The South African Rock Encyclopedia
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Steve Louw   Steve Louw   Steve Louw   Steve Louw


Steve was inducted into the South African Rock Hall of Fame in September 2003.


In 1996, Big Sky won the FNB Music Award for “Best SA Rock Act” for the album ‘Horizon’. Appropriately only one person stepped up to receive this award. Despite the many musicians, engineers and producers who have worked on the three Big Sky albums to date, this is essentially a one-man-band and that one man is Capetonian Steve Louw.

One of SA rock's most talented and unassuming singer-songwriters, Steve Louw first hit the spotlight with his mid-‘80s band, All Night Radio. Albums like ‘The Killing Floor’ evoked much interest and laid the foundations for Big Sky, which Steve formed in 1990.

The first Big Sky album, ‘Waiting For The Dawn’, introduced Steve Louw’s new, big rock sound and spawned three Top 10 hits. A prolific writer of melodic, hooky and emotional songs, Louw is a quiet and reserved family man who alternates between his Cape Town beach-front home and his nearby farm.

For the second Big Sky album, 1995’s ‘Horizon’, Louw flew to Los Angeles to work with the esteemed producer Shelley Yakus (U2, Tom Petty) and some of LA’s best session musicians. This album set a new standard for SA rock albums and sold over 10,000 copies as well as grabbing the above-mentioned award.

In 1997, Big Sky released ‘Going Down with Mr Green’ and once again big sales and radio play followed. Now firmly established as South Africa’s “Paul Weller”, Louw was honoured with the support slot on Rodriguez’ triumphant ’98 SA tour. With Willlem Moller (guitar), Russel Taylor (keyboard), Reuben Samuels (drums), Graham Currie (bass) and Tonia Selley (percussion) performing behind him, Steve Louw drew nation-wide attention to the solid and stimulating music produced by Big Sky over the past decade.

Stephen Segerman, March 1998

In 2003, Steve collaborated with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Anastacia and Brian May (Queen) on a song called “Amandla” that was performed for the Madiba’s 46664 concert in Cape Town by Beyonce and Bono.

He also played and recorded with the aforementioned Rodriguez, Blondie Chaplin and Kevin Shirley.

Press Release, April 2021