Thabiso "Afurakan" Mohare (poetry, Hip Hop)

Afurakan, is the crown prince of Johannesburg’s underground slam poetry.

He is best known for his stage improvisations on hip-hop tunes. His style has caught the attention of many slam poets and writers across Africa with its rhythm and provocative nature.

 

This is a poet who can cipher with god – and while celebrating the fact that “Blaq people rock” also writes for the miners who beat rock all their lives, for everything that is “less”.

His activity within Jozi’s poetry movement can be traced back to the “So where to” poetry events, and his work with the poetry collective Soul 2 Mouth, among others.

Afurakan has played a vital role in the growth of the spoken word movement in Johannesburg and indeed South Africa; and he’s a regular at schools and community centres, performing for the purpose of spreading the word.

 

For further information please see here and here...

 

 Foto (c) Word N Sound

 

Amewu (Hip Hop)

Amewu was born in Berlin in 1983. He had his first contact with hip hop at school and soon began free-styling and writing lyrics with his friends.One important source of inspiration was his association with the west coast underground, including artists such as Living Legends or Project Blowed. In order to capture the attention of the audience, Amewu focused on his technique. By developing his ability to rap at speed, Amewu aimed to take the art form to a level that would earn him respect as a rapper.

The city of Berlin and its own brand of battle rap had a defining influence on Amewu’s style, giving him an opportunity to vent his anger and express his views. For Amewu, rap always has to be aggressive and, at the same time, thoughtful. When the Berlin hype threatened to engulf him, he started looking around for new genres and found his way into the Dubstep and Grime scenes, where he quickly made a name for himself. Collaboration with other bands started playing a central role in his work. Some of his biggest influences include Long Lost Relative, die Ohrbooten and the band project DJ-Werd. Above all, Amewu aims to demonstrate that people can and should change things – even if they’re not perfect themselves.

 

Please find further information on Amewu and his music on these links...

 

Foto (c) David Reisler

 

 

Charl Pierre Naudé

The contemporary Afrikaans poet Charl-Pierre Naudé is one of the most promising voices in South African poetry today. Following two award-winning Afrikaans collections, Naudé s debut collection in English, Against the Light (2007), demonstrates learned intertexual references to classical literature, particularly the Roman poets Horace and Catullus. These Latin poets become competing models for Naudé's own poetics, either passionate and personal, or political and pastoral. In post-apartheid South Africa, after a period of dramatic social change, ultimately Catullus offers himself as the more compelling poetic model for this South African writer.

 

Foto (c) Pieter van der Meer

 

 

Dalibor Marković (spoken word, beatbox)

Born and raised in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, with a croatian cultural background. As a child he discovered his ability to create sounds and rhythms with only his mouth - the so-called "beatboxing". 

During his study of philosophy at the University of Frankfurt, he started performing at "Poetry-Slams", a modern form of competition for upcoming poets. Along with two friends and fellow poets he established the Spoken-Word-Team "WordAlert". In 2010 they were the winning team at the "Zürich Spoken Word Festival". 

His work on stage is a collage of dialogues, prosaic inserts and rhythmic poetry, which often embodies the beatbox as a link or break inbetween. Dalibor Marković lives in Frankfurt am Main. 

 

Please find further information about the author here and here...

 

Foto (c) Ken Yamamoto

 

El Congo Allen (trumpet, percussion)

was born in Cuba in 1979. At the age of 9 he began to study trumpet in the music School in Holguin (eva), continued 4 years in the Music Conservatory (Holguin) and finished the studies in Havana at the Music University (ISA), where he got the chance to meet Herbie Hancock, Nicholas Payton, Danilo Perez, Kenny Baron (in the international Jazz Festival). 

Donald Harrison invited him to study at New Orleans but because of Visa complications he decided to go to Europe where he shared the stage with many Artists, such as: Eath Wind and Fire, Lauren Hill, Zap Mama, Dave Brubeck, los Van Van, Raul Paz, UB 40, Sargento Garcia, Jimi Tenor, Max Herre, Morgan Heritage, Sly & Robbie, Jean Paul, Marilyn Mason, Buju Banton , Eric Clapton and many others……

In winter 2002 he started playing with PATRICE and the Shashamani Band, touring around the top European Festivals like: Rock am Ring, Sommerjam, Sunsplash, and Festivals in Swiss, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Portugal. Since 2006 he started playing with Jimi TENOR Band, also touring all over Europe, 2008 he recorded the Album “4th Dimension” with Jimi Tenor. in 2009 he recorded the album” Inspiration information 4” With the new Jimi Tenor, Tony Allen Project and was since than on tour all over the World. In 2010 he record the Album 1884 in Berlin.  

In 2011 El Congo Allen started playing with the American Star Aloe Blacc with his own Horns session 

“Machete Horns” in both Bands the German and the American, playing several shows and festivals in Europe.

Cd production with: Patrice, Brothers Keepers, Ono, Laura Lopez, Jimi Tenor , Tony Allen , Fetsum, and many others.. 

 

Please find further information and links here and here...

 

Foto (c) Ramiro de Santiago Marquez

 

 

Lwazilubanzi Mthembu (Singer/Songwriter)

"About That Life" is a vibrant, young band that has recently set to rock South Africa’s musical scene. They are a 5 piece band with a definite rose amongst the thorns, consisting of 4 knights and 1 goddess that cracks the whip. About That Life may seem somewhat regular but their principles are often unhinged; subscribing to a gender bending in vocal range, and music that goes beyond the confines of the voice box and what may seem like their very limited time on earth thus far. They are a neo-afro jazz band that actually believes far less in genre’s and being boxed, but in the freedom that is music. The lead vocalists Lwazilubanzi Mthembu and Byron Rodney are polar opposites in their conceptual makings of music, with one dead set on exposing the “dark and twisties” of life and the other a rather joyful romantic. This however brings their very transparent approach to their jazz undertones and has lead them to being the resident band at the Word n Sound Poetry and Live Music series, opening for Nothende, the annual Mzansi Spelling bee, being interviewed on ANN7 and Balcony T.V. There is so much more to look out for when it comes to this band who believe in the power of their dreams and to live and let live. 

 

Foto (c) Word n Sound

 

 

Mara Genschel (poetry)

Mara Genschel studied music at the HfM Detmold and literature/writing at the DLL in Leipzig. Since 2008 she works on visual and auditive aspects of poetry. 2012 she started her own edition Further books: Tonbrand Schlaf (2008), Vom Nachtalpenweg (2009), Mara Genschel Material (2015, Hrsg. Bertram Reinecke).

 

Please find more information on the author here...

 

 

 

 

Foto (c) gezett







Yugen Blakrok (Hip Hop)

Growing up on a small farm in the Eastern Cape, Yugen Blakrok began listening to Hip-Hop during the late 90’s... the last dying days of the ‘golden era’, when substance far outweighed swag and the youth of America where still being conscious-ised by artists such as Public Enemy, Organized Konfusion and the Zulu Nation… as well as the more spiritually infused sounds of Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Inspired by these powerful words of black consciousness and self-emancipation Blakrok’s journey into Hip-Hop had begun.

In 2002 Yugen leaves home on a quest to master her craft, travelling from Cape Town to Grahamstown where she makes her first appearance on the Hiphocalypse Mixtapes in 2004. In 2007, she moves to Johannesburg where she later meets Grandmaster Shorty Skilz of avant-garde indie label, Iapetus Records, who suggests she hook up with spliff-obliterating superproducer and sampletologist, Kanif the Jhatmaster. They strike a musical chord and she signs to the label.

Her debut album “Return of the Astro-Goth”, independently released through Iapetus Records in October 2013, was hailed a classic in numerous international and local reviews and has received several award nominations as well as considerable international airplay, notably by Chuck D himself on the PEPR radio show.

 

Foto (c) Boitumelo Morok

Vuyelwa Maluleke (Published Poet/Performance Artist)

Vuyelwa Maluleke is a Joburg-born writer and poet who grew up in a township. She describes herself as a storyteller: “It is when I am most honest. It is also the hardest thing to do for me, to hand my work over so publicly to audiences. But the sharing between the audience and myself generates an immediacy that is like church. There is so much magic there.”

Vuyelwa began competitive poetry in 2012 winning theTEWOP Poetry Slam and the DFL Lover and Another 2012 Johannesburg Regionals. She has performed on  various stages in Johannesburg. She graduated in 2013 with a BADA at the University of Witwatersrand, and was awarded the Leon Gluckman Prize 2013, for the student with the most creative piece of work.

 

Please find more information here ....

 

 

 

Foto (c) Word N Sound