The Academic, an indie rock band from Ireland, has created a first-of-its-kind video using Facebook Live and it is epic!
It’s common knowledge that Facebook Live videos tend to lag when streaming. Well, The Academic decided to use this to their advantage to create something truly unique. Check it out…
The simplicity of the idea is what I really appreciate about it. The song comes together layer-by-layer as each band member carefully times their sections of the song, creating a loop that eventually builds-up to a complete song. While the concept may sound simple, it’s certainly not easy to execute.
It reminds me of Here It Goes Again by OK Go (remember, the treadmill music video shot in one take). That video launched the band into the spotlight in 2009 and has arguably been the most significant factor in their claim to fame. The novelty of the video lent itself to sharability, which resulted in new audiences discovering the band. OK Go have since continued the trend of creating elaborate music videos all in a single take, which has been a fruitful tactic in staying relevant and getting views.
This Facebook Live performance, however, is not the official music video for the catchy song but rather additional marketing to promote the single. The video was viewed on YouTube over 700K times in just 24-hours, and an additional 84K times on Facebook. The video has become their most viewed video to date despite already having a significant fanbase. In this age where it’s so difficult to get noticed in a noisy world, I’ve got to say that I’m impressed with what The Academic has achieved.
‘Bear Claws‘ is available on all of the major music streaming services so be sure to download the single. And don’t forget to share the visual loop music video as well as support the band by following them on social media.
The Oscar Pistorius trial had the world, particularly South Africans, glued to their screens as details about the murder of Reeva Steenkamp unfolded. In July 2016, Pistorius was sentenced to 6 years in prison for the crime and while most people thought we wouldn’t hear about the story for a while, a trailer for the Oscar Pistorius movie has made the topic relevant again.
Mention of Oscar Pistorius had been minimal following the sentence, with only 4,562 online mentions in 2017. After the trailer surfaced on 2 October, social media has been abuzz about the topic, accounting for 86% of mentions about him for the year.
77% of mentions stemmed from South Africa, followed by the US (7%) and the UK with 5%. The remaining 11% were by individuals in other regions.
Twitter was the most popular platform for opinion sharing and accounted for 93% of total mentions. News sources contributed 3% to volumes and other online platforms made up the remaining 4%.
The trailer triggered outrage from South Africans who have taken their opinions to social media. The majority of posts were neutral as the majority of people reshared news about the trailer.
Negativity largely centred around opinions about Oscar himself, however, others have voiced their annoyance at the American production company (Lifetime) for creating the film.
The most prominent complaint though, is that the film was produced without the consent of either of the families. Numerous individuals voiced their anger at Lifetime for not consulting with the Steenkamp or Pistorius families regarding the portrayal of the characters or even requesting permission to shoot the film. The public has particularly jumped to the defence of the Steenkamp family, with media outlets highlighting this as the most noteworthy news.
“They were never consulted. Nobody asked their input. In fact, they never even knew until now that a movie had been made.” – Tania Koen, the lawyer for Barry and June Steenkamp
But, do filmmakers have a legal obligation to do so? According to legislature, no. There are no privacy laws preventing filmmakers from depicting real people, so long as the portrayal is not defamatory.
“If a film maker creates a film depicting a real person in a way that would lower the reputation of that person, and the film is released, then the film maker may be liable for defamation.” – Art Law
While the movie is a dramatised retelling of the story, the trailer suggests that Reeva is portrayed in a favourable light. For this reason, it’s unlikely that the Steenkamp family will be able to take legal action.
However, on 3 October, Carl Pistorius (Oscar’s brother) confirmed that he will be suing the producers for misrepresenting his brother by ignoring facts to lend itself to a more compelling movie.
The film is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. The film is rather a representation of what the prosecution tried to portray. @MorningLiveSABC
Time will tell if the Pistorius family will win against Lifetime, but my prediction is that Lifetime did its due diligence before even going into pre-production. The ethics around making money off of the tragedy is another conversation, but from a legal perspective, it appears that the narrative has remained fairly true to the original reports of what happened.
The film is scheduled for release in the US in November but there is no indication whether or not the film will be released in South Africa.
You can’t be online and not notice certain trends in social media, blogs and news articles during certain periods. For example, posts about Game of Thrones will rise from the day a new episode is aired, or buzz about movies nominated for Academy Awards will flood our timelines from January until February.
Whether the topic in question is an interest of yours or not, you will undoubtedly see posts about whatever is current in pop culture at that time. The most recent prominent topic in the media is the release of Taylor Swift’s new single, Look What You Made Me Do.
There have been tonnes of posts discussing the song and music videos (yes, music videos) as well as the upcoming release of Taylor’s new album. But one of the most popular topics has centred around the ongoing feud between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, particularly Perry releasing her Swish Swish music video just one day after Swift announced the release date of her new album. The general consensus is that this was done out of spite to claim the spotlight. So, I decided to do an analysis of online conversation about the two pop stars to see exactly who is dominating the internet in 2017.
The most popular platform for both artists in 2017 so far has been Twitter, followed by Instagram and then Tumblr. The majority of posts about Katy Perry stem from Twitter, however, the majority of Taylor Swift-related posts are split between Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr is a particularly popular social platform for Taylor Swift, accounting for 14% of volumes.
Sentiment: Good or Bad Publicity
Sentiment speaks to whether or not the mentions are favourable or negative. Taylor Swift received 2% more negative mentions compared to Katy Perry however, Taylor Swift received 13% more positivity than Katy Perry. This is surprising considering the general perception that Taylor Swift is hated by so many. You can thank popular websites and blogs for using click-bait headlines and articles with thin arguments for this dramatisation. Regardless, there is certainly negativity about Taylor and if you’ve heard Look What You Made Me Do, you’ll see she’s using it to her advantage. But, who’s winning the online conversation battle?
From January to July, Katy Perry dominated online conversation. However, after a drastic increase in online buzz in August, Taylor Swift claimed first place and is dominating online conversation.
From the beginning of the year until 27 August 2017, Katy Perry was mentioned 25 million times and Taylor Swift received 31 million mentions – 24% more posts than Katy Perry. 70% of posts about Taylor for the year so far took place in August.
Conversation for Katy Perry spiked on 13 February due to talk of her performance of Chained to the Rhythm at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Volumes for Taylor Swift peaked at a remarkable 1.7 million in August on the day her lyrics music video for Look What You Made Me Do dropped. This is a difference of 190% from Katy’s highest day. In addition, Taylor’s lyric music video has been viewed more times than Swish Swish.
The battle to stay current in today’s times has become increasingly difficult. Public figures often have to resort to publicity stunts to get attention and sometimes that means throwing shade at other artists. While Katy may have generated a lot of hype releasing her video just before Taylor did, Taylor Swift is killing it and is arguably the most relevant pop star at the moment. Let’s see who will claim the overall title by the end of the year.
Taylor Swift is renowned for her PR skills. She’s sparked numerous spikes in online conversation to launch songs, music videos and build hype around new or upcoming singles and albums, and to build towards her overall brand. Social media is frequently dominated by posts about Taylor’s latest news and this week we witnessed the most recent craze.
Since 21 August, Taylor teased fans by sharing cryptic posts on Instagram and Twitter.
Fans took to social media to share their thoughts on what the posts might suggest until volumes peaked on Wednesday after Swift confirmed that the first single off her new album would be out before the end of the week.
The majority of posts stemmed from the USA, followed by Brazil and then the UK.
3 days after conversation started climbing, she released her latest single Look What You Made Me Do ahead of her new album, Reputation, set to launch in November 2017.
The hype around the new single and album led to a 91% increase in the number of posts about Taylor Swift from July to August. As of 25 August, 22% of the total 28 million posts about the artist in 2017 took place in August.
Over a 24-hour period (from 24 to 25 August) #LookWhatYouMadeMeDo was mentioned over 140 000 times and was the 9th most used hashtag in the USA over the period. The most popular hashtag used in relation to Taylor Swift was #TaylorIsBack, started by fans excited for what is to come.
Owing to online hype and reactions to the single, 3 of the top hashtags used in relation to Taylor Swift in 2017 have been about the single and upcoming album. This is phenomenal considering the fact that the hashtags have only just surfaced.
25% of posts using the hashtag included images and 14% of posts provided links to articles about the album, the music video on YouTube or music providers that have the single.
“Sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead”
Taylor Swift is a genius when it comes to sparking conversation and there is no doubt in my mind that this is only the beginning of months of publicity about the album. I think the ‘new Taylor’ is going to be a force to be reckoned with and I’m certain she is going to be more relevant than ever before.
2009 Top 10 Idols SA finalist, Daniel Baron has made quite the career for himself. Despite not winning the singing competition, Baron has gone on to release numerous singles and albums and has become more successful than most of the Idols SA winners. I was fortunate enough to attend the Weekend of Mass Destruction album launch and man… what an experience.
I’ve been a fan of Daniel’s since 2009 so of course, I jumped at the opportunity to be one of the first to preview his new album. The event was held at the luxurious penthouse suite of the Da Vinci Hotel in the heart of Sandton. Guests were invited to indulge in signature cocktails and canapes as the sun set over Sandton CBD. Like most South Africans, I have such an appreciation for our sunsets, and this event was the absolute perfect way to view it.
The interior of the suite was decorated with electric pink, gold and black making for a strikingly edgy and elegant setting. In addition, there were live-sculptures wearing daring outfits displayed throughout the venue. These ladies didn’t only look like pieces of art but they stayed frozen for about 2 hours until Daniel’s performance began when they then came to life and danced amoungst the crowd.
The event was pretty intimate with a guest list of no more than 80 people. This made for a wonderful social setting where it was easy to meet and get to know other guests. The conversation was accompanied by smooth saxophone music and it was lit.✨ No, but for real, for certain songs, the musician had fireworks spraying from her sax!
Shortly after the sun had set, Daniel made his entrance. To my surprise, he didn’t go straight to the stage but instead took his time to walk around and greet every single person there and take the opportunity to introduce himself if they hadn’t met before. He wasn’t in a rush but rather stayed chatting for a couple of minutes before moving on to the next group of people. I thought this was particularly refreshing given his success and talent.
After he made the rounds, he took to the stage to give us a taste of his latest masterpiece.
Daniel Baron is no stranger to pushing the boundaries and Weekend of Mass Destruction is without a doubt the most experimental he’s been. While the album is classified as pop, Baron uses African deep house beats and cinematic strings to create unique tracks that push the envelope of the pop genre while staying true to his sound. Elements of EDM and rock are used to convey the overarching theme of celebrating love and destroying hate.
The songs are both catchy and masterfully produced. Before the album was even launched, two of the featured tracks (Children of the Sun and Beautiful Noise) were local chart toppers, giving fans much to be excited about. The craftsmanship that went into producing this album is undoubtedly evident. Daniel and his team worked tirelessly to make this the best of his albums yet.
“I have never been as proud of anything in my life as I am of this album. I have never worked this hard. I’ve put everything behind this project, and I have all faith in it.” – Daniel Baron
Not only did I get to hear some of the songs live (and get a sneak-peak of an unreleased music video!) but I’ve got the album and have been listening to it on repeat since last week.
Weekend of Mass Destruction released on 16 June 2017 and is available on Apple Music and iTunes, with 1 000 limited edition autographed physical CDs up for order.
I am constantly amazed at the calibre of local talent we have in South Africa, and Daniel Baron is without a doubt one of the leading pop artists truly shaping his craft while producing world-class hits at the same time. Do yourself a favour and give Weekend of Mass Destruction a listen and show your support for local talent by following Daniel Baron on social media.
Africa’s largest musical instrument and technology store has just opened and is something every muso should be excited about. Introducing Mitech Direct – a premium music instrument and pro-audio outlet.
Although officially open to the public from 16 March 2017, a lavish launch was held at the premises on 15 March, where music industry professionals were invited to get an exclusive peek at the store. Guests were welcomed with drinks and a selection of finger snacks that looked more like pieces of art, which almost made you not want to eat them. Almost.
Shortly after, The Sweet Resistance took to the stage and absolutely killed it with some original pieces as well as an exceptional acoustic version of Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive. After a brief speech and video highlighting the store’s offerings, the floor was officially opened and guests were invited to explore the store.
The store is spacious and laid out with the customer experience in mind. The space has been put together impeccably, with modern finishes and state of the art technology. The layout and features of the showroom clearly indicate that the entire visitor experience was the main focus. Other than musical tech and instruments, branded gear and merchandise is also available for purchase. The facility also includes recording studios, showroom, and surround-sound viewing rooms. What’s also impressive is the lot has a stage that is kitted out with top of the range audio equipment.
Mitech Direct is not only a place to purchase music-related apparel, but it is also a space where individuals can relax and hang out. There are several workstations and seating areas for visitors to use, which is made all the more appealing with WiFi access and coffee shop.
Mitech Direct boasts a wide variety of instruments and music-related paraphernalia. While some items are displayed neatly in glass cabinets, most instruments are arranged throughout the showroom for visitors to test. What’s more is individual breakaway rooms allow customers to test drive instruments before making a purchase.
Any imaginable piece of technology for music production can be found at this store. Whether for live performances or to use in-studio, Mitech Direct is sure to stock it. Visitors are able to get hands-on experience with many of the tech items, and consultants are always nearby to assist.
The store is also home to one of only two Sennheiser Experience centres in the world, where customers can test headphones, speakers as well as a range of microphones.
Mitech Direct is officially open for business and is sure to be a game-changer in the instrument and audio tech industry. Although you are able to shop for the products via Mitech Direct’s online store, I urge you to visit the store in Midrand to experience the full effect of what is certain to strike a chord with any music lover.
For more information, visit their website and be sure to follow them on social media:
Last night I attended the premiere of Keeping Up With the Kandasamys and was beyond impressed with the whole experience. It’s not often that I rave about a South African film, but this one is well worth the watch.
Thoroughly enjoyed #Kandasamys#KandasamysMovie. It's a truly South African movie full of laughs and heart. Well done to everyone involved.
I’ve only been to a handful of premieres so I didn’t quite know what to expect, but last night’s event was impressive. The Johannesburg event took place at Ster Kinekor in Cedar Square (Fourways). Guests were welcomed with a red carpet, photographers, film crew, grand spread of food and drinks, which certainly made me feel like royalty if only for the night. A great playlist kept the vibe spirited and lively creating an atmosphere of excitement for the night’s festivities.
About an hour before the screening, the talented cast made their entrance and were nothing short of glamorous. To kick things off, guests were treated to a performance by Kyle Deutsch who sang one of the main songs from the film’s soundtrack. DJ Deemo also made an appearance and spent quite a bit of time being interviewed by news reporters and taking pictures with fans.
I’d seen the trailer and was hopeful it would be good, but it exceeded my expectations. Set in Chatsworth,the film opens a window into the lifestyle and subculture of modern-day Indian South Africans; their aspirations, dreams and challenges. The plot centres around two rival mothers who discover their children are having a secret relationship. They then decide to take matters into their own hands and work together to try to break the two up in a number of hilariously conniving ways. The light-hearted narrative is funny, charming and relatable to all. Not only is the story endearing, but I was blown away by the overall production value proving that the South African film industry is certainly alive and well. This is without a doubt a movie that everyone involved should be proud of.
Since the beginning of the year, there has been an immense amount of online conversation about the 51st NFL Super Bowl game that took place on 5 February – 15 925 871 mentions to be exact. While the focus is typically on football, the event is known for new viral commercials being aired for the first time, epic live performances and entertainment news is typically a popular talking point as well. This year was no exception. With all that goes on, it’s confusing to pinpoint exactly what the hype is about.
Well, after the latest Super Bowl event I decided to do a bit of digging and here’s what I found.
Firstly, about 56% of individuals who participated in online conversation about the #SuperBowl2017 were male, while the remaining 44% were female. This is almost an equal split.
68% of total mentions (posts, tweets, likes and retweets) about the event for 2017 were generated from 4 – 6 February. The remaining 32% can be attributed to promotional content before the event.
Surprisingly, the majority of mentions were in the form of original posts, however, the volume of retweets was a close second. This is unusual as mentions are typically dominated by reshared posts. This indicates that people were actively contributing to online conversation to share their views on the festivities as opposed to simply resharing content.
Although the #SuperBowl2017 took place on 5 February, the most notable spike in mentions was on 6 February with 8 752 300 mentions – 55% of all online Super Bowl mentions since 1 January.
The top 3 hashtags used from 4 to 6 February were #SuperBowl, #SB51 and #PepsiHalftime.
Fans who commented on the game, including US President Donald Trump, shared their support for their team or individual players. Conversation predominantly centred around the teams that played (Patriots and Atlanta Falcons) and Tom Brady, who led the team to victory.
As is tradition, the ads during the Super Bowl were a popular talking point. People commented with their thoughts on the ads as they aired, and since then, several media outlets have shared lists of their favourite commercials and ranked the best and worst ads of the year.
Lady Gaga has been one of the most talked about topics globally over the past couple of days. Gaga’s performance wowed spectators with an unbelievable drone light display, on point vocals and elaborate choreography. Hashtags such as #GoGaga, #LittleMonsters and #GagaBowl were trending for several hours as fans praised the artist for her memorable halftime show. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan, you can’t help but be impressed by the spectacle. Furthermore, Lady Gaga’s sales surged over 1 000% in wake of the halftime show.
The Super Bowl is more than just a sports event; it’s just as much about the commercials and halftime show. It’s no secret that Super Bowl Sunday has become a patriotic event, one that brings the US nation together if only for a few hours. But it’s not just Americans who join in the conversation – people from all over the world chime in with their opinion of the festivities. Although the final football match of the NFL championship triggered the most conversation this year, the contribution that other themes brought is nothing to scoff at. Despite football being the main focus of attention, there is something in it for everyone and I think that’s what makes the event so l engaging. 2017 was certainly an epic Super Bowl. Let’s see how 2018 fairs.
Forget the numbers for the moment, what do you think? Do you think Lady Gaga stole the show or was it all about the football?
Riaad Moosa invites the audience along to his brand new one-man show, Life Begins, to join in figuring out whether life really does begin at 40. The tour kicks off at the Golden Arrow Studio at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town from the 27th of January to the 25th of February.
“Even though I am turning 40 this year, in many ways, I feel like I’m still crawling and I’m looking back at my journey from being an aspirational doctor, coming from a relatively conservative Muslim background, where both my parents were doctors, and how I actually journeyed to becoming a stand-up comedian,” says Riaad.
As an award-winning comedian, actor, writer and presenter, Riaad Moosa is one of South Africa’s most popular and acclaimed funny men and he happens to be a qualified medical doctor too. Known as the “Comedy Doctor”, he certainly seems to have the remedy for the nation’s ills – a healthy dose of laughter, straight up – and hold the aspirin!
Life Begins is a snapshot into the life of Riaad Moosa – being a father of three kids, a husband, comedian, actor and with all the current cultural and political issues thrown in.
“The show is very philosophical and existential. It involves the normal issues of getting older while at the same time experiencing, at a maturity where I’m supposed to be wise, a world that is completely turned on its head – with Trump, with Brexit; In South Africa, the ‘State Capture’, ‘Fees Must Fall’, ‘DOOM’. And it’s about how I negotiate all these things happening around me while trying to maintain a positive attitude. Through my comedic lens, I hope to put a different spin on that and hopefully I can enter my next 40 years with renewed vigour and excitement,” Moosa adds.
Get your prescription of laughter with Riaad Moosa’s side-splittingly funny one-man show, Life Begins.
The show is rated PG for Language. Tickets cost R150 and are now open at Computicket online and various outlet stores. The show starts at 20h15 (16h00 on Sundays) and with an extra show on Saturdays at 17h00. The Golden Arrow Studio is located at the Baxter Theatre Centre, Main Road, Rondebosch.
There has been an immense amount of buzz around Summit Entertainment’s latest release, La La Land. The film was highly anticipated and after watching it this past weekend, I can see why. Here’s what you need to know, with no spoilers.
The film cleaned out at the 74th Annual Golden Globes winning all seven of the categories it was nominated for!
Not only was it a top performer, but the opening musical number of the ceremony made reference to the film. The opening has received over 6 million views on YouTube in just 2 weeks! This is not surprising as it was superbly executed.
Not only has it won numerous awards already, but the film has made history as being one of the most Oscar-nominated films ever with 13 nominations.
Conversation on social media has been nonstop, peaking at 300 000 unique tweets and 63 500 retweets on the day the 74th Annual Golden Globes aired. Since then, people continue to talk about it, generally raving about the film after seeing it. Although mentions have trailed off, two weeks after the spike in conversation, there is an average of 175 tweets and 242 retweets per hour regarding the film.
Although set in modern times, the film is made in the style of classic 1930s and 40s productions. This is evident throughout the movie. Production design, costume design, music, choreography, shooting style, editing techniques and lenghty takes are all used to give the sense that you’re watching an old MGM classic. This is a major production with complex dance scenes, including the first scene which they had to shut down a Los Angeles highway to film!
Not only are the technical aspect of the production on point, but audiences got to see the cast show-off new talents as seen in this scene where Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling sing and dance together:
The score, in particular, was something I really enjoyed. I first heard clips of the music in the trailer and knew instantly that this was going to be an epic production. I hadn’t heard of Justin Hurwitz (the composer and writer) until now, but I am now an absolute fan. The film’s soundtrack is currently at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, climbing 15 positions from the previous week.
Having seen the film, I can confirm that the movie is certainly worth all the hype. I loved it and cannot wait to see it again. The film was scheduled for release in South Africa on 27 January 2017, but is already out, likely due to its success at the Golden Globe awards. If you love musicals and classic movies, La La Land is an absolute must-see!