi, meet G and T – the hottest new girl group out of South Africa. G and T is made up of Shelley Gordon and Sarah-Jane Thomas. The group burst onto the scene last year when they released their debut single ‘Shameless’ which became a radio hit across the country. This week, I sit down with the girls as they discuss their sound, how Chad Saaiman plays a role in their career and the future.
How would you describe your sound?
The G and T sound is fresh and current. We try our best to stay ahead of the game when it comes to our music, one could even say we are futuristic trend setters.
You both have an interesting background. Tell us a bit about your journey in the entertainment industry so far.
Shelley: I started my musical journey when I was 5 years old, singing Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ in my aunt’s house with her bedroom lamp. In 2015, I took part in a TV show called “Supersterrre”, and signed with Sony BMG. I then took a break from music for a long time, but always knew that if I came back, it would have to be with a bang, then G and T came along, and I knew that this would be a good fit for me.
SJ: For as long as I can remember, I have always been singing. After school, I went to UCT and studied Jazz. During this time, I discovered that I enjoy pop music too, and I started to explore with it. To grow my career, I started performing at gigs, and started networking with people in the entertainment industry. I then joined a girl group, and we performed at corporate gigs. Shelley filled in for one of the girls one day, and the rest is history. We were on the same page with our music careers, and decided to give G and T a shot.
What do you think it is about you that makes you different?
We are different because we are a female duo that empowers women through our songs, also the one is blonde and the other brunette, do you get any more different than that.
‘Shameless’, your debut single, has done well across the country. What inspired the track?
‘Shameless’ is about not caring about what other people think. Doing exactly what YOU want to do. For us, it also means being strong females and taking charge.
The track was produced by American producer Khari ‘Needlz’ Cain. What was it like working with him on the track?
Working with a Grammy award-winning producer has been nothing, but a dream come true for us, to have someone with such knowledge and influence working on our first track ‘Shameless’ is unheard of. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Bruno Mars, Beyoncé and the list goes on.
Chad Saaiman had an instrumental hand in the band’s creation. Tell us a bit more about that.
Chad contacted SJ to join a different group called Lady Noir, which was for corporate gigs. Shelley joined Lady Noir as a fill in for another girl and we connected instantly! When Lady Noir ended, and G and T was created, it was an easy thing to continue with Chad and Stereotype. Together we came up with the concept of a duo. He is very well connected and advised us to take a chance on the duo – even though there aren’t many female duos. We were all on board and took it from there.
Who are your biggest musical influences and why?
Shelley: I would have to say Bruno Mars, his style of music is so versatile, and most of his songs are timeless. I still find myself singing along to his first album’s songs.
SJ: Amy Winehouse and Sarah Vaughn – simply iconic. I am a big fan of John Mayer and Ed Sheeran – both brilliant song writers. Queen Beyoncé – female, girl power movement. Anderson Paak. – his music and writing is so current yet nostalgic at the same time
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