Durban-based illustrator and graffiti artist Shaun Oakley aka That Damn Vandal and Joburg-based DJ, producer and culture curator Lelowhatsgood join artists from Dubai, Barcelona, Medellin and Liverpool in Vuse’s ‘Street Covers’ campaign where they showcase South Africa’s underground music and art scenes.
Vuse, the global no. 1 vaping brand, has released a sneak peak of the ‘Street Covers’ docuseries, a series of short films that celebrates the unique stories and local talent driving the creative scenes in five exciting cities and which forms part of the brand’s 10-year anniversary.
Live from the underground
Announced in March, the docuseries – which is hosted by international DJ and producer Anfisa Letyago, a Vuse global ambassador, and legendary cover sleeve artist Brian Cannon – builds on Vuse’s legacy of supporting local emerging or avant-garde talent and charging beyond in the area of creativity.
Under the expert guidance of Anfisa and Brian, two artists from each of the participating cities were tasked with recording a music track representing their journey of self-discovery, and a piece of cover art that brings the track to life.
“It has been eye-opening and exposed me to what everyone else in the world is doing,” says Lelowhatsgood, a powerhouse of Joburg’s nightlife, about being part of the Street Covers campaign. Among other things, Lelowhatsgood runs VNJ Ball, “an inclusive ballroom movement for the community to come together and celebrate each other.”
For the campaign, Lelowhatsgood recorded a yet-to-be-released song titled ‘Hardaa’ with his longtime collaborator De Trait. “It’s a darker version of what I’ve released so far. It reminds of the early Gqom scene that was happening in Durban circa 2016 and before,” Lelowhatsgood says about the song. “It really is about showcasing the underground scene within Gqom culture or dance as well as electronic music in SA.”
Shaun Oakley designed the song’s artwork. “After speaking to Lelo, he sent me a mood board of the vibe he’s going for,” Shaun Oakley says when asked to break down the creative process. “Once we had chatted about the direction we were gonna take, I illustrated some portraits of him to include in the design. Once the illustration was done, I did a digital render of the whole thing. So, just came with a super stylised version of him.”
For Lelowhatsgood, working with Anfisa and Brian was “one of the biggest things that I’ve done in my career thus far”.
“Anfisa really understands underground club scenes and music,” he says. “So, having her mentor us in this project has been eye-opening and inspiring. One of the biggest things she taught me is to never doubt yourself or your sound or what you trying to do.”
Shaun describes the campaign as an amazing “rollercoaster ride”.
“It’s been about two and a half years that we’ve been working with each other,” he says about partnering with Vuse. “They got me involved in such awesome, out of the box stuff, very unique…”
‘Street Covers’ docuseries + Event
‘Street Covers’ comes with a series of short films that have been rolling out on the Vuse YouTube channel since July with the first South African installment launched on Saturday 25th November, with more to come in the following days.
The series showcases cities beyond tourist attractions as the chosen artists become the tour guides for Anfisa and Brian. For instance, ‘Underground Dubai: where art and music collide’ showcases Dubai beyond the skyscrapers and mountainous sand dunes. Through the eyes of artists Rami Chami and Foad Hamzek, Dubai’s underground art and music scenes that are waiting to be uncovered are revealed.
All the ‘Street Covers’ participants from around the world got to share their tracks and cover art in a huge celebration in party capital Ibiza. “Street Covers was a great project to push us to an international level and have us work alongside other international artists,” Shaun Oakley says.
It’s now South Africans’ turn to experience the creation of Lelowhatsgood and Shaun. The local leg of the campaign will culminate in an exclusive event in Joburg where Lelowhatsgood’s track and Oakley’s album art will be launched.
Venue: Shine Studios, Braamfontein, Joburg
Date: 2 December 2023
Tickets: R100 (Buy tickets on Quicket)
It’s been ages since Stogie T dropped a new body of work. Ever since dropping ‘The Empire Of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked)’ in 2020, he’s been dropping IG f...
Cassper Nyovest visited Mpoomy Ledwaba on her ‘Wisdom & Wellness’ podcast for what turned out to be one of the rapper's most open and honest interview...
Nigeria's Super Eagles proceed to the AFCON Finals after taking South Africa’s Bafana Bafana out in the Semi’s of the football competition. Banter by ...