Cape Town: Meeting Miss Celaneous

I visited Cape Town for two weeks to work with rapper Miss Celaneous on a hybrid music video, interview and animation project. I met up with Miss Celaneous at Big House Recording Studios, and asked her questions about her music, her identity, and what it meant to be a woman in hip hop in South Africa today:

“I use a lot of my culture (in my music). I use a lot of slang words. How I speak is how I rap… always keep it local. You have to rep where you’re from, because that is what and who the music is. The feeling you get when you walk down the street in Cape Town, I want people to feel that when they listen to the music itself.” –Miss Celaneous

“The rap game is such a male oriented industry, and everyone is rapping about objectifying women. It is a problem that there are less women in the game*, but at the same time it is our (women’s) own fault. We (women) don’t have unity and they (men, the rap industry) always pit us against each other, but we allow it and we also need to take responsibility for it. Why not just stand together and take over.” –Miss Celaneous

* “the game” refers to the rap music industry

Miss Celaneous

Filming Miss Celaneous’ video interview with photographer Charles Harry MacKenzie.

We also took candid and posed stop motion photographs, which I am drawing animations over, to add visual interest to the video interview. I am really excited to have the opportunity to collaborate creatively with a rapper I admire.

An example of the stop motion photographs that will be edited into Miss Celaneous’ video interview.

During the past month, I have spent a lot of time working on the creative elements of my project. I recorded a song with South African producer Hype MXP, titled “Regret,” that is not yet released because it is in the process of being mixed and mastered. However, I began working on an animated music video for this track. I am drawing the animation frame by frame. It is a very daunting and time-consuming process but I am learning a lot about syncing animation to music.

The first 25 frames of my in-progress animated music video.

Upon my return to Grahamstown, I discovered that Ntsiki Mazwai had just moved to Grahamstown to study at Rhodes University. Ntiski Mazwai is a Hip Hop artist, singer, poet and activist, who has been organizing Soul Sessions at venues around town for artists to perform their poetry and music. Next Sunday I will be attending and performing at a Soul Session at the bar, Pholas. I am organizing a show for the end of April at another venue in Grahamstown, called Monastery, which I will headline.

In my next blog post, expect the finished Miss Celaneous video, an interview with Ntsiski Mazwai, progress pictures on my animated music video, and documentation of the aforementioned upcoming live performances in Grahamstown.

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