I know we are all thinking about that indispensable romantic partner, but I am referring to anyone. A friend, a colleague, a business partner, etc. Most importantly, how do you deal with a one-trick wonder? They could be a great conversationalist...someone you LOVE talking to but they fail miserably at every other aspect? They never show up at dates. They ask for assistance because they recently collided into their neighbor's yard with that brand new car...always in debt...(sigh). We know those people.
What I have realized is that it takes some discipline to choose the right partner. To gracefully distance yourself from that 'one-trick wonder'. Yes, you can meet them in the alley for a refreshing quick chat (and appreciate them) but are you seriously going to involve them in delicate matters? I hope it won't end in tears and/or regrets.
That is just my opinion though. How do you choose (or chose) the right partner? Are they an all-rounder, a life guru, or give good advice?
Thank you for spending time with us.
By Editor Mosa Mahlangu
We all have some sort of relationship with music and have been mesmerised by it for the longest of time. While man in his limited vocabulary can at best describe it as beauty and emotion, music is a farstretched, eternal galaxy. Knowing our love for mysteriously infinite things, we have been captivated by music in our personal lives and continued to nurse a deep connection with songs way past the 4- or 5-minute cut-off mark on the media player or music interface. It’s a bit arguable that music is noncommittal. However, when done right and with understanding of one’s self, music can also enrich our professional lives.
Amongst other things, I am a synesthetes. In layman’s terms, when I receive information through one sense, a few of my other senses get stimulated. Music of all sorts, interesting and weird sounds, and coloristic art constitute a key part in my workflow and productivity. Different sounds, articulations from musical instruments, chords, and noises influence parts of my brain to heighten, enhancing my attention to detail, focus, visual perception, and flexibility. When working in busy environment or feeling like I need a boost, opening Deezer and enjoying new songs does not disappoint.
At first, the downside to it would reveal itself when the listening experience would start to get tedious. I noticed that perhaps finding fresh music everyday would make things better. It sure did. But I was faced with a greater dilemma. Some of the news song are so Interstellar, I cannot help but stop doing work and drown in the new song. I am simple guy. It just takes one piece of great sound design, a crazy four-part chord progression, crazy backing vocals (which are not a point of interest for many) or just anything tiny and well-executed to hook me. So, I’ve had to discipline myself and revisit the dope song after doing work (because if I don’t, I will take time to finish) or just stop listening to music especially when I take on cognitively demanding tasks.
Music is life and sure enhances my productivity and work rate, but it throws me off when taking new information in or dealing with a difficult task requires silence. All of us are affected by music differently and there is no direct relationship between music and productivity. Understand yourself and enjoy🧡.
The world of music is an infinite ocean beaming with diversity. While the majority of us are more familiar with the stunts men and women at the front line, a lot is happening behind the scenes. Collaborating with vocalists to give us the rejuvenating sound of music that we all love are the producers. Today we touched base with Cozy Ctrl. A multi-genre producer, responsible for astonishing beats that form the heart of our favorite jams. Let’s dive into the interview as we gain deeper insight into his personality, work dynamics, favorite career moment, and more.
Simon: Can you take us into the world of a multi-genre producer. How is it like?
Cozy Ctrl: As a multi-genre producer I listen to a lot of sounds and artists and try to add what I like from there into what I make. So from Fela to Travis Scott to French Pop artists to Jorja Smith…really just anything because I just like music and there’s so much of it out there. I work on any genre I'm bumping to actually or if a client requests one but mainly I make Trap, Hip hop, Afro-fusion, and EDM.
Simon: Awesome! So what is your most favorite project that you've done so far?
Cozy Ctrl: Uhmm. I'd say my debut project (Cruise Control EP) dropped last year.
Simon: Why is it your favorite project?
Cozy Ctrl: Well actually it’s my favorite project I’ve worked on (that has been released). I guess it’s the way it came about unexpectedly during the lockdown and how I was able to get 10 artists with different sounds on it and make it sound good. And I had a good time working with all the artists.
Simon: Amazingly, you are also good with people! What do you enjoy doing outside your work as a producer?
Cozy Ctrl: Watching anime, playing football manager, listening to music.
Simon: What are your future plans?
Cozy Ctrl: Well, I plan on dropping 3 joint tapes this year with 3 different artists. The first one is almost complete. I look forward to working with more creatives and becoming a household name in the industry (while making money from it also).
Simon: Dope! So what would you say to new producers?
Cozy Ctrl: To them, I'd say listen to a lot of music to help with your sound, ask for help when you are in need (from the producer community), and put yourself out there/be confident and showcase your craft.
Spoken by Cozy Ctrl! The man so cozy and in control of his game! (I feel so dumb I never asked him why he calls himself that🤦🏽♂️). He clearly knows the ins and outs of the industry. His words of wisdom can go along way for people who wish to follow this career path. It's an honor to have him in our magazine.
Thank you for spending time with us 🤍
Most performers can attest to how demanding their careers can be. Maintaining physical fitness, staying in touch with your audience, rehearsals, networking, and many other things! I was astounded when I learned about a theatre practitioner. A role that requires a seamless merging of several performing arts aspects to induce standing ovation. Today we touched base with Hlobisile Mahlangu. A real-life experienced theatre practitioner. From her, we got the first-hand narration of the industry dynamics. The intricacies of her career and a glimpse into her personality. In the end, one can easily realize that Hlobisile is an intelligent, passionate, and hardworking (amongst many of her admirable attributes) woman who values her career and wishes the best for everyone else.
Simon: Please take us into the world of a theatre practitioner. What does it entail?
Hlobisile: As a theatre practitioner, I play multiple roles. I am a performer (actress and singer), I am also a director, writer, and facilitator. I also have additional skills as a radio presenter, voice-over artist, and events and TV host.
Simon: Thank you. So, what do you like about your work?
Hlobisile: I love storytelling. I like how my work enables me to step into the role of people from different walks of life. It also quite therapeutic, it gives you the capacity to deal with a lot of life's problems.
Simon: What is your most favorite project so far?
Hlobisile: I had the pleasure of writing and directing my first stage play post-training called Mbaleyehlwithwa. November 2020 right now, I've written and am directing another play which will premiere at The 4th Annual Tembisa Theatre week taking place at the TX Theatre from the 23rd to 31st of Jan 2021. It is called My brother's daughter. Right now directing is the highlight of my career I love to watch my vision being brought to life.
Simon: Awesome! Third last question, if you had the power to do something about your industry what would it be?
Hlobisile: I wish the industry was taken more seriously by the government. I wish it was regulated and there were laws in place that protect artists from exploitation. I wish there were also more primary schools and high schools that include art in their curriculum.
Simon: True, I totally agree with this. Second last question, what advice would you give to a person who wants to be a theatre practitioner?
Hlobisile: Respect your craft. Never cut corners. Be disciplined enough to work hard until every single one of your dreams is realized. It is far from easy but it is possible and worth it. Be open to learning…you can never know enough.
Simon: Awesome! What are your future plans? With regards to your career?
Hlobisile: I would love to one day when I feel I have accumulated more knowledge and experience to put together a mentorship program that will guide young artists at the early stages of their careers. Most artists fall into depression because they're not aware of the challenges that come with trying to make a living out of the arts. I would have loved to have someone to talk me through the rejections and struggle of building a brand that the audience can trust and invest in.
Spoken by Hlobisile. A self-made woman! A mogul in the making! Her words are worth noting, especially for those seeking to follow this career path. It's an honor and a privilege to have her in our magazine.
Thank you for spending time with us 🤍
By editor Mosa Mahlangu
Before I go to bed every night, I draft a to-do list for the following day. It changes from day to day. That's understandable. I mean, that's life. But one thing that does not change is making sure I "discover" no less than 20 new songs every day (any genre, any artist, ANYTHING). I know there are people out there who do more so please don't be hard on me. If I had more time in my hands it would be a lot more trust me. Anyway, I feel like sometimes we tend to hold on to what we know and are used to so much that we end up losing interest in the unknown and what it has to offer. I have noticed that exposure to new sounds and ideas drives me to think and approach things differently when I write instrumental music. That way, I hardly ever have nothing to work with (or feel like I am going through a creative drought). I am enjoying it and am planning on having playlists that change completely every day much as life does.
The point I am trying to make is we all have our own ways of staying on the edge and being at the top of our game. However, when life renders old tricks obsolete, do you make excuses and stop moving or do you embrace change (which is painful to do but worth it) and do whatever it takes to keep it going? Keep doing what feeds you, and at that, keep moving 🧡.
By editor Mosa Mahlangu
Given that I am an editor for the prestigious Onembiss in a rampant information age, this outpouring may be a surprise to many.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been THE thing for a long time (which feels like forever). It beset us when we least expected, and indeed stirred a lot of change and confusion in our lives. Especially when it was the new kid in the block, the pandemic has been nothing short of chaos, and what makes it worse is the juggling of opinions on social media, the misinformation, the conspiracy theories (I still cannot wrap my head around the connection between 5G and the virus), unconfirmed news and of course the long WhatsApp voice notes, devoid of science and reliable sources. Often you wish to disappear from social media because it is just a lot to take in, and for most people, it is very easy to be convinced by anything. However, the sad reality is, I have had to continue using social media because my work relies on it. I wish I had all the energy and will to do so, but I honestly could not cope with having my attention split between my work and keeping up with current affairs, what people say on social media and repeatedly asking people not to send me those WhatsApp voice notes (let alone dealing with random video calls that I am not in the mood for). So, for the sake of my mental health I’ve had to discipline myself and intentionally ignore news feeds and posts that have nothing to do with what I am focusing on. Yes, I know. It’s a very hard thing to do for many. You may tell yourself “I’m just going to check her Twitter profile and draw some inspiration for her article” until something about vaccines and second strains pops up. Your attention ends up misdirected and swallowed up (that's if you don't go on to binge on cat videos, challenges of all sorts and what celebrities are up to). I've had to discipline myself though and focus on what is important without rendering myself uninformed of what matters. I would rather be a semi-clueless editor for a world-class platform like Onembiss and not participate in any discussion or debate without being properly informed than to engage and make things worse (and equally embarrass myself). I choose sanity. I choose my battles carefully.
Almost everything in this world (whether it is on social media, news channels or in your social circles) is out to get your attention. The question is where do you choose to place yours?
Maneuvering through Covid-19 has been a tricky situation for businesses, individuals, and governments alike. One country caught amidst the chaos of controversial Covid-19 policies is South Africa. One such topic sparking unrest is the current ban of alcohol until the 15th of January. Today we are touching base with Trevor a fellow South African citizen. In his opinion, the national alcohol ban is justified. He undoubtedly sounds like an educated individual who backs up his statement with facts, research, and studies. See his interview below:
Simon: It is refreshing to find a South African who grasps the impact of alcohol trauma on the health care system. In your opinion do you think the alcohol ban was justified?
Trevor: The alcohol ban is completely justified. First and foremost I'd like to stress out that it isn't necessarily anyone's fault. Several studies have proved that there is a relationship between excessive drinking or alcohol abuse, and poverty. The stats also show us that when you consider alcohol-related mortality, that of South Africa is amongst the highest in the world, and that is no surprise as South Africa is also known for persistent socio-economic inequality, the worst in the world. So simply telling people, "drink responsibility and stay at home" is not a solution. Banning alcohol sales especially because it's festive season was a necessity that would help keep the trauma unit less strained.
Simon: In your opinion, do you think alcohol abuse is the cause of poverty or people resort to alcohol abuse as a means of coping with the psychological effects of poverty?
Trevor: It is my opinion, in the South African context, it is actually poverty that causes alcohol abuse, and that it isn't alcoholism that causes poverty [though I do not dispute that this is possible]. Black South Africans have been through a lot. I don't think I even need to mention Apartheid. I don't want to diagnose anyone with any mental trauma, but for what we've been through, I would not be surprised if a study proved that we as black South Africans suffer from a mental trauma that we have never confronted before. With poverty comes violence, crime, and other atrocities. It absolutely makes sense to me that when one cannot escape this reality, they resort to alcoholism which forms a vicious cycle emulated by the generations that follow.
Simon: For a closing question, what would you say to a person who has been set back by Covid-19? Who might have even lost hope?
Trevor: Focus on your health. Maintain social distancing, sanitize your hands regularly especially if you've touched public surfaces. Exercise and eat healthily. Also, stay away from conspiracy theories because they will only traumatize you further. Our country is not perfect. It has a lot of flaws. But it is not absolutely hopeless. Your situation is not permanent. You have overcome a lot in your life. And you will overcome this too
Trevor is clearly a brilliant, caring responsible citizen. It is such an honor to pick his brilliant brain. We wish nothing but healing, happiness, and recovery for those affected by Covid-19.
Thank you for spending time with us🤍
The ripple-effect of Covid-19 has rocked the entire world and everyone is wedged one way or another. It is tempting for most to surrender to their frustrations and spend the entire day sobbing on that morning coffee. Well, maybe there is more to life than that. Maybe heeding the sweet melody of positivity is not that hard. Today I (Simon) touched base with Suprice. A South African woman who has been nothing but strong and inspiring during these intricate times. She proves that the human spirit is unbreakable and that the future is bright.
Simon: What does Covid19 mean to you?
Suprice: This virus has not only infected many. It continues to affect many households, businesses, and individuals. It has forced all of us to step up and think of other ways to learn, work, and experience life.
Simon: What has been keeping you busy during this Covid-19 season?
Suprice: It is as harsh as the living conditions have become, Covid-19 has given many (people) time to work on the many projects they have been procrastinating. Time is not a valid excuse anymore. I found myself inquiring about online singing lessons, reading about YouTube policies to start my own channel, crocheting, and well, thinking about working out because I have all the time in the world to think and act now
Simon: It seems for you Covid-19 has been an opportunity for you to broaden your horizons. That's truly admirable. How far are you with your YouTube channel, crocheting, singing lessons, and all that you've been busy with?
Suprice: Thank you. I found a coach who still needs to assess my voice before we can resume the lessons. I am super excited about this as I have always wanted to know how it feels to perform to a crowd. I haven't done much for the channel besides reading the policies for when I finally start. My crocheting work is going well. I have been receiving orders from friends and I hope to expand.
Simon: Wow that is admirable🔥. You were able to start and maintain a business during these tough times! I learned that you are also pro-black. May you please elaborate on that?
Suprice: I love all things black. We have been misrepresented and underrepresented for eons. So it is our responsibility to use all our platforms to give a black child a lever. I am doing what I can with my small following to promote black-owned businesses. Colonialism and imperialism have desensitized us to the struggles of black people. It's almost normal to see a black person struggling to achieve anything. So much so that we have labelled that "working hard" for one's dreams but I strongly believe that the hard work shouldn't be for EVERY SINGLE THING.
We walk through doors exhausted. So for those of us who are privileged enough to represent us in bigger stages…should do so responsibly.
Simon: That is so true and touching. We can imagine the blacks are those affected the most by this Covid-19 dilemma the most. So for a closing question, what would you say to a black individual (and everyone else) who has been set back by Covid-19?
Suprice: I love how you incorporated Covid-19 to this follow-up question [wink emoji]. Theories are going around about Covid-19. Some are true and some are not but the impact of this virus is very real. I can't imagine life being the same after this. Like many people and blacks, in particular, this virus has affected our lives. Whether positively or negatively, is totally up to us. We are not helpless beings. So let's think of ways to survive this pandemic. If we can't get things done physically, let's go digital and win! It's a setback and not a knockout
Suprice is indeed filled with oodles of positivity. It is truly an honor to pick her brain. We wish healing and recovery for all those who are have been affected by Covid-19. Let’s keep striving for a better world. Thank you for spending time with us🤍