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Mishaal Gangaram.

Album cover art for "The Alchemy of Living".

Keenan Meyer's Debut Track 'Komani' is Nostalgia Personified

South African pianist, Keenan Meyer, makes his professional music debut with 'Komani' featuring Tshepo Tsotetsi, ahead of the release of his debut 'The Alchemy of Living' album.

South African pianist and independent artist, Keenan Meyer, has recently released his debut track "Komani" featuring saxophonist Tshepo Tsotetsi. The track appears on his upcoming debut album titled The Alchemy of Living, a 12-track project, which features fellow artists Sthembiso Bhengu, Keorapetse Kolwane as well as talented South African jazz musician, Zoë Modiga. Impressively, the inimitable Grammy award-winning American producer, Qmillion, is behind the mixing and mastering of this musical offering.

READ: In Conversation with Mandla Mlangeni: 'Jazz music was also considered pop music at some time. It was music for the youth.'

The 25-year-old pianist certainly hits the ground running with this first release. Produced by Banda Banda, "Komani" is a musical journey, quite literally, that begins with what feels like a farewell before one embarks on a long journey. The song then gradually builds to an explosion of sound — replete with percussion, drums, the saxophone and of course, the piano — as one now excitedly embraces the destination ahead.

There is a distinct feeling of nostalgia in the rich soundscape of "Komani". Admittedly, one can't help but feel transported to a place one may not even know but nonetheless, still appreciates. Meyer indeed stands on the shoulders of giants with jazz veteran greats including the late Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa, pianist and composer, Abdullah Ibrahim, in addition to younger contemporaries such as Modiga and Mandla Mlangeni, among several others.

Describing the inspiration for his debut track, Meyer says:

"Komani, or Queenstown as it was formerly known is home to my maternal ancestors - the Redcliffe clan. Traveling to the small Eastern Cape town during the school holidays was one of the many highlights of my childhood. We would travel by bus or the Shosholoza Meyl sleeper train and be greeted by family members waiting for us on our arrival. Back then I didn't realise how seminal these journeys and visits would be on my own story and to honour the roots of where I come from, Komani is a love song to the maternal love that has raised me."

The album is currently available for pre-order here.

Listen to "Komani" on Spotify:

Listen to "Komani" on Apple Music:

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums

Influential Louis Vuitton And Off-White Designer Virgin Abloh, Dies at 41

The popular Ghanian-American designer had been battling a rare form of cancer in private for several years.

The fashion industry has lost a talented, unique, and boundary-pushing influence this weekend.

41-year-old Ghanianian-American designer Virgil Abloh has died after a 2 year battle with a rare form of cancer, a statement from his associates LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Sunday. Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men's wear at French fashion house Louis Vuitton leaves his wife Shannon, and 2 children - Lowe and Grey. Chairman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault said in a statement, "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend," he added.

After the news broke on Sunday, Abloh started trending on Twitter, with fans of the designer remembering his influence on music, art, and fashion. The 1990s saw Abloh DJ and the creative director once told The Guardian in a 2016 interview, "When the phone is off, I play my favorite songs really loud for myself, and I'm not talking to anyone. I'm not managing anything. It's just like a time when I can listen to music… I'll be DJing after I'm done designing or doing anything else." Virgil got his hands into designing album artworks after strumming up a friendship with American rapper Kanye West before becoming the creative director of West's DONDA Creative House. More recently known for his creative streetwear brand 'Off-White' the designer became popular among fashion-conscious youngsters and will forever be immortalized.

A statement posted to Abloh's Instagram explained that "Virgil chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture"

Friends, fans, and colleagues took to social media to share their well-wishes for Virgil as he transitions to his next destination.

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