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A little while after I started Texx and The City I was interviewed and asked what my dream job would be.

My answer was simple – travel the world from music festival to music festival, watching and interviewing the musicians that inspire me on a daily basis.

Fast forward eight years and today, in partnership with Monster Energy, we launch #TourWithTexx – your passport to exclusive festival experiences around the world.

Our first stop is Rock Im Park in Nuremburg, Germany, where Slipknot, Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Cage The Elephant, Bring Me The Horizon, The 1975 and a few more major heavyweights will be performing over the course of 3 days and I am frothing.

But at the core of #TourWithTexx, what we really want to know is, which festival would you bend over backwards for an all-access passport to?

Which bands would you camp out centre stage for no matter the weather conditions?

These are important questions for us because in due course, we’ll be opening this all-access passport to exclusive festival experiences up to you and your festival bestie.

But for now, keep those eyes peeled on our social media for our special coverage of Rock Im Park as #TourWithTexx gets underway on June 7.

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Sampa the Great is set to make her Johannesburg debut at Untitled Basement on Friday 31 May 2019 to celebrate her first shows on African soil.

Her first Jozi date is part of a broader tour which includes her first show at home in Lusaka, a headline spot at MTN Bushfire Festival in Swaziland, Dark MOFO in Australia, Glastonbury in the UK, Down the Rabbit Hole in The Netherlands, Hip-Hop Collection in France and her USA debut at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival with Burna Boy.

Sampa the Great has a penchant for poetry and weaves lyrical mazes with her verses, drawing listeners into a lush, imaginative world. Her music bonds from spoken-word to rap, with stops at psychedelic and blues along the way; it’s the sound of an adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries.

Born in Zambia, she was then raised in Botswana. Music was immersed within her family life and at the age of 22, Sampa left home and moved to Australia to further her musical studies.

Her debut project, The Great Mixtape introduced Sampa the Great to audiences, giving them their first taste of what she was about. Produced by Sydney based musician Godriguez, The Great Mixtape was about making one’s presence known, making your dreams become a reality and believing in yourself no matter who you are and where you come from.

Sampa The Great - Rhymes To The East | A COLORS SHOW - YouTube
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Yoh, you’re going to want to listen to this one twice.

Channeling one of the freshest takes on jazz I have heard in a while, Androgenius have something good going on here.

Their debut self-titled EP is a 6-track exploration of the flexibility of jazz, soul, hip-hop and a little dose of pop, expertly melded into a fascinating offering.

They call it soul-hop. Nice one. Because I couldn’t quite describe it for the life of me. Cruising, almost old-school soundtrack-esque jazz peculiarities are paired up with a double dose of groove (see “Deviant Days” and “Scene 1, Take 2”) which are going to make your hips move.

Sneaky rap verses kick their feet up in the place of melody breaks and the hip-hop leanings make for a tasty refresher.

“Soulless Solace”, which they released alongside a video a couple of weeks ago, is a undercover exploration of hedonism and addiction – while things get stripped down in the ballad-esque, hyper-relatable strains of “Hold Back”, and the languid piano line which dominates “Waves”.

It’s fresh, deliciously textured, and never lets your heels touch the ground.

That’s quality.

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SAMA25 will bestow the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards to the late hip hop star HHP, kwaito legends TKZee and the acclaimed 90s group Mango Groove.

HHP who passed away last year will be remembered for the critical role he played in making Motswako a force to be reckoned with. His career is punctuated with a series of firsts, including being one of the first artists to make rapping over a kwaito beat popular as well as being the first hip hop artist to have multiple successful sync deals. Jabba will also be remembered as the host of SAMAXXI and for the mentor role he played to many artists. He is undeniably one of the greatest forces in South African music and a shape shifter.

HHP - Mpitse - YouTube

The trailblazing Mango Groove was started in 1984 with their unique brand of music fusing marabi and kwela. Their hits “Special Star”, “Another Country” and “Moments Away” to name a few became anthems that sealed their position as the emblematic rainbow nation for being multi ethnic at a time of apartheid. The talented front woman Claire Johnston backed by an equally gifted band that included the late trumpet great Banza Kgasoane became national treasures and faces of the national reconciliation and social cohesion project.

Mango Groove-Special Star - YouTube

TKZee were the poster boys of cool in the 1990s as they pioneered a sound so unique in the process rewriting South Africa’s music history books by becoming the biggest selling kwaito group. The three piece boy band of Kabelo Mabalane, Zwai Bala and Tokollo Tshabalala gave local audiences classics such as Palalafala and Shibobo. In 1999 TKZee experienced their biggest night at the SAMAs when they scooped five awards including Best Duo/Group and Best Kwaito Album, a record they held on to for years.

TKZee - Dlala Mapantsula - YouTube

The SAMA25 takes place on May 31 and June 1 in Sun City, North West province. It will be broadcast live on June 1 on SABC1 at 8pm.

Tickets to the show are available at Ticket Pro for R415

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The video for Whale Country’s debut track is a head-scratcher that doesn’t do the song justice.

The song itself is a riff-heavy number that’ll have you putting on your favourite leather jacket, lighting a smoke, and buying a bottle of Jack. The bass, guitar, and drums all play their own very important roles giving the vocals a solid foundation on which to soar.

Taking the format of a narrative interspersed with shots of the band jamming out in an empty room, the video finds itself lacking in logic. The basic synopsis is two men running away from two, much younger men and then facing up to them in a dark alley.

The reason for this confrontation is open to interpretation. Perhaps the two younger men represent something that the two older men are running away from, or perhaps they’ve just come to take their lunch money back.

Whatever the case may be, the video only ends up bringing confusion to an otherwise solid debut track.


Whale Country - First The Worst (Official Music Video) - YouTube
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New Era Live is proud to announce two additional supporting acts to complete the stellar line-up for multiple Grammy Award winner Ben Harper’s SA tour.

The Jack Mantis Band will join Ben Harper and the Soweto Gospel Choir in Cape Town on 4 June at the Grand Arena, GrandWest and Auriol Hays will share the stage with Harper and the choir in Pretoria on 6 June at the Sun Arena Time Square in Menlyn.

Currently wrapping up a largely sold out, 52-date tour across Germany in support of the Sailing Conductors film release for “Blown Away” (officially selected for the Ocean Film Festival 2019), Jack Mantis is shooting back to home shores to share the stage with American singer-songwriter Ben Harper in Cape Town. He’ll be returning to Europe the very next day to complete the next 95-date tour.

Jack Mantis Band - Not What I Imagined (Popsicle Studio Sessions) - YouTube

Authentic and sincere are two words that best describe Auriol Hays‘  musicality. Blessed with a powerful, sultry, thick-as-molasses voice, she has performed at the Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland, graced the stages of the National Arts Festival on more than one occasion, as well as the Lusito Land Festival, and opened with the Gauteng Big Band at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival.  In addition to this, she stages intimate shows where she can convey the message that drives all her performances: awareness through music.

Auriol Hays - Child Atone Ft. Riaan Smit (Official Music Video) - YouTube

The last band needs no introduction but we’re going to give them one anyway.

Soweto Gospel Choir is an international treasure. Since their formation in 2002, they have brought joy to people around the globe and shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, including U2, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Groban and the late Aretha Franklin.

They have received more accolades than any other choir in the world and it is almost impossible to imagine a more soulful match than Ben Harper, who grew up on a heavy diet of gospel, folk and blues. Both share a history of moving and inspiring audiences across the world with powerful music and mesmerising showmanship. June will mark only the second home-soil concert performance of Soweto Gospel Choir since their third Grammy win, making it a must-see opportunity for fans, before they leave SA shores again in July.

Soweto Gospel Choir - UMBOMBELA - YouTube

The Soweto Gospel Choir will perform in Cape Town and Pretoria as special guests of Ben Harper.

 Get your tickets for the Ben Harper Live in SA tour today from howler.co.za/BenHarper.

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New Era Live is proud to announce two additional supporting acts to complete the stellar line-up for multiple Grammy Award winner Ben Harper’s SA tour.

The Jack Mantis Band will join Ben Harper and the Soweto Gospel Choir in Cape Town on 4 June at the Grand Arena, GrandWest and Auriol Hays will share the stage with Harper and the choir in Pretoria on 6 June at the Sun Arena Time Square in Menlyn.

Currently wrapping up a largely sold out, 52-date tour across Germany in support of the Sailing Conductors film release for “Blown Away” (officially selected for the Ocean Film Festival 2019), Jack Mantis is shooting back to home shores to share the stage with American singer-songwriter Ben Harper in Cape Town. He’ll be returning to Europe the very next day to complete the next 95-date tour.

Jack Mantis Band - Not What I Imagined (Popsicle Studio Sessions) - YouTube

Authentic and sincere are two words that best describe Auriol Hays‘  musicality. Blessed with a powerful, sultry, thick-as-molasses voice, she has performed at the Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland, graced the stages of the National Arts Festival on more than one occasion, as well as the Lusito Land Festival, and opened with the Gauteng Big Band at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival.  In addition to this, she stages intimate shows where she can convey the message that drives all her performances: awareness through music.

Auriol Hays - Child Atone Ft. Riaan Smit (Official Music Video) - YouTube

The last band needs no introduction but we’re going to give them one anyway.

Soweto Gospel Choir is an international treasure. Since their formation in 2002, they have brought joy to people around the globe and shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, including U2, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Groban and the late Aretha Franklin.

They have received more accolades than any other choir in the world and it is almost impossible to imagine a more soulful match than Ben Harper, who grew up on a heavy diet of gospel, folk and blues. Both share a history of moving and inspiring audiences across the world with powerful music and mesmerising showmanship. June will mark only the second home-soil concert performance of Soweto Gospel Choir since their third Grammy win, making it a must-see opportunity for fans, before they leave SA shores again in July.


The Soweto Gospel Choir will perform in Cape Town and Pretoria as special guests of Ben Harper.

 Get your tickets for the Ben Harper Live in SA tour today from howler.co.za/BenHarper.

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Fitch & Leedes, the authentic range of mixers, in collaboration with Bokeh Lifestyle and Fashion Film Festival are giving local filmmakers the chance to get their hands on R75 000.

Using product placement and a quirky sense of humour, the challenge is to tell the story of Ralph Fitch & William Leedes – the two intrepid merchantmen who inspired the range of premium mixers.

Three finalists will each receive R25 000 to produce their masterpieces and stand the chance to win the grand prize of R75 000.

The winning film will be announced and showcased at the Bokeh Lifestyle and Film Festival taking place in Cape Town and Johannesburg during July 2019.

For more information on the Fitch & Leedes Fashion Film competition visit www.bokehfestival.co.za

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We all know that Francois Van Coke has more than his fair share of projects on his plate at the moment, so naturally the next step would be to open a recording studio. Naturally.

Alongside his bandmates Richard Onraet (head producer and engineer) and Jedd Kossew (studio manager and Richard’s self-proclaimed sidekick), the trio officially opened Van Coke Studios in Chiappini Str in Cape Town last week.

“It’s really cool for us to have our own space where we can work and record and develop young artists, but also work with established artists on full productions,” Francois explained.

“I will be involved in the music production and writing at Van Coke studios, as well as the day to day running of the studio,” Jedd chimed in.

It also seems that, even though they’ve only just officially started taking bookings, Van Coke Studios has already received more than its fair share of work to keep everyone busy.

“In the first three months we have done voiceovers, recorded three tracks with an artist called Dara Jazzlyn, and recorded radio adverts in association with Jacaranda for companies like Hitch Digital, One Day Only and 99c,” Richard explained.

Let’s be honest, there’s no way this studio is going to be anything but successful.

The Van Coke brand has extended parallel to that of Fokofpolisiekar’s and I’m very interested to see what other projects lie in store for Francois and his team.

For all bookings and enquires you can contact: record@vancokestudios.com

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At the tender age of twenty two, Johannesburg-based musician James Deacon possesses vocal abilities far beyond his years, with a unique timbre and unnatural pitch ability that allows him to switch between slick rap verses and honey-coated choruses.

His new video from debut single “Not Givin’ Up”, directed by Brennan Lewis and shot late at night in and around Johannesburg, expertly captures the soul of Deacon’s hometown.

“We shot all around Johannesburg – we really wanted to show off how amazing the city looks at night! It was epic especially because all the extras are some of the most important people in my life,” Deacon commented honestly when questioned about the video’s narrative.

James Deacon "Not Givin' Up" - YouTube

After an unfortunate accident left him without any feeling in most of his right hand and unable to play guitar, Deacon’s insistence upon continuing with music was given a boost after meeting Paul Gala (Bad Future Records).

With Gala’s support and guidance both in and out of the studio, the pair wrote “Not Givin’ Up” and collaborated on Deacon’s upcoming six-track EP, “The Calling”, but available as a pre-add on Apple Music from 31 May along with second single “Calling Home” which will also be available on all music platforms.

With all this in mind, “Not Givin’ Up” became a self-fulfilling prophecy for Deacon, overcoming insurmountable obstacles to pursue his passion. 

Listen to “Not Givin’ Up” here: https://fanlink.to/JamesDeacon

“‘Not Givin’ Up’ is all about leaving the safety of a day job or desk job and pursuing my dream regardless of how hard it will be to get where I want to go. Basically life is short and I don’t want to waste my life cooped up in the same environment until I die. It’s a big fuck you to all the bosses I’ve ever had and all the people who held me back or told me I wasn’t good enough,” Deacon explains the intention behind the song.

With his stirring debut single and upcoming EP, James Deacon is poised for streaming and radio domination, it’s just a matter of time before the rest of the country catches on.

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