Friday, 31 July 2015

Zayn Malik signs global recording deal

Tom Corson, President and COO, RCA Records; Zayn Malik; Peter Edge, Chairman and CEO, RCA Records.Photo Credit: @KevinMazur /WireImage

RCA Records and Syco Music announce today that former One Direction member Zayn Malik will release his debut solo album on RCA Records. Simon Cowell of Syco Music says: “With RCA, Zayn has the perfect label to work with on his solo career. They are excited about working with him and I am sure whatever they release together will be special.” Comments Peter Edge and Tom Corson of RCA: “Zayn’s a genius songwriter with an incredible voice, and we are proud to have him join our roster of iconic superstars. We are thrilled he has entrusted us to deliver his personal artistic vision to millions of his fans across the globe.” In March of this year, Zayn announced his departure from One Direction, currently the world’s most successful group, having sold more than 54 million albums worldwide.

One Direction Release Brand New Single 'Drag Me Down'

One Direction surprised fans with the impromptu release of their brand new single ‘Drag Me Down’. The band dropped the song on iTunes and Spotify worldwide today at 7.30am (South African time) with no fanfare, and before premiering it on radio or online. Featuring crashing guitars and soaring harmonies, ‘Drag Me Down’ showcases a more mature One Direction sound. With sales of over 65 million worldwide and performances to over 7.5 million fans, One Direction truly are a pop phenomenon. In May this year the band won two Billboard Awards for Top Group and Top Touring Artist. The band are currently on the American leg of their massive On The Road Again stadium tour, before returning to the UK this Septembe for another sold out arena tour.  Their fifth album is due for release this November.

Andrea Bocelli - The Complete Pop Albums

Renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is the most successful classical solo artist ever and one of the best-selling performers in any genre, having sold more than 80 million albums worldwide of both his classical and pop albums. The 13 titles that form his incredible ‘pop’ catalogue, recently remastered with attention to every detail, to ensure the highest sonic quality, will be released in a box set with faithfully replicated original artwork, including the original booklets. The 3 bonus discs are a collection of rare tracks that have not been available internationally, and only available as bonus tracks on local versions of certain albums. The collection from Sugar Music / UMe will be available both as individual albums and within the expansive and lavish box set which includes all 13 albums, ranging from 1994’s Il Mare Calmo Della Sera to 2013’s Passione and the live Love in Portofino. This is to be the first time Il Mare Calmo Della Sera has been available in many territories. The bonus discs contain two highly sought after and rare tracks, ‘Quando Mi Innamoro,’ the original version of ‘Cuando Me Enamoro’ and ‘Solo Piu’ Che Mai,’ the Italian version of Sinatra’s ‘Strangers In The Night.’

Calvin Harris apparently wrote a song about Taylor Swift's toes

You must seriously be in love if you write a song about your partner’s toes. Scottish DJ Calvin Harris has been dating  Taylor Swift since February, and the pair's relationship appears to be very healthy. Music-News reports that the Scottish DJ decided to pen a song which explains his feelings for Taylor, before performing it for his partner. "It was really romantic, just him and an acoustic guitar, about how she's so rare in their world, love at first sight. there's a funny line in there about how even her toes are perfect!" a source told America's OK! Magazine.” However, instead of finding it very romantic, Taylor found it very funny and cracked up when she hear it. "She laughed so hard because she thinks they're her worst feature and he thinks she's crazy, the source added.

FREE MUSIC! UK band Livingston FREE album download ahead of Oppikoppi

“This August we are touring South Africa and we are giving away our latest album “Animal” for free exclusively in SA. Download below! Enjoy it! Ngiyanemukela! Siya namkela nonke! Kenang ka kgotso! Šalang gabotse! Le amogetswe! A ku ve Khisimusi lerinene! Wamukelekile! Impilo enhle! Mashudu mavhuya! Geniet Dit!” ~ Livingston.

UK rock band Livingston will be coming to South Africa in August 2015. Their tour will kick off at Oppikoppi The Fantastic Mr Vos Vos and national show dates include the following:

14 August -  Arcade Empire, Pretoria. Doors open: 20h00. Cover R50.00
15 August -  Rumours Lounge, Johannesburg. Doors open 20h00. Cover R50.00
20 August – Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein. Time and cover TBC.
22 August -  The Music Kitchen, Port Elizabeth. Doors open 20h00. Cover R50.00
27 August -  Aces & Spades, Cape Town. Doors open 20h00. Free Entry.
28 August - Saronsberg Theatre, Tulbagh Time: 19h00 for 20h00. Cover R80.

The band will also spend time on a farm in Newcastle in Natal to write and record their next album.

Having formed in the multi-cultural hub of London, Livingston searched high and low to find their collective musical feet. With singer Beukes Willemse and a guitarist/keyboardist Chris van Niekerk from South Africa, guitarist/percussionist Jakob Nebel from Germany and bassist Phil Magee from the UK, it seemed almost impossible that their paths would cross. However fate took hold when Beukes was re-united with Chris in London to find the missing pieces to the Livingston puzzle. The band has since also set up roots in Berlin and currently operates between the UK and Germany.

Finding their feet with 2008’s debut Sign Language and 2012’s Fire To Fire (Universal Music Germany), the band achieved numerous successes including Top 20 in the German Sales Charts and Number 1 Amazon & iTunes Rock Charts. Their single “Broken” went to Top 20 and their second single “Go” was the official song for German national broadcaster ZDF during the winter Olympics of 2010.

The Band also collaborated with Hugh Masekela and Till Brunner for a song for the Football World Cup in South Africa (2010).

The Band and their Music where also featured in the international blockbuster movie Chalet Girl featuring Bill Nighy, Felicity Jones, Brooke Shields and Ed Westwick.

Retreating to a hunter’s cabin in the woods just outside Berlin, an unorthodox location for a band who had previously recorded at the hallowed grounds of Abbey Road and Sonic Ranch with producers such as David Botrill .(Muse, Tool, Placebo) The band wrote, produced, recorded and mixed Animal entirely on their own. The result? Animal is Livingston at their purest.

Livingston released Animal in the UK, Benelux and GSA in Autumn 2014, followed by successful tour where the band displayed their best and most dynamic live shows to date. Listen to the single “Chemicals” off the album (submitted to SA Radio in June 2015) here: https://soundcloud.com/livingstonmusic/livingston-chemicals-radio-edit

US rockers The Gaslight Anthem is taking a break

After five awesome albums US rockers The Gaslight Anthem has decided to take a step back and go on break. On their Fasebook post they explained they want to feel "excited" before making another album as opposed to recording one for the sake of it.
"We wanted to let everyone know that we'll all be taking a break from The Gaslight Anthem after this next European tour in August," they wrote. "We're all going to do other projects and stay active in some way or another, both in and out of music, but we'd like to step away from the band until we decide what we'd like to do next. We'd like to recharge and take a step back until we have something we feel excited about rather than going right back to making a record just for the sake of making the next record. We all feel this is the best decision we can make and it feels like the right one for us. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our band for the last eight years and we'll see you down the road!" Their last album Get Hurt was released in 2014.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Carly Rae Jepsen South African Tour

Hilltop Live Africa and Universal Music South Africa, in partnership with 94.7  and MTV announced today, two dates for Carly Rae Jepsen, the Grammy Award-nominated multi-platinum-selling Canadian recording artist, as part of her E.MO.TION album release in South Africa. The “Call Me Maybe” and “I Really Like You” singer will perform at Grand Arena, GrandWest, Cape Town on 21 October 2015 and the Monument Amphitheatre, Pretoria on 24 October 2015. Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album, E-MO-TION, is the follow-up to Jepsen's U.S. debut album Kiss, which featured her blockbuster break-out hit "Call Me Maybe." "Call Me Maybe" climbed to No. 1 on the iTunes Singles charts in over 47 countries and has sold over 17 million singles worldwide to date. It earned Jepsen 2012 GRAMMY nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year. Kiss also spawned the follow-up hit "Good Time," a duet with Owl City, which has been certified double-platinum. Jepsen spent much of 2014 starring in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, earning rave reviews. The first single released from E-MO-TION, "I Really Like You," became a global Top 40 hit and earned a host of positive reviews from such outlets as Spin, People, TIME, Nylon, Paper, BuzzFeed and more.  The video for "I Really Like You," which co-stars Tom Hanks, has racked up more than 85 million Vevo views. Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album E.MO.TION will be released to South African stores on 21 August. The new single “Run Away with Me” can now be heard on 94.7

Date: 21 October 2015
Doors: 18:00
Venue: Grand Arena, GrandWest, Cape Town

Golden Circle - R550
General Standing - R500
Mezzanine Seating - R450

Date: 24 October 2015
Doors: 12:00
Venue: Monument Amphitheatre, Pretoria

General Standing / Seating - R375

* Tickets from Computicket and Shoprite Checkers

BlackByrd joins Folk Festival Line Up at Baxter

With a few days to go tickets are going fast for the Cape Town Folk `n Acoustic Music Festival 2015 presented by Real Wired Music and Polo Jeans Company. On the 7th and 8th August 2015, an array of top South African artists will perform completely acoustically in an intimate, concert-style setting.

Real Wired Music has just announced that BlackByrd has now also joined the stellar line up on both the event nights. BlackByrd is well known for their innovative combination of pop, country and ballads. Their debut album “Strong” took SA by storm with 5 number 1 hit singles and reached gold status.  Their second album “Home” delivered two more no 1 singles and the group has also had an impressive 7 SAMA nominations over the past few years. They were also nominated for a SAMRO Wawela Music Award 2015.

Organiser Gavin Minter from Real Wired Music says: “Over the last 7 Folk n Acoustic events we have showcased 118 artists and bands, involving approximately 150 musicians. For this next concert we have decided to not repeat any of the artists from the past 7 concerts. We want to keep it fresh! We are honoured to have David Kramer on the line up. We are also excited about having new talented artists like Fruit Vendor and Chris Werge sharing a stage with legends like Valiant Swart, Tony Cedras and Roger Lucey.”

Take - Folk, Bluegrass, Celtic Music, Cape Jazz and a Swamp of Blues… then throw in a few guitars, a piano, violin, banjo, ukulele, cello, piano accordion, steel pan, blues harp and voices from the heavens - all played by some of South Africa’s finest in these genres – and you have the Cape Town Folk n Acoustic Music Festival.

The line-up:

Friday 7th August: David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, BlackByrd, Tailor, Medicine Boy, Donovan Copley from Hotwater, Andra, Wren Hinds, Faye Oakes, Roger Lucey, Bill Knight Fruit Vendor, Chris Verge, Jasmine Minter.

Saturday 8th August:  David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, BlackByrd, Tailor, Donovan Copley from Hotwater, Nicky Schrire, Ariella Caira, Rocking Horse, Andra, Timothy Hutchinson, Jono Grayson, Tony Cedras, Dave Reynolds, Basson Laubscher.

Ticket Prices: R195 to R175 per ticket.  Bookings at Computicket have opened:

T.I in South Africa!

Following the massive success that is JACK DANIEL’S BOOMTOWN DURBAN, promoters Airey Scott are proud to announce the launch of JACK DANIEL’S BOOMTOWN JOBURG taking place on the 17th October at Zoo Lake Sports Club in Parkview, Johannesburg.

As we launch the inaugural JACK DANIEL’S BOOMTOWN in Joburg, the most exciting news is that our Headline Artist for the show will be international hip hop sensation T.I.

The international hip-hop icon and multiple Grammy Award winner has never performed in SA, and will perform tracks from a variety of his 9 Studio Albums for the first time on the continent in October. T.I is a multi-platinum artist with sales of more than 30 million singles, and 14 million albums. Along the way, he has collaborated with other such marquee artists as Jay Z, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga, Drake and Kanye West.

A handpicked selection of the SA’s top local talent will be added to the line-up and announced closer to the concert date.

In recent years JACK DANIEL’S BOOMTOWN has established itself as the country’s leading lifestyle experience that celebrates local and international hip-hop, urban, and house culture.

JACK DANIEL’S BOOMTOWN - Joburg will be a sophisticated day turns to night occasion.

This experience will combine premium hospitality with local and international hip-hop legends, in a beautiful outdoor venue conveniently located in the middle of Jo’burg! Raised VIP Hospitality decks, incredible Stage and Sound infrastructure, and different zones will combine together to create an experiential world. Expect everything you experience at   JACK DANIEL’S BOOMTOWN at the Vodacom Durban July, but without the horse races. The dress code will be stylish, smart casual. This will be an event to show off your best. Doors open at 13:00. JACK DANIEL’S BOOMTOWN tickets on sale at Computicket. For hospitality and group bookings, contact the Airey Scott offices on 031 566 2720.


General Access: R 490
Golden Circle: R 850
VIP: R 1 700
VVIP: R 2750
VIP Private Tables: R 2 950
VVIP Private Tables: R 3 450

The Parlotones to push audience to the floor in Pretoria on 30 August

On 30 August the Old Mutual Music in the Gardens series makes history, when both the Pretoria National Botanical Garden and the Walter Sisulu National Garden will host performances by iconic South Africa artists.  The Parlotones will play in Pretoria from 13:00, while Johnny Clegg will play at Walter Sisulu from 17:00. Old Mutual, Jacaranda FM, SANBI and Hilltop Live have lined up the cream of the crop to perform at the 2015 Old Mutual Music in the Gardens series, and who better to kick off the second half of the series than one of the most successful bands ever to come out of South Africa - The Parlotones. The Parlotones - Kahn Morbee, Neil Pauw and brothers’ Glen and Paul Hodgson - formed over 10 years ago and have achieved massive success in South Africa, as well as the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and North America. The winners of two SAMA awards for Best Rock Album have also toured South America, Canada, Australia, Japan and Russia. Legends they have toured with include Coldplay, Starsailor, Snow Patrol and Blue October. The Parlotones released their new album in April this year.  Antiques and Artefacts features the singles ‘Dance’ and ‘You Need to Stay A While’ and fans of the band can expect these along with firm favourites ‘Push Me To The Floor’, ‘Giant Mistake’, ‘Colourful’ and more. The Parlotones will be joined by Johannesburg singer/songwriter Trevor Rebello. Tickets are available before concert day via www.plankton.mobi for R50 per adult, and at the entrance on the day for R100 per adult. Children under 12 enter for free. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - the nominations are in!

Credit: www.mileycyrus.com
So Miley is back. The tongue wagging twerking singer is hosting the 2015 MTV Music Awards, which is taking place on 30 August in Los Angeles (Microsoft Theatre). Besides that woo-pee moment, the real juice is in the nominations! Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé are leading the pack with the most nods for one of music's biggest nights. Taylor is first in line with nine nominations. Second is Ed Sheeran with six nominations and Bey with five nominations. The rest of the nominations are:

Beyoncé, "7/11"
Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar, "Bad Blood"
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"

Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"
The Weeknd, "Earned It"
Nick Jonas, "Chains"

Beyoncé, "7/11"
Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"
Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda"
Sia, "Elastic Heart"
Ellie Goulding, "Love Me Like You Do"

Fetty Wap, "Trap Queen"
Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda"
Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth, "See You Again"
Big Sean ft. E-40, "IDFWU"

Beyoncé,  "7/11"
Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Maroon 5, "Sugar"

Hozier, "Take Me To Church"
Fall Out Boy, "Uma Thurman"
Florence + the Machine, "Ship To Wreck"
Walk the Moon, "Shut Up and Dance"
Arctic Monkeys, "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?"

Fetty Wap, "Trap Queen"
Vance Joy, "Riptide"
George Ezra, "Budapest"
James Bay, "Hold Back The River"
FKA Twigs, "Pendulum"

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar, "Bad Blood"
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars,  "Uptown Funk"
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth, "See You Again"
Ariana Grande & The Weeknd, "Love Me Harder"
Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, "Bang Bang"

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

R&B superstars Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds live in South Africa and Zimbabwe

Legendary R&B superstars Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will be performing in South Africa and Zimbabwe between 28 August and 3 September 2015.

Known and loved around the world for their chart-topping radio classics, both iconic singer/songwriters shaped the sound of R&B throughout the 90s both as individual superstars and collaborators.

A hit making machine with enviable longevity, 11-time Grammy award winning Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds has to his name no less than 130 Top 10 R&B and Pop hits, 43 number 1 R&B hits and 55 Top 10 Pop hits.  Edmonds is the recipient of numerous awards, including Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards and American Music Awards. He was also the recipient of the third BET Walk of Fame Award, and was named BET’s “Entertainer of the Year” at the First Annual BET Awards Ceremony. Just a few of the vocalists from which his music can be heard: Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, TLC, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion, John Mellencamp, Anthony Hamilton, Brandy, Aretha Franklin, Fall Out Boy, Pink, Charlie Wilson, Chrisette Michele, Barbra Streisand, Ariana Grande, and Colbie Caillait

Over the course of her storied career, Toni Braxton has earned a total of seven Grammy Awards and sold over 66 million records worldwide. Among other achievements, she’s received nine Billboard Music Awards and seven American Music Awards and been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. She appeared on the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars and helped bring the hit reality show WE tv’sBraxton Family Values to life as both an executive producer and star. Expanding her pop culture imprint, she serves as an executive producer on Tamar & Vince. Transferring her dynamic presence to the stage, she has starred in Broadway productions of Beauty and the Beast, Aida, and After Midnight.  Most recently, her 2014 collaboration with Babyface, Love, Marriage & Divorce, debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Top 200 (her sixth Top Ten entry on the chart) and #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It went on to win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. Braxton continues to engage, endear, and enchant audiences worldwide with everything she does.

Decades after ‘Give You My Heart’, the 1992 hit single on which they first sang together, the two paired up to share their experiences of love on the 2014 co-written Grammy winning duets album ‘Love, Marriage and Divorce’.  It struck a chord with South African fans who made it the highest selling album in the country in 2014. Toni Braxton and Babyface’s tour has long been in demand in Southern Africa.

Catch them live on:

Harare, Zimbabwe - Borrowdale Racecourse - 28 August 2015
Durban -  Moses Mabhida Stadium – 30 August 2015
Cape Town -  Grand Arena, Grandwest – 1 September 2015
Johannesburg – The Ticketpro Dome - 3 September 2015

Tickets start at R450 from www.ticketpro.co.za

All hail 'President' Karen Zoid who makes history on iTunes!

Since the second series of Republiek van Zoid Afrika kicked off on Thursday 2 July, “president” Karen Zoid has reached the weekly no 1 download on SA iTunes for the past three weeks with songs that were performed with her guests on the show. The first chart topper was Karen Zoid and Jack Parow`s live performance of “Cooler as Ekke”; week two saw her duet “Lose when you Lie” with Steve Hofmeyr take the no 1 spot and last week her “Hillbrow” collaboration with Bobby van Jaarsveld also reached no 1, making Karen Zoid the first South Africa artist to top the Top40 SA with iTunes chart on KFM and 947 for three weeks in a row with three different songs.

Top40 SA presenter, Rob Vember says: “The Top40 SA with iTunes gives listeners the opportunity to decide the chart position of their favourite songs by downloading them from iTunes both before and during the live show. The fans have spoken loud and clear with Karen Zoid remaining top of the chart for three weeks in a row with three different songs – a first for any artist on the chart! A huge congratulations to Karen on this achievement and a big thank you to everyone for supporting our home-grown talent!”

Karen Zoid says that she is grateful to be in a position where she can connect artists with an audience through her TV show. “I am blown away by the support from the public. As all my fellow artists know, we have to consistently work for years and only some of us are lucky enough to EVENTUALLY come up with a hit song on radio or on the song charts. So to have had 3 songs, over the past 3 weeks is just crazy! I love collaborating with fellow musicians and I enjoy making music with a different artist every week on Republiek Van Zoid Afrika. The music industry is changing globally and it is great to know that people in SA are willing to spend R9.99 on a track. As long as fans support the artists by buying their music, attending their shows and sharing their news, the music plays on.”

Republiek van Zoid Afrika, Karen`s talk show on kykNET airs on Thursdays at 20h30. Every week two South African icons or celebrities are featured as guests on the show. Karen`s engaging questions and great sense of humor has made the show an instant hit when first broadcast in 2014. The fact that she also knows most of her guests very well gives an intimate and spontaneous feel to the conversations. Towards the end of the show, each guest also receives an appointment as a particular minister in the Republic of Zoid Afrika. Last week`s show featured Marc Lottering and Bobby van Jaarsveld. Marc Lottering was appointed Minister of Laughter. Because Bobby van Jaarsveld sister Karlien van Jaarsveld is already Minister of Pop, Bobby received a special accolade and was crowned as ‘Meneer Republiek van Zoid Afrika.’ The show ends with a live performance and from there fans can immediately download these songs.

Republiek van Zoid Africa Season 2 consists of 13 episodes in total. Catch episode 4 on Thursday 23 July at 20h30. This week`s studio guests are Anneli van Rooyen, Jana Cilliers and Lika Berning.

Monday, 20 July 2015

2015 MTV Africa Music Awards

Stars of the African and international music industry came out in force tonight in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa for the fifth uplifting edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal. Saluting and championing African music, youth culture and achievement, MAMA 2015 brought the continent together for a massive celebration contemporary music and creativity, including electrifying performances, collaborations and awards presentations. The MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal 2015, brought to you by KwaZulu-Natal Province in association with Absolut Vodka and in partnership with The City of Durban, returns to the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Saturday 18 July 2015.

The big winners on the night included Nigerian stars Yemi Alade and Davido, who took home the Best Male and Best Female awards, respectively, while hip hop star Cassper Nyovest nabbed the Best Hip Hop award. “Koko master”, D’Banj, won the MAMA Evolution award, a new category honouring established artists who have made an indelible mark on African and global music culture, taken African music to new territories around the world, pushed the boundaries of creativity, and shaped the soundscape of contemporary Africa.

South African comedian and newly appointed Daily Show host Trevor Noah triumphed in Personality of the Year.  Patoranking won Best New Act Transformed by Absolut, given in recognition of new and emerging artists. Saran Kaba Jones and S’Bu Mavundla shared equal honours for the MTV Base Leadership award.

Stunning collaborations between artists of different genres saw NE-YO take to the stage with Seyi Shay, 2Face collaborating with Bucie, Sauti Sol pairing up with Yemi Alade and Patoranking swapping beats with K.O.  The show ended on a high with a jubilant medley mash-up by Artist of the Decade winners P-Square, featuring hit tracks “Personally”, “Chop My Money”, “Alingo” and “Shekini”. Other performers included DJ Fisherman, NaakmusiQ, DJ Tira, Anselmo Ralph, Danger from Big Nuz, Duncan, Burna Boy, Stonebwoy, Da LES, Diamond, Flavour, Toofan, D’Banj, Davido, Uhuru, Black Motion and Cassper Nyovest. Emmy award nominated actor, Anthony Anderson captivated the 5,000-strong MAMA audience with his lively humour, engaging charisma and unexpected outfit changes.

Commenting after the show, Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa, said: “Africa is a continent of the now and the future; tonight was testament to that. MAMA 2015 represented and reflected the abundant amount of creativity and passion this continent breeds.”
The MAMA 2015 coincided with the nationwide celebration of the late Nelson Mandela’s birthday, a fact that was touched on by artists in the show.

Walking the red carpet at the awards were nominees Bonang Matheba, HHP, Chameleone, Dreamteam, HHP, Riky Rick, Samini, OC Ukeje, Bebe Cool, Mpumi, Jovi, Uhuru and Vanessa Mdee. Other famous faces included comedian Trevor Gumbi, Nigerian OAP Toolz, MTV Shuga star and Mr Nigeria Emmanuel Ikbese, BET “Top Actor” winner Altovise Lawrence, Miss South Africa Liesl Laurie, Boity, Khuli Chana, Joselyn Dumas, Jessica Nkosi, actress Zikhona Sodlaka, and MTV Base VJs Sizwe, Nomuzi, Ehiz and Sandile.

2015 winners in full:

Best Female: Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
Best Male: Davido (Nigeria)
Best Group: P-Square (Nigeria)
Best New Act Transformed by Absolut: Patoranking (Nigeria)
Best Hip Hop:  Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)
Best Collaboration: AKA, Burna Boy, Da LES & JR: “All Eyes On Me” (SA/Nigeria)
Song of the Year: Mavins: “Dorobucci” (Nigeria)
Best Live: Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
Video of the Year:  “Nafukwa” – Riky Rick; Director: Adriaan Louw
Best Pop & Alternative: Jeremy Loops (South Africa)
Best Francophone: DJ Arafat (Ivory Coast)
Best Lusophone: Ary (Angola)
Personality of the Year:  Trevor Noah (South Africa)
MAMA Evolution: D’Banj (Nigeria)
Best International: Nicki Minaj
Artist of the Decade: P-Square
MTV Base Leadership Award: Saran Kaba Jones & S’Bu Mavundla

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Ashlinn Gray Releases Battleships music video

In a little over four months, Ashlinn Gray has gone from “the girl next door” to local superstar. At age 18, the young starlet has blossomed into a dedicated, hard-working and talent singer songwriter, who is not afraid to take the risk if it means reaching her dreams. Her debut single Battleships charted on various stations across the country, the words “not sending out an SOS” hot on everyone’s lips. Today she releases the song’s accompanying music video, brought to life by Director Byron Taylor of 4Shores Media. He says, "I have been producing and directing an international television series for a few years, already filming Season 3 - yet I've always wanted to make a music video. I wanted to connect with a talented artist who, firstly, has inspirational lyrics in their songs and secondly looks great on camera. We came across Ashlinn's Battleships and I was sold!" Ashlinn, who had an absolute blast shooting the video, is overwhelmed by the support of fans thus far and inspires to continue writing music that people can relate too and enjoy at the same time. She says, “With my EP being built around light and dark, and Battleships being the biggest symbol of these two opposites, I wanted the music video to emphasis this theme. What really makes this video special is that I was able to incorporate some of my favourite things in life: friends and family, celebration, and last but not least, sparklers. “Having such a cohesive team behind the makings of the video has made the experience unforgettable and has produced a product I am proud of.”

New Festival River Republic Breederiver!

Remember this: 27 – 29 November 215, Round The Bend Camp, Breede River, Swellendam. The Kiffness; Grassy Spark; Jackal & The Wind; Kings Down South; Hugo.Hugh; Private Life; Stone Age Citizens; The Vanilla; The Liminals; Toby2Shoes and more to be announced soon! Where lilo meets river and electro meets rock, pop, swing and folk; where a grassy dance floor meets a bar, and a floating stage reveals a glimmer... of a hidden paradise. Calling all facial-hair-bearing hipsters, jaunty jocks, burlesque beauties, fancy freelancers, busy business people, or anyone else who loves some fun: It’s time to run away to the river for one weekend of beats, mayhem, mischief and magic. Escape to the River Republic. A place where time slows and feet are moved by the rhythm of the river and the movements of the sun. Where people laugh and scream and dance and dream, and there’s no hate or sadness or horror or badness, just joy and electro, and light and delight. Catch your most loved local musicians, both DJs and bands, and play chess on a dance floor quite chequered and grand. Meet new people and make friends for life, and for a while forget your city strife. Let the music keep playing with a shake and a shiver, and you’ll be ever so grateful you came to the river. River Republic is brought to you by Red Hot Events, the same team that bring you UP THE CREEK every year. Annie Sowden, owner of Red Hot Events explains “we have taken our experience to create something new not only for punters but also for our team.  Our philosophy is to have fun and to constantly reinvent ourselves. After all, variety is the spice of life. Round the Bend, a space with rolling green lawns along the river banks, is arguably one of the most fun places on the planet to organise a party. With only 1500 spaces available, we cannot think of anything nicer than 3 days of cool music vibes with our fellow republicans!” Tickets: R850 for general camping. Pre- pitched tents, chalets and self- catering units also available. Visit the website www.riverrepublic.co.za for more information and to book your package.

FRANCOIS VAN COKE Releases the second music video from his solo album – Behoort aan niemand nie

During FRANCOIS VAN COKE’s successful mini tour to Europe in June, he found the time to shoot his next solo music video with his long-time friend, Johan J. Nel in Amsterdam.  Johan produced several of Fokofpolisiekar’s music videos. The video is a retrospective look at Francois’ carreer over the last twelve years and what led him to become who he is today.  Behoort aan niemand nie (Belong to no one) is also his declaration of independence. Following the runaway success of his first music video, Toe Vind Ek Jou with Karen Zoid, Francois is proud to present the second music video from his debut self-titled solo album: Behoort aan niemand nie. This opening track of the album kicks off with spooky vocals and distorted bass guitar.  The verse moves in rhythm to rock ‘n roll of the 80’s.  The chorus ‘Staan terug vir niemand nie, behoort aan niemand nie’ (‘Stand back for no one, belong to no one’) is a mission statement for the future exposed with straightforward acoustic guitar and piano.  Jedd Kossew plays a fantastic melodic solo, underscored with industrial and electronic sounds close to the end.
NB! Francois’ APP for iPhone and Android is available for free from your phone’s AppStore.