Monthly Archives: July 2013

Interview: Simone De Kock, FHM June Cover Model

I worked at FHM in May. I filled in for the editorial assistant who was on leave. While I was there I got to help out with various stages of putting the mag together like writing captions, headlines, blurbs as well as sourcing images and pulling stories off the FHM CMS. I also got to write blurbs about models who appeared in the 100 Sexiest Edition which I think was published in July and did this Q & A feature with the June cover model, Simone De Kock,

Hey Simone! How did you enjoy your first shoot for FHM?

It was amazing, thank you! I loved the theme!

How did you get into modelling?

I started modelling about two years ago, at a friend’s suggestion. I was introduced to my current agency, and the rest, as they say…

Other than being a FHM cover girl, what are your dream modelling gigs?

I’m very excited about this gig right here! I would also love to work with Guess and some of the other big international brands. My ultimate dream goal is to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel (as I’m sure every other model in the world would as well). I love acting, so booking any big film job would be amazing.

You’re only 21 and already run an events company and model full time. Do you ever cut loose and get wild?

But of course, I love what I do, so it’s always fun and exciting, but I do work too much sometimes. I need great nights out with friends, it gives me more motivation to keep working!

We’re buying, what are you drinking?

You’re buying? Great… I will have a double vodka and Red Bull, one tequila, one strawberry kiss and beer afterwards to wash it all down.

Hefty order. A girl who knows her booze. We like! Have you ever sustained any party-related injuries?

Plenty of times! I bruise really easily and I’m very clumsy as well- those two characteristics don’t exactly work too well together so I often wake up with unidentified bumps and bruises.

What did you get up to for your 21st birthday? Did you party?

I had just got home from shooting in Thailand, so I had a tropical-themed bash at home with all my family and friends, recovered from that the next day, and the day after that went to a favourite night spot for some more celebrating!

Do you have a signature dance move?

I do indeed! I don’t really know what my friends call it and I don’t actually know how to explain it so I guess you’ll just have to join me next time I hit the town.

Be sure to let us know when that is, but for now tell us a cool party trick…

Balancing a R2 coin on the top of my sister’s knuckles. Sounds simple, but everyone else tries it and they fail, so they promise us money and drinks and then we kill it by succeeding… it’s a secret move.

Our winters can be pretty harsh. Do you hibernate or brave the night?

I do a bit of both. I love the fireplace and some great TV series like Game of Thrones but I need to get some dancing in. So, I put my boots on and go party! I don’t really get cold when I’m out on the dancefloor, and I load up on Vitamin C to stay healthy.

What do you wear under the covers in the wintry months? You don’t strike us as a sock-and-jammies type of girl.

Well, I got the coolest sleepwear as a gift- it’s a leopard-print adult baby grow! I’m serious! It sounds crazy but it’s the most comfortable thing ever, and can even look sexy.

On you, we’re sure it does! What’s the naughtiest piece of lingerie you own?

It’s an outfit I wear for dress-up parties; lace stockings with suspenders, a little black skirt and a red and black corset.

Yowzer! Let’s change the subject. How do you feel about video games?

I’m not the biggest gamer to be honest, but pop me on the couch with a car-racing game and a big bowl of popcorn and I’m happy for hours on end. Other sports games, though? Boring. I was never really good at sport anyway.



Films: Action or Comedy?

Horror!

What about music- bands or electronic gigs?

A little bit of both… I love some great electronic beats to dance to, but I also love watching live music.

At what age can a woman be defined as a cougar? We say 39 is a good average…

I don’t think a woman’s age defines her as a cougar or not. I think it’s the age between her and her partner that defines whether or not she’s a cougar. Like a 25-year-old with an 18-year-old would be a cougar!

What’s the sexiest car you’ve ever ridden in?

A Ferrari, while in Italy… Boy oh boy, anyone willing to sponsor me a Ferrari, please?

You must get hit on all the time. What’s the worst pick-up line you’ve ever heard?

The really lame one many poor guys use: “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” Shame.

In this issue, we feature a story on how to talk to beautiful women. What do you think, do pick-up lines ever work?

Not for me they don’t, I do give them some credit for trying though, by laughing at them instead of whacking them in the face!

What turns you on in a guy?

Someone who’s a gentleman, and who takes good care of himself. But most importantly, someone who’s ambitious; there’s nothing sexier than that.

What can a guy do or say to make you feel sexy?

I appreciate it when someone notices that I’ve changed something in my appearance, it shows they are paying attention.

Do you ever catch guys perving?

All of the time! Men will be men. Normally they are looking at my chest. I just wait for them to look a little more north and they usually catch me staring right back. Most of them turn red and look away, it’s hilarious.

If you were a guy, would you be a boobs or bum guy?

Definitely a boobs guy, boobs make the best cushions.

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Interview: Kwesta

Here’s an interview I recently did with high-profile Jozi rapper, Kwesta. It appeared on Mahala.co.za in June….

What made you want to get involved in the rap scene?

I started out as a poet and when I first recorded my poetry on beats I realized that it wasn’t too different, and I fell in love with making music.

Performing at the 2010 World Cup closing ceremony with Kelly Rowland and various local rappers must’ve been your biggest show to date. How was the experience? Were there any nerves?

500 million people were watching around the world and it was the most historic moment in our country’s history so the nerves were at an all time high but at the same time there were so many people on stage and I didn’t want to be the one to mess up the night for all the hundreds of people involved in the opening ceremony. Fortunately it all went to plan, but looking back the nerves made it hard to take the moment in and really enjoy it as much as people would expect. So as big as the show was it was one of those things that happened in my career but is not really a defining moment.

Your debut album came out shortly after the World Cup and was nominated for two SAMAs. Would you say 2010 was your breakthrough year? What was the transition from underground recognition to being in the mainstream arena like?

Yeah before then it was all hype and the moment came to show and prove. I never expected to be nominated in the best new comer category and although Locnville took that award it was nice to hear the crowd cheering as loudly for them as they did for me when our names were called out. As for the best rap album award I thought I really deserved it but then again the winner Amu is a legend and the judges felt they owed him an award so I figured that my day will come and I should be happy with what I achieved with my first album, right?

You’ve worked with many of Mzansi’s high-profile rappers. How important are features to you? Who else would you like to add to that list of collaborations?

I’ve just done a collaboration with Jimmy Nevis for his latest single, which people should look-out for, and I plan on collaborating with Locnville, Donald, AKA, Khulichana, ProKID, D’Banj, Xtatic, Stella Mwangi, Ice Prince, MI and maybe even a big inter-nation co-lab for my album. Other than that I’d like to collaborate with as many artists as possible from all over the world.

Full Story: http://www.mahala.co.za/music/da-king-of-rap/

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Feature: Big Space

Cape Town-based Big Space has taken major strides to prove that the South African electronic dance music scene has something fresh to offer the world.

His spaced-out house beats soaked in low-end frequencies have become a staple in the thriving Bass music scene, even though he struggles with the concept of this all-encompassing term to describe the burgeoning movement. “I really don’t have an idea what ‘Bass’ music is. It’s a very weird genre – if you wanna call it that.” He adds jokingly: “The Seinfeld theme song has slap bass on it… is that Bass music?”

What is however undisputable is that Big Space has garnered a large following of fans ready to get down to the authentic Afro-house grooves he commands. This year has seen him set dancefloors ablaze at major South African music festivals and dance club events.

More than just a DJ, Big Space also writes, produces and arranges his own tracks too. Earlier this year he released an EP called The Brown Bag on newly formed Cape Town label Bombaada, and has kept his followers sated with a number of free downloads ranging from percussive tribal club crowd-pleasers to dark and trippy remixes, like his re-imagination of The Frown’s ‘Dark Arts’.

Big Space cuts a lonely figure on the South African dance music scene with his cross-pollination of influences. Before gaining recognition as a house producer he started out making hip-hop beats, drawing inspiration from the sample-laden jams of hip-hop’s golden era, as well as off-kilter alternative acts like Company Flow. But in the early 2000s, when hip-hop’s popularity began to wane and became drowned out by bubbling undercurrents of electronic music, it was “a mixture of downright boredom and natural progression” that steered him toward the house scene.

“I was never a big house head but there were always a few guys I liked like Armand van Helden, Kerri Chandler, Masters at Work and Leftfield. Armand and Masters At Work are New York guys so they have a lot of hip-hop elements in them, and they sample a lot too. When I first heard them it struck a chord because for me because it was essentially hip-hop, just a bit faster,” he says.

This approach to producing is a clear sign as to why the 28-year-old, who made his jump to Cape Town from Maseru via Johannesburg, has such crossover appeal. He can jump from an inner city club gig to a chisa nyama spot in Gugulethu without changing his set list. In fact, his tunes have also crept into the UK Bass music scene with Scratcha DVA and producer trio LV (all signed to the mighty London-based Hyperdub label) taking to his sound in a big way. LV featured Big Space’s single ‘Coco Savage’ on a recent mixtape (released through Okzharp), alongside other up-and-coming local artists like Okmalumkoolkat and kwaito group Ruffest.

Fans of Big Space’s expansive mix of sounds will have much to look forward to as he launches his own label, Wet Dreams Recordings, with a compilation due out early this year. The label already has artists from as far afield as Botswana and Italy signed on.

“It’s my dream, I’ve had this idea since high school. All I want to do is release music that I make and music that I like; music that pushes the boundaries of the norms.” He is also teaming up with UK producer Jumping Backslash on a collaborative effort called Manyoba Boys. Together they’re forging new paths in house and techno.

“No one in Africa is making the same sound as we are. In fact I dare anyone to try.” Look out for their upcoming EP which is set to drop next month.

Link: http://www.mblife.co.za/Passion/20130128_bigspace/

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Feature: Youngsta- Rising Rap Star

Fans hail Youngsta’s versatile songwriting skills and ability for laying rhymes over different genres of music. On stage he displays a genuine sense of ease, oozing a focused and fearless charisma. His passionate blend of Mother City slang and expressive, crystal-clear vocal delivery have proved to be a winning formula, while his American-tinged accent has garnered much comment and criticism from music journalists. One thing is for sure though: when discussions turn to Youngsta’s work ethic, the verdict is unanimous: he has what it takes to become Mzansi’s next rap star. But who is this young Capetonian who seemingly came out of nowhere?

Youngsta is unmistakably a child of his times. As part of the new generation of hip-hop stars, he understands the ever-evolving sound of this style of music and knows that if he wants to stay alive in today’s market – in which fans have an insatiable need for daily access to new songs at their fingertips – artists simply have to stay ahead of the curve.

Equipped with this understanding, the young MC burst onto the music scene in 2010 and went to work tirelessly, releasing no fewer than 24 mix tapes in 24 months. He soon dubbed himself the “million-in-one-rapper”, describing his experimental approach to laying down rhymes on various productions in the subgenres of the hip-hop and bass music styles, such as dubstep and trap.

He explains his winning strategy: “It’s because I put out so much music and made myself so available to the public all the time. I don’t think I can stop. Music is a part of Youngsta. You must know, if you’re gonna be a fan of Youngsta, you have to take him and everything that comes with it.”

Criticised at times for his genre-hopping style, he nevertheless refuses to be pigeonholed and stays true to his principles. “I’ve managed to always make the kind of music I like. I haven’t compromised my sound for anyone. I’ve just expanded the kind of music I make.”

Fans will agree that this approach seems to have paid off. At the end of 2011, Youngsta won an online voting competition held on social networking sites to become one of the opening acts for the Cape Town leg of superstar Lil Wayne’s SA tour. Sounds nerve-wracking for a relative newcomer, right? Unaffected by the pressure and limelight, Youngsta captivated his audience with an engaging performance.

In 2012 his name became a fixture on almost all major hip-hop event line-ups. He warmed up the crowd for legendary New York rapper Talib Kweli, but admits his most rewarding performance was at the Rocking the Daisies festival last October, where thousands raised their hands to the anthemic track ‘Salute Ya’, which has graced the charts on GoodHope FM and 5FM.

Youngsta strives to retain full control of his own creations. Together with a four-man team of close-knit friends whose sole purpose is “getting Youngsta to the top”, he has launched his official website and dropped clothing sponsors Circa and 2Bop to start his own clothing label, Y Generation.

“I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to, and that’s being entirely independent. Now that I have the attention of the big players in the game – artists, brands and other influential people – they’re actually paying attention to me. So, now is the time to really drop the bomb,” he explains.

Thanks to his hard-working attitude and exceptional talent, Youngsta has won the support of veteran colleagues including DJs Ready D, Codax and Hamma. He collaborated on a highly-acclaimed EP with the latter, called ‘Dollars and White Pipes’, early last year. Youngsta has decided not to focus as much on mix tapes in 2013, trading his makeshift home studio for Cape Town’s Red Bull Studios. This has opened up doors for some great collaborations with beat maestros Audiophile 021 and J-Beats.

Youngsta’s collaborative single ‘What Have You Done’, with well-established Jozi rappers Tumi and Reason, hints at his substantial musical development. Despite his young age, he is carving his own identity.

“I’m opening up, letting you inside my mind. I’m also more focused because now I see there’s a finish line. Every person has their time when they’re gonna win the race. You can’t last forever and I’m realising that. It’s like I’m going in the direction I’m planning for, so I know it’s gonna pay off soon.”

Link: http://www.mblife.co.za/Passion/20130118_youngsta/

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Tribute To Miss Versy

Three weeks ago, on October 14, Jo Anne Petersen AKA Miss Contro’Versy, a Capetonian-bred emcee with an international acclaim passed away at the age of 34. She had suffered a two-year long battle with cancer. While the name may not be immediately recognisable by many of the younger generation, she was a figure who was embedded deep in the core of the Kaapse hip hop movement. In her short career she was a renowned mc/poet, journalist, events co-ordinator, radio show host and TV presenter. In 2010, after being diagnosed with cancer the previous year, she returned home from New York and became the force behind an all-female group, SiStar Cypher, whose purpose was the empowerment of women through hip hop.

DJ Real Rozanno, a long-time friend and collaborator will tell you how Versy submerged herself passionately into the culture from the word go. According to him, one of the lessons which can be learned by her legacy is the sheer resolution with which she strived to reach her goals, emphatically shunning the 9-5 grind eventuality of “growing up” to remain a major player in the hip hop culture, whether it paid or not.

In ’97 Versy was writing for underground publication, Mob Shop Magazine, a hip hop rag put together by heads with illustrations done by local graffiti artists like Falko and Gogga. Later, in 2005, she became a contributor to one of Africa’s largest online hip hop magazines, Africasgateway.com. She would also move on to becoming a TV presenter on MK for a show called Hip Hop and then Woelag, showcasing hip hop culture and souped up rides which took her to see the famous West Coast Customs.

Like many local pioneers, such as Isaac Mutant and Rozanno, Versy’s introduction to the hip hop scene began at a young age at the legendary club, The Base. Later she became inspired by the 90s conscious party raps with a feminist inclination, (think Queen Latifa and Left Eye), which would shape her career. “She did party lyrics, she did it consciously, she did it with passion and energy, you walked away you were entertained, you were uplifted by it and you had a gedagte, you know, somehow you were opened up to something else,” explains Natasha Tafari, a member of SiStar Cypher.

As an MC she got on the map in countries such as America, the UK and Germany. Around 2006/7 she relocated to New York where she immersed herself into the scene performing shows at venues such as the Karma Lounge in Brooklyn, still repping her Kaapse roots by spitting rhymes in English and Afrikaaps. Notably, she was the first Mzansi-raised performer to appear on the venerable Lyricist Lounge stage. In this time she made close ties with Chip Fu of Fu Schnickens and John Robinson (Li’l Sci from Scienz of Life), who produced tracks for her as well.

Versy also brought her skills back home to create platforms for other up and coming artists. Drawing from her experiences abroad, she played an essential role in orchestrating stage productions such as Under the Poet Tree in 2004 and Hip Hop Connected which ran annually for a few years from 2005.

Versy’s passion and dedication to hip hop is undoubtedly evident in the final track she recorded called “Miracles”. 5% Nation consciousness-touting rapper, Wise Intelligent from the old school New Jersey outfit, Poor Righteous Teachers, originally wrote the song as a tribute to Versy and sent it to her asking if she would feature on it. At this point her health had deteriorated to the point of being bed-ridden. She accepted. A mic stand was placed next to her bed and what we are blessed with is a song of positivity with the same intensity as always.

“She’s left legacies behind and she’s only 34. That’s what makes superstars… the inspiration that she leaves behind. There’s dry eyes, because people are in a mode. We wanna do something,” attests Natasha Tafari. After the funeral, on October 22, a celebration of Miss Contro’Versy’s life was held at the Platinum Lounge in Shortmarket Street, formerly The Base. The place where Jo Anne Petersen would forge her own identity as the electric-blue rocking afro-chic Contro’Versy. Rest in peace.

Link: http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/tribute-to-miss-versy/

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Feature: The Wallpaper Game

Originally published on mahala.co.za on 14 March 2012

At times, my life is like an absurd socio-economic comedy. What happens to a young man of obscure social standing, neither comfortably middle-class but not really that poor, when he’s a wannabe writer fresh out of college with a journalism diploma? The career he chose is highly underpaid and, even to make it into that meager salary bracket, he has to navigate through a maze of close-knit networking, unpaid work and internships. To add to his plight, his baby is ready to burst forth into the world from his girlfriend’s inflated womb at any second. It becomes excruciatingly clear that he’s teetering on an unstable ladder in-between the middle class and working class realms. Eventually it’s going to come toppling down on one side with no safety net to catch him.

Just over two years ago I enrolled in a college diploma course in journalism, vowing to turn my lowly existence around after spending half a decade doing depressing, subservient retail jobs like packing CDs on shelves in alphabetical order, hanging up clothes and swiping credit cards at a surf shop. Eating shit from customers because of faulty phones and network issues at a Vodacare service counter.

A good couple of months after handing in my final exam sheets, though, the money I was making from this very veritable chronicler of Mzansi culture, doing the odd bartending job and working as a doorman every second weekend at Cold Turkey just was cutting it. I was pretty much still matching the wages I pocketed as a waiter at Spur when I was in high school. With the overpowering burden of having to pay off a monstrous student loan on top of the cost of rent, cots and diapers; I had to can the ambitions of soaking up pop culture while interning at prestigious magazines, freelancing (a euphemism translating to dignified unemployment) or straight up writing yarns for charity, to take whatever job came my way. There was no choice. I needed to make money right away, by any means necessary.

In January I joined the rest of the 99% in the sweat-filled trenches when I was offered a contract to put up wallpaper on the sixth floor of Engen head office. Appointed as a lackey to the skilled artisans, my 7-day work weeks were spent stripping off the old paper, removing glue and paint spatter off carpets with rags and 5L bottle of thinners and breaking my back, awkwardly moving office fittings and deceptively heavy filing cabinets which were reinforced with titanium. Since I knew less about working with tools than the bar charts and ledgers, which made the accountants on that floor sit completely transfixed on their computer screens, I sliced my fingers twice with a box cutter within ten minutes of the first day. In the days that followed, the overtime we were clocking and because of the fact that we had no days off, I was nodding off like a narcoleptic during my lunch breaks and on the train to and from work. It was almost enough to make me quit, but the pay raked in three times the amount of dough than the aforementioned writing gigs. I could only laugh at the fact that I was of more value to society in the wallpaper game. Despite paying through my ass for an education, I was, in fact, worse off than before I had one. College helped my previously ignorant self to understand the meaning of irony, plus with my newly developed faculties of reason, I could rationalise the situation. Makes sense I guess; in the fast food world of online journalism a story holds relevance for a day or two. Wallpaper sticks for years to come.

These days I’m selling my labour more than my words. Last week while suckers on this site were scribbling up art reviews about the Design Indaba, I was resting up after making proper loot as a yes-man with a walkie-talkie. Just one of the hundreds of workers playing my small part tending to minor electrical glitches in the stalls at the Indaba conference, setting up display stands, lugging boxes of informational pamphlets and helping to turn the hall of the CTICC from a construction site into an exhibition.

Full Story: http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/the-wallpaper-game/

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Interview: Youngsta

Not many Mzansi rappers can say they’ve achieved what 20 year-old Youngsta has in the two short years of his music career. Since his first appearance on the scene in 2010 he’s dropped 23 mixtapes, a full-length album, occupied charts on Goodhope and 5FM and rocked big shows in Cape Town and Jozi. He has generated a lot of hype with his self-proclaimed “million-in-one rapper” approach, showing that he isn’t scared to prove that he can flex on any beat that comes his way (check out his Soundcloud page). At the end of last year he opened up for Lil Wayne; we caught up with him at a gatsby joint down the way from where he lives in Wynberg shortly afterwards.

How did you feel when you got the opportunity to open up for Lil Wayne?

Youngsta: I didn’t believe it. Literally, I didn’t. My manager, Steady Lee, told me that I was gonna open for Lil Wayne. I asked him, “how sure are you?” He said we hadn’t got confirmation yet. I said when you get confirmation phone me back and tell me. I swear to you, not even a minute later, literally in 30 seconds he phoned me back and told me “I just got the e-mail now, you doing it.” For at least 5 minutes, I just sat and to be honest with you I planned the set in my head. I’m young I got the youth, I need to use it. The first thing that went through my mind was, what songs am I gonna do, I didn’t even care about anything else, I didn’t care what I was gonna wear, I didn’t care what time they were gonna put me on, I didn’t care for how long. All I thought was what songs am I gonna do. How am I gonna do it? Is it gonna be big? First thing that comes to my mind is my music.

Was that the biggest show you’ve ever done, crowd wise, and were there any nerves?

No nerves at all. I get anxious before I go on stage like I can’t wait because once I get on stage I’m not me anymore. Riyadh is somewhere else. Youngsta is now the guy you looking at. I don’t get nerves. There could have been 20 000 people. Like the same crowd that was there for Lil Wayne could have been there for me; it would have just been another crowd, because there are certain times when I’m on stage where I feel like I’m just rapping in my room again. I do it without thinking. Sometimes I forget that I’m rapping on stage. There are no nerves and I think this could be the biggest one we did crowd-wise. The buzz around it, people were anticipating this thing. It’s sad that there were people in the queue still.

Full Story: http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/my-mouth-works/

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Interview: J-Zone

Here’s an interview I did with J-Zone, a producer and ex-rapper from Queens, NY….

I learnt that J-Zone had quit the music biz after his last album sold only 47 copies in the last month, and he signed them off at Fat Beats to be destroyed. At the same time his digital distributor informed him that they were removing his songs from iTunes as well. In true J-Zone style he hit back with a humorous take on being a “failed” musician by penning a book called Root for the Villain: Rap, Bullshit and Celebrating Failure; part memoirs from his rap days and part cantankerous social commentary.

Root for the Villain… so what’s in a title? And could you briefly explain what readers can expect?

J-Zone: The title is really about being anathema to what’s respected in our society. The hero never really makes his faults visible and he does whatever it takes to play the game and be successful. The villain is usually the guy going against the status quo and what’s considered right. He’s known for his faults and character flaws. In our world, it takes a lot of balls to be an iconoclast and go against a lot of what is valued by the masses. That’s why sometimes it’s good to root for someone like that!

I don’t know if you believe in all that hippie shit like “words manifest destiny”, but you’ve always kinda been a self-deprecating rapper do you think this could have been one of your downfalls?

Probably. I think any downfalls I had as a recording artist could be attributed to a number of different factors, but self-deprecation is not a winning formula in rap. Hip-hop is alpha male, selling the people an image shit, and it always has been. Nothing wrong with that, but I’ve always been an underdog in my life and I wear the badge proudly. I don’t feel ashamed when things don’t go my way, so I’ll always be honest about my reality. People always complain about rap not being real anymore, but when you’re honest and blunt in a way that makes you look less than heroic, all of a sudden that approach doesn’t work. It doesn’t equate with success. I would’ve done better with a Curb Your Enthusiasm type of crowd than a hip-hop crowd.

Full Story:http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/root-for-the-villain/

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Interview: Blitz The Ambassador

This interviewappeared in Issue 23 of One Small Seed (2011)…

Hip-hop artist Blitz ‘The Ambassador’s’ musical journey led him under the shadow of Lady Liberty to New York a decade ago. He was imbued with the sounds of afrobeat and the highlife music indigenous to his native Ghana, and inspired by the brazen voices of ’90s afrocentric rap. Since then he has garnered respect with the blend of African music and hip-hop that he calls ‘afrohop’, and has worked with artists like The Roots, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, even getting a shoutout from legendary rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy on his latest album Native Sun.

So you grew up in Ghana; could you tell us a bit about your first experiences with music, and how you ended up in the States?

My dad collected a whole lot of records in his travels, so we had a household full of music. That was a positive thing, because we got a chance to be exposed to a lot of very, very great soul music, jazz music, sometimes blues music. Those were really important for me growing up. Later down the line I got put onto hip-hop and that made the most sense to me as a young person growing up and looking for music that was more indicative of my own kind. That’s kind of where hip-hop came in. I got an opportunity to travel to the States for college, after I completed high school, and because making music was something I always wanted to do, I continued doing so even through college and after I graduated. I have been making music full-time ever since.

Full Story: http://www.onesmallseed.com/2011/09/blitz-the-ambassador-the-full-interview/

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Interviews For Mahala.co,za

Afrikaaps

Afrikaaps is an award-winning local theatre production that looks at the history behind the unique way in which Afrikaans is spoken innie Kaap. Tracing the formation of the language back to its roots, the play offers an alternative take on the evolution of Afrikaans and contests its all-white identity. Through a mish-mash of experimental performances featuring a group of talented musicians, poets and dancers called “argitekbekke” (architect mouths), the play shuns the negative connotation of Afrikaans as ‘the language of the oppressor’ and recasts it as a black African mother tongue. The live performance is also spliced with documentary footage which follows each artist on their historical journey to find their link to their Afrikaaps heritage. I caught up with Dylan Valley, the director of the Afrikaaps documentary…

Full Story: http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/black-afrikaans/

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