All Up In Your Phone With Moonchild & Tshepang Ramoba

We ask buzzing South African singer Moonchild & BLJK JKS' Tshepang Ramoba about their latest texts, pics, and what they’ve been Googling.

Photo from Blue Velvet: Moonchild Takes New York City. Shot by Andrew Boyle.

All Up In Your Phone is where we rudely ask an artist about his or her latest texts, the pictures they’ve taken and what they’ve been Googling. In the third installment, we link up with buzzing South African singer Moonchild and BLK JKSTshepang Ramoba.

What was the last text you sent?

Moonchild: My last text was probably to my boyfriend. It’s an emoticon of a glowing heart. He’s the bizness. He’s an artist. And I usually try and stay away from artists ‘cause they’re always broke [laughs].

I actually asked him, “does your mom like turquoise cows?” Because I’ll go put food coloring in them and go purchase your ass [as Lobola]. I don’t have to wait. I’m usually in charge and, with him, I let him be in charge.

Tshepang: My last text was to Mpumi from the BLK JKS. We’re planning a trip to Italy so he was asking me how I’m gonna apply for the visa.

I actually got lost one night in Italy with a friend, we were arguing about pasta. Then we stopped and realized, “Shit, we can’t argue about pasta, we’re in Italy!” We were arguing with a chef and then this guy’s like “Let’s go to my house I’ll show you!” So we went to his house and he started making pasta real quick.

What was the last song you listened to?

Tshepang: Fortune Shumba. This guy’s been talking to me for 2 years trying to convince me that he’s very good at signing. I kind of chatted to him without knowing and after a while he sent me a song. At that time I was doing music for a TV program so I put the song on the show. It sounded like an introduction, so I took the thing and I did a few things to it.

Moonchild: Mine’s a track I did with Maramza called “Cut The Cake.” You know, they say now that I’m the ‘honey’ girl. Like, “you know the blue-haired girl that always talks about sex.” They say that because “Cut The Cake” is about a girl hitting a guy up to hook up and telling him “don’t worry, if you’re nervous, it’s cool, I can handle this, but we use a condom.”

It’s the whole sex thing. There’s a song I did with Coca-Cola studios called “Banana” which they said was too provocative because I say, “A banana with a peel / is a banana with appeal”—basically saying don’t mack on me without a condom. Coca-Cola didn’t want to be associated with promiscuity. It’s like, you say you’re raising awareness, meanwhile, you censor this awareness because you want to be packaged in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. The reality is not comfortable.

Who did you last call?

Tshepang: It was Mandoza—a big, big kwaito star in South Africa. He did a song called “Nkalakatha” which was a super hit all over Africa and, actually, in Dubai, which is crazy. I wanted to talk to him about a project that I was doing.

He called me at the hotel and says, [imitates raspy voice] “Yeah man how you doing?” I wanted his e-mail address and he goes, “I hate typing, can I tell you over the phone?” [laughs] He’s a very interesting guy.

Moonchild: Guys, I’m boring. It’s probably my boyfriend.

What’s the last photo you took?

Tshepang: My last photo was of Moonchild actually.

Moonchild: It was of [manager] Honey Makwakwa and Tshepang getting us subway tickets.

What did you last google?

Tshepang: The 355 West 16th street subway station.

Do you have a favorite game you play on your phone?

Moonchild: Truth or Dare. You know how I use it? In relationships, when you’re not being open about shit you say “you’re playing a game” Therefore you ask those questions you don’t wanna ask, like an insecure person, during the game.

Tshepang: Tetris. I played too much though. I like being in my relationship so I deleted the game [laughs]

For more visit our previous All Up In Your Phone episodes with AKA and DJ Zinhle.

Image courtesy of Peintre Obou.

Ivorian Artist Peintre Obou Speaks on Expression Through His Masked Characters

Peintre Obou talks about how he came to be an artist, his fervour for the mask, and his uplifting project, 'Abobo E Zo'.

Gbais Obou Yves Fredy better known as Peintre Obou is an Ivorian artist whose work is centered around the political-military crisis in his home. To date, his career has been an exploration of his passion for the human condition and the traumas he has experienced as a result of human-orchestrated disasters. He goes as far as highlighting life in the slums and the individuals who opened their arms to him in the lowly communes of Abidjan. He distinctively distorts the faces of his subjects with masks and places vibrant colors upon their bodies as he weaves tales of war, trauma, suffering, and oppression.

Last summer, the Ivorian commune of Abobo underwent renovation in a project titled, Abobo E Zo commissioned by the Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Not only were downtrodden areas within the community rehabilitated and sanitized but multiple buildings around the populous commune were painted to the delight of residents. It was street art set on enlightening a disadvantaged community piloted by Obou with help from hundreds of crafty volunteers.

This interview was conducted in French and has been translated and edited for length and clarity.

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