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Exclusive: LV ft. Okmalumkookat 'Push It' + Interview


London production trio LV have been dropping a steady stream of SA-tinged, multi-layered gems on a number of UK underground labels, most notably electronic elite house Hyperdub. The producers are currently prepping the release of their sophomore full-length Sebenza, which promises to be a South African affair with plenty features from frequent collaborator Okmalumkoolkat (of Dirty Paraffin) as well as appearances by Spoek Mathambo and Ruffest. Stream the exclusive, unreleased track "Push It ft. Okmalumkoolkat" and read our interview with LV below. Sebenza LP is out September 4 via Hyperdub.

Tell us about your upcoming record Sebenza, you got a bunch of South African features on it.

Yes we do. Though it's not like we went out to find South African features or anything, this album is a result of ongoing collaborations with Spoek Mathambo, Okmalumkoolkat and Ruffest. It started with [group member] Gervase's trips back to South Africa where he met Spoek and Okmalumkoolkat and we've been making tunes with them since. The Ruffest guys came a bit little later after he met them at a gig in Cape Town on a later trip. It came to a point where we felt we had a collection of tunes that worked well together and Kode9 helped us to get them into shape and form the album. Then Manuel Zambrano made some amazing artwork to go with it and that's the album, Sebenza.

Why do you think your beats pair so well with SA rhyming? What are some of your influences when crafting them?

We've always liked making music with vocals, and obviously you try to make what you do compliment the vocalist, but it's not an exact science. Smiso, Spoek and the Ruffest guys all have their own distinctive ways and we love what they do, so there was definitely a desire to make them a focus of the music. We all have quite different tastes and influences but then obviously we crossover on some things too. Some of the SA music we heard over this album-making period definitely formed a part of those influences, but then there were also indirect links to other music. Spoek pretty-much tuned us into juke ages ago and Smiso is into all this mad Durban and Joburg music but he's also big on US rap and other stuff.

What's the scene like for modern SA tunes like this in London?

That probably depends on what kind of SA tunes you mean. But there isn't a particular SA scene, as far as we can tell. Lots of people are taking inspiration from SA music in different ways.

Tell us about this unreleased track we're premiering "Push It."

"Push It" is Okmalumkoolkat on a fierce one... Zulu, Compurar, Tony Montana, Future, Mfana vibes.

Any other African acts you plan or would like to work with in the future?

There's already more music with the vocalists from the album, including a track that we did with Das Kapital who is a producer from Cape Town. And there's a song we did with Spoek and Zaki Ibrahim, more news on that soon. There's also a new track with Spoek and Afrikan Boy that we did when they were both in London for the African Express festival.

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LV ft. Okmalumkookat "Spitting Cobra"

We got a bunch of "Louis Vuitton" google results when searching your name. What's the story behind the name LV?

We thought Louis Vuitton could use a few more hits.

This YouTube Account Is Sharing South African Audiobooks For Free, And We Are Here For It

Listen to audiobooks by Steve Biko, Bessie Head, Credo Mutwa, and more.

Audio Books Masters is a YouTube channel that uploads audio versions of South African books and short stories.

Recent additions include Life by Bessie Head, Crepuscule by Can Themba, Indaba, My Children by Credo Mutwa, among others. South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who passed away three weeks ago, also gets read. You can listen to his poem No Serenity Here. More books you can stream include I Write What I Like by Steve Biko, Africa is my Witness by Credo Mutwa, among others.

Audio Book Masters was started by two friends, Bonolo Malevu (24) and Hahangwivhawe Liphadzi (23).

Malevu is a University of Pretoria BA Drama graduate, who is currently doing his LLB. Liphadzi is an LLB graduate, who is completing his LLM this year.

"I found a hobby of narrating books to craft my art skill after reading Credo Mutwa's Indaba, My Children," says Malevu in an email to OkayAfrica. "After reading the prologue, I knew that this book was meant to be converted [to] many different formats such as stage plays, series, movies and audiobooks."

Then came the idea of creating a YouTube channel. That was when Malevu teamed up with Liphadzi.

They both bought themselves high quality recorders, and started reading, recording and uploading.

Authors from the olden days such as RRR Dhlomo and HIE Dhlomo, whose audio versions of their books are available on the channel, are older than 50 years and their copyrights have since expired.

The rest, though, Liphadzi and Malevu say they are trying to get in contact with the publishers, but it's not easy.

"We have contacted the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) regarding this issue," they say. "We have been in contact with various copyright holders and we are still in the negotiation process. However we are finding it difficult to contact certain publishers, and the consistent uploading of their books is to attract their attention."

The two friends say they started the channel to bring books closer to people who otherwise wouldn't have access, and to get people to appreciate literature, especially African authors. "We want to bring such literature to the digital age in the form of storytelling which has been a unique African form of literature," they say. "The channel also helps develop our voices as we are a voice company that offers all kinds of voice services. We also identified how South African authors lack audio books, and found that there is a gap in this market, and this could really create many job opportunities in South Africa."

The two are currently developing stories in indigenous languages for children in English medium schools. "This is drawn from the fact that in such schools, a lot of African students struggle to speak their own native languages. So we approach various schools to sell them such literature. We are freelance voice over artists who also do radio, content production, news reading and radio adverts."

We are so here for this.

Subscribe to Audio Books Masters' YouTube channel and follow them on Twitter.

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Nigerian Actor Sope Aluko On How She Landed a Coveted Role in ​'Black Panther​'

Marvel's Black Panther is already on the brink of being a blockbuster, as it already broke box office records within the first 24 hours of it's pre-sale. Beating Captain America: Civil War's record in 2016, Fandango reports results from a user survey, stating Black Panther was 2018's second most-anticipated movie after Avengers: Infinity War.

One up-and-coming actor who will star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan (to name a few) is Sope Aluko. Come February 16, we'll see the Nigerian-born actor play 'Shaman' in the film. Her previous credits include recurring roles on Netflix's “Bloodline," NBC shows “Law & Order SVU" and “Parks & Recreation" and guest appearances on USA Network's “Burn Notice" and Lifetime's “Army Wives."

Her film credits include supporting roles in feature films including Identity Thief, 96 Minutes, Grass Stains, The Good Lie and more. Raised in the UK, Aluko studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). Aluko speaks four languages, including her native language, Yoruba, French, and Bahasa, an Indonesian language.

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Music

Femi Kuti Spreads Some Much-Needed Peace In the Video For 'One People One World'

Watch the music video for the first single off Femi Kuti's upcoming EP "One People One World."

Femi Kuti drops the music video for his single "One People One World," the title song from his forthcoming 10th studio album.

The energy boosting music video sees Femi Kuti delivering an electrifying performance in the Kuti family-owned New Afrika Shrine in Lagos.

On the track, the accomplished musician promotes an unwavering message of peace and unity—things that the world could perhaps always use more of, but especially so in today's Trump-dominated political climate. His message of positivity is illustrated with graphics that appear throughout the video, showing various country flags and symbols of love and peace.

"Racism has no place, give hatred no space," Kuti sings atop brassy instrumentals. "Let's settle the differences, it's best to live in peace. Exchange cultural experiences; that's the way it should be," he continues.

"One People One World," (the album) is a plea towards global harmony and solidarity. When you look at what's going on in Africa, Europe and America, it's important to keep the dream of unity alive," the artist told OkayAfrica in November.

"When I was a boy, I listened to funk, highlife, jazz, folk songs, classical music and my father's compositions, so you will hear those things in the music."

"One People, One World" by Femi Kuti and his band, the Positive Force, drops on February 23 via Knitting Factory, and is now available for preorder.

Femi Kuti, 'One People One World' cover.

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