Featured Music Reviews

A protest of love & representation: Gyre’s Quarantine music video is a celebration of Queer love & its many shades

South African multi-talented and queer entertainer, Gyre, is a force to be reckoned with. From our knowledge, he’s South Africa’s first openly queer rapper who is working tirelessly to change perspectives in the South African entertainment industry. Being a rapper means that he has to play in a culture that is often blatantly homophobic, but he follows queer revolutionaries such as Mykki Blanco, Young M.A, Cakes De Killa and Jay Boogie who have gone on to break global stereotypes about queer people in the entertainment space.

In celebration of Pride Month, Gyre releases his first music video for one of his best songs on his Queernomics project.

The song speaks about how, even though queer love is demonized in cis-heteronormative society, it is within that dystopian realm that true love is found. The song celebrates queer love for it’s imperfections and alludes to how these imperfections are what actually make queer love that much more special.

The music video was styled and directed by the talented Tutu Zondo who has worked with some of the best up and coming South African musicians like Langa Mavuso and SAFTA awarding actor, Niza Jay Ncoyini. The music video has cameos from young prominent queer and allied personalities in the entertainment industry from Mr Allofit, LeloWhatsGood, iindirhe, Rhea Blek and many more.

The Quarantine music is a protest of love and representation, and it is important. Gyre’s work should be celebrated for its groundbreaking nature.

Watch the Quarantine music video below.

Culture Featured Music Reviews

Shaka Shoelu: Challenging the status quo & ushering in a new school of thought

Boundary-pushing creatives push culture forward. Think groups like BROCKHAMPTON, Odd Future and local groups like FAKA – who are challenging the status quo. When we first come across these artists, we are reminded of icons like Prince and Rick James who changed how people thought of gender, identity and alternative lifestyles. Conservative ideals of existence are thrown out the window, ideologies are stretched using the most powerful tool known to mankind – music. Globally, young people are realizing how toxic and problematic the powers that be are and that doesn’t leave them complacent – it prompts them to act.

Beautiful times, we live in. Globalization, though having certain some destructive and negative elements, has connected the world in blurs cultural lines forcing you to become part of a bigger one-world culture. Nowadays, there is little to no difference between a kid in South Africa with access to the internet and a kid from South Korea. We’re connecting more than ever, which is why our roots are increasingly important. Artists that make us uncomfortable, challenge us and show us new avenues of art should be heralded. South Africa is no stranger to those types of artists as the internet is strengthening their voices and improving their visibility. The same can be said about enterprising South African artist, Shaka Shoelu, who confidently champions his trans-identity. A growing, vital voice in gender politics especially in Africa where the LGBQT community is often confronted with violence for living out their truth. What better way than to use music to challenge society’s archaic, primitive moral compass.

Though only having 4 songs on Soundcloud, Shaka Shoelu has covered a lot of ground in getting people to pay attention to his avant-garde style of electronic music. Korobela, being the most successful release boasts over four thousand streams on Soundcloud – a feat which is impressive for an independent South African creative. Shaka’s personality comes through, rather, strongly in his music and we get traces of his personality through his Twitter account. The music is not directly political, packed with content that challenges societal norms but Shaka’s comfort in his own skin is revolutionary in itself. The world ruthlessly forces people to project a watered-down and diluted of themselves, so when someone confidently steps into their being that is seen as a revolutionary act.

Artist development and purposeful art movement, Woke Arts has provided Shaka Shoelu a life-changing platform to communicate his art. Shaka is pro-black, proud and comfortable and that’s what we need from the leaders of tomorrow. We need people like Shaka Shoelu to provide the masses with a different lens to view the world and its complexities. In short, Shaka Shoelu is an important figure which South Africa is yet to meet and be blown away by.