For the past 14 years, October has been the month of Rocking the Daisies, set in Darling amid the spring flowers.
While this year’s epic music is no doubt missed, there’s nothing stopping fans from picking some daisies, setting up a tent in your living room and taking the festival experience virtual on Showmax with these Rocking the Daisies headline acts.
Refiloe Maele Phoolo, better known as Cassper Nyovest, is one of South Africa’s most successful recording artists. A hip hop powerhouse, the rapper has fulfilled his dream of becoming a superstar with his own record label, Family Tree Records. Having only been on the planet for 29 years, the young man is counting the days until he reaches his next goal of becoming a billionaire. Nyovest’s megastar ambitions are softened by the man’s curiosity and “Mama I Made It” humility.
His audacious style and ambitious drive are probably best summed up by his Fill Up the Dome concert when he sold out the 20 000 capacity Ticketpro Dome. Taking a drive in his Rolls-Royce, we follow the rapper from his hotel to the packed stadium. Cassper’s wild hairstyle and flashy outfits make him instantly recognisable. Spilling onto the stage, the crowd welcomes the hip hop artist like an old friend. This show has it all.
Set against a massive wall of screens, it’s so much more than just a musical performance, combining the full force of the Dome’s sound and lights display with Cassper’s pulsating beats.
Nyovest likes to stay fresh, entertaining and exciting for his audience, moving through several complete wardrobe changes and a number of next-level sneakers. As far as concert experiences go, Fill Up the Dome is an inspiration and sets the bar for other local artists.
Toe Vind Ek Jou is the single that launched Francois Van Coke’s solo career. The song is a unique collaboration with Karen Zoid, which hit Platinum status with the music video now on well over 10 million views. Hailing from different sides of the rock spectrum, their curious union makes the possibility of a rock concert based on the hit song even more intriguing.
Karen Zoid has been dubbed the “Queen of Rock”. The South African rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and composer is probably best known as a judge of The Voice SA, but has amassed a strong following over the last ten albums and two decades. Teaming up with Francois Van Coke, who made a name for himself as the energetic frontman of the controversial Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Cartel, it’s a blend of air and fire.
Adopting the eclectic mix of lampshades from the biggest Afrikaans music video of all-time, the duo take to a stage that recalls Nirvana’s candlelit Unplugged in New York concert. Adding your strangest lampshade next to your biggest screen would help you step into the stylish concert. Performing various duets based on each other’s music, it’s amazing how comfortable the two South African rock icons are in each other’s presence.
Moving from mellow to jagged, the concert echoes some of the tracks that made them famous. They even make room for a cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
See more Karen Zoid in Die Republiek van Zoid Afrika, where she chats to some of South Africa’s most interesting people. Don’t miss her interview with and tribute to Johnny Clegg. Also watch Op Die Oomblik, her SAFTA-nominated visual album.
Die Heuwels Fantasties are a South African alternative band from Belville, probably best known for their anthems Our Heritage and Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling. Teaming up with the Soweto Gospel Choir, as well as HHP and JR, the goosebump-inducing song Our Heritage became associated with Braai Day. Their reimagining of the Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling theme captured the essence of the original and brought a modern rock edge.
Their lockdown project Eet Kreef Herleef! features Die Heuwels Fantasties members Laudo Liebenberg, Frank Freeman and the Eet Kreef! band. This is a special rock tribute, covering songs from the iconic album and age of Voëlvry music. The anti-Apartheid Voëlvry movement started in a club and became a rock ‘n roll uprising led by legendary Afrikaans rocker Johannes Kerkorrel. Voëlvry means free as a bird but also speaks to the idea of being an outcast, which is how these artists were treated at the time.
The Eet Kreef Herleef! concert was recorded in a studio with the band practising social distancing. Facing each other, yet metres apart, this creates a curious spatial dynamic as the camera captures each of their performances. An upbeat edit and a variety of classic Afrikaans rock ‘n roll protest songs bring this performance to life. They explore some of the meaning and their interpretation adding sound bites between songs from band members and original Reformed Blues Band member Jannie “Hanepoot” van Tonder. It’s a spirited retrospective with a solid adaptation of the originals.
Busiswa graced the Rocking the Daisies main stage last year. Now, go on a journey with her as she traces her history from a modest young girl from Umtata to music superstar who vocals talents won her a spot on Beyoncé’s album The Lion King: The Gift. The documentary looks at her familial and musical roots.
Multi-award-winning rap musician Nadia Nakai may not have headlined Rocking the Daisies, but she’s been grabbing headlines around South Africa. This film tells the story behind her debut album, Nadia Naked, using a combination of documentary footage, interviews, live performances and music videos.