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Shaun Ross 'Defines Beauty' In Jonas Åkerlund's Short Film 'Beyond The Skin'

Albino male model Shaun Ross stars in 'Beyond The Skin,' a short film by Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund for #Define Beauty on NOWNESS.


For model and actor Shaun Ross, learning to love the skin you're in is a rallying cry as well as a way of life. The fast-rising star, who holds the distinction of being the first albino male model, embraces his uniqueness wholeheartedly and has appeared in videos for Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey and Katy Perry since he first burst onto the fashion scene a few years ago. Most recently, Ross shared his experiences growing up with albinism on NOWNESS for the final installment of their #DefineBeauty video series aimed at challenging stereotypical beauty ideals.

Directed by Swedish filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund, the frenetic, mind-bending video portrait offers an intimate look into Ross' ethos of self-love and acceptance as he wanders through Los Angeles recounting the taunts of schoolyard bullies. The film takes the form of a stream of consciousness interview spliced with footage from a handheld camera provided to Ross, and Åkerlund's gothic psychedelia captures Ross' triumph over naysayers perfectly. "He [Ross] took all those things that was negative for him in his life and turned them into something really positive," Åkerlund told NOWNESS. Scenes shot in the thick of Hollywood Boulevard's rubberneckers represent only a minute aggregation of the double takes Ross has encountered throughout his life, and at one point during the film he drops one of the most self-affirming quotables ever: "If people are always looking at you, give them something great to look at." Watch the short film below and learn more about Ross' In My Skin I Win campaign here.

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15 South African Artists to Watch in 2019

Featuring Manu WolrdStar, Ranks, Dee Koala, Touchline, Sibu Nzuza and more.

Every year a wave of artists breaks in South Africa.

Last year saw young artists such as Mlindo The Vocalist, Muzi, Una Rams, Shekhinah, Sho Madjozi, KLY, Zoocci Coke Dope, Flame, J Molley, Rowlene and a whole lot more become household names and internet sensations. They released projects that shaped the country's musical landscape—a lot of them were on our list of 20 artists who could fuck up the game in 2018.

Alongside the aforementioned artists, there were just as many who were bubbling under, releasing singles that caught the attention of many fans. In 2019, these artists stand a great chance of expanding further and reaching more ears than they did last year.

From Manu WorldStar's lovely pop, to Ranks' version of ATM (African trap music), the refreshing Xhosa rap of Dee Koala, the street raps of Touchline, among others, we bring you a list of South African artists to keep an eye out for in 2019.

*The list is in no particular order.

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News Brief

Netflix Has Picked Up an Animated Musical Inspired by Shona Mythology

"Tunga" is the brainchild of Zimbabwean-born screenwriter Godwin Jabangwe.

The latest African story to become a Netflix original will be an animated, family-friendly musical based on Zimbabwean culture, Deadline reports. The streaming service won a four-way bidding battle for Tunga, created by Zimbabwean-born screenwriter and newcomer to the film industry Godwin Jabangwe.

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'Play Am' single cover.

Burna Boy Teams Up With Oritse Femi & Konshens on New Track 'Play Am'

Nigeria meets Jamaica on the Young D-produced dancehall-infused jam.

Fresh off his massive collaboration with Zlatan on "Killin' Dem," Burna Boy is back with another one.

The artist teams up with fellow Nigerian artist Oritse Femi and Jamaican artist Konshens for the dancehall-infused track "Play Am."

The song opens with a memorable verse from Konshens before both Oritse Femi and Burna join in, making for a unique fusion of Yoruba, Patois and Pidgin over the track's vibrant, multilayered production by producer Young D.

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