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World: Reggae Moods: Type: Vocal Pop: Pop

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South Africa

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Wendy Oldfield

early years

The middle sibling of 5, Wendy came into this world in 1964, in Pinelands, Cape Town. She was schooled in Johannesburg for her primary school years and then finished high school back in Cape Town; she then went on to get her Higher Diploma. Wendy was always known as the “singer girl” as she was often the lead in the school plays – Oklahoma being one of them.

the sweatband

Wendy first made a name for herself on radio performing the hit This Boy with rock outfit The Sweatband in the early eighties. After much success with songs like Tonight, Shape of Her Body, This Boy and years of touring and performing, she left the group to start her solo career.

goin' solo

Her first solo album Beautiful World set the wheels in motion for a succession of hits, including Real World, Acid Rain, Miracle and Don't Stop Believing. Wendy's vocal performance on the album won her the Octave Award (1992) for Best Female Vocalist and a nomination for Song of the Year (Miracle).

She branched out into other areas of composition and arrangement, writing soundtracks for commercials, film and television, and was nominated for an M-Net film score award in 1995. Wendy wrote soundtracks for Leon Schuster's Sweet and Short and There's a Zulu on my Stoep. Her song Acid Rain was chosen as the theme song for a 180 part series Nature on Track which has been played all over the world. Her songs have been used wide variety of movies and commercials. M-Net's Murmur, Dancing in the Forest, Journey to the Jade Sea, …

Wendy moved into world music with her next album Ruby, produced by Thapelo Khomo and Leonal Bastos. Shortly after the release, Wendy was asked to sing the South African theme for the 1996 Olympic album produced by Cedric Samson. She also performed as the support act for Wet Wet Wet that same year.

A 1998 newspaper survey noted that Wendy was one of the South African artists who had performed the most live shows, averaging as many as 100 shows per year over the previous fifteen years. During 1998, she also released Duwayo, which was nominated for an FNB Producer of the Year award. She supported Simply Red on their tour of South Africa in 1999 and shortly after that, she released her fourth solo album On a Pale Blue Dot, which won the FNB Pop Album of the Year Award. She was also nominated for Best Female Vocalist.

Wendy took some time off to dedicate herself to other important aspects of her life. She got married and had two boys, Luka and Jude. During this time, she continued to perform regularly with her band and also teamed up with sound engineering wizard Neal Snyman on a variety of productions, ranging from movie sound tracks to wildlife documentaries such as the Discovery Channel's Living with tigers.

Wendy joined world music group Mondetta with Steve Newman, Julia Kim, Gito Baloi and Elad Neeman. They released their debut album Small World, and performed to packed houses at venues around South Africa, including the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre and Womad 2001. Wendy completed and released her fifth solo album ‘Holy Water’ toward the end of 2002. As usual, she outdid herself by writing, performing and producing an uplifting, lyrically inspiring and very beautiful album. She was nominated for a South African Music Award for Best Adult Contemporary.

When Wendy fell pregnant with her third child, a daughter named Lilah Blu, she and husband Ray decided to make the move they had been talking about for years and move to Wilderness where they have bought a farm, spend a lot of time with their children and practise walking lightly and living in harmony with Nature. Ray has a renewable energy company, Solien.

Wendy recently produced and composed Under African Skies for African Cream Music – an album of African stories and songs for children, as well as Sing Along Africa - new songs for SA children. She also broke into the world of musical direction, and conducted, written the choral arrangements for, and directed the Old Mutual choral encounter series. Wendy is in the process of recording an album in Rheenendal with her band from the Garden Route. She performs regularly around S.A. A new album (The Collection) has just been released with 13 of Wendy's most performed tracks and 2 new bonus tracks – Lilah and Burden as a sneak preview of what will be out next year on her forthcoming album.

Wendy's material is available for licensing. She is also available for commission to write songs for movies, adverts and other artists.

together with Ben Badenhorst, wendy produced and wrote her latest offering New Dress... its been dubbed "tribal swing " " gypsy dance" and "balkan funk " . Moving in a new direction Wendy has an album ready to be and is in the process of recording. The video was shot as a tongue in cheek look at her and a whole lot of other peoples idea of a " New Dress". The song is basically a story of metamorphisis.. Wendy is back and better than ever....

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