Woke Arts digital agency AlterNativ debuts its collective creative force through SA Cities Network #DigitalDash Publication.

Woke Arts, a name that has frequented our blog and is synonymous with exceptionally curated events that shine a spotlight on the best emerging talent, has reinvented itself. 

The event house has expanded into a holdings group with a digital agency division called #AlterNativ which today, debuts its collective creative force through a project with SA Cities Networks #DigitalDash publication which was synthesised, visually conceptualised, curated and executed by the best pool of talent within the Woke Arts community. 

The publication was curated and directed by Tsholofelo Radebe, the group founder whose keen eye for brand strategy and creative direction enabled the team to curate a mix media publication that consists of Graphic Design lead by Fadzai Dube, Photography and Video by Kea Mooka and Animation Design by Thivhusiwi Mamaila.

The vision was to showcase the ideas presented by the SA Cities Network Urban Planners Competition Winners. This initiative by SA Cities Network intends to engage and empower the youth to be active participants in the creation and planning of city spaces. 

#DigitalDash is the first of many projects that highlight the intrinsic value of creativity in the sharing and exchange of information. #AlterNativ is a reflection of the Woke Arts continued commitment to enlighten society through art and creativity.

View full #DigitalDash publication on www.sacndd.co.za

Visit www.woke-arts.com for a full view of #AlterNativ services and projects.

Follow Woke Arts on:

Twitter: @Woke_Arts

Instagram: woke_arts

Naye Ayla on the years of soul searching that inspired her latest EP ‘Every Feeling’.


Naye Ayla is a soulful, sophisticated genre-bending musician who came onto our radar through her 2018 EP ‘Exist’ – a masterful piece of sonic art. We have since been watching her move from strength to strength while rooting for her as we would our favorite artist. Her distinct raspy voice and emotive songwriting resonates with all of us and we’re grateful to have experienced the pleasure of her live performance at our Soulo -O-Sessions alongside WAOMFestival. Here’s our exclusive interview with Naye Ayla sharing more about her musical journey and latest release ‘Every Feeling’.

How do you define yourself as a musician and what inspired you to become one?

It was always innate for me, like a destiny of sorts. I always knew, everyone around me always knew too. There was no other choice for me. This is truly all I’ve ever wanted, to make beautiful music.

What inspired your latest project and what do you want people to take from it?

‘Every Feeling’ is inspired by years and years of soul searching and introspection on my part. The need to confront or allow all my emotions to unfold the way they needed to. I realised that trying to control a feeling, made the feeling more unbearable and the time which i would experience that feeling, so much longer. I just want people to know that its cool to feel things that aren’t pretty and that take long to iron out. We’re humans, we live online where people only share they’re experience once its over, so the process of healing becomes somehow shortened and glamorized. Healing in brutal, endless and feelings are feelings man.

What goes into your process of creating music and what have you learnt from it?

My music process is haphazard. Its made up of all my experiences and conversations and pain and achievements. The love i felt for and from people and the love thats been taken from me. I’ve learnt that i’m endless & thats up for interpretation lol.

What do you feel the next step should be for the music and art industry in South Africa?

I think we should definitely continue the way we’re going but push harder. Push for excellence, for quality. The one thing that needs serious attention here is Live performance. We need to develop profound respect for live performance in order to get what we want out of it. Good sound, good planning, good teams, no financial compromise. Its such a weird thing to compromise on the cost of sound when you want a good live performance, lol so counterintuitive.

What would you say to upcoming musicians to inspire them? 

Please don’t stop. If it matters to you that your name be on it, then don’t stop.

Follow Naye Ayla on: 

Instagram: nayeayla

Twitter : @nayeayla

Every Feeling available on all digital stores: https://open.spotify.com/album/7yd4ytzGiMUa75uARrYWJx?si=yO0ACpkeRguVTTpWoE0xtw

VXraw regards his music as an ode to the misfits of the world and shares his latest project ‘Caps Lock’.

VXGrillSmileCrop

Born in the heart of our Mother City, Cape Town, musician VXraw was brought straight home to the lower middle class part of the Northern Suburbs, where he was raised and sculpted into a curious and creative young teen. He sought to find his identity by socialising in all kinds of circles and meeting people from different walks of life and that is what informs his music and sound today.

When did you start making music?

Well the short answer is around late 2017, However, from the young age of 7 (around 2005). After being intoxicated by the Hip Hop scene and old Punk Rock music. I decided I was going to become a musician or at least be involved in the musical process. So around the age of 14 , without any training or lessons, I decided to try out beat making, which was my first step into the world of sound. Throughout high school I would continuously try producing different genres of beats (from Psy-Trance to Festival Trap). Once I graduated high school I went on to study at Cape Audio College eventually graduating with my 3 year degree in Sound Engineering . But as mentioned before, it was 2017 that I first projected my voice into a microphone with the intent of releasing it to the public.

Who are you making music for?

I make music for the people who feel they belong to no social group or don’t fit into any status quo. I speak for those who feel ignored by society and are angered by the commercial garbage being shoved down their throats. I’m a misfit in the South African Hip Hop scene , so I figured I was made to cater to the misfits of the world.

What inspires you to make music?

Unlike most artists I don’t try to hide my influences. Hearing a new track that goes hard from any artist that I’m keeping an eye on motivates me to make even more music and experiment with different sounds and energies. I can’t go without saying the lifestyle I live definitely reflects in my music. Hip Hop (Especially Trap) is a very hostile and drug-filled culture at the moment, and I don’t hide my struggle with anxiety and substance abuse (mostly Weed and Xanax). Neither do I hide the fact that my anxiety causes me to be on edge. All these emotions and influences inspires my sound and inspires me to keep living and tell my story no matter how trashy it may sound, because I know these kids can resonate with my music, because we are “these kids”.

What is the name of your upcoming project dropping this week and what inspired it?

The name of my first official mixtape is ‘Caps Lock’. My energy while creating it was inspired by the fustration of this quarentine and all the wrong this world is currently being filled with, at one point I felt like I was thinking in ALL CAPS which impulsively led me to naming the project ‘Caps Lock’.

This project isn’t what the world needs… it’s what the world deserves. Distorting bass, vulgar lyrics and mindless energetic adlips. THIS IS WHAT 2020 SOUNDS LIKE. This tape will have all the commercial sheep breaking their necks, rolling their eyes or starring in disgust, and that somehow brings me joy.

Caps Lock mixtape pre-save link for ALL platforms :

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/vxraw/caps-lock-2

VXonthephonecrop

Connect with VXraw on:

Instagram: @vxrawofficial

Twitter: @VXraw

Soundcloud: VXraw

Hanwah on music as emotional exploration and her upcoming EP as a love letter to her inner child.

DSC_2720 (1)

UK born artist Hanwah, is multi-disciplinary artist and producer currently living in Eswatini. Her fusion of jazz sounds coupled with her masterful use of the keyboard and vocals make her a sonic genius. A Hanwah J performance is hypnotic and enduces a healing trance state which we got to witness at our 2019 Creative Union event at Botaki Ba Afrika. She shares her journey in music with us.

How do you define yourself as a musician and what inspired you to become one?

My musical expression is often an emotional exploration, I use it as a therapy and to better understand myself. I also use it to remind myself of my power and potential. I was blessed to be nurtured in music as a child and I grew up singing jazz in restaurants with my dad who is a jazz pianist.

What makes your music unique?

Although I wouldn’t call myself a Jazz artist, I always pay homage to that foundation, and fuse it with whatever is resonating with me at the time. I have such a broad sphere of influence so its quite hard to catorgarise my productions.

What inspired your latest project and what do you want people to take from it?

Recent events in my life opened a channel for some inner child work and in doing so I learned to hold those parts of myself that where abandoned in youth. My upcoming EP, entitiled “I Love You Little Witch” is a love letter to my inner child. It narrates her journey through relationships with herself and others, from naive infatuation, to destructive love, self love and ultimately to abundant love. I am releasing each track month by month until October in collaboration with some incredible visual artists. I hope that people watching and listening feel apart of the journey, and love the Little Witch as much as I am learning to! I also hope that it inspires people to see the power in vulnerability, and that every story has equal value, no matter the journey.

What do you feel the next step should be for the music and art industry in Southern Africa?

I just feel Southern African artists should continue embracing themselves in abundant authenticity. Retain mother tongues, retain traditional sounds, retain songs of freedom. The world is watching, now is the time for African artists and I’m here for it!

What would you say to upcoming musicians to inspire them?

Don’t abandon yourself. Your story has value. Keep pushing into dominated spaces and show them what they are missing without you there.

Little Witch Final cover

Connect with Hanwah on:

Instagram: hanwah_j

Facebook: Hanwah

Bandcamp: Hanwah.Bandcamp

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/hanwah1

Youtube: https://bit.ly/2PB0eO8

Motswako-Trapsoul artist Bebe The Creator on her latest project ‘Stages of Marato’.

Bebe - Kea Rapella

Motswako-Trapsoul artist BebeTheCreator has recently gifted us with a sonically exciting and equally emotionally wrecking EP ‘Stages of Marato’,  the multifaceted artist and musician strives to explore love in all its form through her music and we’re keen to see her musical journey unfold.

How do you define yourself as a musician and what inspired you to become one?

I always aim to make music that speaks to the heart, which is why most of my work is centred around love. Love is the essence of life, so much of how we navigate through life is filled with love or the absence of thereof. When you think about it, love is the one emotion we all search for whether toxic or healthy, we just love love.

I was inspired by life to become a musician. Growing up I would sing in my parents’ bedroom and put on a full show. I was always a bedroom singer, then one day in grade seven myself and a group of friends were randomly singing along to Beyonce, after singing had realized that everyone went quiet and stared at me. These types of moments reoccurred numerous times as through my life. This all changed when I met a girl by the name of Nokuthula, one night we decided to go out for Karaoke, I chose a song by Adele and that silent stare happened again. People literally stopped chatting, turned and listened to me singing. No one really talks about how that moment on stage literally stops time, you experience the moment, you become the moment and I wanted to create more moments like that. I am inspired by Lebo Mathosa (incredible artist), Erykah Badu and Simphiwe Dana. I enjoy their different yet powerful vocals.

What makes your music unique?

I think all music is unique. I take my stories and other people’s stories and write that into a song. I mix Setswana and English and create what I would like to call Motswako Trapsoul. No one can explain to you what love feels like, yet we all have experienced love in some form, and I think that is what makes my music unique. It is tailored from my life.

What inspired your latest project and what do you want people to take from it?

My latest project was inspired by the end of a relationship. You know, we all want a specific type of love, an everlasting type of love, an “unconditional” type of love but that usually results in a toxic bekezeling type of love and that was my inspiration of Stages of Marato.

Stage 1 – So in love with you/Crushing is the infatuation stage. That stage where you’re getting to know each other, staying up late, always texting/calling. At this stage nothing they do deters you from love, this is the stage where I think you are insane, this is the addiction stage.

Stage 2 – Ke Rata is the vibing stage, this is when you have moved from just talking to dating exclusively. This is when you start knowing what their favourite jersey is because you have seen it so many times. This is when you start knowing when they are upset or in a specific mood for something.

Stage 3 – Ke Popile, ah the I am in love stage, at this stage you already know that wa shwa wa e kepella. At this stage you don’t even have to question your feelings, you just know that you love this person.

Stage 4 – H&S sad is it not? When someone who you so loved does something to break your heart and they walk over it like they did not just say they would never hurt you a few months ago. Sad is not when you see someone who spoke those three life changing words say something else now? H&S is when a partner does something to break your heart, the downward spiral of love. We have entered the toxic side of love. That  ‘I’m going to drink it away and hope I won’t feel it’ type of love. The why am I so stupid to think that he ever loved me type of love.

Stage 5 – Ngeke umconfirme umuntu is when you realized that you were staring in your own cartoon show cause clearly you were a Popeye. This is when you go through every single moment to determine when you started becoming a ‘clown’. Where you decipher every red flag. This is where you do not even cry anymore, this is the acceptance stage and just when you have accepted and moved on. This is the stage where you decide if you want to go back to the circus and be a clown? Or you block and go about your day. Block motase, block motwana ka bao.

What do you feel the next step should be for the music and art industry in South Africa?

The next step is happening already with the alternative kids and Woke Arts gave me a platform where I felt like I was seen. The alternative kids are shaking up the country slowly but surely and once SA catches on it will be magnificent. I can see a time where the industry has a variety of artists all thriving at the same time as back in the day. One thing that enables this is the internet. The internet is allowing us to see new talented humans express themselves in ways you would normally see or hear in SA.

What would you say to upcoming musicians to inspire them?

Start, child start. That is the message, start where you are with what you have. I used a free online app to make my first EP Kgale. Knowledge is free on the internet, everything is accessible. If you do not know how to do something, goggle it, youtube it. Simple as that, try not to be too harsh on yourself because the public will do that for you free of charge. Use your ego sometimes, it will help you, stick to your gut and diversify your music intake. Always understand that in life people can accompany you to many things, they can walk alongside you on your journey, but they can’t walk your journey. The world is a summation of all your choices and experiences, so do anything that fulfils you.

Bebe - Carpe Diem
Connect with BebeTheCreator on:

Youtube: BebeTheCreator

Twitter: @bebethecreator

Instagram: bebethecreator

Facebook: Bebe The Creator

 

Multifaceted writer and filmmaker, Tebogo Nong leading us back to ourselves through storytelling.

TebogoJuly2020 (19 of 26)

Coming onto our radar through her deeply reflective and affirming self-published debut poetry collection entitled ‘The Truth Shall Bloom‘ (2018), Tebogo Nong is a screenwriter and poet with a love for all things art, writing and creative entrepreneurship.

While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Motion Picture, majoring in Screenwriting and Producing, she learned the power of narrative and storytelling which lead her to further explore Film Directing and Screenwriting during her honours year.

She curates @BloomPoetryZA – a multidisciplinary platform she founded in 2017 with the aim of creating a space for multifaceted artists and thinkers. She enjoys collaborating in environments that require a dynamic voice. 

She reveales that the process has shown her new layers of who she is.

”I have a passion for research & how it impacts our world and our growth. I share my art with the world to inspire self-recovery and growth.” 

How do you define yourself as a writer, filmmaker and what inspired you to become one?

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t define myself, but to answer the question I would choose the word ‘multifaceted’ it best describes me as a writer of different mediums and it allows me to create without limitation. My love for storytelling inspired me to explore the possibilities of what it would look like to see my words to evolve from paper to screen.

What makes your style of storytelling unique?

The purpose of my storytelling is not to lead people to a promised land but to lead them back to themselves. Being honest in my expressions is what makes my storytelling unique.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on my debut directorial film. Writing it has been exciting and challenging at the same time, the story explores the intricacies of childhood and explores the challenges of being resilient when facing familial adversity.

For more on the project you can follow : Transmute.shortfilm

What do you feel the next step should be for the film, television and entertainment industry in South Africa?

I think the next step should be archiving and appreciating the already existing film, TV and entertainment culture we have, nurturing it through support and cultivating a culture of documenting; so when a new generation of creators release work we will have context and collectively give our industries the respect they deserve.

What would you say to upcoming fellow writers and filmmakers to inspire them?

  1. To define is to limit, there are limitless possibilities to the things you can achieve. 
  2. Grow, evolve and nurture yourself because that is where your voice and everything you want to birth will stem from.
  3. Lay a foundation of knowledge that you can confidently build on.
  4. Create beyond the need for recognition and instant gratification, timeless work requires respect and patience – you deserve to have a portfolio and build a life that is a reflection of timeless beauty. 

TebogoJuly2020 (26 of 26)

 

TebogoJuly2020 (20 of 26) (3)

Photography by Sheena.Photography

Connect with Tebogo on:

Instagram and Twitter: @tebogonong_

Creative blog:  @bloompoetryza 

Textile designer Odirile Khune explores self identity through fibre art.

IMG_20200604_103645

Odirile Khune Motsiri is a textile design graduate and full time artist who creates mixed media fibre art that explores themes of identity. He shares his journey on the evolution of his mixed media works.

How do you define yourself as a visual artist and what inspired you to become one?

I am inspired by self identity of living in  the contemporary culture of South Africa. Growing up in different towns in the Pretoria brought about my interest in the ethnicity of people, how we might be in the same area but how different our cultures are and how they define who we are. I address these issues in my work reflecting on self identity in contrast with others around me.

What makes your art unique?

The uniqueness of my work lies in the way I use collage and bricolage techniques to create abstract expressionistic portraits.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

My current series of work is titled ‘Sustainable Identity’ which reflects on past experiences as the thoughts and ideas that makes up who we are. This is done by means of upcycling fabric and other materials. The denim and other fibre are a representation of those passed experiences and ultimately bearing it as part of our identity hence the depiction of portraits composed of these collected items. I’m also busy with a couple of long term projects which involve producing soft sculptures which investigates how these collected materials communicate with each other when subjected to take a sculpture form.

What do you feel the next step should be for the art and entertainment industry in South Africa?

I think the visual art industry needs to put in place more active structures to interact with local upcoming artist and to build a viable community where corporate can meet with artist and can interact with each other in a more cohesive manner.

What would you say to upcoming visual artists to inspire them?

I would like to say to my fellow upcoming visual artists and those who are shying away from their gift is that you wouldn’t be given the dreams you have if you did not have it in you to archive those ideas. The secret is to not stop dreaming and believing in yourself.

IMG-20200603-WA0009

Photography by Thomas Chauke

Follow Odirile on:

Instagram: o.Khune

Ts’episo Mahase on her nuanced filmmaking.

Tsepiso.jpg

Ts’episo Mahase (26) is a filmmaker who sees her creative vision as greatly helped and lead by God. She is an independant filmmaker whose visual storytelling is nothing short of perfection from frame to frame. We got to find out a little more about the contemporary filmmaker.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

What inspired me to become a filmmaker was a curiosity about how the process of filmmaking really is, the more I learnt about it the more interesting it became and I pursued it further.

What do you think makes your filmmaking and storytelling unique?

I don’t really think it is unique in anyway. There is such a huge realm of filmmaking that is unexplored by the masses and to think of my filmmaking as unique would be blind. It may be nuanced but I don’t think of it as unique. There’s always an element of posing questions and I guess making people feel like they are detectives trying to solve a puzzle.

What film projects are you currently working on?

I recently released a film called Roses For The Ocean which is a part of a bigger project called CLAIRVOYANCE: The End. We are shooting the rest of it and getting cracking with post production soon after so we can have it ready for the Johannesburg screening. The screening is free and is on the 14th of December and can book their tickets on Quicket

What do you feel the next step should be for your industry as a whole?

The next step should be making local films accessible for the masses and not just put this big emphasis on just showing them at festivals. I guess the biggest thing is who are they making films for, for other filmmakers, for film viewers or both? They need to make it accessible for all. It means nothing that you got selected to screen at TIFF but your audience does not even know where to watch your film when festival rounds are done.

What would you say to upcoming filmmakers in the industry to inspire them?

I would say learn as much as possible and open yourself up to different ideas. Don’t be a bully and work fairly with people in your team.

IMG-20171223-WA107

IMG_1081

Follow Ts’episo Mahase on:

Twitter: @mahase_ts

Instagram: tsepisomahase

Facebook: Ts’episo Mahase

Theto Maleka on her artistic journey and Rata Rata Store.

Theto Maleka is a filmmaker, musician, digital strategist and the founder of the art, fashion, travel agency and ultimate creative hub Rata Rata Store. This creative on the move shares a piece of her artistic journey with us.                                                                                                    
“I started making film while traveling and working in Asia for 3 years. One of my close friends was a skater and he used to get me to film him most times. I worked at a production company and met some really cool creatives. I worked on a couple of big features during pre production like Kong Skull Island, Kick Boxer, Transformers 3, Avengers, Prayer Before Dawn. This exposed me to the entire format of film making even though I wasn’t schooled to do film. I was mentored by Nic and Shawn Simon from Indochina Productions on how to survive the industry. I got chosen as one of the 20 digifiers in Johannesburg in 2016 and got trained by Google x Livity Africa  on how to work smart online.

 

Music is my happy place. I discovered my talent for it at a New Years beach party on at one off my favoirite live music spots Jambay. I jumped on stage and sang for a good 2 hours, people where dancing and singing along and that kind of grew my confidence in my voice. I also sing to some of my producer friends beats, I’m still discovering my sound. Its really difficult to define myself as a creative because I do what I love to be honest. I take my time in my creative process. I always share when I feel like I am ready.

 

My work is super pre-meditated and won’t always make sense to everyone. I share from a broken place and sometimes I just share to inspire the next kid who might be going through a lot.

I’m currently working on a making more video projects, some music and I’m working on running a volunteering program with Hero Holidays.

The arts and culture industry needs to assign proper management teams for upcoming artists and more investments need to be made in order to pay artists well.

I’d encourage upcoming creatives to do what they love and stay debt free. Its ok to be yourself. Take your time perfecting your craft. Fuck Drugs, just kill em with the sauce.

Theto 7.jpg

Follow Theto on:

Twitter: @madintruder |@rataratastore

Instagram: madintruder | rata rata store

Facebook: Rata Rata Store

Wath Video -> Theto Maleka on Rata Rata Store.

 

Getting started with King Zee.

KingZee.jpg
King Zee is a Musical Composer, Singer-Songwriter and Producer of some of the best music we’ve heard. He is one third of White Darkie (W. D. / Dub D) in association with Conquer Entertainment, his authentic sound is bound to break new grounds in the music industry. We got the opportunity to catch up with King Zee and got to know a little more about his journey of getting started in the music industry.

“The name Zee has always been a name associated with me as a youngster in my hood as a nickname. Growing older I realised that I’m the best at what I do i.e. living my life, hence that’s where the King comes in. I am known as King Zee!

Music has always been a part of my life. I’ve always been a big fan of music. I feel like music is my life and I often use music as an escape. Music is my therapy, music is a drug to me. What inspired me to pursue music as a career is the fact that I love it so much, I decided that instead of listening to the music I like and love, I will create and produce the music I love for the world to hear.

I’m a hip hop artist but I consider the type of music I make as E.T (Extra Terrestrial/out of this world) It’s an alternative fusion between the sounds of trap and soul.

My life inspires the kind of music I make. I feel like life is a blank book and music is my pen. I’m just writing my life story in the soulful rhythms of sounds. I’d have to say King Zee is my biggest musical influence. I have many other musical influences but I’d say, Kwesta, Cassper and AKA to name a few.

My hood Vosloorus is a hood like any other. We have an abundance of talented people. The biggest problem we face in my home town when it comes to pursuing one’s dream, is the lack of resources and investment. We have talented people but some people tend not to pursue their dreams because of the stigma around artists not making it out from this side. That’s why I’m pursuing my dreams in order to inspire other artists, whether they’re in music or otherwise, to pursue their dreams. If I can do it, so can you.

Hip hop in my hood is gradually getting to a point where artists now acknowledge their talent for what it is and are trying by all means to better themselves artistically and fashionably.

I’m currently working on recording my debut E.P! It is my first solo project as King Zee and it will feature collaborations with artists such as Spacious beats, Sou K and 3 Gee Music. Spacious Beats and Aloice Music produced and engineered the entire tape! Shout out to Spacious Beats, Aloice Music and Conquer Entertainment.

What inspired this project in particular was dedication and team work! We as a team, have spent some time trying to get a flow of work going but we’ve had challenges that we needed to overcome. Now that it’s a new year, it brings for new beginnings and a better mentality towards the future and achieving one’s goals. That’s why I’m working on this E.P and naming it Clock Work. I don’t need to say more… #It’sTime.

Fellow artists need to know that the road to success, in whatever field you are in, is never straight… It has curves, speed bumps, offramps, turns and every negative thing, thought there is out there. If you have a dream and it’s real, straight from the heart, never give up on it. Egypt wasn’t built in one day. God knows why he put you on this Earth. It’s up to us to find our purpose and chase it with everything we have. Never let another person tell you that you can’t do it. If they say it’s Impossible, turn around and tell them, “I’m Possible!” – King Zee

King Zee-13.jpg

Watch full video -> Getting started with King Zee.

Follow King Zee on:

Instagram: KingZee_Music

Twitter: @KingZee_Music

Soundcloud: King Zee Music