In honour of Youth Day, we’ve decided to post a feature every day this week to showcase some trailblazing things South Africa’s brightest young creatives have to offer. Today we revisit one of our previous features with Benny Afroe. Afroe has become one of my favourite artists releasing music in 2018. We’ve already covered the release of his debut EP, Jupiter. This piece will put specific focus on the release of his latest songs 25 and So Gone.
Even before the release of his first major music video, Afroe has been a consistently visual artist. His social media is carefully manicured with strong visuals that speak to his brand as a musician and a fashion pace-setter. His songs also place a heavy emphasis on imagery; Murder She Wrote’s refrain finds a girl packing her bags and hitting the road with a Gucci and Louis Vuitton bag whilst So Gone finds him leaving his current situation ready for war, with an assortment of weapons (a gun and knife) and a rose. With such emphasis on imagery it should come as no surprise that his first major music video, So Gone, would also be laced with strong visuals.
Benny Afroe literally makes a grand entrance in this video, ominously emerging from a misty body of water. Produced by Side-Eye Motion Pictures, the visuals zone in on isolation and independence, themes found throughout Jupiter. For the most part, So Gone frames Afroe as a fashionable hermit roaming nature. Macc Gee, That Ego, Kat Michaels and Dimpho Mkhonza, his creative team and frequent collaborators, all make appearances and are framed like his protectors. The video does a solid job of visually introducing Benny Afroe as a musical artist in the era of Jupiter. With more videos already set-up for songs including Am Back, it will be exciting to see how his momentum continues to build.
If Afroe’s ambitions haven’t been made clear at this point, his latest song provides a clear mission statement. 25 finds Afroe musing over various goals he’d like to accomplish by the time he reaches the title’s age. It’s backdropped by what is possibly Benny Afroe’s most instantly infectious and ambitious composition to date, produced by his 19-year-old prodigious producer Dimpho Mkhonza. Aspirational themes of a lavish lifestyle are scattered throughout the song but for the most part the song places urgency on Afroe’s need to be a provider and his hunger for success. As one of the savvier new artists on the scene, Afroe seems to be working tirelessly to make 2018 his breakout year. With the momentum he is currently building, it’d be a crime if it isn’t.