Tuesday, 21 June 2016
It's one of the most exciting comebacks of 2016! After dropping 'Neighbourhoods' back in 2011, Blink 182 are back with a bang! The band drop their seventh record, California, early next month. This album is also the band's first with new vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba who replaced Tom DeLonge. The album's lead single 'Bored To Death' was released last month and gives listeners a taste on the material they can expect this time around. "The topics are universal. There is a lot of angst that could be teen angst or it could be angst of everyday life. I still have the same emotions I had 20 years ago," Mark Hoppus said on the album.
British electronic act, HONNE, have done big things with the their current single 'Someone That Loves You'. The track is fast-becoming one of the most popular electronic tracks of 2016. Izzy Bizu joins the act on vocals and the chemistry is electrifying. Although the band has released a few EPs over the years, they will finally be dropping their debut studio album 'Warm On A Cold Night' next month. There is definitely something special about this band and we're really proud to be releasing the album. Pre-order it on iTunes here and get five tracks instantly.
Believe it or not but the Red Hot Chili Peppers dropped their 11th studio album 'the GETAWAY' this month. The band revealed that they had been working on a collection of songs which were put on hold after Flea broke his arm. Once recovered, their long-time producer Danger Mouse asked if they were keen to collaborate on another album and the rest is history. The lead single 'Dark Necessities' has been met with many positive reviews and, naturally, many fans around the world are excited to hear what they have worked on this time around. 'the GETAWAY is out now so get your copy on iTunes!
Born in America to Senegalese parents, Akon developed a love for Senegal and deep desire to help the nation’s youth. In 2007, he launched the Konfidence Foundation, dedicated to providing Senegalese youth with educational resources and access to health services. In 2014, Akon co-founded “Akon Lighting Africa", which currently brings solar-powered electricity to the homes of over 600 million people in more than 11 countries in rural Africa. He also helped launch the Solar Academy in Bamako, Mali, where engineers will be taught how to develop solar power, and has expanded his impact beyond Africa by teaming up with government officials in several Latin American countries, including Brazil, to bring electricity to needy homes.
The Global Good Award will be presented by Eva Marcille and Jidenna as a part of the “BET Awards.”
Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the “BET Awards” will include performances by Usher, Future, Bryson Tiller, Alicia Keys and Maxwell with special performances in honour of the late pop icon Prince by Sheila E., Janelle Monae, D’Angelo, The Roots and more. The star power continues as Gabrielle Union, Nate Parker, DJ Khaled and many others will take the stage as presenters during the 16th anniversary of the annual highly-anticipated televised event.
The BET Awards premieres on BET (DStv channel 129) on Tuesday 28 June at 19:00 CAT.
Monday, 20 June 2016
This is quickly followed by ‘Better’ the twins musical nod to the progressive hip-hop of Rae Sremmurd & Chance The Rapper, which gives us a glimpse of the brothers’ growth beyond the suburbs of their youth. Second single ‘Cold Shoulder’ co-produced with SA’s Sketchy Bongo bounces its way into your head and goes round and round for days, as a great pop single should. The title track, which underneath guest vocliast Roxy’s sultry refrain, hides a dark edge evoking the feelings of a Sunday morning come to soon. The sun comes out for ‘Just Like Me’, which bubbles and scrapes before revealing itself as the self-effacing cousin of ‘Cold Shoulder’. There’s no time for sleep or chilling, as we go back to the club with ‘All For You’, ‘Santa Monica Drive’ and ’25’. The phased vocals and electro-dub of ‘Golden Trinkets’ closes the loop. Hit repeat. Through musical and social experimentation, this multi-platinum selling, award-winning electronic pop duo have expanded upon their musical legacy as they stare introspectively into their future.
New on the South African musical scene, Boketto is a 5-piece band formed by singer-songwriter Callum Kuhl and guitarist David Arnot who met in high school in Johannesburg. In December 2015, after moving to Cape Town they recorded an album titled 'About You', a hybrid jazz, blues rock, folk, improvisation and groove-based album. Single ‘All I Want’ was released nationwide to radio in June and it's blasting up charts. It’s a song about love as a vice and an addiction. It’s a positive and negative look on a universal subject, bound together by a moody Jazz sonic landscape. Lead Singer / Songwriter Callum's vocals and acoustic guitar form the foundation for many of the songs alongside Dave's melodic and improvisational approach to lead guitar. Featuring the effortless but ferocious rhythmical drive of legendary South African jazz/rock drummer Kevin Gibson and the percussive prowess of Ronan Skillen on Tabla, Udu and percussion, Boketto lends from and combines sounds and genres across the spectrum, from esoteric to pop, from traditional to modern. Inspired by bands the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Radiohead, Alt-J, Carlo Mombelli, Atoms for Peace and more, this is a debut album far more mature than the age of the members creating it. The name Boketto is derived from the Japanese word meaning ‘The act of gazing vacantly into the distance, without thinking’. Callum notes – “I chose the name because the word itself has no direct English translation, the shortest way we can express it is ten words long, yet there’s this one idea in another language that captures it more perfectly in just one word. I believe music operates similarly - music has the potential to capture an expression of emotion better than five hours of talking. The artwork, a joint creation by Callum and his girlfriend Yuma is inspired by Yuma’s Mandala artwork. The experience of music comes from its ability to create the spectrum between beauty, symmetry, and what might seem like random choices and chaos. Callum adds – “The image of the cats creating a yin and yang surrounded by crashing waves is a reference to our beloved cat Alphonse who was knocked over by a car and killed. The cats are natural, beautiful and perfect, but they are being washed away by waves, a chaotic natural force that can take things from you without a moment’s notice. The cats are also a reference to our favourite writer; the Japanese author Haruki Murakami”. The album is titled ‘About You’ because, as Callum notes – “a lot of the lyrics have non-specific metaphors in them. While they mean a lot to me, I hope the feeling people get from the album is one that affirms their search for themselves”. Stand out tracks on ‘About You’ include the Led Zeppelin inspired ‘River Truth’, a song Callum wrote after attending his first Opikoppi and deciding he wanted to write a song he could perform there. As Callum recalls – “We were in traffic for 8 hours on the way home from Opikoppi with one Robert Plant CD and I heard the song ‘Mighty Rearranger’ dozens of times, it’s style influenced the sound quite a bit”. Another special track is ‘Yuma’ a song about love and the hope of its return even in times of separation. “I wrote this song as gift to my girlfriend on our 3rd anniversary, and the lyrics, ‘I’ll hold you in my arms, just come the new year’ were written when I thought she would probably be moving back. She didn’t, although we’re still together now and both in Cape Town so I’d say it’s a hopeful song”. ‘Changes’, an equally important song is about major life changes, amidst previous comfort zones. Callum notes, “When I got to university, everything about life started changing rapidly. I wrote this song to mark a kind of shift in my perspective to the idea that change in life is constant”. With an impressive line-up of experienced musicians and ground breaking music, the future looks very bright for Boketto.
Friday, 10 June 2016
The Voice SA winner Richard Stirton released his debut single ‘What Tears Me The Most’ and it has already reached the Number 1 spot on the South African iTunes charts! Richard has been on a rollercoaster ride since winning The Voice SA on M-Net on 22 May having already earned his first major accolade of an iTunes #1 with his rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ from the hit show. Of this incredible journey Richard said, “These have been the most surreal last few months and I cannot believe I finally have the opportunity to start releasing original music. I am feeling very blessed and I hope that everybody enjoys the music I have to share.” He recently recorded his first original single, What Tears Me The Most, over a number of days in Johannesburg in early June. This heart-warming single was penned by Brit Awarding winning artist James Bay and is perfectly suited to Richard’s organic, authentic voice and magnetic sincerity. Talking of his single, Richard says “I hope that people are able to connect with the song on a number of levels, but especially a lyrical connection, because at the end of the day music is all about the message.” Richard is currently working on material for a full length album set for release in early August.
Thursday, 9 June 2016
2006 was the year that FOKOFPOLISIEKAR released the Brand Suid-Afrika EP, was caught amid a ravaging media storm, recorded Swanesang at B Sharp Studios in Boksburg. Their drummer, Jaco Snakehead Venter jumped out of the band’s tour van and broke his arm. Justin Kruger had to temporarily replace him. It was 100% rock 'n roll chaos. Die Bende released Swanesang, and felt driven to the point where they had to call a hiatus or call it quits.
The culturally and historically significant imprint they were making was the furthest thing from their minds as they were individually trying to figure out their way forward. "2003 – 2006 was a crazy roller-coaster ride. None of us were ready for how intense the ride was going to be. The touring and endless parties started taking its toll. We had to make a decision. Now, 10 years later, I can confess that we made the right one. The 8 months break we took in 2007 was the best move we as a band could have made,’’ says Wynand Myburgh, manager and bassist of Fokofpolisiekar.
It is ten years later and the Fokofpolisiekar influence has spread to the inception of popular and award winning bands, aKING, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Van Coke Kartel and Francois van Coke’s successful solo career. The band continues to be celebrated in books, documentaries, movies and more. Most importantly they remain intimately connected. Not just as a band, but also in business: Wynand Myburgh manages Francois van Coke’s solo career. Hunter Kennedy is part label owner at Supra Familias which released Francois’ debut solo album. Johnny de Ridder is regularly involved with producing songs for the Die Heuwels Fantasties and Francois Van Coke. Jaco Snakehead Venter has established himself as a band photographer and is the Fokof Lager brand manager.
The spirit of Fokof thrives as they continue to deliver the best live experience and reinforce their legacy by releasing crowd pleasers such as Fokof Lager on tap and vinyl editions of their musical releases. 2016 sees the official release of the Swanesang vinyl in July, a banging tour, fun competitions, and hopefully solving the mystery of how Johnny de Ridder doesn’t appear to age.
Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Jack Parow is back in studio this week to record a remix of Dis Bef*k. This song comes from the acoustic side of his double album, Nag van die Lang Pette. Jitsvinger collaborates with Parow on the remake of this song that he wrote about his daughter.
“I’m happy to finally be working with Jitsvinger. I’ve been a fan of his for a very long time. His first album, Skeletsleutel, is one of my favourite Afrikaans albums of all time. We’ve been talking about a collaboration for a long time, so it’s really very cool to be doing it now. I think this is the first colab of many, because he’s an amazing MC and one of my favourite Afrikaans MC’s ever,” he says.
The Dis Bef*k Remix will be released at the end of August.
Music videos to the max
On Saturday evening, JACK PAROW bagged his first South African Music Award for his gevaarlike #zefspionage music video with Freshlyground, Army of One.
“It's going to look so lekker between my three action cricket medallions and my Celebrity Wheelchair Tennis Challenge trophy,” jokes Parow about this milestone in his career since his breakthrough 7 years ago with his smash hit Cooler as Ekke.
Army of One can be found on Jack Parow’s EP, From Parow with Love, which comprises, for the greater part, of collaborations with European acts. Parow already released music videos with his Dutch collaborators for Kattenkwaad (with De Kraaien) and Thunderbolts & Lightning featuring Simon from De Likt, from this EP.
In May, the Belguim group, Ertebrekers, released their music video with Parow for Party Too Much.
Thursday, 2 June 2016
This lauded album garnered a 2015 SAMA nomination in the ‘Best Rock Album’ category. Since the album’s launch they have released music videos for Beaten by the Gun and Lazy Day. Now the guys are back with an enthralling and dreamlike music video for Stuck in a Rut. This breath taking music video paints the angst of when you are tired of the norm, but fear change. The band says that the song is about “that feeling of not being able to get out of the deep groove you’ve worn into daily life. You are surrounded by people every day, yet you feel helpless and isolated. You are stuck in a rut. It’s time for a change.”
Fifth Harmony's 7/27 is here! The album has already hit #1 in 53 countries, including in South Africa! Since the release of their debut, Reflection, last year, the girl group's rise has been meteoric: 2016 has been marked with plenty of high-profile performances from 5H, not to mention teases of the new record with the smash single Work from Home which reached number one on the Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart. Earlier this month, Normani Kordei of Fifth Harmony opened up about the group's unlikely career path and working with Ty Dolla $ign on the wildly successful “Work from Home.” She noted that notions of success can often be tricky in the music business. “You’re never guaranteed success, especially in the music industry. It’s pretty unpredictable—just like anything in life. And sometimes, you need to take a different approach, as a creative artist.” The title 7/27 has significant meaning to the group. On the 27 of July 2012, the five girls (Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Camila Cabello, and Lauren Jaureguiand) officially became Fifth Harmony, a life changing moment for all five girls. Releasing the album today a week earlier than scheduled was an important choice. "The number 27, as you guys have already probably figured out, is quite important to us. It means a lot of different things," "And so to keep cohesive with the theme of 27, we have decided to push it one week to the 27th. One week will be nothing." Along with the fans, music critics adore Fifth Harmony and have interesting things to say about their talent with many critics hailing the group as the renaissance of American girl pop.
A couple of years ago I was in Las Vegas for work and was lucky enough to get a ticket to a Blue Man Group concert. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from these guys, but let me tell you, I was up an dancing the whole night as the show is one amazing adventure. It's a must see. And now they are coming to South Africa! BLUE MAN GROUP the wildly popular, award-winning global phenomenon will be visiting South Africa for the first time as part of a new World Tour from February – March 2017. The acclaimed stage show, best known and recognised for its trio of bald and blue performers, will be coming to Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2017.
BLUE MAN GROUP is comedy, theatre, rock concert and dance party all rolled into one. To date, over 35 million people in more than 15 countries have seen one of the various BLUE MAN GROUP productions.
The new World Tour showcases classic Blue Man favourites along with brand new content as they continually update and refresh their shows with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments and state-of-the-art technology.
Co-founder Chris Wink says, “When we first began creating performances centred on this innocent, curious character called Blue Man, we never dreamt where he would lead us. We are so honoured to be able to share our show with the people of South Africa and beyond. We believe the Blue Man’s universal message of joyful exuberance and euphoric celebration resonates within all of us.”
CEO of Big Concerts, Justin Van Wyk said “BLUE MAN GROUP is hugely popular around the world – first time audiences often leave the theatre so exhilarated by the show that it has one of the highest return businesses of any theatrical event. We know it will be the talk of Johannesburg and Cape Town when audiences finally get to experience this innovative, playful and colourful spectacle.”
General Manager – Glenn Joseph commented “We are very excited about welcoming the Blue Man Group to the Teatro, Montecasino. I was blown away by this extraordinary production in Las Vegas a few years ago - the entertainment value is priceless. I know our theatre goers will love this sensory experience.
BLUE MAN GROUP creates experiences that defy categorisation, taking the audience on a journey that is funny, intelligent and visually stunning. All this culminates in the trademark Blue Man Group finale - a blissful party atmosphere.
BLUE MAN GROUP is accompanied by a live band whose tribal rhythms help drive the show to its unforgettable climax.
BLUE MAN GROUP was founded by three close friends Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton in New York in 1991. Since the group’s inception it has grown to include permanent shows in Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, Boston, Chicago and Berlin, as well as a North American Tour and a World Tour. Beyond the stage show, BLUE MAN GROUP has toured the globe with the ‘Megastar World Tour’ rock concert parody, produced multiple albums, including the Grammy-nominated Audio, and the recently released THREE. They will publish their first ever book, Blue Man World, in October 2016.
Van Wyk adds, “With no spoken language BLUE MAN GROUP is perfect for all ages, languages and cultures. It gives everyone the freedom to reconnect with their inner child, to re-experience mischievousness, sheer joy and to see what fun three guys can have with 30 litres of paint and 120 marshmallows in the space of an hour and a half!”
Big Concerts has confirmed that UB40’s three founding members will be making a triumphant return to South Africa in November 2016 with their ‘Red Red Wine Tour’ having wowed audiences across the world proving they are still a worldwide tour de force.
Cape Town: 5th November 2016 at the Grand Arena, GrandWest
Port Elizabeth: 8th November at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Outer Fields
Durban: 10th November at the Durban Botanic Gardens
Johannesburg: 12th November at the Ticketpro Dome
Presented by Heart FM, Algoa FM, East Coast Radio, Jacaranda FM and Channel 24. Another Big Concerts Experience. Britain’s biggest reggae band of all time will be performing classic hits and gems from their many critically acclaimed albums, including ‘Red, Red Wine’, ‘Kingston Town’ and ‘Can’t help falling in Love’
Since reforming in 2013, the trio of Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue have remained at the top of their game, with highlights including their ongoing World tour, a sell-out UK arena tour headlining London’s o2 arena, a huge sell out USA tour and critical acclaim for their new material in 2014’s ‘Silhouette’ album.
Having embarked on their current world tour the three-piece’s step up to even larger venues is a testament to the longevity of their songs, as well as UB40’s status as Britain’s most successful Reggae band of all time, a true music pioneer since 1979.
Friday, 20 May 2016
After Jacques Terre'Blanche released the amazing Afrikaans song DROOMVROU, we called him up to find out how he is doing and why go for Afrikaans music.
“I'm a bit of a cry baby when it comes to watching anything remotely sad.” – Jacques Terre'Blanche
Why did you now decide to write an Afrikaans song and venture into the Afrikaans music side? Well as most of you might know, my father was Afrikaans. We grew up with English as our first language due to the fact that my mother is English speaking and she happened to win that battle. My father was forever on my case about writing and performing Afrikaans music. Since my dad’s passing just over a year ago now, it only seemed fitting to introduce the first Afrikaans song he ever played for me to the Afrikaans audience. I look forward to this new journey and am very excited to carry on writing and exploring the new market.
Tell me more about the start and meaning of your beautiful song, Droomvrou. Well as I mentioned, my father introduced me to this song when I was very young. Being the hopeless romantic he was, he used to tell me that the words to DROOMVROU was indeed the perfect love letter to the girl he never knew. I used to ask, "what about mom?" He used to hush me and say, "every man is allowed to dream!"
I understand there are more Afrikaans music in the work for you - awesome news! Can you tell our readers how many Afrikaans songs you are planning to release this year? Yes, I am working very closely with my team at Select Musiek and we are coming up with some beautiful pieces. I am busy recording the next 2 singles at the moment and hope to release the follow up within the next 2 months.
And the much anticipated question: how about an Afrikaans CD? Well, if all goes according to plan with these next few releases, a full album is definitely in the pipeline. Considering the fact that the Afrikaans audience have embraced DROOMVROU the way they have, I see this being a very strong possibility.
Where did you love for Afrikaans started? My father being an Afrikaans speaking man, always had a beautiful taste in Afrikaans music. It's really thanks to him that I finally saw the light and decided to take it on. I know he'll be looking down very proudly, so this is also very much for him.
Why do you think it's more difficult to break the English market, or the Afrikaans music market? I think in this day and age, if you are capable of applying true emotion to your work, it should relate in any language. This is something I have come to learn. I have had great success with radio play in the English market, but at times found it to be too saturated. I am proudly South African and simply just want to create quality music, be it Afrikaans or English.
Besides music, what are you big plans for the rest of the year (seeing that we are almost halfway in 2016)? My company JT productions is always very busy developing talent and guiding up and coming artists into the music scene. So that always keeps me busy. Always busy gigging here there and everywhere, from bigger corporate functions to random public work, making sure I'm always on the go.
Tell us something about Jacques Terre'Blanche that fans don't know? I'm a bit of a cry baby when it comes to watching anything remotely sad. I think what gets me the most is when I see hard work pay off. When I see pure emotion and talent demonstrated in a humble fashion, I'm finished.
What do you call home? My safe haven. My reflecting tank. The one place I get to just put all my ducks in a row.
Who do you share you home with? Since the passing of my father, I currently reside with my mother and my girlfriend. As soon as mom is strong enough, we'll once again part ways as far as living is concerned.
Musos say that the local music scene and CD sales are on the decline. What do you think of this and what measures would you take to make sure you are at the top of your game? This is definitely true. The trick is not to be fussy when it comes to work. We need to all drop the egos and take on any kind of work, whether it's glam or not. The digital market has grown substantially within the last few years, as long as you're working and showcasing your talent wherever, you're bound to find some sort of recipe that works for sales. Also, radio play is essential for any artist! Adequate air play, adequate digital sales.
Going back to your Idols roots, looking back at that, how has things changed since then for you? Well my whole life changed really. It catapulted me into the industry and lead me to making some really important connections. It's been a crazy ride, and I’ve enjoyed every second.
There are a lot of criticism for music reality shows like Idols, The Voice - what are your thoughts on this? I personally believe, credit where credit is due. If the shows create authentic new talent in this industry, then that is naturally a great thing. I think production quality is always something we could improve on, but that comes with time.
Your favourite song to sing in the shower is...Fly me to the moon. :)
What CD is currently playing in your car? All my rough single mixes. The stuff I'm working on right now. Making notes and studying what needs to be done next. Bit of a perfectionist.
Your song and artist for 2016... Coldplay - Everglow. My favourite band and I would love to sit with Chris Martin and write. It's on the bucket list.
Your most embarrassing moment ever... Well one that springs to mind is me singing the national anthem at Monte Casino before one of the World Cup matches with absolutely no sound coming through the PA. I just carried on in pure silence for the duration of the song for a crowd of 2000. Not a great moment.
Weirdest fan encounter... I had a fan once come to one of my birthday gigs. He set up a party table in the middle of the night club that I was playing at. This table consisted of party hats for toddlers, creamsoda lucky packets and so much more. He stood on his own at his party table the whole night. I think people in the club at the time, honestly though they were seeing things. Bazar to say the least. :)
Any other hidden talents? Love my sport and play a lot of league and tournament squash. Also love to cook and pretty much take on anything that's entails creativity.
Thursday, 19 May 2016
South African music is exploding on global stages thanks to trailblazers such as DJ sensation Black Coffee, who will be presented with the sought-after International Achievement Award at the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards. #SAMA22 organisers RiSA have announced that Black Coffee, whose real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo, will be honoured for flying the South African music flag loudly and proudly across the world at this year’s awards ceremony taking place on Saturday, 4 June 2016, at the Durban ICC.
The Durban-born SA music icon in the making has had a dream year by anyone’s standards which has seen him take the world’s dance capital of Ibiza by storm as well as criss-crossing the globe on a 17 country tour that spanned four continents over five months. This tour included dates in North America.
The profile and popularity of the Afropolitan house whizz and ace producer continues to soar on global stages. This year, Black Coffee ramped up his touring schedule, delivering more headline-grabbing performances at some of the world’s leading festivals, including a monster set at Coachella in California in April.
The rollercoaster year of career milestones and a skyrocketing international reputation was capped off by Black Coffee being chosen to grace the cover of MixMag – the first African DJ to have this honour – and being named the authoritative dance music magazine’s Star of the Year.
As if that weren’t enough, he scooped the Dance Nation of the Year Award for South Africa and Best Breakthrough Artist Award at Ibiza’s prestigious DJ Awards last year – and was featured by dance luminary Pete Tong on his popular BBC1 radio show.
Of his prestigious 22nd Annual South African Music Awards accolade, Black Coffee said, “I’m truly honoured by this great gesture. What makes it really special for me is that from the beginning I’ve always wanted to follow in the footsteps of Bra Hugh Masekela, Johnny Clegg, DJ Mbuso, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Busi Mhlongo, the late Lucky Dube and Miriam Makeba to name a few. These are people who strongly believed South African Music and Culture was not inferior, but even more special because of our diverse cultures. As a proud South African, I urge our youth to understand that the future of our country is in their hands, to leave the past behind, know that they can be anything they want to be and the World is their oyster. Trust Your Dopeness. This wouldn't be possible without my amazing team at Soulistic Music, Real Tone Agency and William Morris Agency. I dedicate this award to my beautiful Wife Mbalenhle and my children who allow me to continue chase my dreams. Thank you to the powers that be at the SAMAs for this Honour.”
This multiple South African Music Awards winner has bagged four #SAMA22 nominations, including in the hotly contested categories of Album of the Year (for Pieces of Me) and Best Male Artist, and shows no signs of slowing down in setting international dancefloors ablaze with his potent brew of homegrown dance grooves.
Black Coffee will be presented with the International Achievement Award during the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards, to be held at the Durban ICC on Saturday 4 June 2016. The ceremony will be broadcast live on SABC1 from 20:00. Tickets for the live spectacle are available at Computicket, starting at R350.