Category Archives: Cool Find

WordNSound MD comes up short for last Episode!

Just recently the WordNSound Content Team asked our Managing Director if she would make time in her busy schedule to scout some up and coming talent for the next Episode of WNS Series and she willingly agreed…

When we check in with her a few days later we found that she had come up short

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How many company executives in this day and age can say they actually get their hands dirty? We are proud to say that our Managing Director does!

Before we delve into her  [virtual] sit down with one half of the dynamic duo check out this joint:

Q: The first time I met you, you were dressed in all grey and introduced yourself as Grae Matter. Please introduce Itai Hakim?

A: Itai Hakim is an up and coming South African born and raised multi-disciplinary artist who uses different artistic mediums – to produced what he calls ‘Channeled Work’.

Namely through his performance poetry, singing, writing (songwriter, author and playwright) and acting. Itai aims to revive, on contemporary artistic platforms ancient, cultural and traditional understandings and narratives of legend and myth through his work. Hakim believes that art is an integral apart of of his personal project of healing and education project.

 

Q: In one of your performances you speak about Grae as another ‘character’ of yours, and that he’s angry. Why is Grae angry? Do Itai and Grae work well together?

A: Grae Matta is dead. I made peace with the reasons behind his anger (mainly direceted at his personal past and the state of his immediate surroundings ( i.e politics, poverty, the state of education etc ) in the Shrines of Haifa while I was on pilgrimage un Israel in 2011.

Q: How and why did 8 Bars Short come about? And what’s the story behind the name?

A: 8 Bars Short is the remainder of a band called  ‘NO IDEA’ which parted ways in the June of 2012.

Nomi and Itani met on campus at a cypher at Wits, later at a poetry slam Itani invited Nomi to and again when Nomi gate crashed a NO IDEA rehearsal on the Wits Lawns.

The story behind the name is while recording the rough cut songs currently on SoundCloud, being newbies to studio settings. After having recorded the instrumental guide for a song, while Nomi sang she noticed we were 8 Bars Short

 

Q: There are many bands out there. What makes yours different?

A: Apparently we’re different because we’re an acoustic duo which sings folk-soul. Something that has been absent since BLK SONSHINE a decade ago.

 

Q: Which 3 poets would 8 Bars Short love to collaborate with on an album? And why them?

A: We haven’t thought that far and aren’t really aware of the poetry scene.

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Q: On your Soundcloud account you describe your music as “music from the heart for the heart, infused with indigenous folk”.

A: Indigenous Folk came about as a response to assigning our sound to a genre. Our sound is a mix of a number of genres (blues, jazz, classical, indie) Indigenous music and folk music are influences we draw from. At best we’re still figuring it out, but the closest descriptions have been Country Soul / Folk Soul

 

Q: Could you please explain this; the sound of your music as Itai Hakim as a solo, and Itai as part of 8 Bars Short.

A: Both sounds are quite nascent,  but come from a place of self reflection and questioning.

 

Q: You are signed with Motif Records. What has your experience been? What advice would you give other artists looking to sign with a record label?

A: Being managed by Motif has been good. Our advice to upcoming artists is to stay true to their own voices and to protect their work vigilantly.

Just a point from me: Motif is not a label, it is a management company.

 

Q: What have been the highlights of your journey as an artist?

A: Having a conversation with the audience through our work.

 

Q: What challenges have you faced as an artist and how did you overcome them?

A: Biggest Challenge: Being true to myself.  Overcame Challenge: By being true to myself.

 

Q: What can we expect from you at the next Word N Sound Series?

A: 8 Bars Short will just be sharing who they are as per usual.

video source: http://vimeo.com/91839339

Now hurry up and go check out more of the brilliance available on their Sound Cloud Page before Saturday –  https://soundcloud.com/8barshort

 

PS: Thank you boss lady!

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Luka Lesson drops a new video

“Celebrate The Storm” from Australian Spoken Word and Hip Hop Artist, Luka Lesson’s latest album EXIT is out! The video features the Nahko Bear (USA) from Nahko and Medicine for the People – fresh from tours with Xavier Rudd, Michael Franti and SOJA.

“This video is by far my best yet, and Nahko and I hope it touches you in a way that makes you believe in your strength and power as you struggle and push through the hard times,” says Luka.

Enjoy!! Share!! Dance!! and turn it UP!

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#WNSFEST INTERVIEW: RORA [Roar of the Lion] – Rollution Creations

From inception, The Word N Sound Poetry and Live Music Series has been designed as a platform to stimulate the creative economy, through the promotion of the arts in general with live music and poetry [specifically] at the center of this enterprise.

In this regard the team behind Word N Sound have always tried to ensure that other art forms are represented at events. One of the staples of this endeavor has been our partnership with the crafts brand RORA – Rollution Creations.

We caught up with the heart and brains behind this growing brand, Rolland Simpi Motaung to pick gain insight into his views on RORA‘s relationship with WNS, his thoughts on the Open Mic League and the future…

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WNS: You have been with Word N Sound since inception, how has the journey been for you?

We started this artistic relationship with Word n Sound back in 2011 when the venue was at Bassline, our aim has always been to source and find potential markets for our crafts/products and brand. The WnS events were one the first in Johannesburg we sold at, the journey has been great, mutually beneficial, the people have supported us greatly over the years, and we have grown in understanding the poetry market.

WNS: What has the positives and negatives of associating your brand with WNS?

The goal with us selling at poetry or any art related event is not only to expose the art of Crafting, but to allow these art disciplines to interact, demonstrate how art is connected. Apart from the constant branding and getting new clients, the positives have been about adding creative value to the poetry experience, the audience doesn’t only have to take the Word home but also a memoir, and the Open Mic Slam winners also get to walk away with hand crafted prizes. Also being one of the main sponsors of the WNS Annual Festival for the 2nd time around is humbling.

The challenge has been low sales at some events and the misconceptions that RORA only exists within the WnS platforms.

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WNS: Would you say that there is a market for your range, especially looking at the people who buy your goods?

Most defiantly YES!! We wouldn’t have continued with the relationship if we didn’t have a market. Over the years the crowd has evolved, students have always been the bulk of our clients (especially females) yet the working class market has grown amazingly.

WNS: What would you say still needs to be worked on to grow both brands; ie Word N Sound and RORA?

Consistency from both parties in regards to certain business aspects. Further growth of markets/audiences/artists in other provinces, there’s a demand for both brands (poetry and crafts) and creative expression in general. Most importantly there’s a need for the development of the arts, especially workshops on how artists can grow their entrepreneurial/business skills, and rendering  tools on how/where to publish, contract drafting/reading, branding, intellectual property issues, etc

WNS: Where do you see your brand situated in the overall scheme of things within the poetry scene?

RORA means to roar (a lion’s roar) in seTswana, a metaphoric reference meaning to express and discover your true self, the brand’s ethos is grounded on the belief that Passion Is Purpose; so we want to be known as a brand that adds betterment to society. And overall continue with more sponsorship, endorsements and partnering with art organizations to develop new avenues to stimulate the creative economy not only in poetry but in the arts in general.

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WNS: Speaking Poetry, who would you say has been the most consistent performer in this year’s slam and why?

No-Life has been exceptional. From the Emonti on Bree stages, solo and along side Ahimsa as Forgotten Planet to now.WOW!!. His writing, concepts and themes have grown immensely and have captured a lot of people with his raw-aggressive-emcee-like style of delivery. Kagiso Tshepe’s Manufacturing King still blows my mind. And its always great to see sister poets being consistent in their work and getting the praise they deserve, hence its no surprise to see Mapule Mohulatsi and Mandi Vundla (again) among the Top 5 for this year’s Open Mic League Final.

WNS: Is there a poet whom you would like to see your brand dressing?

We have started with informal discussions with Mandi “Poefficient” Vundla specifically within the WordnSound circles, and she has represented the brand well this far, recently being at the Poetry Africa Festival in Durban, last month. Tumelo Khoza has been fully behind the brand, and still roaring across the shores in Chicago,USA. Various other poets have embraced our brand including Myesha Jenkins, Natalia Molebatsi, Phillipah Ya Devilliers, and DC Poetry Slam Team from Washington, USA. So our aim is to sustain the relationship and work with like minded poets who are willing to walk and roar with the brand

WNS: When will we get a chance to see you climbing on the WNS slam stage?

Hahaha… When my spirit grants me the will to constantly write and perform again. As an artist I work from a basis of spirituality, a creative energy has to invoke me so deep that I cant sleep at night but create, over the past four its been fabric, thread and needle that dictate my artistic production.

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WNS: Which would you say is “easier”, climbing on stage to share a poem or two, or having to come up with designs that capture people’s imaginations?

None is easier, both art forms have their own intriguing creative processes. An art form is ‘easier’ when it’s constantly practiced and perfected everyday, when you work hard at learning and improving it. I was an active performer during high school around 2002 and the sewing started being hectic late 2009, after the company was registered. The transition was between 2010/2011 where I would sell at events and at the same time sign up to perform, a demanding task, hence I decided to stick to the crafting business.

WNS: Where should we expect to see RORA in the next year and onward and would you keep your association with WNS?

Yes, we will still be with WnS. Set up more endorsement deals, more exciting designs/crafts, more products going continental and outernational, partnerships/collaborations and adding to the development of the Arts . To infinity and beyond basically, lol.

Download RORA: Rollution Creations Price list here: Pricelist011

 

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A Tale Of Three Loves With Ian Kamau

Yesterday I made an incredible find.

So hosting Ian Kamau at July’s Word N Sound Xtra was one of the highlights for the year. In the run up to the show I fully immersed myself in his work and loved every bit of it.

I fell most in love with his ‘Vol. 3 – Love And Other Struggles’ mixtape. (Get it here is you have yet ). Track 9 is a very short cover track, ‘The Girl’, that had me almost begging for more. Yesterday I stumbled onto three video interpretations of the song that Kamau produced.

Each video explored a different kind of love in such simple ways it had me in awe. So I had to share.

When I’m old and grey I hope to see many more couples my age in love, holding hands and yes, even kissing in public – but lets not have any full all making out, that could be a little awkward…maybe. I don’t see very many old couples and even fewer elderly couples who are still visibly affectionate so this video was really endearing.

Hey man it’s a little boy helping his mom to bake, who wouldn’t love that. Although I think if it had been a black man and his son, that would have added a lot more to the story. But that’s also coz I’m fascinated by the relationship between black fathers and their children.

The video ends with a url: http://www.88days.ca, do what I did, visit the site. I love bumping into new music and when it has a whole community of creative behind it, it’s even more of a trip.

“88 Days Of Fortune is a Toronto based, grass roots, queer, trans and straight identifified, music and multimedia collective. As a community driven, youth-led organization, our mission is to support collective members to develop their creative and artistic practices through: Providing a platform to showcase their art, creating independent music videos, producing and recording albums, touring, peer mentorship and more.”

Sharing is caring so if you bump into anything cool, do the right thing. 😉 Share your cool finds on our Facebook page: Word N Sound Poetry and Live Music Series or on Twitter: @WordNSound

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