For Cape Town-born performer, musical director, solo artist and concert pianist, Kyle Petersen, there was no turning back after playing his first note on the piano at the tender age of four years old ‒ as music would soon become the driving force and passion in his life.
Kyle started singing professionally at the age of nine and soon thereafter landed his first musical role in the theatre production, Evita, held at Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.
By the age of 16, Kyle had already performed in nine major opera productions with principal roles in two of them ‒ Tosca and Amahl and the Night Visitors. As a consummate theatre performer, it was evident that he was destined to pursue a full-time career in the arts. Just after reaching his 18th birthday, Kyle had completed 14 years of classical piano and vocal training, and his love for music was affirmed when he chose to pursue a full time career in music. The love for music runs deep in the Petersen family, as younger brother Darren now also works an a successful drummer – having also performed alongside Kyle on numerous local and international projects, as well as for various top South African performers on stage.Some of the top SA artists Kyle was worked with include Danny K, Toya Delazy, Blackbyrd, Chad Saaiman, Elvis Blue and Zahara. These days, Kyle works as Musical Director and has now directed more than 30 shows for IMAX, Sun International, CTICC, Emperors Palace, Monte Casino & Artscape Theatre.
In 2011, Kyle released his début solo album, PROJECT ONE, which saw him stepping into the front stage, after having spent many years working behind the scenes in the music industry. In 2014 Kyle jetted of to the USA where he studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston USA, specialising in pop/rock keyboard performance. Due to his excellence and performances on stage throughout his time at Berklee College of Music, Kyle was also selected as a member of the prestigious Berklee All Stars 2014 fraternity. In 2015, Kyle reconnected with music producer and former 10CC band member, Duncan Mackay (who executive produced Kyle’s début album in 2011), who in turn introduced Kyle’s work to international music producer and songwriter, Mick Evans, who was working with Australian artist, Rebeka Rain, at the time.
Mick was impressed with Kyle’s talent and instantly a musical connection between the two were formed ‒ with Kyle flying to Sydney to join Rebeka in studio and lending his vocals to a number of songs on her project. A few of these songs have since started received airplay in Berlin, New York, London, Nashville and San Francisco in 2015 and 2016 and it seems there’s no stopping Kyle’s mark on the international music scene.
Prior to working with Mick Evans in 2015, Kyle penned his current track, EASY TO LOVE, which he subsequently recorded with Rebeka and Mick in studio upon his arrival in Australia. The single, which sees Kyle, Rebeka, his brother Darren perform together as a group under the stage name, LIFE, is set to be released in Europe in April 2016. Kyle is also the official South African Ambassador for Roland Keyboards, touring nationally and internationally representing their brand. He is also currently putting the finishing touches to his second solo musical album, which is set for release later this year.
Rebeka Rain was born in Cornwall UK. She moved with her parents to Australia when she was 6 years old. She grew up singing and riding horses, and when an opportunity arose at age 16 to become an apprentice racehorse jockey, she chose this as her career. She had a successful career in the Australian Racing industry, which resulted in her travelling overseas with horses and riding internationally.
She worked with, and for, many of the worlds most influential racing people.
It was when she lived through the tragedy of losing her amazing son ‘Harry’, (who was also a successful apprentice jockey), to suicide, that she realised how much music was soon to become a huge part of her life.
The time following this tragedy was a period of extreme emotion. Days, which turned into months of hardly rising from bed, the world had become a much darker place. There seemed to be no point to life anymore. The day came however when she had to make a conscious decision to move forward .
Rebeka has always had a deep love of music and during her racing career she won singing competitions and participated in a music television reality shows. What became very apparent to her was that singing and her music were to be the key to her healing. She began writing music again and her early dream of a career in singing and song writing was soon to become a reality. Through her music her aim is to bring as much happiness and compassion to the world as she possibly can and encourage others to laugh, love, dance, feel, to follow their dreams and to live life to the full.
Rebeka teamed up with Mick Evans from Melpro recording studio in Cairns, Australia and together they recorded her first album, ’Question’, which is lyrically a glimpse of issues Rebeka feels is important. Still finding herself as a singer and songwriter she moved quickly into writing her second album “I am Rain” with the help of Mick Evans, Les Hall,( from the Ted Mulray Gang),Duncan Mackay, ( from 10cc, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel) and John Fiddler, ( from Medicinehead, Box of Frogs). This album is a celebration of life, hope and dreams. Rebeka and Mick were then introduced to a young musician and singer/songwriter from Cape Town, South Africa who was a mutual friend of Duncan Mackay, called Kyle Petersen and together with Mick Evans they wrote and recorded several songs about suicide prevention. The bond that was formed between the three resulted in a band being formed by the name of “LIFE”. LIFE released their debut album October 2016.
Putting a job label on Mick Evans is a difficult task.
Mick is the producer/engineer and Director of Melpro Recording Studios. His job description is wide however, as he also is a musician in his own right, and a songwriter, along with a multitude of other talents, and many years experience in the studio environment, and the music industry. Mick started out as a drummer, then became a D.J and a keyboard player.
Mick’s early DJ career was in Melbourne Australia, where he was a variety entertainer at “The Venue”, and “The Palladium”, along with making appearances with Countdown’s Molly Meldrum. He later moved to the Gold Coast for a special appearance at the Broadbeach International Hotel (which was to become the schoolies week celebration venue). Mick then accepted the resident D.J position at Brisbane’s biggest night spot, “Sybils”, and during this time Mick hosted a Radio spot each Wednesday on the most popular FM Radio Station of the time, Stereo 10, presenting European/Imported dance music. Mick later moved from “Sybils” to Australia’s premier tourist resort Hamilton Island in the (Whitsundays) as the DJ at “Dirty Nellies” Nightclub.
Mick then left Australia to open up a club in Salzburg (Austria), which became a most prestige club, it was ironically called ‘LIFE’. Mick then expanded his horizons and moved to London to start working as a DJ for Peter Stringfellow at the World Famous “Hippodrome” and “Stringfellows”, on St Martin’s Lane, London, 6 nights a week.
Mick also channeled a lot his energy and concentration into Producing, Engineering and Remixing for many established artists, as well as up and coming Talent. One of the major projects was setting up a Recording Studio in partnership with Coral Stringfellow, called M.E.L. Midi-Mix Studio, and forming a dance/soul band ‘2-Excel or 2XL’ with Duncan Mackay from 10CC and Neil Lockwood lead singer of ‘E.L.O Part Two’ and the ‘Alan Parsons Project’. The band released their first single in with D.S.B. Records, Germany called “Disciples of the Beat”. The song had success throughout Europe.
Mick was contacted by Simon Brown of ‘Julianna’s’, to open up one of the biggest and up-to-date clubs in Europe; ‘Arthur’s,’ in Geneva, Switzerland. While there, working with ZYX records, Germany, he remixed the number one summer hit song in Europe “It’s on you”, by M.C. Sarr for its U.K. release and released “Disciples of the Beat” for the French market, and from there on, various remix works such as the classic hit from Men Without Hats “Safety Dance” and Beautiful Ballet “Energy”.
Mick was writing and producing with John Wicks formerly of The Records, John Fiddler from Medicine Head, The British Lions, Box of Frogs and Lawrence Archer from Thin Lizzy and UFO. Mick and John went on to write new material for Liz Mitchell lead singer of Boney M.
Mick and Duncan Mackay from”10CC” wrote and produced two songs for Raindance Records and MCA Music, titles being “Rave Out” and “Mac -Attack”.
Along with writing and producing Mick continued his role as a D.J. at various Clubs around England. “The Venue” in Poole, “Circa” in Berkeley Square, and Mick’s regular gig on Saturday Night at the “Broadway Boulevard”, Ealing. Mick worked the major Australian events in London, for Top Deck travel and TNT outdoor barbeques throughout the years, with crowds of to 7,000 – 10,000 people. The latest being the launch of Tooheys beer at the London Zoo, hosted by Mick Evans and Pat Cash.
Mick then moved his Studio back to Australia and set up in Sydney to finish a cover of the Chicago hit “If you leave me Now” produced by himself and Neil Lockwood from E.L.O. Part Two and Allen Parsons, released through Sirius Music, Victoria. After the compilation of “If you leave me Now”, Mick got together with English M.C., D.J. Ozzie Gee to form their band INFX. With the song Unity released through D.S.B. Records in Germany.
While still in Sydney Melpro produced a 10 track commercial dance album called (Slather) and a CD Saturn 3. Writers being John Collins, Mick Evans, David Berman and Wayne Miller. Vocalist singing on this album. Keren Minshull, Susie Ahern, Tina Harrod, Kelly Carter and Sally Berman. Mick later moved to Cairns, QLD, Australia to Dj at Tropo’s night club and relocated the studio there also.
Mick also setup Apple computer retail business and over 15 years the business grew to 3 retail shops.
At the same time Melpro Recording Studio was built on the first floor of Talk to the Mac in Grafton Street Cairns, tropical North Queensland Australia to where it is to date.
Melpro recorded and produced the original version of the number 1 Australia hit “These Kids” for artist Joel Turner and the Modern Day Poets.
Mick then teamed with Les Hall Remixed the 1978 hit Dreadlock Holiday from 10cc.
Mick and Les then met Rebeka Rain and together the 3 co-wrote her first album “Questions” released through Melpro Records and Distributed world wide by MGM Distribution in Sydney.
The three of them then teamed up with singer song-writer from the UK John Fiddler. Front man of (Medicine head, The British Lions and Bog of Frogs formerly known as the Yard Birds) to co-write and produce Rebeka Rain’s second album “I Am Rain”. Rebeka Rain also had a guest singer song-writer with 9 number 1 hits under his belt, Max T. Barnes, from Nashville. Max sang and played guitar on track 2 “You Should Try Livin’ Too”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmLCGGn_0zM
Max also played acoustic guitar on track 3 “Never Gonna Land” from the “I Am Rain” album.
“Colour Of Hope” from the same album “I Am Rain” was co-written by Duncan Mackay former member of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel and 10cc.
Mick and Rekeka teamed up with local 20 year old singer song writer Jayden Reid and wrote and recorded a song called “Better Day’s” with Jayden and Rebeka sharing the vocal lines. https://youtu.be/aJ9Tjro6LC4 Mick and Rebeka started co-writing a number of songs for a documentary on suicide, after Rebeka had lost her 20 year old song Harry to suicide. They then met and invited Kyle Petersen from South Africa to come to Australia to work on the project with them. Mick, Rebeka and Kyle formed an unbreakable bond and became the band and writing/ producing team, “LIFE”.
Melpro has also been heavily involved within the Film industry ,doing ADR’s for a T.V Series filmed in Cairns “The Straits”. Actors “Brian Cox”, “Aaron Fa’aoso”.
Melpro was still working within the film industry doing ADR’s for US companies with “Henry Rollins” & “Rachel Ward”. The Studio was synced back to the US Studio’s using Melpro ISDN link. Mick also recorded and produced a 30 minute dialogue for Director John Geddes feature film “Exit Humanity” with actor “Brain Cox” narrating the dialogue.