Tasting Notes explores the inspirations and culture that helped shape ‘Zenzile’ – a track created by South African producer Muzi and remixed by UK’s Hannah Wants for our This is PERi-PERi film.
Both Muzi and Hannah understand the value of variety when it comes to creating original, crowd-pumping music. So we were excited to see what a creative collision between the two would hold. What followed was a unique afro-house mash-up that’s been gracing our headphones ever since!
UK DJ, producer and radio presenter Danny Howard travelled to London to meet up with Muzi and discuss the story behind the track, as well as what it’s like handing the reigns over to a producer from a completely different genre, let alone from a different continent.
Hailing from a South African township near Empangeni in KwaZulu Natal, Muzi’s sound combines Johannesburg-originating kwaito with universal electronic rhythms. He finds inspiration in anything from the traditional Zulu ceremonies he attended as a child, to the underground electronic music scene he was privy to whilst recently living in Berlin. Muzi’s sound is always diverse, and he’s recently caught the attention of electronic powerhouses such as Rinse FM, The Prodigy and Diplo for it.
Having had to miss a set at this year’s Coachella, Brummie-born Hannah is now looking forward to playing the summer festival circuit - Hideout, Creamfields and South West Four in particular. Like Muzi, her sound sits at a crossroads when it comes to genre-definition. Known as ‘bass-house’, it’s a mixture of garage, dubstep, and house, or, as Danny puts it, “house but with a bit of attitude”.
"house but with a bit of attitude." Danny Howard
Strolling through the streets of London, Danny and Muzi chat about Hannah’s remix, the UK House scene, and bond over the importance of music venues to today’s dance music culture.
Watch the video above, and stream the exclusive Zenzile mix here.
Under the hot sun, in the rich, fertile soils of Africa, a wonderful story has been unfolding since 2012.
It’s one where Nando’s and farmers are growing for good. It all started when we decided that rather than outsource the supply of our chillies, we would get in touch with small-scale farmers in Southern Africa to grow them for us. We’re no farming experts, so regional Farming Organisations run the project on our behalf; teaching, empowering and giving farmers access to finance, materials and seedlings as they go along. We meanwhile guarantee that we’ll buy the farmers’ crops at a fair price (that’s determined before the growing season even starts).
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our partners and 1,400 farmers, this initiative is growing from strength to strength and every Nando’s PERi-PERi sauce, basting or marinade contains chillies that come from the PERi-Farms in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It’s something we’re proud of. What warms our hearts even more is the difference this has made to people’s lives. Having a stable income has given PERi-farmers and their families greater access to education, healthcare, water, energy and housing. So the next time you taste our PERi-PERi, taste real happiness. Because that’s exactly what it has helped create.
We street-cast the characters for our latest film from the city of Maputo, Mozambique. All creatives with a story to tell, we caught up with them during filming to delve a little deeper…
MEET DJ GRACE: QUEEN OF THE DECKS
We met up with the talented DJ Grace, the rave-ready record-spinner from our latest film, to talk Mozambican nightlife and how surprised people still are to see a female behind the decks.
Like most DJ’s, Grace started out playing records in her bedroom in Maputo. It wasn’t easy, she says, but she’s been hitting the decks around town (and beyond) ever since. “I play in various venues in Maputo, and all around Mozambique at the moment. The music scene is always changing and growing out here. I’ve also played in Johannesburg, South Africa, The atmosphere down there is really cool.”
But what does she think of the scene overseas? “Nina Kraviz…. I like the style of the music that she plays. She’s really cool. I have a big respect for female DJ’s, because it’s such a novelty to be a female DJ in Mozambique, which is such a shame. Making it in this profession requires a lot of strength, determination and hard work.”
And what about the scene in Mozambique? “At the moment Reggaeton, Dancehall, and Afro-House are all big crowd-pleasers. They all have a beat you can really dance to, and that’s much more important to audiences here then it maybe is in other countries. People just love coming together and letting loose a little bit, the scene here isn’t so stuffy or all about how you look. It’s how much fun you have on the dancefloor that counts.”
MEET JOHNNY: OUR MYSTERY MURAL-MAKER
PERi-PERi red wasn’t the only colour we painted the town of Maputo on our recent trip to Mozambique….
We asked young talent Johnny, an artist who likes to keep his profile hidden from the camera, to help us create a lasting piece of art with the people of Maputo for our film.
Johnny moved to the town of Inhambane, Mozambique in 2011 after being approached by a friend who wanted to set up an arts charity in Mozambique. “We held workshops with local children discussing various issues that affect them. After chatting we’d paint a mural together inspired by the content of the workshops.”
Sounds similar to his work for us in Maputo, where he invited everyone in the local community to take part. Locals were invited to draw or write on Johnny’s initial sketches, stating the things they most loved about Maputo. “It was therapeutic in a similar way to my previous work, bringing the local community together through art.”
The mural was named ‘My City’, and the end result was a compelling one for sure. “It’s a relatively big part of the film, and I hope it stood out to everyone who watched it!”
MEET LAURO: STYLE EXTRAORDINAIRE
Fashion designer, creative director, photographer and stylist…
Meet Lauro, a cast member from our latest film, who runs his own clothing brand: ‘Trill Moz’.
“’Trill’ is from the North American slang meaning original. And ‘Moz’ is shorthand for Mozambique. The idea being that we’re creating a harmony between the two cultures, but also to show an original and unique side to Mozambican fashion. Trill Moz’s ethos is about diversity.”
“When I was 13 there was a small movement in Maputo, a dance movement called jerk. It was from there that I started to be interested in fashion, and started to create my own style. I used fashion to express myself. Jerk was all about having fun, letting go a little bit, experimenting but also being collaborative. I guess that was when ‘Trill Moz’ really started.”
And who are Lauro’s favourite African designers he thinks you should check out?
“Shaazia Adam from Maputo is a really interesting designer. Nkosi Wear also have a really contemporary but still traditional style, they’re cool. Loza Maleombho as well! She’s definitely worth checking out.”
MEET YARA: OUR DOUBLE-ACT DANCER!
Being a young adult isn’t easy. Exams, Saturday jobs, which uni (if any) to go to. You’re tired, stressed, and the weekend just isn’t long enough. Let’s be honest there’s a lot on your plate. So imagine how impressed we were when we found out that Yara, the ballerina in our latest PERi-PERi film, also moonlights as a medical student…
Hailing from Maputo, Mozambique, she says “it’s difficult balancing the two, but it’s important to me and my family that I do well at University so that I can look after myself when I’m older.”
So how exactly does she do it? “I make sure to give myself the time to do the things I really love, like dancing and seeing my friends, and that makes it easier to do my studies!”
It’s also important to stay positive, she says. “Everyone has their moments. But if I had to tell others one thing I’ve learnt, I would say have big dreams, work hard, and believe in yourself. You might not achieve everything you wanted, but at least you’ll be some of the way there!”
LOOKING GOOD: ON-SET HAIR AND BEAUTY
Here’s a run-down of the hair and beauty looks from our film, all designed by our Mozambican hairdresser Tema.
Heads up, the edgy buzz cut is pretty big at the moment, and all about female empowerment!
Our girl Dope St. Jude went in on the nail art for filming. Did we hear you say, nailed it?
That moment when your lips, nails and car all match….
Sass and cornrows, check and check. Our model killing it on set.
These lilac beaded braids are brilliant for shorter hair. Your next festival look, maybe?
Wallflowers need not apply. Criss-cross cornrows and twists, a look for those wanting to make a statement.
One of the feature hairstyles of our film. These intricate cornrows take time, effort, and a general ability to slay.
Meet Dope Saint Jude, the ridiculously cool, motorbike-wielding superstar of our new film.
She’s a style-icon, musician, but most importantly a family-first girl at heart. You might recognize her from her outspoken, hip-hop tracks that have been circulating the net lately, yep, we were in awe too. Or her tongue-in-cheek music videos that have had the whole of South Africa talking.
Hailing from the flats of Cape Town, she travelled with us to Maputo, Mozambique to host our glorious fiesta celebrating the spirit of our unique PERi-PERi chillies.
We caught up with her on set to discuss everything from making it in the music biz, to her childhood dream of riding a motorbike.
"It’s time for them to take on the lead role and be powerful" Dope
Being cool isn’t top of her to-do list, Dope has bigger plans… to inspire a generation of confident women. “It’s time for them to take on the lead role and be powerful,” she says. Too true, Dope!
On whether she sees herself as a role model or not (she has after all lectured at a number of universities in South Africa on the social effects of hip-hop), she says: “What’s really important for me is to create a legacy… I’m actually studying right now, and using my music money to fund my studies.” Well, a South African music idol and a student?
But who are Dope’s role models, considering that she’s becoming a bit of a role model herself? “I mean I always think about my grandmother and my mother, they both passed away and they both struggled in their lives, but they had this ‘keep going’ spirit that I always come back to when I’m looking for inspiration. I just think about the women that came before me, and it inspires me like crazy.” Even in the face of such loss, it’s admirable to find out where the high-energy star gets her endless positivity.
She’s a true original as well, with a fiery spirit, and, she lets us know, just like us, she always makes sure she does everything with authenticity. “I couldn’t imagine being inauthentic.” She believes “success” will always come naturally “if you’re sincere in what you’re doing.” A girl after our own heart…
And what exactly does being sincere in her work mean to her?
“I think making music with pure intent, making music for the sake of making it, because you enjoy it, because you want it to move people… because you want to be moved.”
Dope’s music is also purposefully intersectional. “I make different kinds of music but mostly I focus on hip-hop, or intersections of hip-hop.” Dope states, “but I listen to lots of different kinds. Right now I’m listening to a Brazilian rapper named Karol Konka. People in the UK should definitely check her out.”
And how did she take the South African music scene by storm so suddenly?
Well, she never, ever gave up. “For me, it was just really being persistent. I’m not a trained musician, and I didn’t have any connections. It was just about not giving up until I eventually made a breakthrough.”
She’s much more carefree with her style though. “I just wear what I like,” she says. “I know it isn’t overly feminine. I know that it isn’t overly masculine… I feel like it’s a mixture of a lot of different things.” Her dress sense is open and fun, not to mention the funky nail-art she dons in our latest film: “Sometimes my style can be glamorous, too. Like today, oh my god, I love the jewellery! It makes me feel like a bit of a queen… a gangsta queen!”
This is PERi-PERi! Dried under the blistering Southern African sun, and grown in its rich earthy soil, our PERi-PERi chillies pack a whole heap of Southern African spirit. What does that mean? You’re about to find out…
So, turns out, there are some things robots can’t do. Like preparing our famous PERi-PERi!
To test this theory we had our appropriately named Drone Guy invent three makeshift machines to try out at one of the farms where we source our famous little chillies.
First up, The Harvester Drone. Ever wondered why our PERi-PERi chillies are picked by hand? Well, turns out nothing makes the cut quite like a human when picking chillies… literally.
Then there’s The Drying Drone. After harvesting, our PERi-PERi chillies are placed on drying racks for a week laying out in the African sunshine before being turned into PERi-PERi. So we had this flame-throwing force-of-nature see if it could dry them better.
Finally… The Inspection Drone. What does that do? Well the only way to tell if a PERi-PERi is ripe is when it’s red, and machines can’t tell what colour a chilli is…. Or can they?