It’s been over a year since I first came across Kornilios’ work online, those who know me, know that I am one to get easily bored and I hate repetition…which is the case with most artists who have found their “style”…not this one though. A firm observer of social media culture; Kornilios’ work is constantly changing from digital paintings all the way to abstract pieces of art which all seem to have the same theme which is meticulously communicated and embedded in different phases and styles. He has branded his work through colours and characters such as The Muffin Man and although no two works are the same, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify his work and his stroke of genius. We caught up with Kornilios on the high speeding streets of the internet and had a chat to find out more about the mystique behind the character and the work.
Who is Kornilios Victoria?
I’ve been told Kornilios is the visual artist version of J.Cole just before he released Sideline Story. So let’s just run with that…
Where are you from and how did you get started in your field?
I’m from Pretoria and I’ve always been into art and design from a young age. It’s hard to pinpoint how I got started but some years ago I decided it should be something to do full time because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Over the years we have seen the Muffin Man Concept grow on social media and other spaces, could you tell us who the muffin man is and what is the goal with this complex character/story?
The Muffin Man is a character who serves as a satirical idol of contemporary issues of identity, lifestyle and beauty. I would like to leave it to the audience to decide what kind of personality she has and what she stands for and what she has accomplished.
Your style seems to cover a lot of approaches from painting, pop art,3D, illustrations and some abstract work, what is the motive behind that?
I’d like to think that it tells a better story, a multi-dimensional view of a story helps you to connect with it better.
Can you tell us more about the exhibition?
Well, the main intention was to present this as primarily an online exhibition. I think it creates a more interesting form of engagement between the artwork and the audience; I’d like to think that it also breaks a few barriers between the artist and viewer and it serves as an interesting format to tell a story considering that most of us spend a lot of our time online.
What should we expect from the exhibition?
Well, what I personally expected from this exhibition has already been achieved; once again I’ll leave it to the audience to decide what that is.
Your work is extremely well branded, from the tone of the posts and the blue and magenta hues in the artwork (to name the obvious few), what was the main intention behind this?
Thank you, I suppose it has become a habit, designers are trained to present ideas a certain way and I believe it will come across in the way they present everything else they make. Whether it’s artwork or an omelette.
What are some of the hardships that an artist of your nature faces in your industry?
I think all industries are tough in some manner so I won’t go too deep about what keeps me up at night, but I believe that for most creatives, especially introverted ones such as me, the challenge is to get hold of the business aspect of it. We spend years trying to grow creatively and to be asked to forget all that for a moment and think about how it is a product to be sold like a microwave oven is …eish
What other interesting projects are you working on or have worked on?
What I’m working on is top secret for now. Projects I’ve worked on before including a taxi decal design with the SA Taxi Foundation some time ago and it was pretty cool.
Do you have artwork for sale and how can people get their hands on it?
Prints will be made available soon along with information on how to get hold of them in an easy and convenient manner, but I’m always available for commissions.
10 Oppikoppi Camping Essentials for first timers
There’s only 10 days to go before Oppikoppi – one of Africa’s best 3-day music festivals. This year Oppikoppi spots a different variety of locally sourced live acts on their line-up, that are most likely to attract a horde of first-time Oppikoppi campers.
Since I have been to this festival a few times, I know how it feels to be under preprared and overwhelmed by the unexpected; I have created a camping checklist to ensure that you have the essentials sorted before you head to the dust!
1. Camping Tent
This is a pretty obvious one, but the trick here is to ensure that you buy the correct size tent, for instance it’s better to buy a 4 man tent for two people to ensure that you have enough room for sleeping, changing and storing personal belongings.
2. Sleeping Mat
A sleeping mat is one of the most important items if you really want to have a comfortable nights sleep and avoid the cold ground at night. An air mattress is lightweight but has superior comfort levels as compared to the standard sleeping mat or bag.
3. Camp Site
Arrive at the campsite early so that you can find the most convenient space before it gets crowded, It’s always wise to have a campsite large enough for your friends to join you too.
4. Light up your life
It gets very dark at night and you are most likely to get lost while travelling to and from your campsite at night, so do it right by making sure that you have a torch or headlamp to help you get around, and don’t forget to have more batteries for back up.
It’s important to keep clean and fresh on a daily basis because the heat, sweat and boozing can give off a rather unpleasant smell. The festival has public showers and wipes also help keep you fresh and clean. Bring some hand sanitizer too, it gets pretty wild out there.
Festival food can be pretty expensive or not cater to your dietary needs so it’s always smart to pack none perishable foods to sustain you for the duration of the festival.
7. Stay Charged Up
Since this is your first experience, You will probably want to take lots of pictures and videos to share with your friends and followers, so it is important that you stay charged up with a fully charged power bank or two.
8. Keep it cool
Make sure you stock up on ice blocks from the festival so that you can keep your beverages and some foods cool all the time. So don’t forget that Coolerbox.
9. Know the rules
Although Oppi is one of the most fun and free events to attend, it also comes with its rules, so make sure you get acquainted with rules before heading into the dust.
10. Clear the ground and keep it clean
Make sure that you clear the ground you will camp on, making sure that there are no sharp objects or stones. Not only will these damage your tent but they will be uncomfortable to sleep on. Don’t forget to clean up before you leave, respect nature and leave it as it was!
Next week we will be giving you cool tips on how to survive #Oppikoppi #Nomakanjani like a pro! So remember to follow us on social media or join our newsletter to stay in tune.
Zakifo 2017 -A Weekend of electrifying live performances and chilled vibes
The third annual Zakifo Music Festival took place at Blue Lagoon this year and as always it promised to be an epic festival for eclectic music lovers.
It was an unusually cold weekend in Durban for the 3 days of the festival but people came out nevertheless to experience a world-class line-up. The lineup worked to solidify one of the festival’s intentions which are to showcase a cross-cultural exchange of artists. The set up consisted of two main stages and we could go from one stage to another as soon as the acts on one stage were done and the other stage lit up.
Friday night started off with the classical and jazz sounds of Jobie Clarke who welcomed us all with a calming spirit and a set that made us all look forward to what would follow. Lu Dlamini followed with a mesmerising performance that got most people standing and moving slowly to her smooth and graceful sound. As soon as Lu Dlamini’s set ended the next stage started luring people to it with the soft sounds of percussion instruments and people started gravitating towards it.
By the time Thandiswa Mazwai’s unmistakable voice echoed on the Blue Lagoon grounds the amount of people who were on the grounds had doubled. She was undoubtedly the headline artist for the night as the grounds filled up and the audience sang along to her Xhosa rhythms and swayed to the jazz and funk sounds provided by her band.
Ray Phiri went on next hitting everybody with a bit of nostalgia with his iconic jazz set delivered with the energy of a young man at heart.
Baloji culminated the night with his charismatic raps and afrocentric Hiphop instrumentals that had the crowd dancing throughout his set.
Saturday evening had the likes of Bongeziwe Mabandla, Gangs Of Ballet, Nova Twins, Tiggs Da Author, Birdy Nam Nam and The Soil sharing the two different stages. Throughout the evening one could dance to an eclectic range of sounds from Hiphop, Jazz, Grime, Soul and heavy Urban Punk. It was The Soil who slowed things down with their acapella set and ultimately stole the show that night. It felt like the crowd was singing along to every lyric with their hands in the air in unity. Tey truly delivered a stellar performance, one that everyone seemed to talk about even after they had left the stage.
Sundays festival activities started early with Durban based electronic Dj and producer Missu who eased the crowd into the performance of Durban Duo Easy Freak. Easy Freak welcomed the crowd to the last day of the festival with a mix of rock, funk and electro. They were followed by the Sax Machine from the USA, Kommanda Obbs from Lesotho, Jojo Abot from Ghana and our very own Petite Noir. Petite Noirs set boasted a broad range of sounds which were a trip sonically because of how borderless yet endemic they were.
As soon as the lights went off on the first stage where Petite was performing everyone gravitated to the quiet stage where a man waving a flag around stood. Everyone stood in excitement as they waited for the crown jewel of the festival Damian Marley to grace the stage. The band started with an instrumental intro that was a build up that eventually bought out Damian Marley. The grounds were the most packed that I had seen them since the festival started. Damian Marley started chanting in a powerful voice and the crowd seemed to chant with him. Throughout his set, he moved from his loud songs all the way to his soft ones all with the full attention of the crowd. It was the perfect way to close off the festival. Almost every genre of music was covered at the festival and it seemed everyone’s musical taste was catered too.
Words by: Nana Sokhulu
Photography By: Rejoice Kunene
Head down to Zakifo Music Festival This weekend!
All roads lead to Durban this weekend!
Today marks the beginning of the 3rd annual Zakifo Music Festival at Blue Lagoon, Durban. The 3 day music festival is a joyous melody of over 20 local and international bands, food carts/stalls, thirst-quenching craft beers and interactive installation art exhibits.
Here are some of the iconic artists from home and abroad that you should definitely take the weekend off to check out and create memorable experiences to:
Damian Jr Gong Marley (USA/ Jamaica)
Thandiswa Mazwai (SA) Ray Phiri (SA)
Lu Dlamini (SA)
Jobie Clarke (SA)
Ray Phiri (SA)
Birdy Nam Nam (France)
Tiggs Da Author (UK)
Nova Twins (UK)
Petite Noir (Belgium / SA)
Kommanda Obbs: (SA / Lesotho)
And much more!
Kaffein Magazine will be in the thick of this artistic medley bringing you closer to your favourite musicians as well as giving you a peek into what went down!!!
Feeling the FOMO already? Well, it’s not too late to purchase your weekend or daily tickets. Make your purchase here! The show starts this evening at 18:00, see you there!
FB: Kaffein Magazine
Words by: Lethabo Ngakane
David Tshabalala on the (D)ictionary of cool
David Tshabalala is an accomplished designer, Illustrator and co-owner of Suketchi, a design collective with an online store. The leader of Instabitions describes his style modestly as “pop, fun and refreshing”. Highly influenced by the 90’s era, it is with no surprise that his work displays a vast amount of beautiful blends and balances of bright colours.
We caught up with the Johannesburg based creator to talk specifically about his most recent collection of work called “(D)ictionary of cool.”
Lethabo Ngakane: Firstly, what was the inspiration behind the (D)ictionary of cool Series and who is it for?
David Tshabalala: In the bigger scheme of things, the series is part of a body of work I want to include in my self-published book. I’m also going to do a limited range of tees with the artwork. This series is for lovers and fans of design and illustrations and it’s an ode to topics and trends that I consider “Cool”.
Lethabo Ngakane: What do you intend on achieving with this project? What’s the bigger picture?
David Tshabalala: It’s a prelude to a body of work I want to exhibit next year and it’s also a way for me to share my work with people who love consuming it. That is very important me.
LN: How has the general feedback been so far?
DT: The feedback has been amazing. I take the “likes” and “shares” as a sign of how many people actually dig the work and with that; I can measure what people like and dislike.
LN: How do you avoid the politics of “cool”? Surely some people will contest your personal opinion and mediation of it.
DT: My work will always be a visualised personal opinion and I welcome that it may become open to criticism. I actually haven’t avoided the politics of cool if you look at my Trump “WTF” piece. I don’t actually avoid the politics.
LN: What is the common denominator amongst all the thought leaders that you have chosen to document/celebrate in this project?
DT: The common denominator is that these are people that I consider influencers in the purest form, not dictated by the number of followers or the brands they collaborate with. A large part of my work focuses on current events and I translate that in fun exciting way, leveraging off the power of social media.
LN: I have to say, I admire your ability to develop art and content that is relevant to our times, where do you get the time to be so responsive to what is current within pop culture?
DT: Thanks!! I make time after hours. On average; I sleep at 01:00 AM. I’ve also developed a style and technique that makes my process faster, where I finish an image within 2 hours max. I also sacrifice things like just watching series or just chilling by using the time to share my work with my audience. 40% of this audience becomes my clients, so it’s a long-term form of building up a database as well.
Words By: Lethabo Ngakane
Check out more of his work on Instagram!
St. Beauty, an Atlanta based duo talks #NewBlackHistoryMusic
St. Beauty is an Atlanta based duo which comprises of Alex Belle and Isis. They are signed to Wondaland Records a groundbreaking record company spearheaded by a powerful visionary and artist Janelle Monáe. These inimitable musicians are contributing to a new black history in music by following a lineage of female artists who write, produce and play instruments. At first glance you could mistake them for being a little bit reticent until you are enticed by their alluring sound or have a chance to engage in conversation with them, a conversation I was lucky to have while they took a break from recording in studio.
Tell us how it was like growing up and what type of family unit did you have?
Alex Belle: It was really cool, I grew up with my mother, stepdad and brother. I’ve also lived with my father and my other sisters so I have a pretty full family; family is important and music is very important in my family, we are pretty blended.
Isis: Same for me. My family is really artistic. My mom sang. My dad sang, produced and wrote. My sister sang and my brother was a visual artist. I was around music my entire life. That’s why I am the way I am today. I grew up around it.
Didn’t you want to venture into something different since you grew up around all of that?
Alex Belle: No, I love music. I would search Myspace for new music and I’ve always been infatuated with music.
I hear you guys met at a vintage boutique. Did you get along instantly?
Isis: I was there for a minute and Alex (Belle) started working there. We used to be like “hey what’s up” and she had to break the ice I guess. The thing that broke the ice was the showcase that they had and she needed someone to play guitar. She asked me if I knew anyone who plays guitar and I was like, “If you can sing it, I can probably learn how to play it.” From then on, we started playing as St. Beauty.
When did you ladies decide that you were starting a band, when was the “AHA!” moment?
Alex Belle: Well after we performed for the first time at the boutique we were working at, we decided that we should come together more, come up with ideas together and write together. We kept doing that and decided that we should become a band and perform together more. That’s what we did and that’s how we became St. Beauty.
Coming from a stable that is very black, how does your music contribute to the preservation of black history?
Isis: Well aside from the obvious, that we’re black (Laughs), we are very conscious of our blackness and that’s a default. The other side of it is creating a new norm, which is what I think Wondaland is about. They make sure that we show other sides that many people may have not seen or experienced before, and it’s not like we’re doing it on purpose, but it’s really who we are since the time we were growing up as well as who we’ve been in our communities or in our families. It’s sort of like being the black sheep and being a little different. So we’ve come together in a way that allows us to be free from what most people would be as far as being at a record label. We stay conscious about how we are perceived. Number one, we want to make sure that we are respected, to contribute to black history in such a way that we are going to be a norm so that when people look back in history they can use us as a reference.
Isis: There are not a lot of people like Alex and I. That is something that helped us; with Janelle being who she is and how she’s been able to be that for others who may want to come out without dressing a certain way or wearing their hair a certain way.
How’s Atlanta during Black History month, how is the vibe?
Alex: The Martin Luther King Center is here. He grew up here, and a lot of people visit here during black history month to reminisce on what happened back in the day. There’s also the civil rights museum where there’s so much history; there’s the freedom rider’s wall. Some people have gone there and can seen their parent’s pictures!
Isis: Atlanta has so much black history, we have Andrew Young and so many more Civil Rights Leaders who are from here, Atlanta is one of the many epicenters of our black history.
Would you say enough is being done to teach black and mixed race kids about their history?
Isis: Definitely not, but I think that young people are aware just by seeing everything that is happening on social media today. I’m sure everyone is aware but definitely not enough is being done.
Alex: I agree with that. There’s so many people that live in America and everyone thinks they are important, so when Black History Month happens people feel like it’s that time of the year where they hear the same repetitive stories and I feel like people want to learn more.
Isis: And there’s so much more too. I feel a lot can be done in homes too. It all starts at home, I can be taught at school about our history but if it’s not instilled at home it’s bound to just go through one ear and out the other.
What I’m also picking up is that there’s also a need for a new black history for people to look forward to. What sort of legacy would you like to leave behind with your music?
Isis: For being who we are, being great writers, being a group that people can always refer to for playing a pivotal role as far as two girls playing instruments, writing, producing, etc. That’s not the norm right now. Same way people can speak about the Supremes, Destiny’s Child, or Aretha Franklin because Aretha played piano. I feel like that is important for people to go back in time and reference us in the same breath.
Alex: We definitely want to be timeless.
Yeah, you are well on your way, I must say. Talking about being timeless and making music, what are you guys working on? Is there an Album or an LP on its way?
Isis: Both of those, an EP and an LP.
So there’s a lot of work going on?
Isis: Yes, a lot of work.
Is it too early to describe what kind of sound will come out these two offering?
Alex: Describing sound kind of diminishes how people truly feel when they hear the music, so you will have to hear it and define it yourself.
I guess that’s the point of art, it’s supposed to move you.
When should people start looking around the internet for traces of the album?
Alex: Very soon.
Are you guys looking to come down to South Africa?
Isis: When we are invited? (laughs)
If this was your final day on earth and you had one sentence to say to a random person, what would it be?
Alex: I was here. I lived. I loved. I was here.
Isis: I love you and make sure you know your strengths because people can take your energy or your power. Don’t allow that to happen.
Thank you guys for making time and I hope that you can take some of this energy back into studio and cook something nice for us.
Interview By: Lethabo Ngakane