The Mixtape Vol. 147

An eclectic hour-long mix to prepare you for this weekend's music, fashion, food and art extravaganza, LIttlegig

Jess White is the founder of Akum Agency, an independent booking agency, promotion and creative production company, and music director of Littlegig. As the man responsible for the festivals musical lineup, The Way of Us decided to ask him to put together a mixtape to get us in the mood. Find out a bit more about the event after the jump.

For those who don't know, what makes Littlegig different to most other festivals?Littlegig is not just a music festival; it is a meeting place where music, fashion, food and art come together across 24 hours in an idyllic location. When programming the line-up the focus is away from headline acts but about creating zones… the Forest Stage, the Tropical Bass Bar, the Gin & Whiskey Bar, the Concept Store, the Basketball Court all come together to create a movement of people from Folk to Funk to Afro-Beats to Indie to R&B to Blues to Electronica.

Who has performed in the past and who can we look forward to seeing this year?Over the years we have hosted: American singer-songwriter Diane Birch, LA-based Captain Planet - founder of underground blog Mixtape Riot, a DJ favourite; house music sensation Culoe de Song, BCUC, Zaki Ibrahim and many others.

In 2018 we can look forward to a diverse line-up featuring Afro-Futurist from Kenya Blinky Bill, the empress of Electric-Blue Witch-Hop Estère from New Zealand/Cameroon, troubadour Stelth Ulvang (from the Lumineers), afro-folk sensation Bongeziwe Mabandla, electro-soul songstress Nonku Phiri, Giles Peterson and Ninja Tunes-approved Sibusile Xaba, rising indie act Johnny Cradle, electronic-folk artist Amy Ayanda and Samthing Soweto, the award-winning new project of The Soil founder Samkelo Mdolomba and futuristic queer music act Umlilo and the Stash Crew.

On the beats front we have Black Motion, the original party starter DJ Kenzhero, Kid Fonque, Doowap, DJ Okapi, Zara Julius, K-$, Retro Rootz, Maria McCloy and the Kaya FM crew The Maestro aka Greg Maloka and Sound Supreme featuring Just Themba, Tha Muzik and the Rhythm Sessions.

Littlegig founder Georgia Black wrote this essay about how fashion helps us escape, talk about the role that music has. 

Music helps you escape from your day-to-day life, it makes you smile when you are sad, dance when you are stressed, it frees you from the shackles of work, opens the senses, breathes life into an otherwise gloomy day and is our ever evolving soundtrack to our own television-movie. 

Music transcends culture and borders, to quote Fela Kuti  “Music is a weapon of the future / music is the weapon of the progressives / music is the weapon of the givers of life.”

Besides the musicians, who are some of the other artists that Littlegig has collaborated with for this years event?

Sculptor Rodan Kane Hart is making reflective sculptures and a bar, contemporary artist Justine Mahoney and her architect husband Sean have created a 6-meter inflatable gold cyborg, 'Giant Ndebele'. On the performance artist front, there's the sibling trio Dear Ribane.

Tell us about this mix you've made for us. 

This mix is some of my favourite acts from Ghana, Cameroon via New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria/Cuba, Portugal, Botswana via Australia, Mozambique, Senegal, Ethiopia, DRC and beyond. It features some of my highlights of acts performing Littlegig: from Estère, to Samthing Soweto flling in the gaps.

What tips do you have for those attending this years event?

Remember it's a 24-hour festival, so don’t gorge yourself on the delicious food and drink early and treat Littlegig as a stylish marathon. Musically speaking, make sure you check the Forest Stage, the Concept Store, the Basketball Court, in fact all the line-up. For those in Jozi, head to the Tennis Club on Fri 16 Feb to check out Estère and some other killer acts.

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