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2018 Zakifo Music Festival

Cutting edge music comes to Durban

The fourth annual Zakifo Music Festival hits Durban’s shores from May 25-27, and promises a wide-ranging line-up of cutting-edge musicians from across the African continent and beyond.

This year the festival will be held at three Durban venues – the BAT Centre, Views at Twenty5, and Blue Lagoon Beach.

The festival will start with a fundraising concert for the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the BAT Centre, featuring Sekou Kouyate, a renowned kora player from Guinea, and Elida Almeida, a young Cape Verdean folk singer. Headlining the evening is South African icon Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse. This event is ticketed separately from the rest of the festival.

From there the festivities move to Views @ Twenty5 in Morningside for the rest of Friday night and Saturday night. This exceptional rooftop venue offers panoramic views of the city of Durban, a great backdrop for performances by Nasty C, DJ Lag, Flavia Coelho, Nathalie Natiembé, DJ Doowap, Oki Dub Ainu Band, and K-$.


Zakifo returns to Blue Lagoon Beach on Sunday for the final day of the festival with Alice Phoebe Lou, Nakhane, Dub Inc, Guy Buttery and Kanada Narahari, and major international act Aloe Blacc. Best known for his hit single “I Need A Dollar” and for featuring on Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”, Blacc is a singer/songwriter with an irresistible power to capture the complexities of human emotion.

Originally signed to Stones’ Throw Records, Aloe Blacc has over the years evolved his sound from hip hop inspired by the likes of Public Enemy, The Pharcyde, and De La Soul to a smooth array of pop, folk and soul paired with poetic yet incisive lyrics and feel-good grooves.

SA music legend Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Each year a host of satellite events, workshops, and parties linked to the festival occur in the week leading up to the main event. These industry-focused events act as a platform for exchanging knowledge and experiences, a necessary bridge between established industry professionals and up-and-coming artists, giving Zakifo relevance beyond the festival gates.

This year’s Zakifo line-up:
*Aloe Blacc (US) – chart-topping soul/funk singer and songwriter. Wrote the number 1 hit “I Need a Dollar” and featured on Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”
*Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse – South African musical legend
*Alice Phoebe Lou (RSA/Germany) – independent blues/folk artist from Cape Town, currently based in Berlin
*Dub Inc (France) – reggae/dancehall band from Saint-Éttienne; fuse classic roots reggae with dub, dancehall, ska, hip-hop and African influences
*Flavia Coelho (Brazil) – a hybrid blend of samba and bossa nova sounds and reggae and hip hop rhythms
*Nasty C – one of the most exciting acts on the South African hip-hop scene; born and bred in Durban
*DJ Doowap (RSA) – live mix DJ playing a selection of bass, dubstep and trap
*Nakhane (RSA) – SAMA award-winner and rising star in South African music
*K-$ (RSA) – plays throwback disco, funk and soul-heavy DJ sets
*Femi Koya (Nigeria/RSA) – “the new face of the African Renaissance”; a rich blend of Afrobeat, highlife and Sophiatown-influenced jazz
*DJ Lag (RSA) – the Gqom King; pioneer of iconic Durban house sub-genre gqom
*Elida Almeida (Cape Verde) – Cape Verdean beats fused with Latino energy
*BCUC (RSA) – “indigenous funky soul”; a politically-charged and truly South African sound
*Nathalie Natiembé (Réunion) – creates an amalgam of rock, funk and traditional Creole music
*Guy Buttery and Kanada Narahari (RSA/India) – South African guitar virtuoso and accomplished Indian sitar player collaborate
*Sekou Kouyate (Guinea) – multi-award-winning musician; regarded as one of the world’s best kora players
*Oki Dub Ainu Band (Japan) – blending the music of the Ainu people of Japan with dub, reggae and afrobeat grooves
*Siseko Pame (RSA) – ethno-soul laced with Xhosa folk harmonies, violin, and Pame’s emotive, earthy voice
*Pussy Party (RSA) – All-woman DJ platform with a rotating line-up
*The Sun Xa Experiment (RSA) – world music influenced by jazz, hip hop and traditional and ancestral sounds
*ByLwansta (RSA) – ByLwansta constructs conversational raps laden with brutal honesty and vivid story-telling, delivered in a style that emanates a soulful and mellow vigor
• Baraka (RSA) – blending deep house, kwaito, jazz, future soul and world sounds.

Tickets available via Nutickets:

R500 – 3-day weekend pass (excl. Madiba concert)
R150 – Friday pass – Views @ Twenty5
R150 – Saturday pass – Views @ Twenty5
R300 – Sunday pass – Blue Lagoon Beach
R300 – Friday Madiba concert – BAT Centre
More info here


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