The Dilemma

"The Dilemma" is Songsmiths' first fully-produced music video, which is appropriate since the song was the first song submitted as an audition to give me goosebumps. It still does. The moment in this video where she say's "I'll do better next time" for the last time and shifts her gaze to look straight into the camera gets me every time. There's nothing quite like a great song sung well, is there? Songs/performances like this are the reason I'm in the music business.

south african pop artist k-jo standing in a passage at night with light streaming in from window standing

I would like to thank K-Jo for trusting my vision for the video. I could see that she struggled with the fact that I just wanted her to stand still the whole time. But once she saw an early test-edit, she understood what I was going for and was fully on board.

I would also like to thank Neil Kirby profusely for his contribution of skills and tools to the project. Neil is a photographer and without his experience with lights, cameras and lenses, this music video would not be the professional product it is today. Neil also makes a killer cup of coffee. Thanks Neil.

singer songwriter k-jo performing live with acoutic guitar
k-jo recording final vocal for the dilemma

The Story

Kelly Johannes (K-Jo) was one of the first artists to audition for Songsmiths. At that time, her song, The Dilemma, was just her vocal and the signature repeating harmonics line played on her acoustic guitar. She had recorded it herself and it sounded great. Her soulful voice had all the space in the world and the ringing guitar was hypnotic. It was thrilling.

K-Jo wrote The Dilemma at a time when she was conflicted over whether she should pursue a career in music full-time or go to university. She chose music-for-a-year-then-we'll-see. . .and is now a student at Wits. That year was a tough one that “tempted to darken [her] heart.” But she came out of it wiser and stronger. . .and there's no reason she can't pop into the studio when she gets a break from her schoolwork. She lives right down the road. Thank goodness she didn't go to UCT!

[Note: Songsmiths has nothing against UCT. We're simply glad that K-Jo is on this side of the country!]