Watch: Zonke Talks ‘Give and Take LIVE’

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Zonke is living her dreams.

Her fans had been longing for a DVD to enhance the experience of her double platinum-selling Ina Ethe and she responded with more than she herself bargained for.

The Give and Take LIVE DVD/CD is a personal and intimate night with the powerhouse songstress. She takes you through her highly acclaimed album with grit, raw emotion and finesse and her cocoa butter smooth vocals leave you with no option but to swoon.

She takes a minute to weigh in on her experience recording the live set which she could never have been ready for and also explains why she titled it Give and Take.

Be sure to experience the magic of Zonke live by purchasing the Give and Take LIVE album on iTunes or purchasing the live DVD at your nearest music store.

Watch: Lira Talks her Rise to Fame, Deciding to use a Stage Name & Being Human | V Entertainment

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V Entertainment’s Dineo chats to Lira.

Lira recently sat down with V Entertainment’s Dineo to weigh in on a few things you didn’t know about Lira.

With the very beginning being such a very good place to start, Dineo uncovers Lira’s unsuspecting discovery. Lira also describes her journey on tour with the 999 stable and how the pandemonium of the power of celebrity ultimately made her decide on distancing herself from her work through a psuedonym. Of course, a real human being lies behind the name Lira and even Lerato and she speaks about how she longs to connect with her fans on this level via social media.

All this and more in her V Entertainment exclusive below.

For more on this interview and the latest in South African and international entertainment news, tune into V Entertainment every weeknight at 6PM CAT, only on Vuzu.

EXCLUSIVE: FDBQ&A with Red Huxley

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Red Huxley talks meeting their hero, living the dream and why they’re simply “rockin'”.

They’re still running high on the energy of their Dave Catching studio session in California and we thought we’d catch up with them before they got to share it with the world.

Red Huxley are set to launch their debut full-length album, Nothing More, this Friday at The Assembly in Cape Town. The launch follows a tumultuous journey from meeting their hero, Eagles of Death Metal, to cutting the new album with guitarist, Dave Catching.

At a recent private listening session of the album, the excitement of the trio could not be denied. They were simply itching to share their new music with the world and won’t be too long now. In our Exclusive FDBQ&A, we finding out how they’re doing as the excitement ahead of their launch reaches fever-pitch!

Feedback Musiq: What is the inspiration behind the name ‘Red Huxley’?
Red Huxley: It actually came from our mate of ours who was trying to name the band. He wrote down a collection of cool words on a page and shuffled them around to see what he could come up with. He got ‘Huxley’ from Aldous Huxley and thought that ‘Red’ suited it really well. And hey, Red Huxley was born.

FDBQ: Describe the band in one word.
RH: Rockin’.

FDBQ: What was the inspiration behind the treatment to the “My Own Way” video?
Back in the early days of our band we found a ‘very inspirational’ picture of two semi-naked girls walking through the desert that we put our logo over and used as our profile picture. It seemed to go down quite well with our fans and the music video idea grew from that picture. It seemed to suit the song “My Own Way” really well, which helped us to shape the video.

FDBQ: What have been your favourite festivals to play and what have been some of the most interesting moments at these?
RH: Between the three of us, Oppikoppi seems to be the favourite festival. We always get a great response from the crowd and love playing there. When we played this year we only [just] landed back in SA, after recording in the States, on the day of our performance. We had to rush to get to there and only just made it to our set in time. We were all just buzzing on adrenaline, it was a great show.

FDBQ: What was the experience of meeting Eagles of Death Metal like?
RH: It was amazing! We met them backstage when they came to play ‘One Night in Cape Town’ and they were such great guys. They walked in with a cooler box of beers and some music and just got the party going. That was when we managed to approach guitarist Dave Catching, give him our stuff and ask if he would be keen to produce our album. He ended up inviting us to to his studio in Joshua Tree, California. Working and spending time with Dave in his studio was awesome and so inspirational for us. Dave was so chilled and he allowed us to be ourselves, which translated very well onto the album we recorded there.

FDBQ: How has recording your new album in California differed from recording in South Africa?
RH: Dave has so much equipment in his studio that he knows like the back of his hand, so if we were to ask for a certain sound he would rummage in a cupboard, dust off a pedal, plug in a guitar and come up with the exact sound we wanted. He is genius like that. So it helped to be in his space that he knows so well with all his gear. Also to spend 3 weeks living in the desert really gets you out of your comfort zone and lets you focus in fully on the recording process, as there are not many distractions around. Where in South Africa, we would have gone home after a day recording, in California the studio doubled as a home so it was really comfortable.

FDBQ: A Dave Catching recording session followed by Oppikoppi followed by your doccie launch and soon your album launch – would you say you’re living the rock star dream?
RH: It definitely feels that way because we have had such a great experience and have been enjoying every moment of it but I think we still have a long way to go and some hard work before we can really be living the rock star dream.

FDBQ: A number of local bands have relocated to the US. Is that on the cards for Red Huxley? Will it ever be if the opportunity came up?
RH: Yes, if we got the opportunity to go over we would definitely take it again. When we finished recording Dave said ‘Awesome, so when can I book you for your second album’, so who knows, maybe we can do our next album there. Although I think for now we would love to take our music over to Europe and play some shows there.

FDBQ: What is your proudest achievement?
RH: I think that our successful Kickstarter campaign is quite a proud moment, raising $25000 in 40 days wasn’t that easy and we still can’t quite believe we did it. Although i would say the proudest moment for me is the fact that Dave Catching, someone who we have looked up to since before we were a band together, liked our music enough to invite us to come record with him in California.

FDBQ: What would be the ultimate goal?
RH: The ultimate goal would be to one day be playing sold out stadium shows around the world and to be able to play the music we love for the rest of lives.

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Check back soon for a full review on Red Huxley’s Nothing More.

#FDBQ EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation with: Nakhane Touré – Part 5: Fog

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Conversations with the Man upstairs.

My interview with Nakhane Touré comes on a particularly special day. It just so happens to be the day his debut video “Fog” debuts.

After the interview, I watch the video with Touré. It was the first time he had seen the final cut straight through. He turns the tables on me and asks for my thoughts on the video. We begin to talk about the uncomfortable and grotesque staring game he plays with the video’s viewers. It’s kind of sexual, he admits. It’s really grotesque, he concurs. The excitement for a first video by a new artist is as impossible to deny as it is to describe.

I probe the subtext of the video, however, asking whether or not it is a conversation with and, more interestingly, a challenge to God. He takes me back to “Christopher” revealing how many songs on the album are conversations with God and “Fog” is no exception.

Feeling that it has been unjustly neglected, he wants to emphasise the exasperation of the closing climax of “Fog”: Come on / Come on / Come on / Come on. While he reveals that he has been blessed since the start of his career – he makes and performs music all day, everyday – he is not suddenly blinded to the fact that there are people in his life that he cares about who have been on the receiving end of a raw deal. “What would be the ultimate goal?” A question I conclude all my interviews with. While each answer before this has been uniquely interesting, none has been so simple yet so poignant.

In the final part of our Nakhane Touré exclusive, get the artist’s raw, first feelings about his video, find out why he needs to hang on and what the ultimate goal would be.

#FDBQ EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation with: Nakhane Touré – Part 4: Therapy

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“If I don’t believe it that night I’m not singing it.

Nakhane Touré (however unaware of this) is being led through an interview by an interviewer whose thoughts are as irregular and seemingly disjointed at times as his are. My advantage: my prepared notes. Nevertheless, we both overcome our compulsion with thoughts and return back to key issues that cannot be ignored. This notion, of course, is one of the golden threads of the album that I have come to discover throughout the interview.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, what it the value of being bravely confused if no one likes confusion anyway? We revisit what it means to tell the silent story. He cites Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye and her emphasis on the fact that if a book that you need to read is currently non-existent, the duty is yours to write it.

I speak to a friend after the interview who shares a love of Brave Confusion as fervent as my own. She opens my eyes to the fact that what makes the album beautiful is that it challenges us as a nation to ask ourselves what we’ve been doing for the past 20 years. What have we said? What new things have we begun talking about that concern ourselves and not the generation that afforded us a restless freedom? Brave Confusion is perhaps then the sigh of relief that we’ve been longing for because for the first time it makes way for a new conversation to begin.

Inasmuch as the process of putting pen to paper, picking up his guitar and pressing record has been a therapeutic experience for Touré, the bravely confused, voiceless generation have finally discovered they are not alone.

The final installment of Nakhane Touré exclusive debuts tomorrow, 8 November, at noon.

#FDBQ EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation with: Nakhane Touré – Part 3: Ego

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“I heard it from a friend about the things you said. But they know me better than that.”

There is a very fine line between confidence and ego and it’s one that Nakhane Touré seems to toe regularly. He attributes the source of the latter to an ego inherent to his family, who happen to be of noble decent. In between it all, he was never short on love which was responsible for fueling his confidence to express himself and his ideas; his feelings and experiences. Controversial, daring, taboo, bold, risqué…brave? This is the sound of Brave Confusion, not so? Not so. It’s the difference between pretty and the truth, club bangers and the reality of life outside of the club.

But how does a now confident young man grow up from a boy who felt completely alone? A boy who never thought anyone would understand. Ever. A boy who discovered he likes boys even though he was from a Christian home and considered himself a Christian too. To be the voice of the now (thanks to himself) formerly voiceless – this is in fact the sound of Brave Confusion.

In Part 3 of our exclusive, Touré lets us in on what it feels like to offer yourself, your ego and your confidence up for ridicule, scrutiny and criticism in the name of art.

Part 4, the penultimate installment, debuts tomorrow, 7 November, at noon.

#FDBQ EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation with: Nakhane Touré – Part 2: Duty

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“Oh, tell me sweetly: how many of these will I have to take to die? You speak so kindly. Cheers to new beginnings!”

A more relaxed energy occupies the room as do the hotel staff. The peak in the business of the hospitality staff is directly proportional to the energy of Part 2 of the interview: Duty.

Call it ‘destiny’ or ‘a calling’ or ‘purpose’ or what have you – we all have the need to fulfill some role in the cosmos. It neither wasn’t nor isn’t to be a “Pour It Up”-esque single for Nakhane Touré; not because he can’t but because he doesn’t want to. What does it mean to be a gay, Xhosa musician from PE in modern-day South Africa? Has this role even been defined? Does it not carry with it the stigma of taboo?

Don’t take it out of context. Don’t take out what Brave Confusion means, you know…’cause there’s a lot of pain in the album

he says only to take us back to where the interview began. Might The Star have been accurate in its analysis of the album being consistent with death references? And who says death has anything to do with dying anyway?

Touré unpacks his duties as an artist who has his sights set on tarnishing stereotypes.

Part 3 debuts tomorrow, 6 November, at noon.

Watch: Shadowclub “Goodbye Wild Child” EPK | Just Music Sessions

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Shadowclub debut their second album & learn how to make music quickly.

Arguably one of the most progressive new bands in the country, Shadowclub are a world-class act of note.

The three-man band is made up of accomplished musicians in their own rights who come together to create a sound all their own. It’s everything you love about rock ‘n roll, soul and jazz amalgamated into smooth melodic crashing guitar platter.

Shadowclub is on to their sophomore album with Goodbye Wild Child. The new album, due for release this December, features ballads for the first time from the local rockers. With lyrics as piercing as “My heavy heart could burn a hole through the floor”, “Dirt & The Rubble” is one such ballad that’s bound to see more G-string throwers attending the band’s concert and, more importantly, more accolades like SAMAs.

Watch the band talk their experiences recording and cutting the album below and check back soon for a full review of Goodbye Wild Child.

#FDBQ EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation with: Nakhane Touré – Part 1: Identity

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We step into the fog and discover the man behind the music.

It’s one of the warmest days we’ve had in the Cape and the City Lodge lobby at the V&A Waterfront feels awfully welcoming. Nakhane Touré’s style is easy – striped vest, grey jeans and tribal print ivy cap – and he and his two-man entourage (one man and one woman, in the interest of being politically correct) spot me first. As soon as introductions are out of the way a conversation is already in effect setting the actual start of the interview way before we reach the downstairs bar and much longer before I press record.

Touré has an eager demeanour about him and a genuine interest in people, as is consistent with his true life revelations in his debut album Brave Confusion. It wasn’t long before that eager energy was replaced with a sombre tone of pain. In fact, it was the very first question on his identity that induced the energy shift in the room and set the precedent in motion for the rest of Part 1 and perhaps the entire interview: this was a young man with a lot of life, pain and love and all he wants to do is share it with whoever will listen.

From his personal identity change to his professional identity change, what it takes to record and cut an album and how these decisions have reflected where he was at the time – Part 1 introduces you to the incomparable new artist that is Nakhane Touré.

Part 2 debuts tomorrow, 5 November, at noon.

Watch: Simphiwe Dana: New & Next Presented by ESSENCE

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Simphiwe Dana exposes the roots of her influence.

The thing about gems or jewels is that they are few and far between. This is why we prize these rocks as treasure. ESSENCE dedicates it latest New & Next episode to one precious South African stone; the one known as Simphiwe Dana.

Underscored by her rich and textured new single, “Sarah Selah”, Dana spills on her soundtrack-accompanied upbringing, the inexplicable nature of her music and her intimate new sinlgle. It’s Simphiwe Dana like you’ve never seen her before.

She may be new to her newfound US fan base following her crossover at the middle of the year but we, her fellow countrymen, have always known she’d be the next best thing.