Audio

Hanging With Christian Tiger School At Their ‘Chrome Tapes’ Launch Party

We caught up with Christian Tiger School at their Johannesburg launch party for "Chrome Tapes."

Christian Tiger School, the Cape Town-based production duo of Sebastiano Zanasi and Luc Vemeer, made a trek up north to Johannesburg where they launched their sophomore album Chrome Tapes (part of a series of four releases). The producers were supported by friends such as Jab A Jaw and Felix Laband, the South African electronic music legend who's recently scored music for the gritty Cape Flats biopic Four Corners. We got to hang out with CTS during the launch, learning a couple of things about their upcoming projects.


Christian Tiger School dwell at the confluence of where mainstream hipsters go to retire and full-out creative hippies are born. None of the music on Chrome Tapes will be available on-line until the fourth and final installment gets released — that's worth about three lifetimes of hipsterdom and roughly nine months on Earth time.

During the making of Chrome Trapes Seb was listening to a lot of house and techno, while Luc simply listened to "like, four house songs regularly throughout the past year." Producer Jon Hopkins is one of the names he dropped. Besides studying jazz guitar at the South African College of Music, Seb is also a member of Fever Trails (Nick Van Reenen of Bateleur's electronic music project) and plays with his own outfit Yes In French. Meanwhile Luc continues to expand his subversive beat exploits as Desert Head. His music is featured on two recently-released compilations, the production collective Gravy's Gravy002 and naasMusic's naasMUSIC Presents: Slip Slop. He's also got a possible collaboration with Damascus in the works. On top of all that, the two producers are also working on a film to be released on VHS (chalk up another hipster point).

Hot on the heels of their Player Xchange collaboration with Bilal and World's Fair, CTS will be making an appearance at our Okayplayer x Soulection SXSW Showcase tonight. Although, never ones to get overwhelmed, Seb and Luc and pretty chill about it all.

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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