Cool Runnings, 28 October

In association with Concerts SA, iSupport and Fifi the Rai Blaster present the national tour of Sky Arch, a musical exploration on how oral traditions and “indigenous” mythology and astronomy affect and shape our collective consciousness.

Using today’s digital tools alongside live instruments, the performance fuses music and rhyme-driven storytelling combined with projected visuals and movement, movement, in a modern interpretation of the classic opera style. Sky Arch was premiered at the Joburg Theatre in February 2016, receiving positive media reviews. As part of this Mobility Fund-supported tour, the show will be presented at Cool Runnings on 28 October in Durban. Other artists on the bill are the local rapper MANELIS and DJ’s Rawkidd, Sosha and 2daXha.

Art of the melodic lyric and sound of Fifi the Rai Blaster carries a piercing stance to modern electronic instruments (sic), hip-hop and dub to open a gateway vortex inspired by jazz, funk and punk-rock. This sound is the melting pot of the progressive alternative music scene in South Africa. “My gesture to music is avant-garde in that it is not meant to be boxed or understood.  Although the art scene is filtered and sound is ever changing over time, I make music with the intention of creating sound and that is what makes it what it is.”

Fifi first started recording in 2005, whilst working with the group Ba4za and well known Hip-Hop producer Nyamz, soon after featuring on two songs for Tumi Molekane’s debut album “Music from my Good Eye’, as well as on dub/ska band 340ml’s second offering. At the time her song “Hip-Hop God’ with producer Nyamz also received considerable airplay. In 2008 she started working with Dj Kenzhero, performing regularly at ‘Party People’ events. Through Party People she toured extensively, performing on stages from Cape Town to Mozambique, Carfax to Oppikoppi.

By 2009, still working with Kenzhero, she released the Epitome album “Fifi – the Ep Release”. The independently released 5 track EP became something of a collector’s item, and can be found selling in concept stores for up to R250. She is currently working on a full-length album with Hip-Hop super-producer Kanif under indie label Iapetus Records, set for release later this year. They recently gave us a hint of what to expect with the single Light, the video to which was featured at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival in 2013.

She continues to perform regularly as a solo artist as well as alongside fellow Iapetus stablemates Yugen Blakrok, Hymphatic Thabs, Gin-I Grimes- and previously the late great Robo the Technician.

Lyrically and flow-wise MANELIS is very imaginative – out of the box. Within the sound you can hear lots of retro inspiration combined with the freshness of music nowadays. You can hear rap combined with punk-rock, Dubstep and Drum & Bass – basically a very wide variety of inspirations. The end product is distinctively South African. When you listen to the music you immediately know it is Mzansi-Made.

MANELIS draws inspiration from old African flavours, particularly South African artists such as Harare, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Letta Mbuli, to weave an unmatched genuine sound that has been described by Isolezwe Newspaper as “ripe, matured and professional”.

His streetwise lyricism has an authentic Zulu feel with a colloquial touch that speaks of the African urban experience against soulful- and sometimes alternatively experimental- instrumental backdrops that evoke sonic landscapes ranging from village to global.

The development of MANELIS’ sound has spanned over a decade, through various recordings, performances and groups.

Fifi the Rai Blaster’s ‘Sky Arch’ Tour is supported by the Music Mobility Fund, a funding mechanism administered by Concerts SA which offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours.

Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian initiative housed under the auspices of the Stakeholder Hub within the SAMRO Foundation; it receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SAMRO Foundation and Concerts Norway. The project aims to support live music in South Africa by finding and implementing ways to create a vibrant and viable live music circuit. It also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools. For more information please visit our website, follow @ConcertsSA on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Event Listing

Durban- Cool Runnings

Friday 28th October – 8pm- R40 (R60 for two)

Address: 49 Milne Street, Durban

Tickets at the door