A unique chain of events led to Larry Joe's first album Crazy Life, being recorded in a single cell in the Douglas Correctional Centre (DCC) and released in December 2010. Aron Turest-Swartz, co-founder and former member of the successful SA band Freshlyground, initiated this incredible project after meeting Larry at a World AIDS Day concert in Douglas in 2008. Recognising Larry's exceptional talent, Turest-Swartz submitted a proposal to the relevant authorities - it was approved and the historical 18 month process began.
With the invaluable support and co-operation of the officials at the DCC, Aron was able to work with Larry on Crazy Life, developing his skills as both a singer and songwriter and preparing him for a future as a professional musician. Larry had composed over 40 original songs in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Spanish and Portuguese, collaborating initially with fellow inmates and a warden at Douglas, who helped him translate his songs.Present:
Since December 2010 when he launched his first album called Crazy Life, Larry Joe has formed his band called Larry Joe Live, consisting of some of Cape Town's best musicians. Larry's beautiful voice and incredible songs have recently attracted the attention of New York based Producer Fabrice Dupont who produced Freshly Ground and the hit song, Waka Waka.
Larry Joe has shared stages and collaborated with top talent that includes Karen Zoid, Elvis Blue, The Arrows, Zolani and Julio from Freshlyground, Auriol Hayes, Barry Van Zyl, Jitsvinger, Ernestine Deane, Melanie Scholtz and Vusi Mahlasela, with whom he recently collaborated on Mamelodi, which was released on National radio in SA October 2012.
In fewer than 2 years, he has written more than 80 songs in several languages, and has been commissioned to write songs for the Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards and the FLOW Project. He has performed at festivals including the ABSA KKNK, Vryfees, Up the Creek, the Desmond Tutu Youth Day Festival, Namaqua Festival, the Voorkamer Festival and the Kullid Festival. He was a guest performer at the CTICC on World AIDS Day on 1 December 2011 and South African Artists for AIDS Awareness in July 2012 where he joined an impressive line-up of artists.
Larry Joe's first overseas tour was to the Netherlands in 2011 where he performed with the up and coming Dutch band 'The Desperados' in Amsterdam and other towns in Holland. The tour came about after Larry did a series of school and prison workshops for the Dutch Embassy and Dutch NGOs after which he was asked to be an Ambassador for the Dutch organization called 'Stars in their Eyes'. Peter Goosen, the Ambassador to the Netherlands refers to him as "one of the most important export products to come out of SA in the past years".
Larry Joe is a living testimony of someone who has undergone a remarkable inner transformation with music being at the very core. He is passionate about working with young people facing challenges in their communities and uses his music and workshops to encourage and inspire them to create positive perceptions of themselves and to develop a strong belief in their futures. Through his Face the Music workshops, he has reached more than 50,000 High School learners across South Africa.