Apple Music announce AWEN as the latest Isgubhu cover star

Apple Music has announced French-Senegalese dance music singer-songwriter and producer, AWEN (real name Lucille Kante) as its latest Isgubhu cover star. Her debut album Redemption (2021), moves between soulful Afro House and deep spiritual trip hop and features Umlazi-born, self-taught Afro House producer and DJ, Enoo Napa on the title-track “Redemption”. As a frequent collaborator with various Afro House artists from all over Africa, AWEN’s incorporation of multiple genres and sonic elements into her music is testament to her constant growth and ongoing journey. 

AWEN has also created an exclusive Isgubhu playlist that features tracks that fuel her musical fire and that showcase Africa’s rich dance music talent through the years. 

“I had great fun curating the Isgubhu playlist for Apple Music. I included some timeless classics, such as Tony Allen’s ‘African Man’ just because those tunes paved the way for African dance music as we know it today. I also included some new gems from artists I love and admire such as Black Coffee, Sun El-Musician, Msaki and Black Motion; you will also find a few tunes from my album Redemption. What do all these tracks have in common? They all take from various influences to create a unique form of soulfulness that makes us feel more alive,” she tells Apple Music.

Taking over Isgubhu By… for this month is eSwatini-hailing electronic producer and deep house DJ, !Sooks (real name Sukoluhle Dlamini). Having been enthralled by African music and synth sound creation, !Sooks’ first milestone came when he released his debut EP, 7 Years of Colour (2016) under Antidote Music, quickly following this up with his second release, A Different Place (2016) under international label Deepstitched Records. Since then he’s blazed a unique trail while honing his ambient, moody groove.

“Growing up, my dad exposed me to a lot of amazing music, especially jazz, which inspired my love for music as a whole. This particular selection showcases my love for a variety of sounds within African dance music and it is this plethora of sounds that inspires my music production today. My selection for Apple Music features music from South Africa, Namibia and Eswatini, which to me shows the growth of African dance and electronic music. We have come of age and the sound has moved from the underground scene and has stepped into the mainstream through the advancement of Amapiano, Afro House and other emerging African dance music subgenres,” he explains.

Launched in early 2021, Isgubhu is the definitive home of African Dance and Electronic music on Apple Music and spotlights and elevates the work of African Electronic DJs, producers and creatives. Isgubhu, a Zulu word meaning beat and used to refer to a banging song, pays homage to an evergreen set of genres and the African artists who have played a pivotal role in shaping the Dance and Electronic scene across the world.

Isgubhu also houses a collection of playlists including Spotlight On – a focus on boutique labels like Soul Candi, House Afrika, Stay True Sounds, Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala & Nyege Nyege Tapes, Kenya’s Gondwana KE, and eSwatini’s Antidote Music, as well as Isgubhu Voices – a focus on the best Dance and Electronic tracks that feature vocals.

Listen to Isgubhu only on Apple Music http://apple.co/Isgubhu 

Kickin It With Kim Jayde – Season 2

After a year of eager anticipation, the season premiere of “Kickin it with Kim Jayde” has officially dropped on YouTube.

Directed, produced and hosted by the multi-award winning TV host and business entertainment entrepreneur, Kim Jayde, the proudly local show is back for another exciting season for sneaker fanatics around the continent.

Kickin it with Kim Jayde’ brings together some of the top sneaker lovers in the industry, while shining a new light on some of your favourite celebrities and taste makers.

The season premiere stars special guest BLXCKIE Somnyama. With a debut album on every playlist, and the recently awarded 2021 Best Freshman of the Year at the SA Hip Hop Awards, there’s no denying his talent. We learn more about the Durban born artist’s career and hear him answer fun questions about his first kiss, first sneakers and how he won his first rap battle.

The rest of the season is just as star-studded, with internationally renown DJ Doowap, ‘Big Flexa’ Costa Titch, marketing guru King Aya and platinum selling artist Shekhinah.

 Every guest is invited to bring sneakers from their personal collection which they share more about in the show.

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Christmas at Cresta Shopping Centre

December is the best time to enjoy quality family time together. With its fun activities and abundance of adventure, Cresta makes it easy for shoppers to get their Christmas on, with their safe and innovative festive SEAson program. In addition, the first-class entertainment lineup is so impressive that shoppers will look for excuses to make multiple visits to the mall.

Cresta is a progressive mall with mixed-use spaces that bring together entertainment, leisure, health and wellness, and other novel experiences. The centre has created community spaces where people meet, socialise and build consciousness for the environment. With over 34 fish species, the CrestAquarium Fish Tank transports shoppers and especially children to a peaceful and magical space. Children learn about the importance of protecting the marine environment at the Under the Sea Marine Exploration Exhibition at Cresta, which provides a realistic experience with animatronic models where visitors feel they are on the Coast while exploring this exhibit. The exhibition reminds us of the beauty and majesty of marine life and our responsibility to protect it. Especially for inlanders to become more conscious of our impact and footprint, we teach children the importance of picking up after themselves and keeping our beaches clean and safe.

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Adele Tells Apple Music About Her New Album called “30”

Credit: Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1

I’m a huge Adele fan, and eagerly awaited her new album called ’30’. She always comes across as so real in her interviews, like she’s talking to a friend, and one really gets to understand where she’s coming from and the reason for her lyrics.

Adele joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to unpack her highly anticipated fourth studio album ’30’. The global superstar tells Apple Music about the emotional journey that lead to the album’s release, losing and regaining her connection with her own music, the anger she experienced after leaving her marriage, how making ’30’ helped her and why she thinks it can help others. She also discusses the challenges of being single and dating, not enjoying celebrity, her message for other artists, parenting through divorce, Amy Winehouse, and more. 

Watch the interview at the bottom of this post.

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The Trace Group and Okuhle Media Merge to form Trace Studios

The Cape Town based audio-visual production company, Okuhle Media (acquired by Trace Group in 2020), announced the rebranding of their recent merger. With the on-going combined offering of services, the newly rebranded Trace Studios officially took effect on the 1st of October 2021.
 
The initial strategy was put in place several months ago to invest in development, IP creation, and talent, and it is already paying off. New shows that already have some notable ratings successes include:
 

  • Signal High – The teen drama series that earlier this year, performed consistently at +49% slot average.
  • Wild Orphan Rescue – A wildlife series produced for Fremantle and SABC, directed by award winning Benjamin G. Hewett, doubled the broadcasters’ primetime average for audience (+140%) and for share (+164%).  
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Filah Lah Lah announced as Apple Music Up Next artist in South Africa

Apple Music has announced South African R&B singer and songwriter Filah Lah Lah (real name Reabetswe Fila Ranamane) as the latest artist in its South Africa Up Next program, a local version of their global emerging artist platform which they launched early in 2021.

“Being selected as Apple Music’s Up Next South Africa artist for November is truly an honor and a dream come true. It’s so important for someone like me, with their own look and their own style, to be given a voice and spotlight, because it inspires others to do the same,” she tells Apple Music. 

It was Filah Lah Lah’s father who made sure that she was exposed to the excellence of black musicians from an early age, introducing her to everything from jazz to funk to soul.

Inspired by jazz greats like Nina Simone, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, masters of R&B like Marvin Gaye, Betty Wright and Smokey Robinson, and the energy of ‘90s hip hop, Filah Lah Lah poured her unique artistry into her debut EP Filahsofy (2020).

Her second EP Were Gonna Be Just Fine (2021), available to stream on Apple Music, shows her immense growth both through restrained vocals and sensual soundscapes, taking on a more ambient and harmonic tone.

As the newest Up Next artist to be spotlighted in South Africa, Filah Lah Lah will be featured across Apple Music’s South African Up Next playlist. The curated playlist features a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world. The playlist is genre agnostic and represents a line-up of artists their global editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience. 

The vast global Up Next roster of past talent includes Grammy-nominated and critically lauded talent like 6lack, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Amy Shark, Billie Eilish, Sabrina Claudio, Sigrid, Mr Eazi, Stefflon Don, Bad Bunny, Juice WLRD, Bazzi, Jax Jones, NCT 127, Summer Walker, Tierra Whack, Dean Lewis, Pink Sweat$, Koffee, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, Clairo, Lunay, Jessie Reyez, Orville Peck, Victoria Monét, Ingrid Andress, Conan Gray, Don Toliver, Rema, BENEE, Holly Humberstone, Natanael Cano, Givēon, beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Tate McRae, Fousheé and Tems.

About Apple Music

Apple loves music. Apple revolutionized the music experience with iPod and iTunes. Today, Apple Music celebrates musicians, songwriters, producers, and fans with a catalog of over 90 million songs, expertly curated playlists, and the best artist interviews, conversations, and global premieres with the award-winning Apple Music Radio. With original content from the most respected and beloved people in music, autoplay, time-sync lyrics, Lossless Audio, and immersive sound powered by Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, Apple Music offers the world’s best listening experience, helping listeners discover new music and enjoy their favorites while empowering the global artist community. Apple Music is available in over 165 countries and regions on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod mini, CarPlay, and online at music.apple.com, plus popular smart speakers, smart TVs, and Android and Windows devices. Apple Music is ad-free and never shares consumer data with third parties. More information is available at apple.com/apple-music.

“BARAKAT” is South Africa’s Official Selection for the 94th Annual Academy Awards

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is pleased to announce that the first South African Muslim film shot in Afrikaans, (actually AfriKaapsBarakat, has been selected as South Africa’s official submission for the 94th Annual Academy Awards.

Directed by Amy Jephta and produced by Ephraim Gordon, co-founders of production companies PaperJet Films and Nagvlug Films, Barakat was released in cinemas in early 2021. The screenplay is by writing-producing team Amy Jephta and Ephraim Gordon who made their debut at South Africa’s 2017 kykNET Silwerskerm Festival with their short film Soldaat (Soldier), for which they won Best Screenplay and Best Short. 

Barakat Official Trailer

Jephta, a celebrated theatre practitioner, director and writer, also scripted South Africa’s official 2018 Golden Globes submission for Foreign Film, Ellen: The Story of Ellen Pakkies. In 2019, she was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award for theatre. Actor and director Gordon starred in Nosipho Dumisa’s critically acclaimed 2018 debut, Number 37, which premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW).

“I am so proud that this film has reached as many people as it has, and to be recognised by South Africa in this way is incredibly special,” said director Amy Jephta.  “Even after an extremely challenging year for our film industry, we’re honoured that a small story about a family has connected us.”

Producer Ephraim Gordon added: “This was totally unexpected, but it shows that everyone’s hard work on this project has paid off. This film was a blessing from the beginning and continues to be.  It is our barakat.”

‘Barakat’ is an Arabic word denoting blessings, abundance and prosperity. The film follows the trials and tribulations of Aisha Davids (played by veteran acress Vinette Ebrahim), a widow who has to preserve the peace between four sons struggling to come to terms with the death of their father two years after the fact. Her sons, Zunaid (Joey Rasdien), Zaid (Mortimer Williams), Yaseen (Keeno Lee Hector) and Nur (Danny Ross) return to their family home to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr (or Labarang, as it’s called in Cape Town), the celebration marking the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. They’ve never dealt with their father’s death or the void his passing has left. Each son’s unprocessed pain manifests in constant familial conflict, saddening their mother as she tries to move on with her own life.

The 94th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, the 27th March 2022.

Barakat was developed in partnership with MNET and funded in association with the NFVF, the DTIC, IDC as well as Indigenous Film Distribution, the South African distributor of the film.

21 Things to do on the KZN South Coast for under R150 this Summer

Wild 5 Adventures in Oribi Gorge. (Images: Supplied by USCT)

It’s time for #summervibes and #familyadventure, and with budgets stretched this year, visitors are looking for places that offer #adventuretravel that doesn’t break the bank! Fortunately, the #KZNSouthCoast stretching from Umkomaas to the Wild Coast has the perfect selection of exciting, yet affordable, activities to keep the whole family entertained.

“With summer on its way, many families are considering nature-based travel options that provide unique experiences within a reasonable budget,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu. “With our many nature reserves and animal farms, the KZN South Coast has a wonderful variety of family-friendly excursions that are great either for day trips or for those wanting to extend their stay. We’ve compiled a list of the top 21 fantastic options – and this is outside of the 58 beaches, world-class dive sites and numerous tidal pools found here!”

#gosouth for these 21 activities under R150*

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SA Fashion Week at Mall of Africa

All the allure of live is set to return to local fashion as relaxed lock-down levels allow Mall of Africa to stage South African Fashion Week Autumn/Winter Collections on the runway to a select VIP audience from 28 – 30 October 2021. 

The shows featuring 29 top designers, will then again be streamed from 4 November to a wider audience including international media, designer clients and local and global followers of fashion. The 2020 show broadcasts were viewed by over 73545 people worldwide and have therefore become a key new addition to the amplification of SA fashion marketing, says director Lucilla Booyzen.

This will be followed by the SAFW Trade Show in the Crystal Court at the Mall of Africa with 40 designers of men’s and womenswear as well as accessories ranging from footwear and handbags to costume jewellry and millinery from 31 October – 1 November and the SAFW Pop Up Shop where fashion lovers will be able to interact and buy directly from all the participating designers from 3 – 5 December, in the same venue.

“Mall of Africa is immensely proud to support South African design, both by staging this dynamic showcase as well as by making retail opportunities available to talented fashion entrepreneurs,” says Michael Clampett, Asset and Property Management Executive at Attacq Limited, about the three-year hosting partnership.

According to Booyzen, participating designers are increasingly adopting the circular fashion system required to transition towards a more sustainable and cleaner, fashion order. 
“This is evident throughout all the collections be it the new seasonal ranges by established designers or the entries for our New Talent or Scouting Menswear competitions with feature principles such as waste reduction, low impact materials, longevity and recyclability as well as a greater emphasis on higher quality and timeless design.”

Improved synergy between the designers and the downstream value chain, particularly in the fabric and local yarn production sectors where South Africa has a strong presence such as mohair and wool production, has emerged as another key driver of future sustainability. 


This has resulted in Fashion Bridges – I Ponti Della Moda, a South African and Italian designer-led initiative between SAFW, the Italian embassy, Polimoda in Florence and the Milan Fashion Week and supported by textile company Da Gamma as well as Wool SA, Cotton SA and Mohair SA,  which allowed Italian designers Julian Cerro, Llaria Bellomo, Domico Orefice and Alessia Dovero and South Africans Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu, Sipho Mbuto, The Bam Collective and Xavier Sadan to stage an exhibition at the Milan Fashion Week in September and again on 28 October at SAFW. 

“Representing approximately 50% of the world’s mohair producers, we welcome the opportunity to introduce this luxurious and sustainable South African fibre to a wider audience through the Fashion Bridges – I Ponti Della Moda project,” says Marco Coetzee – general manager, Mohair South Africa

The six finalists of the Scouting Menswear Competition will open this year’s SAFW on 28 October. They are Marquin Sampson, Refuse Clothing Brand, Saint Vuyo, Umsweko, Vanklan and Boyde who will show how they have responded to the creative challenge to transform 100% textile “waste” desirable, scalable, and commercially viable garments for the South African consumers.

SAFW and OPPO celebrate the technology giant’s first year in South Africa with a new partnership that will include the staging of the OPPO Collections, a show featuring a stellar cast of Thabo Kopele, winner of the 2020 Scouting Menswear Competition, Neo Rangaka of NEO, Mikhayla Farouk of Maklele and World Fashion Award winner, Amanda Laird Cherry, all unveiling their seasonal ranges produced exclusively in sustainable fabrics.

 “We are excited to have SAFW as a platform to demonstrate how OPPO’s philosophy of technology as an art form in service of mankind and being kind to the world, can be expressed in the equally modern yet classic and earth-friendly signatures of the designers we will be partnering with,” says Avashnee Moodley, Head of Marketing at OPPO.

The Rise and Shine Collections opens the week’s second day on 29 October with a collaboration between designer signatures Romaria, Ezokhetho and Erre and South Africa’s favourite personal pampering brand, Satiskin. “Satiskin has been a favourite indulgence in many South African bathrooms for a very long time. We are honoured to be the personal care and beauty partner of this platform that recognises our nation’s talent and creativity,” says brand manager Cabangile Dlamini

Day two ends with the new collections from SAFW stalwarts, Mantsho, Franc Elis, Sober and Rubicon. A trio of bright young designer talents – Artho Eksteen, 2021’s New Talent winner, Jacques Bam from The Bam Collective and 2021 New Talent finalist Michael Ludwig will collaborate on a joint show titled no season no sex, followed by the new collections respectively from Judith Atelier.

The final show of the event will feature the new collections from Johannesburg-based The Watermelon Social Club, a graduate of the 21 Steps designer development program, previous Scouting Menswear finalists, Ntando XV and Richard Hoy, ending off with Adam Chancellor-Maddison.

According to Booyzen, the partnerships with Carlton Hair, the official hair sponsor as well as MAC, the event’s official make-up, are an integral component of the SAFW offering.

The visual language of hair and make-up is part and parcel of the total fashion moment. It is critical that these stylists understand and can interpret the designer’s vision completely. Fashion and trendsetting have always been key pillars of both the MAC and Carlton Hair brands. Equally they both share SAFW’s community and clean ecology ethos. It truly is a match made in heaven for SAFW,” she says.

According to Booyzen, the online presence that SAFW has developed over the past year, is set to grow in response to the interest from fashion followers.

“We will therefore unpack both the designers’ backstories as well as those of the various brands that are associated with the event.” 

Dates to diarise are:

  • 28 to 30 October – SAFW Collections – Mall of Africa – Entrance 22
  • 31 October and 1st November – SAFW Trade Show – Mall of Africa, Crystal Court
  • 3rd – 5th December SAFW Pop Up Shop – Mall of Africa, Crystal Court

Tickets for the live shows at the Mall of Africa are available on: www.safashionweek.co.zawww.quicket.co.za.

Only 10 tickets per show are available to the public.

Maybelline New York wants to see your face on billboards

Maybelline New York, the world’s #1 colour cosmetics brand*, is at it again!

In 2019, Maybelline broke the Guinness World Record for the most foundation shades matched in 8 hours, right here in Mzansi, and in 2020 they hosted the biggest exclusive virtual makeup master class in South Africa. **

This year they are at it again with their Maybelline Fit Us As We Are South Africa campaign which launched in August 2021.

“Maybelline continuously pushes the boundaries with its innovative products, packaging, formulas and advertising. We are now extending this innovative spirit to our consumers where they have the opportunity to be part of something big” says Marketa Havlik-Liebenberg, General Manager L’Oréal Consumer Products Division.

At Maybelline, we value engagement with our consumers and this campaign has gifted us the opportunity to make our consumers part of the Maybelline New York family by seeing their face on nationwide building wraps and billboards”.

To be part of the Fit Us As We Are South Africa campaign and competition, consumers must send their clear selfie holding a Fit Me Matte+Poreless Foundation to the Maybelline WhatsApp Line(+27318348838).

The picture must be of the consumer themselves and of no one else, and they will stand a chance to be 1 of 500 faces featured on 10 digital billboards and a massive building wrap sight in South Africa!

There are also 500 prizes worth R500 each up for grabs to everyone who enters the competition.

Terms and Conditions apply.

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