Cracks in the Future (Ashton Nyte Keynote)
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen)
Internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Ashton Nyte shares his unique perspective on tolerance, acceptance and perseverance. Now based in the USA, Ashton was born, raised and educated in South Africa as the country was slowly dis-assembling the Apartheid system. Ashton talks about the realities of growing up in a world of segregation and oppression, from schools and restaurants separated according to race to a government editing its history books and discouraging artistic expression. Testing what is taught and rising above learned behavior are central themes in Ashton’s story of individual awareness and accountability. As Ashton so poignantly adds, “Sometimes when you go with the flow, you end up in the gutter.”
Ashton’s personal stories and cultural and historical insights are punctuated by acoustic performances of original songs which add significant depth to his story and highlight its messages. The talk is rounded of with a Q&A session.
Ashton Nyte is a South African born singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, enigmatic live performer and producer. He has released 8 albums as The Awakening, 6 as Ashton Nyte and 1 as Ashton Nyte & The Accused, along with various guest appearances, since The Awakening’s debut album in 1997. He is a prolific composer and lyricist with over 200 self-penned songs released to date and at least as many unreleased songs in his “vault”. His solo work is stylistically diverse and has garnered critical acclaim and the title of “Johannesburg’s Bowie” (Cosmopolitan). Nyte's works have been featured on NPR/PRI in the USA, and he has performed live in-studio to 125 million listeners on the international radio show “Border Crossings” (Washington, DC). Nyte has toured extensively and headlined music festivals in the USA and South Africa to upwards of 30 000 people. Nyte has also written and performed in theatrical productions and organized philanthropic events including his “Rock Against Rape” concert series.