Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

#MusicExchange: Rapid-fire Q&A with football-mad Chad Saaiman

The musician and entertainment personality from Cape Town channeled a difficult experience to come up with his new single.

musicexchange rapid fire qa with football mad chad saaiman - #MusicExchange: Rapid-fire Q&A with football-mad Chad Saaiman

The R&B singer and songwriter wrote Wrong Again after having two disagreements with two important people in his life on the same day.

“I remember this day so clearly — it was a mess. As usual, I took it to my songbook as I felt like I was being misunderstood by humans. Needed to tell someone,” Saaiman said. 

This uber-confident artist always carries himself with grace and poise. A Sama-nominated recording artist, Saaiman has released three albums, one EP and several chart-topping singles, and has been performing for more than a decade.

Listen to Chad Saaiman’s ‘Wrong Again’ here:

The South African catches up with Chad Saaiman

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Saaiman has a degree in English literature and communications from the University of the Western Cape, among other qualifications. Image: Supplied

The new decade means?

A better decade, with more improvements and more growth. 

Fame is about?

Understanding that it’s fleeting, and using popularity for spreading good music and good energy. 

Retirement will happen when?

Entertainment shuts down forever. 

What won’t you do?

Work with brands I don’t believe in. 

What does music mean to you?

It’s like air to me. It keeps me alive. 

My music is about?

Stories, relationships, communication, love. 

I would love to co-write with…

John Legend. 

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

The ability to control the narrative with the microphone, whether it’s singing a song or on-air on radio, influencing the room and seeing smiles. 

Any funny moments on stage?

My pants broke once as I jumped on stage. I did the set with some extra aircon and ventilation.

Your heroes?

Denzel Washington, David Beckham, Pharrell Williams and Jamie Foxx. 

Your style icon? 

David Beckham and my mom, Sandy Saaiman (don’t tell her I put David Beckham before her).

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Saaiman is the father of a young daughter who is the apple of his eye. And his mother is his style icon, along with David Beckham. Image: Supplied

Which living person do you admire most and why?

I admire so many different human beings for so many different reasons: My parents for overcoming adversity and breaking boundaries to give us a better shot at life; Black Coffee for breaking through the cracks to make moves globally. 

What is your most treasured possession?

My favourite leather jacket. 

It’s your round: What are you drinking?

A black Americano.

Dream gig to do?

Tiny Desk. (A video series of live concerts hosted by NPR Music at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen in Washington, DC.)

What makes you stand out?

My approach to entertainment, my hair and my lyrical content. 

Nicknames?

CS. C Sizzle. Chado. Chaddy. 

If you were not a musician, what would you do?

I would play football. 

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Saaiman says his parents overcame adversity and broke boundaries to give him a better chance in life. Image: Supplied

Pick five words to describe yourself.

Calm. Jovial. Talkative. Thinker. Creative. 

Five favourite South African albums of all time?

  • Loyiso – Blow Your Mind 
  • Ernie Smith – Little Things 
  • Jonathan Butler – Live in South Africa 
  • Rowlene – 11:11 
  • TKZee – Halloween 

Greatest movie ever made?

The Usual Suspects. 

What song changed your life? 

Found Love, a song I wrote for Loyiso in 2007. 

Who do you love?

My daughter, parents, siblings, partner and friends. 

What is your favourite word?

Quintessential. 

Favourite fashion item?

White sneakers. 

Give us some proper slang and what it means.

We kap aan. It means that, despite the challenges, we keep going. 

Top of your bucket list?

Visiting the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Your greatest achievement?

A fruitful 13 years in the music and entertainment industry in Cape Town. 

What do you complain about most often?

Artists who don’t work hard enough and don’t value opportunities. 

What is your fear?

I don’t really live with fear but, to answer, losing my voice.  

Happiness is?

Getting to do what you love, impacting people positively and earning a living from it. 

On stage I tend to?

Have a lot of fun! 

The best life lesson you have been taught?

Not everything is urgent.

Do you get worked up watching a sports game on TV?

Yes, I support Spurs. It’s an up-and-down ride of emotions with my football team.

Where would you like to be right now?

Exactly where I am.

Do you do charity work and if yes, what do you do?

I try to help out with all charities who make contact. Of late, I have performed for The Smile Foundation. 

Wishes and dreams?

I wish for more fairness and more level playing fields. I dream of a South Africa with no corruption, and no danger to our women and children. 

Follow Saaiman on social media @chadsaaiman on Instagram, @chadsaaiman on Facebook and @ChadSaaiman on Twitter.

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