Summary ProfileLee Friend is a versatile and pleasant performer. She grew up on stage, with her parents also being musicians. Lee started singing at the young age of seven, and has performed in the gospel industry as a musician and singer. Later on she acquainted herself well with other styles such as rock, rock and roll, jazz, cabaret and pop. At a young age she already was familiar with performing in front of large audiences, while singing at state theatres and leading singing for large church conferences.
In 1994 she sang at the “Houtstok Fees” as singing partner with Danie Niehaus, as well as the band called “the Decadents” for the well-known Elvis Shows held in Gauteng.
In 1996 and 1997 she sang with the “Southern Comfort” dance band, doing rock, pop, and hip hop.
In 1998 she started teaching at the Future Stars music Academy, where she completed her teacher’s diploma in vocal training, and keyboard.
In December ’98 she sang at the Pineapple Festival in Natal with artists like Juaques Botes, Annette Hartman, and Corli le Roux.
In 2000 Lee was offered a position at Way Cool Productions as a session singer, songwriter, arranger/sequencer. Lee’s name is seen on the credits of many a South African recording.
Lee sang as cocktail lounge entertainment at the up-market Riviera Waterfront, Vereniging.
She performed for Sanlam in Ermeloo and Tsaneen at the Street markets as compair and guest artist.
In 2001 Lee decided to rejoin with the band “The Decandents” doing a diverse selection from the 70’s up to 2001, varying from country, to jazz, Latin American and rock. She performed as frontline and session vocalist, at venues such as:
Monte casino, Randburg. Luciano’s, Monte casino, Sun City, Caesar’s Palace (Emperor’s), the Micheal Angelo hotel in Sandton, The Whipple tree, Pretoria, and numerous private functions. She played with them for five years.
During 2003 Lee worked for Super Nova Studio’s and Productions as musicologist, songwriter and performing artist.
She performed at the Arts festival in Oudtshoorn, Cape Town, as well as sound engineering at the same. Lee also sang at the Wildlife Festival in Kirkwood PE, alongside The Cambells, Kurt Darren and many other well-known singers. In December 2003 she played piano for, as well as vocally directing the “Elvis – One Night” spectacular held at Carnival City casinos, the state theatre in Pretoria, and later toured Cape Town with the same act.
In 2004 Lee traveled to White river to perform in a tribute show doing Elvis, Carpenters, Buddy Holly, and ABBA, playing piano and also singing frontline.
In 2005 she completed the production of her first Xhosa gospel album wit Monica Nebulane, while working for Barak Recording Studios in Westwood, Jhb.
Lee started her songwriting career in 1992, and has already established herself in the gospel industry of South Africa with well-known songs such as “Ek sal U loof met my hele hart”, “ The battle is mine” and “Lengte van dae”. Her secular numbers are heard on radio often, and many new songs will be published soon.
Lee currently has a studio with her partner, well known sound engineer and songwriter, Calvin Blignaut, where they record and produce cd albums doing everything from backing trax with session vocals, and demo recordings.
She has done backing vocals for Nadine on her DVD “Nadine 10 Jaar live”, together with artists such as Steve Taylor, and Steff Kruger.
Lee recently produced Nico Booijse at Europe Africa Studio’s in Weltevredenpark, Allensneck, and the new project of Theo Boshoff by Universal, boasts 9 of her latest original numbers.
Lee performed for ABSA at a training conference at the Indaba hotel and conference centre in Sandton. Also at Totyota for a Lexus corporate function, singing and playing piano. Lee is recording a duet with Sunette Bridges on her new album which will be on the shelves soon.
She has decided now during 2008 to dedicate her vocal talents to specialise in singing jazz and laidback ballads for up market venues and functions.
Lee is a vibrant and motivated performer, and is a pleasure to watch and listen to, but most of all, easy to work with.