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Born To Kwaito considers the meaning of kwaito music now. ‘Now’ not only as in ‘after 1994’ or the Truth Commission but as a place in the psyche of black people in post-apartheid South Africa.
This collection of essays tackles the changing meaning of the genre after its decline and its ever-contested relevance. Through rigorous historical analysis as well as threads of narrative journalism Born To Kwaito interrogates issues of artistic autonomy, the politics of language in the music, and whether the music is part of a strand within the larger feminist movement in South Africa. Candid and insightful interviews from the genre’s foremost innovators and torchbearers, such as Mandla Spikiri, Arthur Mafokate, Robbie Malinga and Lance Stehr, provide unique historical context to kwaito music’s greatest highs, most captivating hits and most devastating lows. Born To Kwaito offers up a history of the genre from below by having conversations not only with musicians but with fans, engineers, photographers and filmmakers who bore witness to a revolution.
Living in a place between criticism and biography, Born To Kwaito merges academic theories and rigorous journalism to offer a new understanding into how the genre influenced other art forms such as fashion, TV and film. The book also reflects on how some of the music’s best hits have found new life through the mouths of local hip-hop’s current kingmakers and opened kwaito up to a new generation.
The book does not pretend to be an exhaustive history of the genre but rather a present-active analysis of that history as it settles and finds its meaning.
Skollie, saint, scholar, hippest of hippies, imperfect musician with a perfect imagination, Syd Kitchen was, like all great artists, born to enrich his art and not himself.
Plagued by drugs, alcohol and depression, too much of an outlaw to be embraced by record companies, he frequently sold his furniture to cover production costs of his albums, seduced fans at concerts and music festivals worldwide with his dazzling ‘Afro-Saxon’ mix of folk, jazz, blues and rock interspersed with marvellously irreverent banter, and finally became the subject of several compelling documentaries, one of which - Fool in a Bubble - premiered in New York in 2010.
With a career spanning over 40 years, Marah Louw is counted among South Africa’s musical and entertainment industry royalty and has a powerful and memorable story to tell. This book is the reader’s front-row ticket to the joys, sadness, triumphs and setbacks that have been part of this legend’s life. Even though she is a celebrity, her story aims to show that stars, no matter how bright, are human too. It also delves into her family secrets and her search for truth.
As one of South Africa’s most iconic entertainers, Marah has had an illustrious career. She performed at the Mandela Concert at London’s Wembley Stadium and she sang at the Newsmaker of the Year Awards, presented to Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, and in honour of the late Chris Hani. She appeared with Nelson Mandela during his visit to Glasgow in 1993 and sang at George Square and The Royal Concert Hall. In 1994, she sang at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela and the Freedom Day Celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
In 2001, Marah produced the successful musical concert Surf, which featured top South African artists including Hugh Masekela. Marah translated the music of The Lion King into Zulu for the Walt Disney Corporation and performed the theme song Circle of Life in Zulu. She was also an Idols judge from 2003 until 2010.
She had a lead role on the SABC2 television soap opera Muvhango and has acted in numerous musicals, stage plays and feature films. She is currently acting in the Mzansi Magic telenovela The Queen.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll's most iconic stars.
Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and had taken the popular music world by storm before he was twenty-four. Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of the day. His performances have taken him from a cardboard guitar in his front room to fronting a rock and roll band on your television screen and performing in the world's greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom. This memoir, written with the same inimitable touch as his lyrics, and including dozens of images from his personal archive, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic, idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man.
Phil Collins gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for Genesis and continues to enjoy worldwide success today.
He’s one of only three recording artists who have sold over 100 million albums both as solo artists and separately as principal members of a band - the other two being Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Revered as a drummer, he’s the only performer of distinction to have appeared at both the UK and US original Live Aid concerts, the creator of numerous worldwide hits, and is an Oscar winner for the song ‘You'll Be in My Heart', from the Disney film Tarzan.
Phil Collins' life has also been rich with experience outside of music, starting with his career as a child actor, appearing aged 13 as the Artful Dodger in the stage production of Oliver! through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miami Vice and The Band Played On.
In his memoir Phil talks honestly about his three failed marriages, his alcoholism and his ill health but also describes the highs and lows of his career, and what it is like to work with other rock legends from Eric Clapton to Robert Plant.
After years of rumours, Adele's long-awaited third album 25 was finally announced in late 2015, and with it came claims that she was to single-handedly 'save the music industry'. Such is the influence of Adele - a young mother from Tottenham with the most powerful voice in the world. Adele's breathtaking songs have seen her top the charts around the planet, collect millions of admirers and win dozens of top awards. But who is she? Her commendable desire to protect her family and friends from the harsh glare of the media's spotlight has meant that she has become one of the most private superstars on the planet.
Adele: The Biography traces her story from a humble childhood in London through to the phenomenal success of her first two albums, 19 and 21 and the making of her most recent work, 25. Along the way, this unique book uncovers how her troubled private life influenced her heartbreaking tracks and how she gamely overcame a string of obstacles that threatened to derail her career. You will discover the fascinating truth behind all the highs and the lows experienced by this fun, formidable woman, whose songs have become national anthems for the heartbroken.
In this fully updated edition of his internationally-bestselling biography, Chas Newkey-Burden reveals the woman behind the music.
She's adored by millions of fans, writes and performs songs that move and inspire, but Beyonce is truly known by very few. Now highly-acclaimed biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli reveals the woman behind the star.
He takes us from a childhood spent performing in talent shows to finding worldwide fame with her band Destiny's Child, managed by her father Matthew. Beyonce's first solo album, Dangerously in Love, went straight to number one and she has to date released a total of five albums which have sold 75 million copies. Beyonce prefers to keep her personal life with husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy carefully under lock and key. She may be a top performer, fashion idol and business mogul in her own right, but fame has come at personal sacrifice and with private heartbreak. Baed on exhaustive research, including exclusive interviews with those how have played pivotal roles in her life and career, the book reveals the hard-earned lessons 'Queen Bey' has learned about love, life, loyalty and family.
Insightful and entertaining, this is the first authoritative biography of the most famous woman in the world today and a must-have for the 'Bey Hive'.
On 11 January 2016, the world was stunned to wake up to the news that David Bowie had died the day before. A genuine icon, he left behind a body of work among the most important in music history. But only a lucky few were privileged to know the man behind that mystique, and know him well. Sean Mayes was one of them.
In 1978, Sean toured the world with David Bowie, in what was one of the most important periods in the artist's history. Travelling first class and performing each night with one of the world's greatest rock stars at the height of his fame was an amazing experience - fortunately, Sean had the foresight to document it. Here, in complete book form, Sean's tour diary is presented; a blow by blow record of how it felt to be part of a real rock circus.
Providing page after page of fascinating insight into life on the road with Bowie, Sean's account is a unique travelogue, a must for any Bowie fan or, indeed, anyone interested in life on a sell-out world tour.
Born in 1948 into a family of ministers in Kingston, Jamaica, the statuesque and strikingly beautiful Grace Jones lived with her family in Syracuse, NY, before launching a career as a model in New York City. Gaining fame as the cover girl for such publications as Vogue and Elle, Jones's flamboyant look proved to be a hit on the New York City nightclub circuit and she became a darling of the disco scene, which led to a recording contract and a substantial following among gay men. With her sexually charged, outrageous live shows, Grace soon earned the title of 'Queen of the Gay Discos.' When she moved to Paris in 1970, the French fashion scene embraced her unusual, androgynous looks and, in addition to cover work, she dominated the runways of designers like Yves St. Laurent and befriended the likes of Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld.
While there, she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange and became artist Jean-Paul Goude's muse - he also fathered her son Paulo. (Grace was married twice - to a producer and a bodyguard - and she dated Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren for four years.) But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work, putting her 21/2 octave voice to good use. She is as known for her unique look as she is for her music and has influenced the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Annie Lennox.
In the book, Grace takes us on a journey from her religious upbringing in Jamaica to her heyday in Paris and New York in the 70s and 80s, all the way to present-day London, where she is working on a new album.
Across six decades, Sir Tom Jones has maintained a vital career in a risky, unstable business notorious for the short lives of its artists. With a drive that comes from nothing but the love for what he does, he breaks through and then wrestles with the vagaries of the music industry, the nature of success and its inevitable consequences.
Having recorded an expansive body of work and performed with fellow artists from across the spectrum and across every popular music genre, from rock, pop and dance to country, blues and soul, the one constant throughout has been his unique musical gifts and unmistakable voice. But how did a boy from a Welsh coal-mining family attain success across the globe? And how has he survived the twists and turns of fame and fortune to not only stay exciting, but actually become more credible and interesting with age?
In this, his first and only autobiography, Tom revisits his past and tells the tale of his journey from wartime Pontypridd to LA and beyond. He reveals the stories behind the ups and downs of his fascinating and remarkable life, from the early heydays to the subsequent fallow years to his later period of artistic renaissance. Raw, honest, funny and powerful, this is a memoir like no other from one of the world's greatest ever singing talents.
They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That's part of what makes Brian Wilson's story so astonishing.
As co-founder member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like 'In My Room', 'God Only Knows' and 'Good Vibrations' forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and - finally - thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.
I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy and completedSmile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective and forgiveness. Whether he's talking about his childhood, his bandmates, or his own inner demons, Wilson's story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.
Madonna: singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, not to mention one of the most renowned cultural icons of the last three decades.
Since her first, eponymous album, over thirty years ago Madonna has sold a remarkable 300 million records worldwide, making her the top-selling female recording artist of all time. Madonna is famous for continuously reinventing both her music and her image. By pushing the boundaries of mainstream popular music with both her lyrical content and the imagery in her music videos she achieved extraordinary popularity.
Michelle Morgan offers a richly illustrated, comprehensive account of the artist's phenomenally successful career shedding new light on her videos, books, tours, fashion, charity work and every other aspect of her life.
Lady Gaga is a once-in-a-decade artist, and the rare instant celebrity whose appearance can become a cultural event. No other music star of the last decade combines the talents Lady Gaga possesses: she’s a genuine singer, composer, songwriter, designer, and performance artist, who uses technology and social media to shape her art and career. In the space of fifteen months, she has become a demographic-smashing pop icon with global reach and impact.
Not since Madonna’s breakout success in the mid-eighties has the world witnessed the advent of a pop-culture provocateur who mixes high-and-low culture, the avant-garde with the accessible, “downtown” authenticity with the sheen of glamorous artifice. She has quickly formed a symbiotic relationship with her rabid fan base who have taken to dressing as she does, imitating her hair and make-up in tribute. Gaga, too, is a cultural shape-shifter, allowing her fans to project their needs, wants, confusions, and desires onto her.
This is a must-read for Gaga fans, who, devoted as they are, know next to nothing about who she is and how she got that way, as well as for anyone who has heard Lady Gaga on television and the radio and is curious about America’s latest over-the-top cultural success story.
Michael Buble is the most successful male artist in the world at the moment. Born in British Columbia to a family of Italian fishermen, music is in the family blood and it was Michael's grandfather first introduced him to the kind of music he would later make his own - Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Dean Martin and Elvis. Since his debut in 2003, he has sold 25 million albums, won two Grammys and multiple Junos, reached the top 5 in countries around the world as well as numerous number 1s, his concerts have been sell outs and he has cultivated a huge and loyal fanbase. Michael Buble is a music phenomenon and this beautifully designed biography will celebrate his success. Packed with stunning photographs and lavishly designed spreads charting his story - both personal and professional - and his meteoric rise to stardom, this book is a must-have for the millions of Michael Buble fans around the world.
Rod: The Autobiography
Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend
Elvis: The King Of Rock 'n Roll
'There's no tougher a mind, no more tender a voice than Paul Simon, and there's no better man than Robert Hilburn to decipher the hardwiring of this hyperintellect...great songs can never be fully explained, but the great man on his way to find those songs surely can.' - Bono Through such hits as "The Sound of Silence," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Still Crazy After All These Years," and "Graceland," Paul Simon has spoken to us in songs for a half-century about alienation, doubt, survival, and faith in ways that have established him as one of the most honoured and beloved songwriters in American pop music history. Yet Simon has refused to talk to potential biographers and urged those close to him to also remain silent. But Simon not only agreed to talk to biographer Robert Hilburn for what has amounted to more than sixty hours, he also encouraged his family and friends to sit down for in-depth interviews. Paul Simon is a revealing account of the challenges and sacrifices of artistry at the highest level. He has also lived a roller-coaster life of extreme ups and downs. We not only learn Paul's unrelenting drive to achieve artistry, but also the subsequent struggles to protect that artistry against distractions - fame, wealth, marriage, divorce, drugs, complacency, public rejection, self-doubt - that have frequently derailed pop stars and each of which he encountered. From dominating the charts with Art Garfunkel and a successful reinvention as a solo artist, to his multiple marriages and highly publicized second divorce from Carrie Fisher, this book covers all aspects of this American icon. 'When it comes to writing songs, no one does it better than Paul Simon. Robert Hilburn's is a wise and winning account of our most nimble, nuanced, and numinous poet-musician.' -Paul Muldoon 'A tantalizing look into the mind and writing process of the man who is arguably the finest craftsman of the American popular song since the Gershwin brothers, this book will delight any Paul Simon fan or student of popular culture.' -Linda Ronstadt
Love’s got everything to do with it.
Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a musical icon celebrating her 60th year in the industry. In this dramatic autobiography, she tells the story of a truly remarkable life in the spotlight. From her early years picking cotton in Nutbush, Tennessee to her rise to fame alongside Ike Turner, and finally to her phenomenal success in the 1980s and beyond, Tina candidly examines her personal history, from her darkest hours to her happiest moments and everything in between.
Brimming with her trademark blend of strength, energy, heart and soul, My Love Story is a gripping, surprising memoir, as memorable and entertaining as any of her greatest hits.
For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing to pop stars from the 1970s and 80s, to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back... Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave's greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Fairground Attraction, Nik Kershaw, T Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and Chesney Hawkes.
Founder of one of the most influential and successful rock bands of all time, legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has nevertheless remained an enigma. In this definitive and comprehensive biography of his life so far, Chris Salewicz draws on his own interviews with Page and those closest around him to unravel the man behind the mystery. Having sold over 300 million copies worldwide, Led Zeppelin was the biggest band of the '70s and has been loved by the legions ever since. From his own conversations with Jimmy, the rest of Led Zeppelin, old girlfriends, tour managers and session musicians to name but a few, Salewicz reveals the many trials and tribulations which transformed the middle class boy from the Surrey suburbs into one of rock's most enigmatic frontmen. Detailed, thrilling and expertly researched, Salewicz discovers a man who was prepared to die for his art; who justified heroin use so he could harness its narcotic focus whilst making albums, and who overcame numerous death threats during this time. A warrior magician, Salewicz delves into the many skeletons and eccentricities in Page's closet, contextualising him against a background of London gangsters, deaths, and power struggles which Page has continued to rail against to this day, even within his own band. As entertaining as it is insightful, and from a writer who experienced first-hand the Led Zeppelin furore, this promises to be as close to a Jimmy Page autobiography as fans can get.
There's not a lot we can tell you about 5 Seconds of Summer that you won't already know, unless you've been living under a rock for the past six months. The "boy band with attitude" started out supporting global superstars One Direction and have now notched up a number-one debut album and sellout global tour. 5SOS have conquered the world with their zany antics, charm, good looks, singing, writing and performing talent, and devotion to their loyal fans. 5 Seconds of Summer Confidential is the ultimate visual guide to the band, an Access All Areas pass for fans to gain an exclusive insight into each member as well as stunning photography of the boys hard at work, and play, all around the world.
A raucous and vividly dishy memoir by the only woman on the masthead of Rolling Stone Magazine in the Sixties. A female Almost Famous. In 1971, Robin Green had an interview with Jann Wenner at the offices Rolling Stone Magazine. She had just moved to Berkley, California, a city that promised "Good Vibes All-a Time." Those days, job applications asked just one question, "What are your sun, moon and rising signs?" Green thought she was interviewing for clerical job like the other girls in the office, a "real job." Instead, Green was hired as a journalist. A brutally honest, intimate memoir of the first girl on the masthead of Rolling Stone magazine, The Only Girl chronicles the beginnings of Robin Green's career. In this voice-driven humorous careening adventure, Green spills stories of stalking the Grateful Dead with Annie Liebowitz, sparring with Dennis Hopper on a film set in the desert, scandalizing fans of David Cassidy and spending a legendary evening on a water bed in the dorm room of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. In the seventies, Green was there as Hunter S. Thompson crafted Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Now, she presents that tumultuous time in America, written with a distinctly gonzo female voice.
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