MADE IN NAIROBI
B-Boy Culture takes Kenya by storm. An impressive display of talent!
We simply can't stop playing Home Again, Michael's debut album. If you're into Motown and the blues, drop what you're doing slide over to itunes and buy it. Michael Kiwanuka is a British soul musician who is signed to Communion Records. He has been compared to Bill Withers, Randy Newman, and Otis Redding. Kiwanuka grew up in Muswell Hill, North London, the son of Ugandan parents who had escaped the Amin regime. He attended Fortismere School, leaving there in 2005 after completing his A-Levels. He then studied at the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster.
WHEN THE WORLD SLEEPS, By Rishi Kaneria
JUST A BAND - In New York City
Highly talented Kenyan trio, Just a Band, talk to us about their inspiration and creative process in their artistic & musical ventures. They're fully attuned to the dynamsim of contemporary forms of expression emanating from the continent. As expected their creativity and multifaceted delivery pushes the boundaries imposed by traditional definitions of what so called African music and art should sound and look like.
BOUNCING CATS - The Documentary
Bouncing Cats is the inspiring story of one man's attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda using the unlikely tool of hip-hop with a focus on b-boy culture and breakdance. The film features narration by Common and interviews with Will.I.Am, and K'Naan.
Mr. Forté is back in business. Brilliant beat, profound lyrics. The music video also includes some great shots of one of the most exquisite automobiles ever made. The 1959 French engineered, Facel Vega HK500 Coupé. Check it out:
PASCAL LOKUA KANZA
..was born in Zaire (present day DRC), the first of eight children. After his father died tragically while captaining a ship at sea, Kanza helped provide for his family by taking part-time jobs while he was still in school. Setting aside a few hours each day to teach himself guitar, he soon began playing with friends in local bands. As he got older, his approach to music grew more serious. After studying at the Kinshasa Music Conservatory and performing with Abeti in Zaire, Kanza moved to the Ivory Coast for a fresh start. For three years, he played guitar and handled vocal duties for a handful of African bar bands. After being accepted to Paris' prestigious CIM, Kanza moved there to study jazz and was given the opportunity to perform with many of his role models. Working with Franky Vincent, La Mafia, Ray Lema, and Papa Wemba, Kanza continued to carve out his own style while making valuable connections. In 1991, he joined the Soul Makossa Gang after adopting his middle name as his performance moniker. 1992 saw Kanza debut his own material, first in a performance with Angélique Kidjo and later on his first solo offering. Intent on honoring his musical heritage, Kanza crafted an album of honest and intimate songs in a small studio, while keeping post-production to a minimum. The accolades that followed helped Kanza attract the attention of Youssou N'Dour, who invited Kanza to sing on Womat. In 1994, he reunited with Papa Wemba at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios to lend his talents on Emotion. His experiences that year culminated at the African Music Awards when in December, he was awarded Best African Album for his solo debut. In 1995 Kanza released his second effort, Wapi Yo. After working with Geoffrey Oryema later that year, Kanza picked up his second African Music Award. In 1998, he appeared on Natalie Merchant's Ophelia and began work on his third album. 3 expanded where Wapi Yo left off, featuring a broader, more orchestral sound. In 2002, he returned to subtlety, releasing Toyebi Te'. Although the folk-tinged album was a more restrained affair than 3, Kanza brought in a variety of guests ranging from his own children to Sylvain Luc, to lend their talents.
Free Ai Weiwei Chinese artist and activist, who is also active in architecture, curating, photography, film, and social and cultural criticism. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the "Bird Nest" - Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. In addition to his art work he has investigated govern...ment corruption and cover-ups, especially the alleged corruption scandal during the construction of the Sichuan schools that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He uses the internet to communicate with people all over China, especially the young. On 3 April 2011 police detained him, without laying any official charges for weeks, at Beijing airport. His studio in the capital was sealed off, and his staff interrogated pursuant to official allegations of "economic crimes".
Solidarity with the people of Libya
Oscar Mdlongwa, affectionately known as "Oskido" is the premier "House and Kwaito" DJ and producer in South Africa. In 1999, he formed record label, Kalawa Jazzmee Records in collaboration with musician/producer, Don Laka and DJ/producer, Christos Katsaitis. As part of music group, Brothers of Peace (BOP), he has produced numerous hits for various artists, including Boom Shaka, Bongo Maffin and many others. Oskido's music has recently been picked up and remixed internationally by Masters at Work.
JUST A BAND
Just a Band is a Kenyan house/funk/disco band whose career was launched with their debut album, Scratch To Reveal, in 2008. Their music has explored various musical directions such as, but not limited to jazz, hip-hop, disco and electronica. The band are also notable for their DIY aesthetic. In addition to writing, recording and engineering their music, the band creates their own music videos, packaging and promotional items and establishing a strong web and blog presence, referencing elements from virtual bands like Gorillaz and incorporating anime and animation, illustration and photography in their visual campaigns.
The group was formed when their members were studying at the Kenyatta University. They went on to release the song "Iwinyo Piny" accompanied by a self-made animated music video. Initially the song received little airplay due to its unconventional musical style, but with time they started to gain popularity through underground channels. Their debut album Scratch To Reveal was relatively successful. They released their second single 'Ha-He' on 17 March, 2010, accompanied by a music video featuring a character known as Makmende. The video has subsequently been described as Kenya's first viral internet meme by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Fast Company.
Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, circa 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining renown for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. He became a major speaker for the cause of abolition.
In addition to his oratory, Douglass wrote several autobiographies, eloquently describing his life as a slave, and his struggles to be free. His classic autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, is one of the best known accounts of American slavery.
After the Civil War, Douglass remained very active in America's struggle to reach its potential as a "land of the free". Douglass actively supported women's suffrage. Following the war, he worked on behalf of equal rights for freedmen, and held multiple public offices.Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
We're so blessed to walk the planet in the era of a living legend
When in London you have to check out Portobello Market.
New York rapper Nyle treats us to a poignant tutorial on how to let a beat build. Simply brilliant:
Inspirational Photograpy by South Africa's Nontsikelelo Veleko
Inspirational Photograpy by South Africa's Nontsikelelo Veleko
By South Africa's Athi-Patra Ruga
Ad-Camp - My Block
Ad-Camp - Blue
Guangzhou Opera House, Designed by Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid, CBE (Arabic: زها حديد; born 31 October 1950) is a British Iraqi deconstructivist architect.Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. After graduating she worked with her former teachers, Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, becoming a partner in 1977. It was with Koolhaas that she met the engineer Peter Rice who gave her support and encouragement early on, at a time when her work seemed difficult to build. In 1980 she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s she also taught at the Architectural Association. She has also taught at prestigious institutions around the world; she held the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, the Knowlton School of Architecture, at The Ohio State University, the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York and the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture, New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, she was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She has been on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation. She is currently Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.
A winner of many international competitions, theoretically influential and groundbreaking, a number of Hadid's winning designs were initially never built: notably, The Peak Club in Hong Kong (1983) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994). In 2002 Hadid won the international design competition to design Singapore's one-north masterplan. In 2005, her design won the competition for the new city casino of Basel, Switzerland. In 2004 Hadid became the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Previously, she had been awarded a CBE for services to architecture. She is a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopædia Britannica. In 2006, Hadid was honored with a retrospective spanning her entire work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In that year she also received an Honorary Degree from the American University of Beirut.
Zaha Hadid's architectural design firm - Zaha Hadid Architects - is over 350 people strong, headquartered in London.
In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". On 2 January 2009, she was the guest editor of the BBC's flagship morning radio news programme, Today
In 2010 she was also named by Time magazine as influential thinker in the 2010 TIME 100 issue.
Hadid is the designer of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park in Seoul, South Korea, which is expected to be the centerpiece of the festivities for the city's designation as World Design Capital 2010. The complex is scheduled to be completed in 2011.