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Chandeliers + Country Music


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Stage of Country Music Awards 2016 (Dolly Parton received her Lifetime Achievement Award)

I can still hear it now… the strumming of guitar strings + the smokey voice of Chris Stapleton singing “Whiskey and You” at 2016’s Country Music Awards in Nashville. He was a nominee in various categories + received the award for “Male Vocalist of the Year”. The Bridgestone Arena was an incredible space to host the event, which was speckled with stars being cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of country music fans. I’m so thrilled I was able to go! Country Music is definitely a signature Texan sound – very different from the sounds I’m used to in South Africa! (more…)

South African Interviews

Inspired By: Mi Casa


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For my readers who don’t know, Mi Casa is a South African band. They’re most well-known for their hit song “Jika”. They were recently down in Cape Town for a performance at the Cape Town Convention Centre. One of my business partners was managing them on the evening + he took me backstage to meet them, right before they performed for the president! Pretty cool, huh? It makes me proudly South African to see such brilliant talent + especially to see how they’re conquering the global music scene. Kinda like another South African duo – you may know them – Die Antwoord. See my photos with them here. Mi Casa is my “Inspired By” spotlight this month – see last month’s inspiration, Victor Matom.

Mi Casa Jay-Something

❤ My Work, Modelling

What Lies Beneath Shoot with Sarah part 2


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Tamika Doubell

The next morning our protagonist wakes up in her hotel room with a red rose and a letter outside her door. It’s from her husband, apologizing for his affair and begging for her forgiveness. He confesses everything, along with the fact that he secretly flew in from his business trip in Vermont just to watch her show. In the letter he tells her how magnificent her performance was and how much he loves her and how sorry he is. He asks, with one single red rose, if she will accept his apology and forgive him. He writes about the dreams and plans for their lives together which they once had. He wants to re-ignite those dreams, as well as the flame between them. Our protagonist reads the letter and is taken back to a time when they were indeed very much in love and shared many dreams. She thinks about their memories and the passionate times they’ve shared together as she decides what she will do.

Tamika Doubell

1. The Rose. Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. The red rose was also adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs. Obviously the rose is the perfect symbol of the love between our protagonist and her husband, as well as the beauty of their relationship. The red is associated with blood which is also poignant as blood is connected to life. It is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients around our body, as well as playing a role in removing waste from our system. In a way, this symbol represents that he wishes to remove the ‘waste’ that has accumulated in their relationship – culminating in the toxic affair. As blood also plays a role in repair in our bodies, so this symbol serves furthermore to represent his wish to take the first steps toward repairing the life they have together that has been wounded. Again, the red of the rose playing a role as a motif throughout our story. See it’s symbolism HERE

Tamika Doubell

2. Perfume. While she is relieved, she is unsure what to do. She wonders about whether or not she will forgive him as she gets ready. On her dressing table is everything beautiful, delicate, feminine and luxurious. It represents her inner self and the side of herself she is confident in, unlike their relationship which she is unsure of. We have her seated at her dressing table as she remembers all their loving times together. She sprays on her favourite perfume. It’s the same scent she was wearing when they first met, on a romantic rainy evening years ago, and this moment takes her back to that time. The definition of perfume is “A pleasing, agreeable scent or odor”, made up of the word “fuming” – To fill or permeate with fragrance; impart a pleasant odor to. This is symbolic as these memories are like a pleasing fragrance to a troubled mind. She thinks back to their gentle and sensual first kiss.

Tamika Doubell

Dressing Table

3. Music. Finally she makes her decision. She decides to forgive him and give their love another try. Her exuberance in spirit is matched only by her cheeky smile as she realizes that “she’s still got it!“. Her husband has chosen to stay with her over his mistress. There is a sense of triumph mixed with lighthearted relief. Their love is indeed the same beautiful song she’s remembered all along. We have her sitting next to a piano, with her smile at the outcome of her tragedy as the symbolic Crescendo in the musical score that was this story. 

Tamika Doubell

Here are some behind-the-scenes pics:

Tamika Doubell

Tamika Doubell

Tamika Doubell

Tamika Doubell

Tamika Doubell

South African Interviews

Tamika Interviews Gino Lee


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Move over Bruno Mars, Port Elizabeth’s very own Gino Lee is about to take centre stage!

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Winner of M-net’s acclaimed “Young Stars” televised competition in 2010, BAMA award winner, Bay FM award winner, sought-after corporate and festival performer in the Eastern Cape, and still only a Matric student, this talented young rock star has the world at his feet. I say ‘rock star’ with a sort of giggle, as that is precisely not what Gino wants to be..

I performed in Port Elizabeth last night at Pool City, and I was a bit nervous as the crowd there is very rock-oriented and I’m not like that at all! My vibe when I perform my original music is very relaxed, very laid back. I was worried how they would feel about my music.

As could be expected, they received him well – as is the case in every other instance in which he finds himself in front of the mic. Having started at the young age of thirteen, Gino’s been performing his music across the province ever since. He performs cover songs of famous tunes, as well as some of his own stuff – a lot of which he co-writes with his talented brother.

Pop is my genre. I love it! I’m starting to introduce the element of dance into my routines, as the crowd really likes that.

Well, he might not want to be a rock star, but he certainly moves like one and has the crowds of followers to attest to it! With nearly 2, 000 subscribers on his personal Facebook page alone – not to mention his 1, 000 + fans on his public Facebook page – Gino’s a hit at the tender age of seventeen. Especially with the ladies 😉

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Meeting him at “Friendly Stranger” in Port Elizabeth, I was honoured to meet his dynamic mother along with him.

My parents are my managers. I am so blessed to have them. They truly have my best interests at heart.

I personally can’t wait to get to work on the interview!

Tamika: Where are you from originally?

Gino: Port Elizabeth.

Tamika: Where do you attend school?

Gino: Theodor Herzl.

Tamika: What kind of training did you do for singing?

Gino: None. When I was in grade seven (thirteen) I was in a band called River Road. I played keyboard. We didn’t have a singer, and so one day I stepped up to the plate. Soon after that I went solo and in 2010, I won M-net’s Young Stars. I started taking my singing more seriously and I pushed myself forward into performing at all kinds of things. There were festivals, corporates, schools, competitions, you name it! I needed experience and I needed to get my name out there.

Tamika: What are some of the biggest performances you’ve ever done?

Gino: The Splash Festivals  in 2010 and 2011. They were held at Hobie Beach in PE. They were big ones for me. Then an event for Volkswagen always ranks among the top ones. I remember all the big cheeses of VW were there, and I was terrified! But it went so well…

Tamika: Ever got stage fright?

Gino: Haha! No. For me, the most stressful part of the performance is always the waiting to go on. But once I’m on stage I’m fine.

Tamika: So what’s in the pipeline for you right now?

Gino: Well there’s some pretty exciting stuff! I’m off to America in a few months. 

Tamika: America?!

Gino: Yip! I was very lucky to be scouted last year at a gig I was doing at Montecasino, Johannesburg. A talent scout called Kim Myers selected me to perform at a talent showcase going on this year in Orlando. It’s called The Applause Rising Talent Showcase

The Applause Rising Talent Showcase, or ARTS, is a family owned and operated international organization.  With hand selected mother agencies, dance centers, performing arts organizations, theater companies, and more… coming together to offer a unique week long experience, like no other.   ARTS is recognized by top industry leaders as the simply the best and safest place in the world to pursue the entertainment industry, without spending a life savings, and education dollars.

Aspiring actors, singers, dancers and fashion/commercial models with have their time on stage performing in various capacities.  ARTS offers a state of the art experience on a Hollywood set and Broadway style stage!  Live performance in front of hundreds of agents worldwide and a live audience!  On-camera auditions for Television, Cold-Read, Comedy, and Improvisation… like no other! We unite agencies looking for the brightest and best new talent to the very best quality talent of all ages worldwide. 

So everything right now is about preparing for that. There’s a group of us that were selected here in the Eastern Cape. Together we’ve started a project to raise funds for the trip. We’ve called it “Persuing Arts” and we intend to put on a showcase of our own in April this year in Port Elizabeth as a fundraising event. 

Tamika: And school? What do you intend to do after school?

Gino: Well that’s a tricky one. A lot depends on what happens in America. But I do know that no matter what, I want to be educated and I’d like to study medicine. 

Tamika: Wow! Brains and beauty! Have you won any awards?

Gino: Haha! Umm… yes I have, I’ve won three BAMA Awards (Bay Area Music Awards) and two Bay FM Awards. 

Tamika: What instruments do you play?

Gino: Keyboard / Piano. 

Tamika: What is the most recent job you’ve done?

Gino: I performed at Pool City with a band called “Shut Up It’s Sunday”.

Tamika: Do you act as well?

Gino: Look I’m open to everything. In fact, at the moment I’m the lead in my school play! It’s called Aida and it starts on March 4th. It runs until March 10th. I also love dancing. Right now I’m working with an amazing choreographer, Bennie Gerber, who has his own dance studio called Vertical Expression. I get all my cool moves and back-up dancers from him 😉 

Tamika: Do you also model?

Gino: Not professionally. 

Tamika: Which singers do you look up to?

Gino: Pop music artists!

Tamika: Where do you party?

Gino: Gosh, I don’t hey! I’m not really a party person. There’s too much to do! I would far rather be at home creating, producing, brainstorming and planning – let’s put it this way, I’d rather have my music playing in the club. 

Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?

Gino: Sound equipment!

Tamika: Do you have siblings?

Gino: Yes, two brothers.

Tamika: What does your family do?

Gino: My dad’s a doctor and my mom is a retired teacher.

Tamika: What is your health routine like?

Gino: In the past I didn’t focus as much on my body as I’m starting to now. I work out now – mainly to build strength and stamina so I can be my best on stage.

Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Gino: Winning a Grammy.

Tamika: Name a place you love.

Gino: Anywhere with my parents.

Tamika: Do you do any charity work?

Gino: Yes, absolutely! I do a lot for the HMA Charity (Heaven’s Missing Angels), for the Eastern Cape Children’s Home, for the Mfundu Children’s Home and for the POPS Foundation (People Opposing Poverty in Society).

Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk away from a performance?

Gino: No matter what, I’m kind to myself. I always make sure that even if I mess up, I turn it into a good thing. So I would say to myself; “Great performance!”

You can catch Gino here:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gino.lee?fref=ts

Twitter – @MrGinoLee

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My Life in Africa

The Launch of Vision Music Records


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Last week I went to two fantastic events in one night. The first was the launch of a new recording label in Atlantis, Cape Town. Laurenzo Davids – brother of our “Idols” Season 5 co-winner Sasha-Lee –  launched Vision Music Records or “VMR” for short. If you would like to get updates on the label’s ongoings in the music industry, join their facebook page HERE. You can connect with them on Twitter HERE.

Most of You know us as LOWAFFY PRODUCTIONS! We are an Independent Record Label, signing new upcoming artists and producing music. Music lessons are now available too! Contact us for further info!

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with Laurenzo, founder

The venue was simply perfect. There was champagne and soft drinks for everyone, as well as snacks going around during what must have been one of the most moving speeches I’ve heard in a while. Laurenzo Davids has such a charm about him and speaks totally from the heart. He highlighted his journey to this point; where his passion for singing has been met with his passion for people in this new venture. Respect! He thanked his family and, of course, certain friends who have been very much involved in the “vision” that is “Vision Music Records”. Atlantis can certainly be proud of this beacon of hope and his talented family, who obviously have a gift for helping others and creating beautiful opportunities for their community in Atlantis. With a few artists already signed to the label, I’m sure the new business will be extremely successful, rewarding and not to mention exciting for this group of entrepreneurs.

with Sasha-Lee Davids
with Gio Davids

The second event was the Linkin Park Concert!

Held at the Cape Town stadium, it was absolutely incredible! What an adrenalin rush. I also have their new CD which I literally cannot stop listening to. Go buy it now!

Upcoming concerts in Cape Town are:

Lady Gaga

The Parlotones

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Chris Brown

and Justin Bieber!

Here is the music video for one of Linkin Parks’s latest songs, “Castle of Glass” :

I simply love it!

❤ My Work, My Life in Africa, Skybok

Filming Algoa FM in Port Elizabeth for Skybok


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Algoa FM is the the biggest commercial radio station from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast on 94 to 97fm. What a delight it was to film its video profile for Skybok! We arrived at 11am to their studios here in Port Elizabeth at The Boardwalk. I love the place. It’s chic & fresh and it felt rejuvenating to walk through the station filming. We got to meet one of their most popular DJs, Lance Du Plessis, and what a fantastic guy! Easy-going and professional, he does a great job on air and has a successful reputation and a big following here in the Bay. Everything went very smoothly on the day…. we got Lance doing his show and also some really nice shots around the station. We didn’t get to shoot their boardroom as there was a meeting there on the day, but you can check out my blog post HERE for some snaps of it as well as some snaps I took around the station while we shot. In my opinion everyone working there is fun-loving and hard-working. I love the position of the station….The Boardwalk here in PE….it’a a very beautiful complex right on the beachfront. It must be a fantastic place to go to work every day! They also have a very cool website – check it out by clicking HERE.

❤ My Work, On-Camera

Getting Interviewed on Top Billing & Filming a Music Video


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I recently went to the “Cape Town Good Food & Wine Fest”. I did it because I love food and wine. This was a whole day of walking around discovering new tastes and brands that the Western Cape has to offer. My best was the Vrede en Lust wine stall. I bought their flagship wine for myself – The Boet Erasmus 2009. We shot their video profile for Skybok recently as a result! I made a new friend in The Pillsbury man while we walked around! I also entered a competition to win a car. The wine tasting was way too much fun. I went with my good friend Candice and we had a fabulous time sampling this new champagne vodka that’s out. We also tried shots, cocktails and a new Bubblegum flavoured liqueur by a company called Smooch Beverages.

In other news, I had an interview with the popular local TV show Top Billing. Presenter Janez Vermeiren interviewed me!

I’ll be appearing on the Expresso breakfast show and Top Billing on the 3rd of July, so tune in if you like! 🙂 Recently I shot the new music video for a band called Mac Stanley (previously known as Flat Stanley) and their song ‘Hold On’. It was very cool! I had to be a graceful sleeping beauty and smooch my prince 🙂

I’ve also been pleased with two interviews I did for very popular local blogs – http://shebuiltthiscity.com/2012/06/13/tamikadoubell/ http://amg133.blogspot.com/2012/05/bucket-babe-tamika-doubell.html Check them out! Sometime not too long ago I went to watch Alan Committie’s show called ‘Funny Business’ at Theatre on the Bay. It was honestly one of – if not the best – comedy shows I’ve ever seen in my life. I went with my friend Nella and we didn’t stop laughing all the way through. The man is brilliant I watched him perform again last night as MC at the Vodacom Funny Festival at The Baxter Theatre here in Cape Town.

My Life in Africa

A Busy Weekend with David Aldo, Colin Cowie and Engen


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What a pleasure it was to have my family down recently from Los Angeles. My uncle is a singer (see my write-up on him by clicking HERE) and the last time I saw him and the rest of my family living there was a staggering 8 years ago. I can’t believe how time flies. It was an absolute thrill to have them all down for a reunion as well as for performances he gave in both Johannesburg and in Port Elizabeth. In Joburg he performed at Tanz Cafe and in P.E. he performed at The Vodacom Ampitheatre at The Boardwalk. There was a good crowd who came out to support him at The Boardwalk on both nights, despite the rainy weather.

It was so special to see David & Sherri (my cousin) get up on stage after the interval for a duet.

After the shows everyone stayed behind to buy CDs and get autographs.

Below is a photo I took with my uncle and his producer in South Africa, Benjy Mudie. Benjy initially became famous for being the Marketing Director of Tusk Music and subsequently for being the producer of a very popular South African singing group Mango Groove. He is most recently well-known from being a guest judge on Idols, South Africa, and for being the Founder and Managing Director of Fresh Music since 1998. Below is a photo of Sherri also signing her autograph on the CD.

It was a really great weekend… David performed two nights in a row. While in Johannesburg he was also interviewed on various radio stations and also on television. He was interviewed one morning on Morning Live on SABC3:

He and my cousin had a lovely write-up in The Herald’s Weekend Post while they were here, which was great to see! Sherri cracked the front page, so naturally we took this snap while waiting at the traffic light:)

Something else I was invited to attend over the past week was “The King & Queen of Port Elizabeth” competition. It was held at the The Grand Hotel here in P.E. and was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I attended it with my good friend Brandon Lorenzo, of MTV Base fame. It was very cute seeing the babies modelling… I managed to steal a snap with  two of them after the show.

I attended another super event after that…. it was a talk given by Colin Cowie – events planner & lifestyle guru to the stars! He spoke here in Port Elizabeth at The Granary and a huge crowd came out to listen to him.

This guy has planned some of the most talked-about parties in the world… his clients include Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries, Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Hugh Hefner and many more…. So it was only fitting that I wore my highest pair of heels in honour of the occasion! Click HERE to view his website – it’s very interesting!

 

He was telling me how he’s missed biltong, smoked snoek, oxtail, tomato sauce and all the other South African products that aren’t available in the U.S. Finding out that he is from Selborne College in East London, here in SA, was so amazing. He said that he left South Africa at the age of 23 with nothing but a well-cut suit, a good tan and $400! His first client was Bruce Willis, when he was still young and had just got his first job on the series Moonlighting. Bruce asked him to do a barbeque on the beach and the rest is history. It was very inspiring to hear! It shows you that anything is possible. Here is a snap of him and I:

On another note, this past Saturday saw me giving a talk to a class of grade 10 students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University who are part of Engen’s Saturday School Programme.

I spoke to them about valuing yourself and using your God-given talents to achieve great  things in life.They loved it when I did my range of accents for them! British especially 😉 Afterwards we handed out dictionaries to the learners, which were sponsored by Rotary Algoa Bay. My mother is the President of Rotary Algoa Bay this year, so she was there to present the students with this generous donation! It was a beautiful experience! Giving back is very important.

Brand Promos

The FCM Fashion Party in Longstreet


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So the big event right now on everyone’s lips is the up-coming FCM Fashion Party. In case you didn’t know, ‘FCM’ stands for “Ferial’s Closet Makeover” – a Couture designer label, hot on the South African scene. All clothes are designed by the talented and sassy Ferial Dawood.

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