• sonya-teclai-far-away-1

    NEW SINGLE: ‘Far Away’ by Sonya Teclai’

    Apr 6, 2015 • Egypt, Eritrea, Music • Views


    ‘Far Away’ is the new single from Bay Area singer and rapper Sonya Teclai. Her sultry vocals and heartfelt vocals are evocative to the R&B hits of the 90’s. Sonya who is of Eritrean and Egyptian ancestry, channels her multi cultural upbringing to bring her unique style of new age soul. ‘Far Away’ was produced by $/\UCE and Marzboygenius and will be the third track featured on her upcoming EP Heatwave. In the meantime, the song can be purchased on iTunes.

    sonya-teclai-far-away-1

    To learn more, visit Sonya Teclai’s official Facebook page.

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  • headress6

    Editorial: ‘Head Dress’ for Gaschette Magazine. Photography by Lauren Fletcher

    Apr 6, 2015 • Articles, Inspiration • Views

    ‘Head Dress’, an editorial by photographer Lauren Fletcher, features in the latest issue of South African fashion publication Gaschette Magazine (Clan Edition). The theme for the photoshoot was a juxtaposition of elements from Europe Africa and Asia.
    headress5
    The print-on-print aesthetic and style of the portraits references mid-20th century West African Studio portraiture, such as the work of Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibe. Using the portraiture genre also references classical portrait painting and Victorian portrait photography. The bright colours and textured background draw influence from Tretchikoff’s work, and the hessian background gives an earthy feel, again making reference to an African aesthetic. -Lauren Fletcher
    In the editorial, model Aphelele Mbiyo from D&A Model Management, sports clothing and accessories from Glitterati, Metropolis, Mr Price, Zara and Topshop. Check out the some of the original images below. To view more, visit the Gaschette feature.

    headress2headdress1headress7headress6headress3

    Photography and retouching: Lauren Fletcher www.laurenfletcherphoto.co.za
    Styling: Zakirah Rabaney
    Makeup: Jacqueline D’Nielle
    Model: Aphelele at D&A Model Management.
    Special thanks to Craig Hemphill at Direct Photographic, Cape Town.

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  • Nina Fabunmi

    Questions With Contemporary Artist Nina Fabunmi

    Apr 3, 2015 • Art, Articles, Interviews, Nigeria • Views

    Nina Fabunmi’s breathtaking artwork explores themes of the African diaspora through personal narratives and cultural references.

    Her solo exhibition ‘Rebirth’, is currently showing at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, and features a collection of pieces that are inspired by her interactions with locals in her new home of San Francisco.

    We spoke to Nina about her latest ‘Rebirth’ collection, her inspirations and pursuing art as a career. 

    Nina Fabunmi Rebirth

    What inspires your work?
    My culture, life’s experiences, emotions and my environment.

     

    You have had careers in Real Estate, Broadcasting and Telecommunications. At which point did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in art?
    I guess I have always had two professions because alongside these other industries that I have worked in, the only constant was making art. I never stopped. I have been making art since I was 6. I took it on professionally in 2008 when I was discovered by a gallery owner and I pursued my Masters in Fine art in 2011 after I had enough conviction and financial resources to go back to school.

    Nina Fabunmi

    Explain your artistic aesthetic?
    Bold, colorful , expressive and with the infusion of tribal marks as a representation of my African culture.

     

    You are currently showing new work at your solo exhibition ‘Rebirth’? Can you describe the process and inspiration behind this collection?
    I feel like I am living again, I have been reborn. A chance to pursue the profession I love in an art inspired city and I am an African in the Diaspora trying to find a place and have my voice heard. ‘Rebirth’ captures the bay area and the diversity of its people. This is my new home and I add to its diversity.

    Nina Fabunmi

    You grew up in Nigeria and are now living in the US, (San Francisco to be specific). Would you say that both of these locations have had any effect on your style of work?
    Definitely. I love that I can use my art to teach culture, it is unique and it tells of who I am and what I represent. I am blending it into my new environment and the people that I am now amongst. So, my art is a mix of both worlds, Africa and America.

     

    Would you say that you have faced any challenges with being a female contemporary artist?
    I would say that in Nigeria, the art world is male dominated, so it’s really difficult for female artists to find significance. Here, both male ad female sort of find a way and are more recognized without gender discrimination. I am challenged by the uniqueness of my work as I try to make it universal and yet tied to my roots. I think I have finally found this balance in the versatility of my subjects, because the cohesiveness in my body of work can be found in my style of painting.  I have my own artistic voice which shines through in my aesthetics .

    Nina Fabunmi

    Tell us how others describe your work versus how you see it? Do people understand it or do you constantly have to explain it?
    Trust me, it’s so amazing the way people interpret my work. Some people get the general meaning and others find new meanings that make so much sense that i even incorporate it into the significance of the art. Some others really baffle me and cause me to give my work a second look. One example, I made some marine paintings which I displayed at the Pan African Film Festival alongside some nude figures, and a gentleman told me that that was the coast, and that the ship in the water was the slave ship and the nude future lying on the floor which was a completely different piece was an enslaved man. Honestly, this was never my intention but he saw it differently. I thought his interpretation was bizarre.

     

    Are there any artists that inspire you?
    Jeremy Mann, Patrice Murciano and Russ Mills

    Acceptance by Nina Fabunmi

    What are your other interests besides art?
    Photography, Modelling, fashion, knitting and crocheting, sports (swimming and basketball) hiking and outdoors.

     

    Any advice for new artists interested in pursuing art as a career?
    Follow your heart, pursue it with passion, and never give up. Learn from failure, dust yourself up again and keep going.

     

    To learn more about the art of Nina Fabunmi, visit the following links:

    www.ninafabunmi.com

    http://ninartz.me

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  • mr-and-mrs-doctor-cover-2

    UPCOMING NEW NOVEL: Mr. and Mrs. Doctor, A novel by Julie Iromuanya

    Apr 3, 2015 • Articles, Books, Nigeria • Views

    Chicago-based writer and scholar Julie Iromuanya, will be releasing her first novel ‘Mr. and Mrs. Doctor’ next month. Iromuanya has written short stories for notable publications including  The Kenyon ReviewPassages North and the Cream City Review. Her most eminent work was her feature in the 2013 anthology, ‘Converging Identities: Blackness in the Modern Diaspora‘.

    View the synopsis for Mr. and Mrs. Doctor below:

    mr-and-mrs-doctor-cover-2

    Ifi and Job, a Nigerian couple in an arranged marriage, begin their lives together in Nebraska with a single, outrageous lie: that Job is a doctor, not a college dropout. Unwittingly, Ifi becomes his co-conspirator—that is until his first wife, Cheryl, whom he married for a green card years ago, reenters the picture and upsets Job’s tenuous balancing act.

    Mr. and Mrs. Doctor is due for release on May 12 and is currently available for pre-order via Amazon. Click here to learn more.

    Website: http://julieiromuanya.com

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  • Ellen Elias. Source: Instagram

    Dressing for Herself, No Man’s Approval Needed: Ellen Elias (StyleLikeU)

    Mar 30, 2015 • Articles, Eritrea, Video • Views

    Swedish stylist Ellen Elias is featured in the latest installment of StyleLikeU.com‘s ‘Whats Underneath’ web series.
    In the video, she talks about her unique style of dressing and self confidence.

    See the video and description below:


    Ellen Elias, the East African (by way of Sweden) heroine of our new What’s Underneath, won’t submit to dressing for a man.“When I meet a man who accepts my style, that’s the one I’ll actually want to be with,” Ellen told us. Her irrepressible confidence stems from her mom (who told to her ignore the beauty norms she saw on television), as well as the women of Eritrea (the East African country where she’s from) who fought right with the men in their battle for independence against Ethiopia. In the same way that she won’t force herself into the perennial little black dress just to get a dime-a-dozen boyfriend, Ellen also won’t conform to stereotypes of how black women “should be.” Way out of the ordinary, no one can peg Ellen to anything based on her looks, including her actual country of origin. She is a woman of the world who is simultaneously at one with who she is, and her story is in our new What’s Underneath episode above!
    To learn more, visit StyleLikeU.com

    Ellen Elias. Source: Instagram

    About ‘What’s Underneath’
    StyleLikeU.com asked a select group of individuals to participate in a project in which they will remove their clothes to honor how style is not the clothes you wear. To learn more, visit Read more at Stylelikeu.com

    Image Source: Instagram

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  • Sandhia D Somiah

    Questions With Mauritian Contemporary Artist Sandhia Devi Somiah

    Mar 30, 2015 • Art, Articles, Interviews, Mauritius • Views

    Sandhia Devi Somiah is a contemporary artist from Mauritius. Most of her work, uses the female body as a central focal point to address issues of gender and inequality.

    In this interview we speak to Sandhia about the inspiration behind her ‘Femininity’ collection and the challenges that come with being a female contemporary artist in Mauritius.

    Sandhia D Somiah

    What inspires your work?
    I am inspired by female models. Because of domestic violence against women, I dedicated my paintings to them to show the world that women need to be treated with respect. By putting their beauty and curves in the frontline, this would certainly give people a different view and opinion on them.

     

    When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in art?
    Since childhood, I had a passion for art but my artistic journey started during my High School days whereby I discovered my talent for creation.

    Sandhia D Somiah

    Tell us about your artistic aesthetic?
    Art is something that stimulates an individual’s thoughts, emotions, beliefs and ideas. I realised that artworks could also be made from anything from our surrounding including scrap and recycled material after adding some personal touch. Lastly, I have been doing some sculptures and installation artworks and in this respect I made a dress from corks with assemblage technique and I did paper origami too.

     

    Can you describe the process and inspiration behind your ‘Femininity’ collection?
    I wanted the public to discover and appreciate a wonderful pairing of flowers and women, put up together just enough to stimulate their emotions and to show the public the real value of women and how to treat them. The pairing of women with flowers illustrates the ideas of fragility.

    Sandhia D Somiah

    Fiore Donna- The flower Woman

    You are based in Riviere du Rempart in Mauritius. Can you tell us a bit about your home town and would you say that your neighborhood/country has any effect on your style of work?
    Mauritius is a tropical island, surrounded by beautiful beaches where there is a great diversity of different religion and cultures. My paintings are full of colors which reflect the quadricolor of the Mauritian flag- Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. As for my hometown, Riviere du Rempart is a village situated in the north of the island, not far from the seaside and surrounded by sugar cane and vegetable plantations. Consequently, all these colors around me have had an influence on my style of painting.

     

    Have you faced any challenges with being a female contemporary artist?
    In Mauritius, Visual art is not really appreciated by the public and it is not considered to be a field to earn money. This is because Mauritian cannot value art whether painting, drawing or sculpture. As a new and young female visual artist, it is very hard to emerge and make people appreciate my talent. In the beginning, I faced many challenges and critics from family, friends and surrounding about my choice of art as a career and earning a living out of it. Nevertheless, my passion and determination has been my driving force to continue and make me reach where I stand today.

    Sandhia D Somiah

    Dame- Nero

    Tell us how others describe your work versus how you see it? Do people understand it or do you constantly have to explain it?
    Till now my paintings have been quite explicit and it has not been so challenging to make people have an understanding of the message I tried to convey in my work. And also the title of my paintings speaks for themselves.

     

    Are there any artists that inspire you?
    Yes, I was inspired by international artists such as Martina Shapiro, Helenka Wierzbicki and Spacy Eva. However, I was also attracted by the works of Mauritian artists namely Vaco Baissac, Nathalie Perichon and Mila Gupta.

    Sandhia D Somiah

    What are your other interests besides art?
    Being an artist, it is more than natural to be attracted by activities related to art. Therefore my other interests are music, dancing, stage performance and sport activities.

     

    Any advice for new artists interested in pursuing art as a career?
    We never stop learning and making new experiences. My message for new artists is to never stop dreaming, stay focus and live your passion.

     

    To learn more about Sandhia D. Somiah’s work, please visit: Facebook.com/pages/SandArt/1412969245659497

     

    Image Source: Sandhia D Somiah

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  • ifescloset

    BRANDS TO WATCH: Ife’s Closet

    Mar 29, 2015 • Articles, Fashion, United Kingdom • Views

    The debut collection from UK-based label Ife’s Closet, is inspired by Nichelle Gainier’s 2014 book ‘Vintage Black Glamour‘.
    The label which launched earlier this year is inspired by the label’s founder Onyiye Chukwu who states in a recent blog post,
    ‘My muse for this collection is the woman on the go. Being a recent mum, I need clothes that are unique and easy to wear and that is what this collection represents. A classic bit of quirk.’

    The collection is a juxtaposition of ‘classic silhouettes, laid-back style, West African prints and a sprinkling of vintage glamour’. All production is done between the UK and Nigeria. Check out some of our favorite pieces below:

    Boxy_Snail_Top_Front_1024x1024 Cloud_VNeck_Dress_Front_1024x1024 Geo_Midi_Dress_Front_1024x1024 Midi_Straight_Skirt_1024x1024

    To learn more, visit: Ifescloset.com
    Credit:
    Hair/Make-Up: Emily Porter Make Up
    Photography: Xanthe Hutchinson Photography
    Model: Mical @  Next Models

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  • vanessa mdee

    NEW VIDEO: ‘Nobody But Me’ by Vanessa Mdee ft. K.O #Tanzania

    Mar 27, 2015 • Music, Tanzania • Views

    ‘Nobody But Me’ is the new single from Tanzanian recording artist and songwriter Vanessa Mdee (Vee Money). The song, which is in part Swahili, is her 5th release, was shot in Johannesburg by Justin Campos. The track also features South African rapper K.O.
    Vanessa Mdee

    Growing up, Mdee has lived in New York, Paris, Nairobi and Arusha. She was recently signed to act as brand ambassador for Samsung Tanzania. She also made history in 2007 as MTV’s first Tanzania VJ.

    Click here to learn more.

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