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Lively Hoods to Livelihoods
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Lively Hoods to Livelihoods

Lead: Dr Leif Petersen
Funders and Partners: National Lotteries Commission, Substance Films

Cape Town, November 2018 – The Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation NPC with support from the National Lotteries Commission of South Africa proudly present Lively Hoods to Livelihoods. This ground-breaking project puts South Africa’s depth of music talent on the map and creates a remarkable artistic legacy through the showcase album “State of the Nation” (due for release mid-2019).

In recently completing a 9,000km road trip throughout all of South Africa’s nine provinces, the project team uncovered a considerable number of talented township musicians, who revealed the need to promote their music beyond the local context to bolster their success. We initially identified more than 50 musicians, with whom we began strategizing a project to build on their talents and positively impact South Africa’s township economy.

Each musician will undergo a specific training course in sound engineering and music production to be equipped with valuable skills in music production in a technical training course. At the conclusion of the training programme, and as part of the training process each of these musicians will in-turn recruit five new artists from their home communities to produce new songs.

SLF’s painstaking process of artist evaluation and recordings, in collaboration with London musician Arthur Collier, has allowed us to showcase our pick of this talent and co-produce an album. Furthermore (in collaboration with Substance Films) making a documentary of this process, detailing the travel, encounters, recording and release of the project. The collaborative album, “State of the Nation” reflects on contemporary South Africa 25 years into democracy, and includes a wide variety of musical influences and artistic impressions from poetry, Rap, R&B, ballads and break beats. In a hugely ambitious project it will entertain and challenge alike in a soundscape of creativity. We cannot wait to share this talent with the world.

As a project finale, SLF will launch the finalised album at AfrikaBurn 2019. A number of the artists featured in the documentary and album will be performing, allowing for them to grow their profiles and listening audiences.

This project brings together SLF’s research, engagement and innovation programs in a new and exciting way. We look forward to providing project and creative updates over the next 12 months!

Featured Artists

Tremaine Barnes (Kimberley, Northern Cape)

Tremaine is a soloist and political activist who lives in Kimberly in the Northern Cape. Tremaine is a R&B and pop musician who has recorded a number of songs and video clips to her original music and has a history of live performance experience. Tremaine is highly active in the sphere of women’s rights and incorporates this activism into her music and performances.

Bongani (Ta-Bongz) (Thabong, Free State)

Bongani is a rapper based in the township of Thabong (outside Welkom) in the Free State where he lives in an informal dwelling adjacent to his parent’s house in the township. He has produced a number of albums and video clips of his music. Bongs is an accomplished musician and has prior experience of music production and video editing suites.

Simmah Mahlanyana (Cape Town, Western Cape)

Simmah is a R&B, Pop, Soul, Deep House and Electro Pop live performing artist. In 2010, Simmah reached Top 100 in South African Idols and in 2013, he hosted a number of concerts singing covers of his favourites artists. Simmah is currently in studio recording his Promo Album.

DJ Sweetist (Ivory Park, Gauteng)

DJ Sweetist is an accomplished reggae artist who lives in Ivory Park, Johannesburg. He has previously produced one album of original music and commonly conducts live street performances in his home area for the youth. Sweetest is also the operator of a township gymnasium “Gym at your own risk” which serves to provide exercise facilities to the unemployed youth of Ivory Park.

DJ Thabiso (Ivory Park, Gauteng)

Thabiso is the resident deejay at Mamaruba’s Tavern in Ivory Park. He is an accomplished keyboard player, has a two year sound recording diploma and has produced many tracks for the Ivory Park and Johannesburg nightlife.

G Major O (Langa, Western Cape)

G Major O is an eclectic poet, wordsmith and accomplished rapper musician with a wide variety of influences in his music. He produces all of this own music and is based in Langa, Cape Town.

Soul Hoover (Cape Town, Western Cape)

Soul Hoover are an ecletic collective of musicians from all South African cultural groups and influences that specialise in creative performance art. Whilst Soul Hoover have not recorded they have a small but dedicated following for their unique blend of electro-punk-skiffle music.

Pretty Ramotheko (Modjadji, Limpopo)

Pretty is a street poet based in Modjadji, Limpopo Province with three publications to his name. He writes and performs poetry in both English language and sePedi. Pretty also manages a non-profit organisation dedicated to making the arts more accessible to youth in his community.