There’s nothing quite like Indian hospitality. Growing up I always just thought that my Indian friends’ parents were just being polite when they would insist that I visit them more often or join them for meals whenever I liked (coz let’s be real there’s nothing quite like Indian cuisine either) but this was my second trip to India, to a whole new region and I’ve decided it’s a genuine trait of Indian culture to be unbelievably welcoming.
You know, it was only a year ago that I was at a gig in Zambia that a big South African act was booked to play at too; they caught the last available flight into Lusaka on show day (just in time for their set) because they had a gig earlier that day in Johannesburg. At the time I thought the organizers were crazy to have agreed to the whole arrangement but it thankfully all worked out without any glitches.
I last visited Kuwait in 2011. I remember the trip well for a few reasons:
1. I was terribly concerned about what I would have to wear whilst there and for some reason believed I’d have to wear the loosest fitting clothing I owned. I discovered on my arrival, that Kuwaiti women are some of the most stylish I’ve ever come across and loose fitting clothing isn’t at all necessary. I spent the entire time I was there in loose yoga pants and baggy tops because that’s all that I’d packed. The rule seems to be skin-showing (shoulders, thighs, cleavage etc) is a no-no but skin tight clothing is totally fine. Go figure.
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When I was booked for the Stanbic Music Festival in Lusaka, Zambia back in mid-2016 I was initially pretty concerned about how I would fit into the festival line-up. It’s previously been known as the ‘Stanbic Jazz Festival’ and although I do have the habit of playing a blues-y riff when sound checking; I definitely wouldn’t rate my technical abilities as jazz tier – so I relaxed when I heard that it was being re branded to appeal to a wider audience. Then I found out I’d be opening for International reggae legends UB40 and the pressure was back on – never mind jazz lovers, what the hell would die hard reggae fans think of me?!
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Each year I give back in one of the little ways that I can – by performing for free at fundraising events for charities that I believe in. A couple of days after getting back home to Cape Town from the Hashtag Beach Party in Lusaka, Zambia, I was back on a flight up to Johannesburg for one of these very events – no rest for the wicked!
ALL PHOTOGRAPHY: THAT ZED PHOTOGRAPGHER
Landlocked Zambia – a beach party, say what now?! Hashtag Entertainment booked our collab act DeVille to perform at Tiffany’s Canyon in Lusaka and we weren’t really sure what to expect before arriving at the venue – but WOAH what an awesome spot and what a rad party it turned out to be!