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All Access: An Exclusive Look Behind the Scenes of M.anifest and MiCasa's Joburg-Shot Music Video for 'Be My Woman'

We give you an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of M.anifest and MiCasa's latest music video "Be My Woman."

SOUTH AFRICA—On a Sunday morning, in Troyeville, Johannesburg, the Ghanaian rapper, M.anifest shot scenes from a video for an unreleased song, which is a collaboration between him and the South African house band MiCasa.


The song,  called, “Be My Woman,” is catchy – with an infectious hook from MiCasa's lead singer, J’Something. It was recorded a few months prior—the artists exchanged files back and forth over email until they were satisfied.

The video was shot by the film company Callback Dreams. The video’s director Makere Thekiso has a lot of great things to say about working with M.anifest, as he has worked with him before on a yet-to-be-released short film shot in Ghana. “The beautiful thing about working with M.anifest is that you get to try different things. He is down for whatever. I will even shoot his music videos for free. I love his music, and also, he’s always willing to be creative.”

The concept of the video is that the protagonist, played by Itumeleng Modise, is waking up in her house, and preparing to go see a M.anifest and MiCasa performance. But she is in a dreamy world, in which M.anifest keeps appearing, but he doesn’t see her.

“It’s the first time I’m directing a narrative video, where the lead character (not the artist) has to carry the video. I’m a fan of music videos that don’t rely too much on performances, but cutaways and beautiful shots,” says Thekiso. “The biggest challenge is how to make those scenes powerful. Like if you watch a Beyoncé video, even if she’s by herself, she will carry it.”

The video shoot went as planned. Trouble began when the scenes with MiCasa were being shot in Yeoville, a densely populated small town in Johannesburg. Fans rushed to take selfies with J’Something, and wanted be on camera.

The video currently has no release date, but, we give you a behind the scenes look at the video shoot, below.

Itumeleng Modise and M.anifest on one of the first scenes of the video. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Video director Makere Thekiso talks to a crew member on set. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest during a short break. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Itumeleng gets her make-up done. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Itumeleng in action. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Itumeleng Modise looking stunning on set. Photo courtesy of the artist.

M.anifest poses for the camera between scenes. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Itumeleng in action. Photo  by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest during another break. Photo  by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest and Itumeleng on the first scene on the second location. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest with J’Something. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

J’Something, Mo-T and M.anifest standing by for a scene. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

MiCasa and M.anifest messing around between scenes. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

MiCasa and M.anifest. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

J’Somethig in action. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Watching playback of a scene. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Watching playback of a scene. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

People in Yeoville came out to watch the filming. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

A fan takes a selfie with J’Something. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The people came out to watch and film on their phones. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

One of the scenes in Yeoville. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

And more selfies. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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