#Okay100Women

Tony Gum on Being an ‘Artist in Learning’ and Staying Grounded

We speak with OkayAfrica's 100 Women honoree and South African artist Tony Gum on her journey as an "artist in learning" and more.

This feature is in conjunction with our inaugural list—“OkayAfrica’s 100 Women”—where we take a look at the women making an impact on the African continent and in the diaspora.


Check out the biggest names in culture to young up-and-comers in "OkayAfrica's 100 Women" list here.

Cape Town’s Tony Gum is the art world’s official “It” girl and she’s riding the wave with gorgeous portraiture fans are going gaga for. At 21, Gum is making art that is consumable for many regardless of age, race and class.

She is renowned for capturing the innocence and magic of everyday life as seen on her Instagram page with 34,000 followers and counting. From her Black Coca Cola series, to showing at international art shows, Gum is making her mark in the world. She showcased her work at Art Basel, in which Perez Art Museum Miami named Gum as one of its Top 20 picks, and received a Pulse New York Art Prize Jury Award nomination in 2016.

She’s also featured in FNB Johannesburg Art Fair, in which she was the poster girl, and participated in the Cape Town Art Fair in 2016. Add to that media coverage in Vogue, Elle, Artsy and OkayAfrica, Gum is an example of how young people can make a difference from where they are and still make their mark globally. Below, she speaks to OkayAfrica about community, what it means to be an “artist in learning” and gratitude.

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Josephine Opar for OkayAfrica: Who are some women in your life that you hold dear, and how have they impacted you?

Tony Gum: Since I'm the only girl amongst my siblings, I used to move towards my mother and late-grandmother for matured feminine influence. As my female cousins and I grew older, my attention retracted towards them because I could relate to their femininity a lot better.

How do you stay grounded in the midst of your growing success?

I don't mind being a social butterfly but in order keep my mind [at peace], I say little prayer and keep my circles small.

What challenges do you face as you continue to approach being an "artist in learning?"

I'm challenged externally to evolve from my previous narratives and improve. I'm challenged internally to not be so hard on myself, to be content and to find a way to finally accept the finished product.

What song or album would you consider to be the soundtrack to your life now, and why?

Oh! This is a tough one, but I'm going to opt for the "A Donny Hathaway Collection" album. It's a perfect combination of beautiful instrumentals, powerful lyrics, sensual grooves and soul fulfilling tunes. And everyday after varsity, it never ceases to revitalize me.

What are you thankful for?

I'm grateful for life, my family, love and my ability to think and move how I feel. I'm thankful for everything.

Music

The WAV 2019: 10 Artists Shaping the Future of South African Music

Welcome to the new wave.

It's here! Today we are launching OkayAfrica's first annual "South African New WAV"—our annual round-up of the most exciting young SA music artists.

For Youth Month, we've picked the 10 singers/rappers/producers who we think will define the sound of SA for years to come.

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Style

OkayAfrica and B4Bonah Share New 'B4Beginning' Capsule Collection

We've teamed up with the Ghanaian artist ahead of the release of his debut project for some colorful new merch.

Rising Ghanaian star B4Bonah, premieres his catchy debut track "See Body," and to mark the song's release, OkayAfrica has teamed up with the artist to share a new collection of tees, that'll fit nicely into your summer wardrobe.

The artist's latest track is a party jam, that sees him flowing "over an earworm flute melody and afrobeats percussion," using "his rasping flow to celebrate the girl of his dreams." The track was produced by J.Rocs.

B4Bonah - See Body www.youtube.com

In conjunction with the song's release, two new shirt designs are available for preorder at our Okayshop. The vibrant shirts feature the artist's image on colorful blue and green colored blocks, with the words "B4BONAH B4BEGINNING," on the back—referencing the artist's debut mixtape, which is slated for release in late July. The project features Medikal, Mugeez (R2Bees), Amaarae & Ivy Sole.


B4Bonah is an artist to watch, as he continues to make his presence known in the Ghanaian music scene.

Watch the music video for "See Body" above, and head to shop.okayplayer.com now to pick up to pre-order a shirt (or two). You can also preorder B4Bonah's B4beginning mixtape here.

popular

Watch EL, Joey B and Falz' New Video for 'Ehua'

Ghana meets Nigeria in this hilarious new clip.

Ghanaian rappers EL and Joey B connect with Nigeria's Falz for this addictive new collaboration and music video for "Ehua."

"Ehua" is built on energetic afro-electronic beat work produced by EL himself. Joey B handles the hook while Falz kicks things off early with a solid verse.

The eye-catching and hilarious music video for the single, directed by Yaw Skyface, features EL as a policeman, Falz as the 'oga' bossman, and Joey B as a worker for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Falz takes Joey B's woman by showing off his money and status, so Joey B enlists policeman EL to get back at Falz. The plan backfires however as the officer decides to stick around and party with the rich instead of helping the everyday worker out.

For more GH hits check out our Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month roundups and follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Watch the new music video for EL, Joey B and Falz' "Ehua" below.

EL ft Joey B & Falz - Ehua (Official Video) youtu.be


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