South African revered bluesman Riaan Smit releases majestic album ‘Man in the Hat’ and brings a taste of melodic songwriting beauty to the ears of London

This wonderful album from South African artist Riaan Smit arrived on our desk with a weird sweet dough like treat that was delicious and made us even sweeter than we already are. Apparently it’s called a Koeksister and is a sweet delicacy of the home country of Riaan Smit who is a well known folk, blues and rock artist hailing from Cape Town the city by the sea.

We’ve had P.R gimmicks before and this one takes the cake or should we say KOEKSISTER, but sweet treats aside the truth is Riaan Smit’s songs are sweet, but as grand as the mountains of South Africa and the blue seas of the Cayman Islands with a soul that lives in the music and dwells with you.

Apparently these days the mysterious Riaan Smit spends his time in the Cayman Islands and has built a large following and audience who appreciate live music and real talent in bars and venues across the Islands resulting in Riaan Smit jumping on stage with legends like Maxi Priest, Bryan Adams and Duran Duran when he performs in February 2019 at the KABOO Cayman festival.  See ticket details below.

Beautiful soft and delicate ballads with big sky melodies and dreamy productions this epic album ranges from folk, country and pop/rock to reggae and blues showing the diverse talent of Mr. Smit.

However the ongoing strength and jewel in this album is the actual songwriting which is carefully crafted by Riaan Smit resulting in a multi genre experience of real songs.

Man in the Hat by Riaan Smit has left an even sweeter taste in our mouth and is now on our new music London ‘Album rotation’ playlist.

10/10 – Spectacular songwriting from a place of the heart 


‘Man in the Hat’ is the debut solo album from South African singer/songwriter Riaan Smit who is based in the Cayman Islands but tours extensively around the world and South Africa.

Riaan Smit is also the front-man of successful South African bands Crimson House & the Brothers Remedy, he’s Namibian born, Half Spanish, Half Afrikaans and a revered South African bluesman.

Riaan Smit recorded the album shortly after surviving an armed robbery, where he was assaulted with a brick in the face. After getting back from the road right after his surgery he went into the studio and recorded 12 songs.

Riaan Smit describes the album concept in his own words “The album tells a story from start to finish, each song being a chapter in the tale. A story, about the man in the hat. The story starts with the man in the hat returning to his old home where he feels like a stranger in “holding my heart in my hand”. The song speaks about having to start again after being away from home for so long”. 

Riaan Smit press 1

Riaan Smit is influenced by artists like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Howling wolf and Muddy waters.

Riaan Smit has previously recorded with Alan Sanderson ( Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones), Antonio Cencherle ( The Rudimentals ) and Graham Ward who has produced music with Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Roger Daltrey, Jon Anderson, Donna Summer, Mark Knopfler, Ray Charles, Bee Gees, The Supremes, Paul Young, Haircut 100/Nick Heyward, Chris De Burgh , Stephane Grappelli, Warren G, Rudimental and The Pussycat Dolls.

Riaan Smit has won the Mzanzi Film award for “Best use of music” in a film called ‘lina & leo’ directed by Yolanda Botha.

Riaan Smit’s band Crimson House has achieved notability in South Africa, having performed every major event in the country and will be performing for 2018 New Years eve at the Kirstenbosch national botanical gardens with Jeremy Loops. The band have had 3 National Hits including ‘Take a Chance’, Pot of Gold’ & Don’t forget to take your medicine’.

Riaan Smit also has a collaborative Radio hit in South Africa with Auriol Hayes titled Child Atone and a hit in Namibia with his folk song ‘Just Dreaming’.


Riaan Smit will be performing live at the 2019 Kaaboo Festival in the Cayman Islands alongside acts like The Chainsmokers, Bryan Adams, Flo Rida, Maxi Priest, Counting Crows, Duran Duran, Jason Derula, Blondie, Sean Paul and more.

The debut album from Riaan Smit is entitled ‘Man in the Hat’ and will be released worldwide on 18 January 2019.

The album ‘Man in the Hat’ will be preceded by 4 singles being released from the album every Friday starting from the 14th December 2018. The full release schedule will be:

Friday 14th Dec: Holding my Heart in My hand

Friday 21st Dec: On the Run

Friday 28th Dec: Every Dog has his day

Friday 4th Jan: Ode to love.



Twitter: @Riaan_Smitx


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