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Tebogo Thekisho, better known as ProVerb, first caught South Africa’s attention in 2005 with the release of his now classic debut hip-hop album, The Book of ProVerb. For over a decade he has been a regular on TV screens across the country as the host of Idols South Africa. While juggling a successful, multifaceted media career, he has also become a thriving entrepreneur with interests in property and TV production.
In this memoir, Tebogo pays tribute to the people who’ve contributed to him becoming the person he is, especially his parents, his grandmother and his siblings, while sharing the lessons he’s learnt through the different seasons of his life. He talks frankly about his public divorce and attempted suicide, as well as his award-winning music and television career.
This is a vulnerable, inspiring account of how Tebogo has risen above his personal challenges to take charge of his life.
An inspiring story of one man’s rise from poverty and oppression to success and fame in the international world of opera...
It is a difficult undertaking for any human to escape the cycle of poverty, but to do so from one of the world’s most complex political systems, with a brutal history of segregation and deprivation, is nothing short of a miracle. Yet Musa Ngqungwana’s story doesn’t end there. Not only did he manage to extricate himself from his impoverished past, but he found his way to the great opera houses of the world, attaining immense success in an affluent art form that bears no resemblance to his upbringing or culture. Musa’s life and career are proof that any human can overcome the devastating effects of discrimination and poverty.
Odyssey Of An African Opera Singer chronicles Musa’s journey from the townships of South Africa to the world stage. It is a story of hope, showing how humans, no matter their situation, have the opportunity to claim their gifts, develop them and use them to help others in need. A captivating story that will inspire anyone who has ever had a dream...
Both a deeply personal memoir and a glimpse into their socio- political activism, Every Day Is An Opening Night by Des and Dawn Lindberg documents the joys and challenges of a lifetime in South African theatre – as musicians, performers, song writers, stage designers, managers, impresarios and ultimately legends of the entertainment industry.
The book traces the duo’s 55-year career, from singing folk songs in the Troubadour coffee-bar in Johannesburg to taking their “Folk on Trek” shows on tour across South Africa and (then) Rhodesia, and producing and performing in major musicals all over southern Africa. Highlights of their story include their controversial multiracial production of Godspell, the duo’s legendary Sunday-night Soirées and the founding of the annual Naledi Theatre Awards, now in their 18th year.
Their story unfolds during a turbulent era in South Africa’s history: a time when local unrest, international opprobrium, sanctions and an intransigent government combined to create a challenging environment for artistes. Along the way, they worked with famous musicians, endured Special Branch attention, had their albums banned, won and lost court-cases… and quietly persevered, undaunted, as musical anti-apartheid activists.
Their friends and collaborators constitute a roll call of some of the best-loved personalities in the arts and show business, from Jeremy Taylor and Mark Banks to Johnny Clegg and John Kani, with appearances by the legendary Taubie Kushlick, Pieter-Dirk Uys, author Gordon Forbes, pianist Richard Clayderman and UK comedian Spike Milligan. The reminiscences are told with a light touch – sometimes poignant, frequently funny – and enhanced by a generous gallery of photographs.
While the original manuscript was completed before the tragic loss of Dawn in December 2020, the book now stands in honour of her life, telling the tale of two pioneers of South African entertainment in their own words. As Des writes in the coda: “If this book achieves nothing else, I am determined that it will help me to sign off on our story in a way that does justice to the extraordinary leader, wife, mother, partner and lover Dawn was. Our story is a joyful one, and we tell it together as a celebration of life.”
It started with a question about the blues: what makes the music of the downtrodden black man so alluring to white middle-class ears? And that’s where it gets interesting. Because blues is more than a musical genre: it’s a cultural phenomenon that spans several centuries on both sides of the Atlantic, from slavery to Black Lives Matter, from Jan van Riebeeck to Fees Must Fall, from Robert Johnson to Abdullah Ibrahim.
In Blues for the White Man, Fred de Vries looks for answers in America’s Deep South, drawing historical parallels with South Africa’s experience of colonialism, slavery, racism, civil war, segregation and protest. Travelling to Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta, De Vries speaks to musicians, Black Lives Matter activists and Trump supporters. He continues the conversation in South Africa, interviewing student protesters, white farmers and political thought-leaders to develop an understanding of white supremacy and black anger, white fear and black pain.
A fascinating, insightful journey through time and space, Blues for the White Man is a celebration of multiculturalism and a plea for white people to do some ‘second line dancing’ for a change.
Legendary recording artist Billie Eilish shares an intimate inside look at her life - both on and off the stage - in this stunning, photo-filled book.
Billie Eilish is a phenomenon. With distinctive visual flair and darkly poignant lyrics that are unparalleled among music icons of the 21st century, Billie is a musician who stands out from the crowd. Between her record-shattering, award-winning music and her uncompromising and unapologetic attitude, it's no surprise that her fanbase continues to grow by millions, month after month. She is that rare combination of both wildly popular and highly respected for her prodigious talent, a once-in-a-generation superstar.
Now in this stunning visual narrative journey through her life, she is ready to share more with her devoted audience for the first time, including hundreds of never-before-seen photos. This gorgeous book captures the essence of Billie inside and out, offering readers glimpses into her childhood, her life on tour, and more. A must-have for any fan.
Recommended for ages 14 and over.
Let Love Rule is a work of deep reflection as Lenny Kravitz looks back at his life with candor, self-scrutiny, and humour.
'My life is all about opposites,' he writes. 'Black and white. Jewish and Christian. The Jackson 5 and Led Zeppelin. I accepted my Gemini soul. I owned it. I adored it. Yins and yangs mingled in various parts of my heart and mind, giving me balance and fueling my curiosity and comfort.'
Let Love Rule covers a vast canvas stretching from Manhattan's Upper East Side, Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant, Los Angeles's Baldwin Hills, Beverly Hills, and finally to France, England and Germany. It's the story of a wildly creative kid who, despite tough struggles at school and extreme tension at home, finds salvation in music. We see him grow as a musician and ultimately a master songwriter, producer, and performer. We also see Lenny's spiritual growth-and the powerful way in which spirit informs his music. The cast of characters surrounding Lenny is extraordinary: his father, Sy, a high-powered news executive; his mother, Roxie Roker, a television star; and Lisa Bonet, the young actress who becomes his muse.
The central character, of course, is Lenny, who, despite his great aspirational energy, turns down record deal after record deal until he finds his true voice. The creation of that voice, the same voice that is able to declare 'Let Love Rule' to an international audience, is the very heart of this story.
'Whether recording, performing, or writing a book,' says Lenny, 'my art is about listening to the inspiration inside and then sharing it with people. Art must bring the world closer together.'
One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.
Will Smith's transformation from a fearful child in a tense West Philadelphia home to one of the biggest rap stars of his era and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, with a string of box office successes that will likely never be broken, is an epic tale of inner transformation and outer triumph, and Will tells it astonishingly well. But it's only half the story.
Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over.
This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one exceptional man mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself.
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.
"Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (‘It’s a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!’), I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child.
This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician.
From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters… the list goes on.
I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement." - Dave Grohl
As one of the most celebrated musicians of our time, Alicia Keys has enraptured the nation with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.
Since her rise to fame, Alicia’s public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it?
More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path: from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, to the process of self-discovery she’s still navigating.
In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth: about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.
The one and only Zadie Smith, prize-winning, bestselling author of Swing Time and White Teeth, is back with a second unmissable collection of essays.
No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for Zadie Smith's insatiable curiosity. From social media to the environment, from Jay-Z to Karl Ove Knausgaard, she has endless enthusiasmand the boundless wit, insight and wisdom to match. In Feel Free, pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment, dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, and considered with a deep humanity and compassion.
This electrifying new collection showcases its author as a true literary powerhouse, demonstrating once again her credentials as an essential voice of her generation.
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.
A self-portrait in 154 songs, by our greatest living songwriter.
In this extraordinary book, with unparalleled candour, Paul McCartney recounts his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career - from his earliest boyhood compositions through the legendary decade of The Beatles, to Wings and his solo albums to the present. Arranged alphabetically to provide a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account, it establishes definitive texts of the songs' lyrics for the first time and describes the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now.
Presented with this is a treasure trove of material from McCartney's personal archive - drafts, letters, photographs - never seen before, which make this also a unique visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time. We learn intimately about the man, the creative process, the working out of melodies, the moments of inspiration. The voice and personality of Paul McCartney sings off every page.
There has never been a book about a great musician like it.
Two long-time friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly-produced expansion of their ground-breaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material.
Renegades: Born in the USA is a candid, revealing, and entertaining dialogue between President Barack Obama and legendary musician Bruce Springsteen that explores everything from their origin stories and career-defining moments to their country's polarized politics and the growing distance between the American Dream and the American reality. Filled with full-colour photographs and rare archival material, it is a compelling and beautifully illustrated portrait of two outsiders - one Black and one white - looking for a way to connect their unconventional searches for meaning, identity, and community with the American story itself.
Obama and Springsteen discuss marriage and fatherhood, race and masculinity, the lure of the open road and the call back to home. They also compare notes on their favourite protest songs, the most inspiring American heroes of all time, and more. Along the way, they reveal their passion for - and the occasional toll of - telling a bigger, truer story about America throughout their careers, and explore how their fractured country might begin to find its way back toward unity.
The amazing story of the American musician who was famous in South Africa and Australia, but unknown anywhere else... until the Oscar-winning documentary.
Like many South Africans in the seventies and eighties, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom were obsessed with the music of Rodriguez, but the man himself was a mystery. Only his name was known, and the fact that he had killed himself on stage. After years of searching in a pre-internet age, the two men found the singer living in seclusion in Detroit. Remarkably, the blue-collar worker had no idea that he had been famous for over twenty-five years in this remote pariah of the world. In 2006, Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul set out to find ‘the best story on earth’ and stumbled on this remarkable tale in the Guardian newspaper. He tracked down Segerman and Strydom, and so began his four-year-long quest to make the Oscar-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man.
Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez outlines three separate journeys and the obstacles and triumphs that each presented: Rodriguez’s struggle to make a life from music; the odyssey of two fans to find out what had happened to their hero; and Bendjelloul’s pursuit to bring the story to celluloid.
The book is packed with information not included in the film, about Rodriguez’s background, relationships and political activities, his tours to Australia, and the recognition that has finally come to him after the film’s success.
‘There are moments in life that are pure, and which seem to hang in the air, unhitched from the everyday world as we know it. Suspended for a few seconds, they float in their own space and time with their own hidden prospects. For want of a better term, we call these moments “magical” and when we remember them they are cloaked in a halo of special meaning.’
For 14-year-old Johnny Clegg, hearing Zulu street music as plucked on the strings of a guitar by Charlie Mzila one evening outside a corner café in Bellevue, Johannesburg, was one such ‘magical’ moment.
The success story of Juluka and later Savuka, and the cross-cultural celebration of music, language, story, dance and song that stirred the hearts of millions across the world, is well documented. Their music was the soundtrack to many South Africans’ lives during the turbulent 70s and 80s as the country moved from legislated oppression to democratic freedom. It crossed borders, boundaries and generations, resonating around the world and back again. Less known is the story of how it all began and developed.
Scatterling of Africa is that origin story, as Johnny Clegg wrote it and wanted it told. It is the story of how the son of an unconventional mother, grandson of Jewish immigrants, came to realise that identity can be a choice, and home is a place you leave and return to as surely as the seasons change.
This book contains nine pieces from ABRSM's Grade 1 Piano Syllabus for 2019 & 2020, three pieces chosen from each of Lists A, B and C. The pieces have been carefully selected to offer an attractive and varied range of styles, creating a collection that provides an excellent source of repertoire to suit every performer. The book also contains helpful footnotes and, for those preparing for exams, useful syllabus information. Recordings of all 18 pieces on the Grade 1 syllabus are available. These can be purchased as part of the Piano Exam Pieces with CD package or as audio downloads (see www.abrsmdownloads.org for more details). ABRSM also offers a range of apps to support musical learning, available from www.abrsm.org/apps.
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.
Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this brilliant biography, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson draws upon his expert knowledge of the era and Mozart's own private letters to conjure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life and times in rich detail.
Johnson charts Mozart's life from age three through to his later years - when he penned "The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni." Along the way, Johnson challenges some of the popular myths that cloud Mozart's image: his allegedly tempestuous personal relationships and supposedly bitter rivalry with Salieri, as well as the notion that he was desperately impoverished when he died.
The result - a bold, invigorating portrait of one of the most popular and influential composers of all time - is a welcome addition to Johnson's extraordinary body of work and makes a perfect gift for classical music lovers and fans of biographies.
for SATB and piano On this Silent Night perfectly conveys the magic and excitement of winter, conjuring images of warmth by the fireside while the weather outside closes in and giving a subtle nod to Franz Gruber's Silent night. The vivid imagery of the secular text is enhanced through gleaming harmonies and glittering quaver movement in the piano accompaniment. Hemiolas give the piece a dance-like quality, while a contrasting middle section uses darker sonorities and textures to reflect the storm outside.
for SSA and piano The time draws near is instantly recognisable as Chilcott. The text, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, describes the feeling of anticipation before the birth of Christ. Chilcott has set these words using a pure and effective melody in the verses, complimented by jubilant refrains of 'Gloria in excelsis Deo'.
for SATB unaccompanied TaReKiTa is a refreshing concert piece that effortlessly blends the Indian and Western classical styles. The composer's scats are combined with a fast triple metre, vocal slides, and captivating melodies built on the Jog raga. A pronunciation guide is included in the leaflet, and a video guide by the composer is available through a companion website.
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