Sterling “Electric Quartet” (popularly known as Sterling EQ) has taken the South African entertainment industry by storm with their genre-defying musical style and sensational live performance. What started out in 2007 as a corporate show, exploded into a musical phenomenon which the public and media alike cannot seem to get enough of. For the first year, a pool of musicians represented Sterling, rather than an established quartet of four set members. Towards the latter half of 2008, public demand led to the recording of an album (“Nova”), which also meant the time had come for Sterling to settle into a unit of permanent performers.
The result was a quartet whose members captivate audiences from all walks of life with their dazzling display of virtuosity and vibrant stage presence. The members’ undeniable talent and energy, coupled with their interesting backgrounds (flautist Carina Bruwer is also a record-holding marathon swimmer, electric cellist Ariella Caira is a qualified actress, and electric violinist Eriel Huang is actively involved in the Asian community of South Africa) fascinate and charm the public, media and critics alike, the effect of which has cemented Sterling as arguably the most famous “string quartet” in Africa.
Defining Sterling’s style is a task not even the members dare attempt! Their music is inspired by so many different genres from various eras stretching over 5 centuries; “from Mozart to Mandoza” is a phrase they often use when describing the content of their repertoire. Juxtaposing “diverse” musical styles like Classical and Latin House; Baroque and Kwaito, keeps Sterling’s audiences on their toes (and often on the dance floor!) and proves that the stylistic boundaries to which we’ve become so accustomed, are certainly not set in stone. Being an instrumental group, Sterling has the freedom of communicating with their audience on a purely musical level, which adds to the success of this “mystery style” they practice. The absence of lyrics means Sterling can appeal to their audience through melody and energy, not ideology.
With success often comes controversy and Sterling is no exception. Some of the more traditional Classical music practitioners do not approve the “Sterling genre”, and perceive it to be a "slap in face" of Classical music and the Great Composers. And even though only a portion of Sterling’s music is Classically inspired, the fact that they use Classical instruments (however modernized and electrified!) to make what is essentially commercial music, is something some purists struggle with. Sterling, however, welcomes and encourages this controversy, as they believe this only grows the interest in them and their music, and therefore aids them in their quest to take their music as far as it can go.
Their success is evident from the myriad high profile EVENTS AND CONCERTS in which Sterling took part in the past year. Highlights include performing at the South African Music Awards (SAMA’s), sharing a stage with South Africa’s superstars; performances at the IPL Cricket Tournament's opening matches which was broadcast to millions of viewers across the globe, collaborations with disco icon Boney M in Dubai and Durban during the World Travel Awards, performing at the WBHO launch of the Cape Town Stadium, accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the FIFA 2010 Final Draw Long Street Party, International Cricket Council Awards, J&B Met, festivals such as Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, Cultivaria, Wacky Wine, Varingfees and Forbidden Fruit, 5 international performances in 2009 and numerous corporate performances across South Africa.
Recent MEDIA COVERAGE includes substantial TV features on Top Billing, All Access, Dis Hoe Dit Is met Steve, Showbiz Report (ETV), DKNT, Kwela, Glitterati (Kyknet), Luvsport (SS1), Pasella; articles, features and editorials in Die Burger, Die Rapport, Son, Cape Times, Cape & Weekend Argus (incl front page), 48Hours (incl front page), magazine articles in Sawubona, Sarie, Vrouekeur, Rooi Rose, Glamour, Out & About, and Marie Claire, to name but a few.
Sterling’s debut album “Nova”, produced by the multiple award-winning Gabi Le Roux, was released in March 2009 and was nominated for a coveted SAMA Award. Their debut music video “Nova – The Movie”, directed by the multiple SAMA award-winning Lara Hollis, was released in December 2009, and has been hailed as a “breathtaking production” by various industry and media insiders. The video is playlisted on most of SA’s major television channels. In April 2010, Sterling released their first live DVD – Sterling EQ Live in Concert (filmed at the Artscape Opera House in front of a 1200-strong live audience); a release that has undoubtedly cemented Sterling’s reputation as one of the most successful instrumental acts ever to emerge from South Africa. In October 2010 Sterling EQ again proved their versatility with the release their second album, Sterling Speel Afrikaans. This album serves as the group’s tribute to Afrikaans music and music writers, and of course Sterling EQ’s Afrikaans fans.
A self-released, self-made band, Sterling EQ will keep testing the boundaries as long as the audience is listening…
Visit http://www.sterlingeq.co.za for more information