They became famous in the late ’90s for their hit song Give Me Back My Love, and now Essential is making a comeback that they hope will put them back in the limelight again.
At the time, the all-girl group burnt up the charts, and even today, their song can pack the dance floor in seconds.
The group was formed in 1998, with original members Tina Gordan, Terri Carstens and Kelly Liou, who were all in their teens at the time.
Unfortunately, Kelly and Terri won’t be part of the comeback, while Tina will be joined by two brand-new members.
The whole idea for the revival of Essential came after the group was contacted and invited by Marmalade Productions to perform at the Rocking the City concert in 2017, along with other well-known names such as MarcAlex, The Boys and Da Ballies.
Essential’s manager, Ray Ernstzen, tells the Daily Voice that producer Alistair Izobell was the one who had extended the initial invitation as he worked with the group in the late 1990s.
“That concert had ignited a new zeal within the group to want to restart Essential,” says Ray.
“However, while in the process of planning and working on new material, Kelly and Terri realised they can no longer commit to the project due to other commitments as well as their current careers.”
Tina, 38, was determined to make it work and went ahead and found two new members, Zara-Jade Veenendaal, 34, and Melissa Sell, 29, both from Mitchells Plain.
Melissa has a background in gospel music and theatre, while Zara-Jade is a powerhouse pop diva who brings with her years of performing experience.
Essential’s number one hit Give Me Back My Love sold 1000 units in the first week of its release in 1999.
The band became a household name, sharing the stage with artists such as TKZ, Rasta Rebels, Ricardo, Alistair Izobell, Emo and Loukman Adams, and The Rockets.
Now, 20 years later, they are ready to rock the nation again, and have released their latest single, Be Forever, produced by Storm Solomon.
Tina says: “We are mindful of our fan base of yesteryear as well as the new generation, it is our aim to please both in terms of genre.
“Cape Town and beyond can definitely look forward to a new look, new sound and it is our endeavour to both surprise and please them in the best way we know how.
“We have been working tremendously hard behind the scenes with the people in mind and we are now ready to re-emerge as Essential.”