Video

Card On Spokes 'On The Low' ft. Okmalumkoolkat & Nonku Phiri

Watch SA producer Card On Spokes lyric video for "On The Low," with Okmalumkoolkat and Nonku Phiri.


Here's a new electronic head nodder from three promising South Africans to get you through the first work/school week of the year. Producer Card On Spokes teams up with one of our favorite wordsmiths Okmalumkoolkat and vocalist Nonku Phiri (aka JungFreud) for this underground tale that follows the birth of a relationship. The track & music video for "On The Low," put together by Cape Town creative collective naas, show Okmalumkoolkat & Nonku trading rhymes & choruses over Card On Spokes' rumbling bass line and spiraling synthesizers. The producer told Noisey about how the song came about, “Okamalumkoolkat had written his verses on top of an old unreleased track of mine... that night while partying downstairs at a club, I found Nonku and we went to the studio upstairs and she came up with the chorus. Months later I decided the instrumental wasn't sexy enough for the vocals so I wrote a new track to better fit their lyrics and mood.” Watch it below.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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