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The Birth of a music revolution in Africa – ONE8

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One8 Artists in studio

8 SUPERSTARS FROM ACROSS AFRICA UNITE WITH ONE MAJOR GLOBAL MEGASTAR TO FORM ONE8 – THE ALL STAR GROUP TO TAKE THE BEST IN MUSIC FROM AFRICA ONTO THE GLOBAL STAGE, CONNECTING MILLIONS OF FANS THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF MUSIC

The wait is over and a music revolution has begun -after weeks of speculation ONE8 is here!


Through the power of the universal language of music and combining genres, sounds, voices and audiences – while breaking down stereotypes, geographical borders and divisions – ONE8 is the ultimate music force that is single-handedly changing the face of the African music industry.

Planet music is the playground for ONE8 as the hottest African talent from eight major African countries joins forces to create an African supergroup unlike anything seen before.

The power and excitement around this collective of African stars is so big that ONE8 will be not only be joined by one of the biggest global megastars and icons in music for its first single and video, about to be recorded in Chicago, USA, but this superstar, who’s played a crucial role in defining R&B and Hip-Hop as we know it, will produce the song and video together with some of the biggest names in music and music video production in the world today.

This all star group ONE8 is produced and managed by the first major pan-African record label and 360 music company, ROCKSTAR4000 within the family of the world’s number 1 recording company Sony Music. Sony Music has delivered some of music’s biggest icons and pioneers and boasts a vast catalog of some of the most important recordings in the history of music including the likes of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, R Kelly, Alicia Keys, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Shakira and Kings of Leon to name a few.  ONE8 is destined for greatness, shattering perceptions about African music as it builds networks and excitement across the pan-African music landscape and across the world.

ONE8 is not only just another all-star lineup, but is a progressive, digital media driven project.  It’s driven by the passion of the artists to not only allow their fans access around the clock, but to give them the freedom to escape from their every day challenges and empowering their fans to be whatever they want to be through the power of music and the digital world – connecting them across cities, borders and continents.

As all eight artists set off for the USA, fans will be connected with them around the clock through the website, mobile site or mobisite, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube and live webcasts from on-the road.  Millions of fans will experience this music revolution and historic journey as it happens.  Fans will experience their favorite stars up-close and personal and roam where no fan has roamed before, digital ALL ACCESS PASSES delivered personally by these superstars to their fans!

All the artists have worked together to create a song that is a truly Pan-African creation.  The group will also shoot a video in Chicago which will be released globally with the first single in November, alongside a full album and DVD soon after.

Over the past few weeks rumours and speculations have been flying wildly across the internet as everyone tried to predict – or influence – who would be next join ONE8.  The waiting is over; for the first time we can officially announce all of the superstars making up this group:

2Face: Nigeria

2Face started his musical career with BlackFace and the two of them formed the group Plantashun Boyz, a highly acclaimed group in their own right. However, 2Face has achieved most of his success as a solo artist and is now one of the most internationally recognized celebrities Nigeria has produced in recent years. 2005 saw 2Face become a household name when he took home an MTV Europe award for best African act, a Channel l Music Video Award for Best Male Video and Best African Video (both for “African Queen”) and a Kora award for Revelation of the Year. Last year he took an MTV Africa Music Award for Best R&B and as he joins forces with the ONE8 project the sky is the limit for this amazingly talented artist.

 

JK: Zambia

JK is currently Zambia’s leading superstar artist with a sound just perfect for mixing with other artists and styles. His Afro-centric signature sound of Rhumba-meets-reggae-meets-R&B have made him a household name in his native country.  Being lauded as the man who singlehandedly put the fire for Zambian music back into the hearts of Africans, JK’s star continues to rise, seeing him regularly touring the continent and Europe.  As part of the ONE8 group, his style will engrave Zambia firmly on the musical map.

Navio: Uganda

One of Uganda’s most awarded hip-hop artists, Navio has been on the forefront of the countries hip-hop genre for more than 10 years making huge strides in pushing the genre’s accessibility in Eastern Africa.  Originally from the rap group Klear Kut, Navio became an overnight sensation, winning awards and topping charts until 2009, when he decided to pursue a solo career. Navio is adamant he will continue to develop the East African hip hop sound and will definitely bring a passionate and creative style to the ONE8 project.

Amani: Kenya

Amani is one of the most talented and beautiful female stars ever to come out of Kenya.  Her name is a Swahili word that literally means peace and tranquility, and the soothing sounds of Amani’s music reflect exactly that.  Amani’s soothing music is urban and African, uplifting with unforgettable melodies that showcase both Amani’s vocal and song-writing talents.  This talent has not gone unrecognised in the awards category with Amani having won numerous awards including the Kenya Kisima Award in 2006 for Best Female Artist and Best Collaboration, and in 2007 for Best Female Boomba Artist.  Amani has also been nominated for a Channel O video award in 2008 for Best Female Artist East Africa.  In 2009 she won the MTV African Music Award (MAMA) for Best Female Artist Pan Africa alongside a slew of nominations at the 2009 Channel O Music Awards.

Alikiba: Tanzania

The king of Bongo Flava, Alikiba is Tanzania’s biggest superstar artist.  With his first album only being released in 2008, he has exploded into one of the biggest African artists, across the continent and internationally.  With the origins lying in Caribbean music, Bongo Flava is a happy, danceable style that brings parties to life and lifts moods effortlessly.  Having a debut album be the top selling album in the whole of East Africa, Alikiba is no stranger to success and is looking forward to bringing his positive energy to the ONE8 project.

4×4: Ghana

4X4 (Pronounced ‘four-ex-four’) is a hip-life trio mentored by hip-life duo Buk Bak (Bright and Rooney).  They released their first album ‘Siklitele’ in 2003, followed by a second album ‘Contestant Number 1’ in 2007.  As great role models to the youth in Ghana, the members of 4×4 have worked extremely hard to get where they are today.  Their latest album, Hotgirls.com is a blend of foreign touch (hip hop style) but with a local dialect and dancehall flavours. Their great example to the youth mixed with their pride for their country will see 4×4 fit perfectly into the One8 group.

Fally Ipupa: DRC

One of the biggest and most talented superstars from the African continent today, Ipupa Nsimba aka Fally Ipupa is a singer, songwriter and respected guitarist who was born and raised in Kinshasa, DRC. His silky smooth voice soon reached the hearts of many, both in DRC and internationally, due to his blend of various musical styles including soukous, ndombolo, pop and R&B.  In 2007 Fally was acknowledged by his peers in the music industry when he won the Best Male Artist Cesaire Award and Best Artist or Group from Central Africa in the continental Kora Awards.  His creative spirit, incredible talent and youthful passion make Fally Ipupa a valuable part of the ONE8 group.  Fally is well traveled and has toured extensively in Africa and the rest of the world.  It was recently announced that he will perform later this year at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) in Lagos, Nigeria

Movaizhaleine: Gabon

One of the continents most successful rap stories, ex-pats Movaizhaleine, now residing in Paris, France, have taken the African rap flag and are flying it high across the world for Gabon, and indeed the rest of the continent.  Consisting of two young conscientious rappers, Lord Ekomy Ndong and Maat Seigneur Lion, the group, also affectionately known as MH, began rapping together when still at high school – highly influenced by the activism on the continent at the time.  With four top selling albums under their belts and more than a hundred spectacular showcases in Africa and France, the group is still growing from strength to strength.  Joining the ONE8 group is a natural move for these pan-African music-cultural leaders.

Watch this space as we announce the final members of the revolutionary superstar music group in the coming days and details of their journey across Africa and the world!

For more information:

www.myone8.com or myone8.mobi (on mobile phones)

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TV and Movies

South African Actress Thuso Mbedu Lands A Lead Role In Hollywood’s Amazon Series

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Thuso Mbedu at the 2018 International Emmy Awards show in New York

South African sensational actress, Thuso Mbedu has made history by becoming the first South African actress to land a lead role in a Hollywood TV series. Consequently, the 28-year old actress will be playing the role of Cora in the TV series ‘The Underground Railroad’. The premiere will be later this year.

Barry Jenkins, the award-winning director took up the challenge to direct the series. Jenkins is also the co-writer of Moonlight, an Academy Award-winning film. Reliable reports hint that Jenkins will be the director of all the eleven episodes. Each of the episodes has a one-hour duration. Subsequent announcement about the cast and project by Variety Magazine said,

“The cast will be led by Thuso Mbedu as Cora, with Chase W. Dillon as Homer and Aaron Pierre as Caesar. The project was first set up more than two years ago, on the heels of Barry Jenkins’s Oscar win for the film Moonlight, with Amazon officially ordering it to series last June.”

A sneak peek into cast and story

‘The Underground Railroad’ is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead. The Underground Railroad is a 2016 publication that tells the story of Cora. Thuso Mbedu will be playing the role of Cora, a young slave girl working on a cotton plantation in Georgia. However, Cora faces rejection among Americans and her African peers. A slave, Caesar, arrives from Virginia and beckons on her to join him on the Underground Railroad. Cora seizes the opportunity to escape with him.

The historical significance of The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad has a historical significance. It is not just a metaphor but a network of engineers, secret tunnels and tracks underneath the Southern soil. The Underground Railroad also has a network of people who aid fugitives to escape to the North of Canada. One of the key figures in the Underground Railroad network is Ohio’s John Fairfield, an abolitionist and former slave.

Fairfield became famous for employing inventive techniques to help fleeing slaves make it to Free-States. However, Fairfield is not the only one in this practice. Another key figure in this practice was Levi Coffin. The Quaker aided over 3,000 slaves. Harriet Tubman accompanied over 300 slaves on a perilous journey to freedom.

Mbedu’s reaction

Mbedu shot into the spotlight with her role in ‘Generations: The Legacy’. However, her role as Winnie in ‘Is’thunzi’ earned her two International Emmy Award nominations in 2018 and 2019. The gorgeous actress took to her Instagram page to share good news. She shared a picture of her and three other characters followed by a long outpouring of gratitude and emotion.

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My thumb and neurons are failing me right now so I'll just do as most South Africans do when this happens: I GOT THE JOB!!!! It was such an amazing process and experience. Like, true story, just prepping to audition for this role made me grow so much. It's such a blessing and honour to tell this story… Again, words fail me so I'll stop there for now. Read the full article on @variety .com #chapter27 #becomingthepromise God of creation There at the start Before the beginning of time With no point of reference You spoke to the dark And fleshed out the wonder of light And as You speak A hundred billion galaxies are born In the vapor of Your breath the planets form If the stars were made to worship so will I I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made Every burning star A signal fire of grace If creation sings Your praises so will I God of Your promise You don’t speak in vain No syllable empty or void For once You have spoken All nature and science Follow the sound of Your voice And as You speak A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath Evolving in pursuit of what You said If it all reveals Your nature so will I I can see Your heart in everything You say Every painted sky A canvas of Your grace If creation still obeys You so will I – @hillsongunited

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South African actresses like Pearl Thusi and Terry Pheto are big names in Hollywood TV series. However, none has ever played a lead role. There seem to be a lot of accolades coming out of South Africa. A few days ago, Manthso by Palesa Mokubung made history as the first African fashion brand to land a global collaboration with H&M. This is not an individual success but a collective national success.

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TV and Movies

Famous Talent Show Comes To East Africa

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East Africa Got Talent

The famous TV series ‘Got Talent’ is coming to East Africa. Tagged ‘East Africa Got Talent’, the show will seek to identify exceptional talent in the region. The show which is the brainchild of Simon Cowell’s SYCOtv Company is now featured in over 50 countries across the globe. Cowell is famous for his strict judgments in the initial seasons of American Idol. However, Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent are the most famous. A statement from Safaricom’s Chief Customer Officer, Sylvia Mulinge read,

“The famous ‘Got Talent’ reality TV series is coming to East Africa! We are on location at Movenpick to launch the series, as we announce our title sponsorship for East Africa’s Got Talent. We are happy to announce our sponsorship of this iconic show which has been lauded as one of the world’s most successful reality TV franchise.”

The host for inaugural East Africa Got Talent

Anne Kansiime

The hilarious comedian Anne Kansiime has been named the host for the inaugural edition of the show. The show will search for the best talents across Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Some of the talent-acts the judges will be on the lookout for are comedians, dancers, singers, and more. The audition is open for anyone with any form of talent irrespective of age. In a message shared on her social media, Kansiime said,

“Oooh Ninjas, am struggling to contain this excitement. I doubt there is an Emoji I can use to illustrate it. This is it; “The famous ‘Got Talent’ reality TV series is coming to East Africa. Yes, as “East Africa’s Got Talent”. Am so happy and excited to announce my association with this iconic show which has been lauded as the world’s most successful reality TV franchise as the Host.”

A preliminary audition will hold across the four countries in major cities between from May 11 to 26. However, those who are successful will head to Nairobi, Kenya where they will perform in front of judges. They will compete until the semifinals where six people will compete for $50,000. The screening of the show is scheduled to begin in August. However, the show will have ten episodes besides the semifinal and final. The last two stages will be aired live.

The most successful reality TV

The episode of Got Talent was on June 21, 2006. Twelve years on, the show is coming to East Africa. The Guinness World Records on April 2014 named the show the ‘World’s Most Successful Reality TV Format’. South Sudan and Burundi are part of East Africa but omitted from the list. However, there is no formal statement restricting them from participating.

Those who cannot make it to the pre-audition venues can still participate online through www.rapidblue.formstack.com. Alternatively, you can record your act in a one-minute video and send it to the WhatsApp number +254 (0)703 437 903 with your name, age, and country.

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Celebrities

SZA Surprises Fans With The Adoption Of Nigerian Names

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SZA adopts Nigerian names

American music sensation Solana Rowe aka SZA made eyes pop on her Instagram page recently. However, this time it wasn’t just about stunning pictures. The music star on Thursday, April 11th, 2019, adopted two Nigerian names, “Amarachi Chinonso”. The names which are peculiar with the Igbos in Southeastern Nigeria means “God’s grace” and “God is close” respectively. The Instagram sensation has over 5.7 million followers. Mix reactions followed SZA’s name change. There were the positives, negatives and the neutral.

The 29-year old singer was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in St. Louis. Fans immediately began to pour out their admiration for the African-American artiste’s willingness to identify with her African heritage. However, not every fan loves to make assumptions. A few fans were keen to find out the motive for her actions.

Some of the reactions trailing SZA’s name change

A picture posted days after the name change has over 618k likes and 4k comments. In addition to admiring her stunning beauty, a number of the comments revolves around her name change. However, a few of the inspiring or eyebrow-raising comments include;

Zizilords.xo; “Chineke such beauty!!! Daluu ooh#igbo_sister”

Majesty_lyn; “Omg, you’re Nigerian!!!!!!! I’m screaming”.

Itslavivi; “Can you please tell us the inspiration behind the Igbo name in your bio?”

Kelechikakesss; “If you (‘re) Nigerian, can you tell us because we wanna know ASAP?”

Obsessed_style; “Shoutout to @SZA for being an absolute queen. We’ve always love you but now our love for you is x3. Igbo kwenu!”

Carolinetheshe_; Nice fit but please we need clarity on your new Nigerian names

Derinfromisaleeko: We need to know, are you Nigerian? Are you one of us.. We love you still if you aren’t.

Recent and past musical projects

The Grammy-nominee songstress performed recently at Dreamville festival. The event was also graced by Nigerian Afrobeat star, Davido. For the past few weeks, the artist has been teasing her fans on social media about her upcoming project. Apparently, SZA featured alongside ‘Travis Scott’ and ‘The Weekend’ on Game of Thrones official soundtrack. On Thursday 18, April, SZA finally shared the Game of Thrones soundtrack with the caption ‘POWER IS POWER OUT NOW”

SZA shot into limelight in 2017 with the release of her debut album, ‘Ctrl’. The album made its debut on the US Billboard 200 at number 3. Consequently, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) gave the album platinum certification. The album got four Grammy Awards nominations. SZA, on the other hand, bagged the ‘Best New Artiste’ nomination at the 60th award ceremony.

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