Friday, June 24, 2016

Bucket Babe: Amber Elizabeth Konahos


A great man once said "I have a dream", and he went on to accomplish a lot thereafter including almost realising that dream. I on the other hand didn't have a dream, nor do I consider myself a great man but few years ago I did have an idea, it took me about 5 years to eventually get it done but I'd say it was time well spent learning more and gathering information before executing the idea. People are passionate about things but how many of them make take that passion one step further and doing something with it? I'm passionate about a lot of things, cars, music, sport, technology and beautiful woman, so I thought why not combine all of that together?


To put it simple, my idea was to put together a photo shoot but it wasn't just another photo shoot for someones portfolio, it was to get creatives together, introduce them to each ones passion and see what could transpire. My goal seemed simple enough, being from Durban I wanted everything to be 100% local, so I sourced a local model, who I happened to meet by chance at an event, I got a local photographer who just happens to be a good friend and has international experience in fashion photography and has worked with some of the big named publishers in the world, the clothing used for the shoot was from a Durban based fashion designer who took part in the Mercedes-Benz SA fashion week a few years back and lastly, source a good location for the shoot. 


Model: Amber Elizabeth Konahos: originally from Johannesburg, Amber now resides on the east coast where apart from modelling, she works at a Spa in Ballito. Amber's beauty strikes you from the get go, shes tall, well built and has beautiful golden blonde hair, strong features and great physique. She recently made the final 16 in the World Swimsuit Model Search, where she proved to be quite popular with her achieving over a thousand votes as well as receiving Editors Choice, Videographers Choice and Sponsors Choice badges. So it was a no brainer from my side that she would be the one to star in my first production. Amber is a sweet down to earth girl, young but is a natural when she's in front of the camera. She has a promising career ahead of her and for that I'd like to wish her nothing but the best, as I know she will go far. 

Instagram: ambs.elizabeth


Photographer: Yuveer Karanchand aka YuviK: I've known Yuveer for the better part of 2 years now, his talent is evident from his work and his CV is beyond remarkable. For someone of such a young age to have worked with some of the biggest names in publication and fashion is astounding. I first asked him to photograph for me with some of the cars I gotten to test but while the pictures were great, I could tell his passion lied more in fashion photography, hence I asked him to do the shoot with me. While I might claim production rights over the shoot, its him who made the magic happen and he did most of the work that day. You can follow him on his travel and escapades via his various social streams, be it Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook, all of which you can find below, as well as his email address should you wish to book a shoot with the talented camera man.....and I can be your production manager for a small fee too, just kidding ;)

Instagram: YuvikPhoto
Snapchat: yuvi106
Email: yuvik106@gmail.com


Clothing: Genna Wae West: Genna has been a good friend of mine for the past 5 years, from noticing her on the cover of one of Sasha Martinengos albums, it didn't take much for her to grab my attention. Her passion for fashion is clear and with her approach for emphasizing the importance of local designers and local clothing is also one of the reasons I chose to use her. She has tons of experience in designing some of the sexiest lingerie and swimsuits, some may be a bit raunchy but hey, why live life wearing only granny panties. She supplied us with a range of her latest lingerie and swimsuits with Amber only more than happy to model them for us. 

Instagram: waewest
Facebook: waewestcouture
Twitter: @waewest


Location: Suncoast Towers & Hotel: A massive thank you to Nicole East and Palvi Oddone Aquino of Tsogo Sun, Suncoast for arranging the use of one of the Towers suites and the outside pool area for the shoot. Suncoast Towers and Hotel is ideally situation on the famed Durban Beach Promenade, it features a breathtaking sea view as well as access onto the beach of the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Adjoining the hotel complex, one can find Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World which houses a Casino, Movie house as well as a host of restaurants and takeaways. The hotel has its own restaurant as well, Jeera, offering a wide variety of Indian cuisine, from local to authentic Indian which will leave you salivating for more. After the shoot we were treated to a high tea, which you can read about more in my review. Suncoast Towers & Hotel really is the perfect beach front spot for any traveler, and you can read more about the Hotel and its offerings from my review.


All in all, I was extremely please with how the shoot turned out. I have to thank everyone who was involved that made it such a success. It was a major learning curve for me and I was glad I was able to take my idea and make it into reality. There was a lot of work behind the scenes to make it happen but it's all part of the game and I look forward to the next one, taking in the lessons learnt from this. one.



Behind the scenes video of the photo shoot, shot by me:




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jack Daniels Sound City


With just over 2 weeks to go to Africa's most prestigious horse racing event, the Vodacom Durban July, Jack Daniels has announced that they're coming back bigger and better with their Jack Daniel's Sound City Marquee. In association Vuzu Amp, YFM & Gagasi FM, the Jack Daniel's Sound City is set to be the most spectacular party and lifestyle experience at the countries great horse racing event. 


The 2nd of July see's Durban's Greyville transform into the nations party capital with a day full of racing and a night full of partying. Whether you're there for the races, the fashion or just there to have a good time, the Vodacom Durban July is the premier event to be at and Jack Daniel's Sound City is the place to be seen. With a host of some of the hottest local artist set to perform, a large dance floor, VIP and VVIP lounges, why would you want to go anywhere else?


Jack Daniel's has a reputation of being the best marquee to be at and this years is no different. Organizers have pulled out all the stops to ensuring that Sound City will be the hottest marquee at the July, it aims to deliver fans a unique experience that combines luxurious hospitality, high fashion and a social atmosphere together with an untouchable stage and sound experience. All in a city of marquees built on premium raised hospitality decks, which exists for just 1 day of the year!


The party starts from midday and continues into the evening some of Mzanzi's finest entertaining the crowds, some of which include Black Coffee, Mi Casa, Mafikizolo, K.O, Nasty C, Kid X, Aewon Wolf, Speedsta and many more. Jack Daniel's also is known for giving up and coming artist a chance to play, this year see's DJ Wobbly, Nelz and Breeze take to the Sound City stage for their shot in the spot light. 


Tickets for Jack Daniel's Sound City starts from R490 for General, R1700 for VIP and R2750 for VVIP and available at Computicket now. For a detail break down on what each ticket includes, please see below. 

General (Silver) – R490pp
VIP (Gold) – R1 700pp
VVIP (Platinum) – R2 750pp
  • Cocktail lounge
  • 50 metres of bar
  • Café restaurant
  • Plasma screens with live racing feed
  • Betting facilities

  • Exclusive decked VIP Lounge
  • 40 metres of bar
  • Included in the ticket price is a complimentary bar service* (11am – 5pm)
  • Light lunch
  • Buffet dinner
  • Private toilet facilities
  • Trackside viewing deck
  • Plasma screens with live racing feed
  • Private betting facilities


*Complimentary bar service includes free local spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks, Premium stock on sale.
  • Exclusive VVIP Lounge
  • Premium décor
  • Included in the ticket price is a complimentary bar service* (11am-10pm)
  • Light lunch
  • Buffet dinner
  • Trackside viewing deck
  • Plasma screens with live racing feed
  • Private luxury toilets
  • Private betting facilities
  • Fully staffed facility, including dedicated waitresses, bar staff, hostesses, security and senior management.
  •  

*Complimentary bar service includes free local spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks, Premium stock on sale.



For more information, or to pre-book a Private Table of 10 or 20, which includes Bottle service, please contact Spha on 079 034 1445 or e-mail hospitality@rusco.co.za

The Jack Daniel's Sound City Marquee experience will be open from 11am-10pm. Please note that the entrance ticket to the Greyville racecourse must be bought separately to the Sound City tickets. For more, visit www.jdsoundcity.co.za 




Sunday, June 19, 2016

Monday Choon: Calvin Harris - This Is What You Came For


Is it just me or did everyone decide to launch their music videos last week? I counted at least 18 major releases on the various labels and channels but none have made such a big impact than todays featured track. Released on Thursday last week, the video has already musted up over 16 million views! Calvin Harris can do no wrong, even breaking up with Taylor Swift didn't hinder him as his latest single with Riahnna seems to be doing great on the charts and now with the official music video gathering worldwide interest, it seems things are just getting better for the UK DJ/producer. 

                    

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ultra Worldwide 2015 Year Mix



Since yesterday was a public holiday, most of the smart individuals have taken today off but for us stuck in the office and looking for time to kill, Ultra have released their 2015 year mix showcasing Ultra's from the various countries that hosted it last year, including South Africa. So here's the hour long video that's sure to get you in the mood for the weekend and with the less numbers hogging the bandwidth in the office today, you can stream the video in 4K!

                       

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bucket Tech: Huawei G8


When I attended the launch of the Huawei Mate 8 last month, they also revealed another range of devices that they were introducing to the market, the G Series. Huawei said that the G Series was aimed at the youth market with the phone offering more in terms of a playful creative nature compared to their other phones which are made more for the business individuals. It seemed to make sense seeing that kids mainly use their phones for taking pictures, listening to music, and being on the social media stream, so would they really need the hardcore processing power and the rest of the jazz that goes into the high end smart phones when they could really have their own which would cost significantly less? Well the answer is yes, although it did have me wondering, how much did Huawei compromise on their product to make the G series what it is? Well a couple weeks ago they sent me the G8, the "top of the range" if you may call it, from the lot, with the others being the G3, and G5 to test out and this was my experience with it.


Quality
Since the package arrived I tried to see where the manufacturer tried to make the device different form the others, the packaging still looking sleek and typical of their devices so no cost cutting there. Once opened, and removed the phone, I was surprised at the weight, as it was quite heavy compared to your normal phone but the reason behind this was the massive screen, unlike the P8 and P9, the G8 comes with a 5.5" screen instead of a 5.2" as found on the other 2 devices. The build quality seems great as well, just as all their other devices so definitely no cost cutting on that part of the phone. The finish is exquisite and high quality as well, really gives off that premium feel to it.


Design & Dimensions
When compared to the the P series, the G would be slightly bigger due to the screen size which see's the overall dimensions of the phone at 152 x 76.5 x 7.5mm which still is a comfortable size to fit into the palm of your hand. The beveled edges also help with this as it gives the phone a less edgy feel and therefore a better grip for the user. The 360 touch finger print recognition has improved in leaps and bounds since the P8. With it taking a full scan of your finger , thus improving scanning speeds to milliseconds upon touch.

Taken with the Huawei G8
Camera
The G8 comes with a 13 megapixel primary camera, with auto focus and dual LED flash. Huawei takes it's camera's very seriously and the quality on this one is just as great as the others. I love the features it comes with one of my favourite being the time-lapse. I even recorded my entire flight from Johannesburg to Durban which you can find below. I wish they could give you ways in which you can control the frames per second though, I mean the 50 odd minute flight only was a 1 minute video, most of it was boring but it would be nice to slow down certain aspects of the video and speed up the rest. The front facing camera is a 5 megapixel lens and has the smile detection feature which is perfect for selfies.  

       

Performance
Now many might be reading and thinking, if this phone is aimed at the youth and would be more affordable, how exactly did they do it if Huawei didn't compromise on build quality or features, well I'll tell you where they saved the cash, it was in the processing power. Whilst their top phones come with the powerful HiSilicon Kirin chipsets, the G Series opts for the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets. While there is a significant difference between the two, the Qualcomm Snapdragon is still a quality chip with 1.5GHz Cortex - A53 & quad-core 1.2 Ghz Cortex-A53 CPU. It's more than sufficient to deal with the demands for what the phone was made for. 

Taken with the Huawei G8

Display
As mentioned before on the post, the G8 does come with a larger screen, a 5.5" ISP LCD capactivie touchscreen to be exact. It has 16 million colours to mesmerise your eyes with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 so, you have a full high definition experience. The touch screen is multi touch capable and has an Emotion UI 3.1 rating for protection, hence the added weight of the phone which is 167g in total. 

Taken with the Huawei G8

Verdict
While the manufacturer has compromised on performance for this device, it's acceptable when looking at the overall phone and what it's purpose is meant for. Certainly everything else is up to scratch with other devices in the market with some aspects being even better than their competitors flagship devices. The phone still offers the same great UI with a host of themes and settings to make yours unique and there are 3 colours for you to chose from. I quite enjoyed my time with the G8, more so because I used it for all my social media activities and capturing pictures and video with it and it did that perfectly, battery life was surprisingly great as I thought with the larger display it would drain it quite quickly. It's certainly a great phone if you're looking at getting one for those specific purposes or something you want to get for your kid.

Taken with the Huawei G8




Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Choon: Vivid - Rush


This weeks featured artist is big in Japan, no seriously, DJ Vivid has been dominating Tokyo's EDM scene for the better part of a decade now and is ready to take his talents all across Asia and the world. He's already has had success in South Korea with him securing residencies in some of the countries hottest night clubs. The track "Rush" which is featured today, is one of his latest which has bigger build ups and ven bigger drops, which is what the song will be remembered for. Take a listen and see why it's become a firm favourite of mine.

                    

Friday, June 10, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview


Being South African, we get all the feels in June when it comes to football, tomorrow see's 6 years since we successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup in our beautiful country, fast forward to today and after a seriously of allegations and arrests, many of the FIFA hierarchy that were involved then and now in hot water over corruption scandal but that's not what the purpose of this blog was for, tonight the UEFA Euro 2016 kicks off in Paris, France and see's the giants of Europe go head to head in what should be a thrilling tournament. 


The first game sees hosts France up against a team many tip for second place in their group, Romania. Albania and Switzerland make up the rest of the group, so the hosts seem to have got them self a fairly easy opening stage of the tournament. 


For most groups they seem pretty well balanced but there's always the one Group of Death and that for me has to be Group D with Spain, Czech Republic, Turket and Croatia, all of which are capable of causing massive upsets. It's bound to be a tight affair with Spain not playing at the same level as they were 6 years ago, although they remain favourites to top the group. 


Another interesting group to keep an eye on is Group E, which features underdogs Belgium, whilst they are tipped to take top spot in the group which also features Italy, Republic of Ireland and Sweden, the bookies don't think Belgium has what it takes to go all the way. They have a star studded team with many players whom feature in the English Premier League and many rate them as their favourites but it remains to be seen if they can do it. 


The money is on Germany though, they find themselves in Group C which features Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland. Seems pretty straight forward but don't write off any of the others, we all know what Ukraine are capable off and tournament debutantes Northern Ireland will have a point to prove in their first appearance in the continental competition. 


England find themselves in Group B, whilst everyone feels they should secure top spot, their other opponents, namely Russia, Wales and Slovakia will try to upset this notion. England with Roy at the helm have had a fair bit of luck in qualifying for the tournament and while people are taking bets on when England will get knocked out, many are keen to write off the stigma that is normally associated with the Three Lions, they squad, is young and full of talent and maybe this could be their year?


Finally Group F, another one that should be straight forward with Portugal looking to finish in the lead after the group stages, who will follow behind them is a tricky one, many tip Iceland but Hungary and Austria will have something else to say about that. One things for certain though, when Portugal eventually get knocked out, we will see Cristiano crying on the field. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bucket Seat: Mini Cooper Convertible


I've always spoken about the joy one gets when driving a Mini, it's a car unlike any other that gives the driver a sense of happiness when they're behind the wheel. It's small, fast and nimble, the short turning circle means tighter steering so it's almost like you're driving a go-kart and with the new engines the latest models have, whether you're driving the Cooper, Cooper S or JCW derivative, you're guaranteed to have sufficient power at any time, with any type of gear box. 


This past week I spent it driving around in the latest Mini Convertible, it essentially is everything I said above but you have the option to have a roof or not and that in Durban is a major plus. The east coast is proud to boast a winter that's not really winter, mornings and evenings have a slight chill but during the day, bright sunshine and warmth which is perfect conditions for a convertible and with that, the Mini came in very handy. 


Style
I, for one quite like the look of the new Mini, it's meant to be a small car but it's quite bold in it's design giving the impression that it's much bigger than it actually is. It's a fun car and everything that has to do with the design is just that, fun. The car I had was bright read and came fitted with the JCW kit which had all the sport goodness with a JCW front grille and bumper, bigger wheels fitted with JCW rims, the interior received the JCW treatment as well with sport seats, JCW steering and carbon finishes. I'm not quite sure what it is about Mini's, they are good looking cars but they're guaranteed to turn heads, where ever you go. with the folding roof, this just escalated attraction as people always asked to see what it looked like with the roof down. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige to their requests. The roof can also be opened slightly almost like a sunroof for the car if you don't feel like opening the entire thing.


Performance
As mentioned before, the engine line up in the Mini is excellent even the Cooper model which I had, comes fitted with the 1.5l Twin Power Turbo engine which gives you more than adequate power for this little car. Being a convertible, it is a bit heavier than your normal Mini and this is evident when cornering but on straight stretch this baby has no problem propelling itself to quite high speeds. There is slight turbo lag to it but nothing that will get you too bothered. Side note, the car sounds really good and that exhaust plays a tone that you don't get tired of hearing especially when you throw down the hammer but this affects your fuel consumption drastically!


Comfort
While the car is a 4 seater, it would take a group of very small individuals to sit in total comfort. Being 1.8m in height, I am forced to move my seat almost entirely back which negates any leg room for something sitting behind me, unless they have no limbs, then it would be fine but with the front passenger, we did manage to seat a passenger behind them with a slight compromise to the front passengers seat position but they were not in discomfort from this. The seats are really comfy and of high quality. If there's no one in the back, you can always make use of the wind breaker screen that comes with the car and folds up neatly so you can chuck it into the boot if not in use. 


Storage
What did surprise me about this model is that even thought it has a folding roof, it doesn't impact the storage space in the boot. It remains the same whether the roof is open or closed. The one problem I had with it is the door and access hatch, it could be a little bigger for slightly larger luggage to get in and out. Like I said the space is sufficient and you can get a lot of stuff in there but it's a mission to get it in! If that's not enough for you, you can always put stuff on the back seats and since they're bucket seats, it won't go rolling around the car. 


Extras
It's a Mini but lets not forget who's its relative is, the big boys from Germany so you can be rest assured that there is a significant extras list for every car. The car I had came with the JCW kit as mentioned before, heated seats, satellite navigation, Mini Connect which is like BMW Connected Drive, Harman Kardon sound system, automatic windscreen wipers, colour changing mood lighting, Bluetooth Telephone connectivity and audio streaming and heads up display which is pretty cool as it's a small screen that pops up when you switch on the car. Also a cool addition to the covertible is that you can choose to have the Union Jack imprint on your roof as an added extra. 


Verdict
In many of my Mini reviews before, I mentioned that the Mini was aimed more for the youth but given it's price tag and how much it's grown I don't see why adults can't enjoy them. I certainly did during my time. It does seem a bit gimmicky but that aspect also adds to the charm of the vehicle. What I do love a lot about the car is the high quality finishing, with many of the cars we get now, they have a lot of cheap plastics and make the car look and feel cheap but with this product you're getting what you paid for. Good quality finishes and a solid built car. I found it very difficult to get more than 400km from one tank but that could just be my heavy foot along with the automatic gear box but hey, I can't deny I didn't have fun driving every one of those kilometers. 


Specifications
  • 1.5 litre, 3 cylinder TwinPower Turbo
  • 6 speed automatic gear box
  • 100kW
  • 220Nm torque
  • Consumption: 5.1ltr/ 100km
  • Top Speed: 208kph
  • 0-100kph: 8.8 seconds 
  • Price: R397 000* (*excluding extras)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Choon: Muzzaik & Stadiumx - So Much Love


You've probably heard it on the radio or on a podcast of late but it's a popular one from Muzzaik and Stadium X. Bit of a different sound from Stadium X as we're used to high tempo and fast tracks from them but this one is more of a mellow beat and feel good vibe. The music video just dropped a couple weeks back and we have it for you today. 

                    

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bucket Tech: Huawei P9 - First Impressions


Last night saw the official launch of the Chinese mobile manufacturers flagship device, the P9 and along with it the P9 Plus and P9 lite and we were there to see what all the fuss was about. 


The biggest talking point about the phone is the dual lens technology, hence the hashtag #OO. Developed in conjunction with leading camera lens manufacturer Leica, Huawei is the first mobile device to make use of two lenses. Now you may ask yourself why? Well as Clement Wong of Huawei told us last night, it isn't just there for show. One lens captures the full colour image whilst the other captures in black and white, it then overlays the two for the final product and the results are astonishing to say the least.


Clarity and true colours like you have never seen before. They take things further with the camera with allowing the user a full manual mode where you can edit settings just like a professional DSLR. To prove that the camera is that good, they gave it to world renowned professional fashion photographer Ayaad Damouni and his pictures speak for themselves. 


Apart from a really great camera, the phone itself has lost alot of weight, it's much lighter than the P8 which made me wonder if it was in fact a full metal body but the build quality is still right up there as before. The phone is available in three finishes, all of high premium quality and 6 different colours. 


The user interface is pretty much the same as any other of their devices and for me is one of the better adoptions of the Android OS. Very easy to use and just works well in general. 


Battery life has been e better, not as great as the Mate 8 which claims to have a 2 day life span but let's hope the P9 has the same quick charge like it's bigger brother. 


The launch itself was a true reflection on the device and what it had to offer. It really is a major competitor to the other brands out there and if market share is anything to go by, the other brands need to be worried.