Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Corona Sunsets - Sessions


It's all going down on the 1st of April at Muldersdrift where Johannesburg is set to host the first installment of the Corona Sunsets Festivals of 2017 in South Africa. Since the Corona SunSets Festivals are all about loving and sharing, Corona will be bringing Robin Schulz down to Cape Town the day after the Festival in Johannesburg for a one-day only beach party that will end the summer off in the beautiful groovy way it began, with a Corona beach party. It's all going down at the Grand Beach Cafe in Granger bay on the 2nd of April with a stellar line up that could rival any festival. Joining international act Robin Schulz on stage is a number of top locat acts, consisting off, Timo ODV, Shaun Duvet, Dean Fuel, Richard Marshall and Ivan Turanjanin. 


Tickets are limited and are selling at R450 from the website, (booking fee not included)

For tabe bookings, contact: celebrate@grandafrica.com. 

Share your experience with #CoronaSunSetsZA and #ThisIsLiving on social media. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Choon: Tiesto - On My Way


It's been a while since we last featured the Dutch maestro on the blog, it just goes to show the new talent that is making its way onto the circuit. Tiesto is back though, with his new song featuring Bright Sparks "On My Way". The song has been out for a while now with him dropping it just towards the end of last year and getting loads of play earlier this year. The official music video dropped last month and is pretty cool as it features fans from around the world who were selected to join the legend for his birthday at Hakkasan in Las Vegas. The fans were asked to vlog their journey to Vegas and meeting up with the DJ for his celebrations, its a nice feel good song to get your week going. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bucket Seat: Maserati Ghibli


Last week I found myself in a very fortunate position, while seated in one of the most beautiful cars I have ever driven, the Maserati Ghibli. There's just so much history in that name, from their establishment in 1914 in the Italian town of Bologna, there was one key mission for them and it transpired into their tag line, "Luxury, sports and style cast in exclusive cars". And that's exactly what they've been doing for over the past 100 years, and doing it well. Whilst car enthusiast cast their eyes to the two giants of Italian motorcars in Maranello and Sant'Agata Bolognese, very rarely would they take note at what is coming out of the stable in Bologna. While Maserati now forms a sister company with Ferrari, the partnership has proved for the better, with shared technology in engines and engineering as well with the added bonus of Ferrari's F1 knowledge which has helped later generations of Maserati's compete with the other big boys on the market.


Maserati were synonymous in crafting sports, luxury vehicles and that trend has continued today with their fleet extending from Coupes, Convertibles to large and medium size luxury sedans, and not too long ago they launched their all new SUV, the Levante. Being a fan of large sedans, the Quattroporte was a firm favourite of mine for a while now, it's big, loud and fast but at the same time luxurious. So when Maserati re-launched the Ghibli a few years back, I was quite excited to see a somewhat smaller brother to the Quattroporte. It was very similar in looks but in a smaller frame but encapsulated everything about the brand and the heritage. I got to spend a few days with it during my stay in Cape Town this past week and to say I became infatuated with the car is an understatement.



STYLE

Where do I begin? This car just oozed style and everywhere I went it got the attention of many. The lines are clean and sophisticated with the right amount of elegance that just captures the eye in such a pleasant way. It's low stance gives it that sports car feel but the four doors make it known that is also for business and not for just for pleasure. Subtle details on the car just gives you an indication of the craftsmanship that go into the design of the Ghibli, from the sculpted rear end to the trident badge which adorns the rear pillar of the back door. The three side vents that are place on either side of the car to allow for excess hot air to escape from the engine bay look rather like an accessory than it serving a functional purpose. Everything about the design just flows and works, it really is something special to look at and I caught myself many a time just stopping to admire it. There's various customisations for every Ghibli, from the outside to the interior, ensuring your one is unique to your taste and style.


COMFORT

Italians are known for their quality and this transpires into the cabin of the Ghibli, its a lap of luxury couple with style that only the Italians could get right. Exotic materials and leather make up most of the cabin with the embossed trident proudly on each of the front head rests. The interior plays a major role in setting the Ghibli apart from much of its competitors. The high quality finishes are everywhere to be seen, with perfect stitching throughout the cabin. The large infotainment screen is simple and easy to use. There were some features that I felt the car lacked, for example, heating and cooling seats but it really wasn't a major train smash that the car didn't have them as it had many other bells and whistles. Electronic adjustable memory seats, active cruise control were just some of them. Even with the low ride height and sports suspension, there was no compromise on the quality of the ride comfort and it was something that just astounded me through out my time with the car.


PERFORMANCE

The main talking point, the engine! The Ghibli is powered by a 3 liter twin turbo V6 engine which in fact is made by Ferrari. Although it is a quite powerful unit, the Ghibli isn't as fast as one would expect it to be, the power output derived from the engine is 330bhp, with 243kW and 450Nm of torque. There are other cars in a similar segment that are faster but with the Ghibli, the responsiveness of the engine coupled with the fine tuned exhaust make for a symphony of sound to your eyes, which is elevated when switched over to Sport mode. It is probably one of the best sounding cars around, the noise that come out of those pipes are music to any car enthusiasts ears. But that's not to say the Ghibli is a slouch, it does hunt down the tarmac quite fast and while there is a slight lag in the turbo on normal mode, this dissipates quite quickly when sport mode is engaged. The handling is superb and can be done with one hand but it is not advised. The large aluminium paddles behind the steering wheel give you this race car feel as you flick through the 8 speed gear box while the car devours the road in front of it.


STORAGE

Now being a sports car, you won't expect much but the Ghibli has a rather large loading capacity, the boot is huge! You can easily fit more than one golf bag in there and on the inside you will find various storage compartments for different things. The glove box even has a switch for it to be cooled should you want to store any items that need to be kept cool. With this, the car did display more and more reason as to why it could be an every day car to use. 


TECH

As mentioned the Ghibli is packed with features, they could have done slightly better with the infotainment screen, not that it doesn't work well but it just feels a bit generic. The reverse camera quality is also one that needs a mention, while you can see where you are going it could be of better resolution. The cars instrument panel is simple yet striking and bares a resemblance to the one in the Quattroporte, the information screen in the middle can give the driver various information about the car with the flick of a button on his steering wheel. Dual Climate control for the front passengers as well as vents at the back for its occupants, of which I tested quite a lot with the ongoing heatwave in the Western Cape. The car has various ports and blue-tooth connectivity and a banging standard sound system, should you wish to upgrade to something louder, there are options with Bowers and Wilkins as well as Harman Kardon on the list. Glass sunroof with easy to use switches for me are a must and it's great that the test car I had, came with it. 


VERDICT

The brands mission statement is "Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, and effortless, signature sound power." and Maserati have not only done this but it's done brilliantly. While many out there may look at the price and be put off but one has to understand the league in which such a vehicle sits in. Whilst there might be cheaper alternatives, the character that the Ghibli has, is severely lacking in many of the others. Also the owner will have a greater sense of appreciation in the product he's paying for. What Maserati have done with the Ghibli is so much more than just make another car, they've made a masterpiece for it's owner to enjoy and boast about.

SPECIFICATION

 Engine
 3.0 litre, Twin Turbo V6
 Gear Box
 8 speed automatic with paddle shift
 Power
 243kW
 Torque
 450Nm
 Top Speed
 230km/h
 0-100km
 5.5  seconds
 Price
 R 1,470,840























Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Krispy Kreme Durban


Well if you didn't know already, Krispy Kreme has hit the East Coast of South Africa! Yes, the doors were officially open to the public this morning at 7am and judging by the mass sleep-out over night, many of the locals couldn't wait to get their hands on the sugary goodness! I was lucky enough to attend the VIP opening on Monday night where members of the media and local celebs got to experience not only the delicious selection of donuts and drinks but also go behind the scenes to see how the donuts are made!


With much fanfare, the VIP opening was all that it was hyped up to be, with local artists consisting of Kyle Deutsch, DJ Deemo and Sketchy Bongo wowing the crowds with their chart topping hits and the Fudart food truck providing mouth watering burgers to whet the appetites of the guests before the opening of the store. Guests were then led in by limited numbers so they could get the full Krispy Kreme experience. Servers greeted us with big smiles and asked us to select any 12 donuts of our choice to fill up the dozen box, the selection is phenomenal! From the original glazed to the gourmet, of which the New York Cheesecake was my favourite, everything was packed and fresh! Along with our box of 12, each guest received a dozen of original glaze to go along with it. 


Next up was choosing our beverage of choice, Krispy Kreme is renowned for their great coffee's which compliment their donuts oh so well but being Durban, I needed something to cool me down from the humidity. They have a great range of chilled drinks too, I opted for the Peanut butter & cookie milkshake which was incredible! We were then given a guided tour of the kitchen, which started off with the making of the dough for the great donuts, it then gets put into the giant donut making machine, called the 270, which can make 3274 donuts in an hour on full production! The dough makes it way through the cutters which cut and shape it, it then goes through the proving conveyor and then dropped into the hot oil river, flipped over to ensure even frying and then almost immediately gets galzed to seal in that freshness and great flavour. It is essentially ready to eat right then but they pass through a cooler which cools them down for further prep. 


For the gourmet donuts, they then get taken to different stations for the various toppings. I tried my hand and making a few and I have to say, it's a skillful art that needs lots of patience and lots of practice to perfect! Working with the delicate donuts is no easy feat as I learned the hard way with my first failed attempt but eventually I sort of got the hang of it and got a thumbs up from Kwanele my helpful supervisor. All in all it was a great experience and a fantastic way to summon the opening of a great global franchise on our door steps. I can foresee myself going back again and again for more Krispy Kremey goodness, and if you're in the Umhlanga area, be on the look out for the "Hot Now" red sign, which this is switched on, it means there is fresh donuts in production!



Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Choon: Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Jack Wins Remix)


His album was just released over a week ago and has already hit record sales, he's probably one of the biggest artists at the moment and one of the greatest song writers. He wrote the original song for Rihanna but after sitting with his management, they advised that he use the song for himself. After going back and changing it to suit him, the song was released and his management proved him wrong. Shape of you has since hit highs in all the major charts and has since received a fair bit of remix treatments, none come close to the Jack Wins Remix though, and we got it for you this week!



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bucket Babe: Matachley Salmon

2017 seems to be wasting little time as we're already in March, while the summer heat still continues warm most parts of the country, the heat on the blog is equally scorching and that is mainly thanks to our featured model. She's been burning up the ramps in Europe, walking for various designers and she returned back to SA to continue staking her claim on the catwalk at the local fashion weeks. While still young she's accomplished a lot in her career so far and strives to do more and in turn pass on her knowledge to young aspiring models. She loves to eat and can make a mean sandwhich, not mention has good taste in cars too but let me keep quiet and let her tell you more...

Matachley Salmon

Tim Hulme Photography
Bio

I'm 22, born and raised in Pretoria, and currently a full time model based in Johannesburg. I've traveled abroad to Portugal, Milan and Singapore. My career came about when I was one of the Top 10 finalists in the 2013 Elite Model Look competition, where I was offered my international contract.

I've walked in Portugal and Lisbon fashion week abroad and locally I've walk in South Africa fashion week and Mercedes-Benz Africa, Johannesburg and Cape Town fashion week. Fashion week is my favorite time of the year. Locally I've done a few small campaigns, editorials, features and shoots such as Top Billing, MTN, DeKat magazine, SABC Trendz, People Magazine, Suzaan Heyns and I do quite a few runway shows. I was voted one of the Top 25 new faces of Joburg in 2015 by Gaschette. In 2015 I had the privilege of walking for Carolina Herrra for her Breast Cancer awareness show in SA and had the honor of meeting her. That's somewhat of my career in a nutshell. 


Tim Hulme Photography
My hobbies include trying out new restaurants, food markets and cooking (I love eating!), shopping, watching movies/ series, playing games  like board and card games, and drinking wine!

Goals for the future is to be a runway and events producer, and marketer. I want to incorporate my love for the industry with producing. I'd love to have my own model academy one day, to coach young aspiring models and share my knowledge and experience about the industry. 

I'm currently taking part in the World Swimsuit competition and will appreciate all votes and support, you can vote for me by following this link: Profile: Matachley Salmon


Merwelne van der Merwe for Top Billing and DeKat Magazine

Links

MatachleyMatachley Salmon@matachley

Q&A


1. Hot girls and hot cars go hand in hand, what ride would you like to  see yourself in?
  • Definitely the BMW 1 series coupe, but I think it's call the 2 series now.
2. What sandwich are you most likely to make for me? and will it be toasted or plain?
  • Ham, cream cheese and basil on some health bread with lots of black pepper, I'm obsessed. Toasted for sure!
3. Everyone loves popcorn (well I think they do) what is your topping/ sprinkle of choice?
  • Oh yes popcorn is my favorite snack. At home I put Himalayan salt on (health conscious( but when I decided to cheat a little my choice is sour cream and chives.
4. Dream cover shoot?
  • Vogue or Harper's Bazaar
5. If given a choice, full time model or full time executive, what would you choose?
  • Full time model.
6. Growing up you must have had someone you aspired to be, so who is your role model?
  • My mom, she's the ultimate mom and has inspired me so much growing up.
7. Anyone holding that hand yet? or is it available?
  • Yes, happily for 3 years now and still going strong.
8. Obviously being a female you would love fashion. Favourite label/ designer?
  • Favorite design is Balmain and Elie Saad, and my favorite label to wear would be Topshop and River Island.
9. What type of music gets your booty shaking?
  • I'm a bit weird when it comes to music, I'm a fan of so many different genres, but deep house and house music is my booty shaking music.
10. Which city is your dream party destination?
  • Ibiza or Mykonos!!



Tim Hulme Photography


Tim Hulme Photography


Tim Hulme Photography


SDR Photo for MBFW Jhb


Tim Hulme Photography


Planet Ivan for SAFW


Troy Lee


Tim Hulme Photography


Troy Lee

Mo Magic: Moments of Wonder


Durban's very own Magician extraordinaire is back to mesmerize and mystify local audiences and leave them spell bound in a new show featuring brand new acts. Fresh from his recent trip to Las Vegas and Hollywood, Mo Magic ready to take audiences through his world class magic, mystifying mentalism, incredible illusions and family friendly comedy in a 90 minute interactive performance themed "Moments of Wonder", all taking place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from the 9th to the 12th of March. Themed around the concept of wonder, he points out that we as human experience "wonder" on a daily basis in different forms, e.g. whilst watching movies, listening to music, spending time with loved ones and whilst watching the sun rise or set. he takes a number of these scenarios and creates magic with them, putting his own spin on them, and shares these moments of wonder with the audience. The magician does not want to give too much away and would rather the audience experience the magic for themselves in his latest theatre production. 

"Moments of Wonder" will run from the 9-12 March 2017 at the Elizabeth Sneddon theatre (UKZN campus), the moves to the Hexagon theatre in Pietermaritzburg (UKZN) from the 30 March - 1 April. Mo's previous theatre productions ("Amazing You!" in 2012 and "Mo Magic" in 2016) were sell out successes and ticket s for this run of "Moments of Wonder" are limited. Book your tickets early and be part of the magic. Tickets start from R100 and are available at Computicket, Shoprite & Checkers. 


Those details again:

Performance Dates and Times: Thursday 9 March, Friday 10 March, Saturday 11 March: 8pm
                                                   Sunday 12 March: 3pm

Running Time: 1h30min
Tickets at Computicket:            R100, R120 & R140
No under 6's
No admittance after start of performance.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Monday Choon: Zara Larsson - Ain't My Fault (Yannik Fischer Remix)


Zara Larsson, the 19 year old Swedish singing sensation who first gained popularity after wining her countries equivalient to og 'Got Talent", since then not only has she been hitting the charts in her home country but around the world to. Zara's voice has mesmerised many, its young and powerful which captivates you from the first word you hear her sing, while she isn't in the EDM industry, this pop sensation was bound to get some of her work remixed, one of her first songs to be remixed and reach global acclaim was "I Would Like" but today's featured track is one of her latest singles, "Ain't my fault" which recieved the Yannik Fischer rework, the DJ from Germany who is quite lesser known had this remix played on Tiesto's Clublife podcast and since the remix has taken off. It's a great remix of a great track and definitely a club thumper of note, so turn up the bass when listening to this one. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bucket Seat: Lexus IS200t


When it comes to luxury car makers, the D Segment is by far their most popular range. Many term this their "bread and butter", as these models tend to be the perfect entry level car among prospective buyers. It's affordable and the with the seemingly endless options, it can extend from a basic model right up to high end one that rival cars in the segments above. The competition has always been a tough one and most of the time, the German trio seem to have the biggest say if one has to look at the sales over the years but what if the alternatives were better? Step in Lexus, Toyota's luxury division, whilst many associate the brand for being "boring", purely because of one egocentric television presenter, I think the brand is anything but.


Ever since Lexus brought the IS range into the country, they kept things plain and simple with just two models at the time, the IS200S and the IS200SE, with both cars offering the end buyer a host of  features, most of which would be deemed extras in the German contenders, and we all know how much extras amount to in them.  Fast forward to today and not much has changed, the new revised Lexus IS range that has just hit the country offers three variants, the IS200t E, IS200t EX and the IS350 F-Sport. I first caught a glimpse of the revised IS at last years SA Festival of Motoring in Kyalami and was taken away by the car, I had the opportunity to spend a week with the IS200t E and can't say it was easy letting go of the key when I had to return it.


STYLE

While previous IS models were good looking, there was a subtle nature to their design, with clean lines, nothing over the top but still maintain that elegance it deserved. I'm not sure if the designers at Lexus ate too much wasabi or had a few extra shots of Saki when they went into designing this one because it's completely different to what we would normally expect from the Japanese manufacturer. Lexus call it their "L Finesse design language", I just call it shockingly stunning. I say shockingly because there is nothing cautious or "boring" about it. Everything about the cars design philosophy needs to be admired, from the spindle grille, the split front headlamps, the sharp and edgy lines cutting its way across the car to the back , where this is continued with the rear lights that slice it's way into the bumper. It's all finished off well with a dark grey 17" alloy wheels with option for bigger ones if you want. It's drastic, its in your face and I love it! It's eye catching but not something that will hurt you eyes but rather something that you'd stare at while sitting in your car and make you wish your car looked half as good as it. It almost reminds me of a samurai warrior for some reason, sharp, agile and quick and that's just going on looks.


COMFORT

While I could go on about the exterior, the interior deserves some talking about as well. For me, the driver is the most important person in the car and very few cars give that feeling, with the IS it is very evident. It has a very driver focused cockpit with everything within's arm reach of you, it is the only place you'd want to sit in the car...actually I don't think I sat in any other seat in my time with it but I have it on good authority that the back seats are quite comfortable and spacious from the many people that I have given a ride to in the week. The finishes and materials used in the car are all high end and of great quality, and it's all done at their award winning Tahara plant. I mean the place it's being made in has won awards so you know you're product is going to be of high quality. It's the simple things that win you over in the car, if you follow me on Snapchat, you would have saw me mention how great the steering wheel feels, seriously do yourselves a favour and go find a Lexus IS and feel the how awesome the steering wheel feels. I'd suggest you go to a showroom as asking an owner might seem a bit creepy. The ride quality on the car is great, with it having double wishbone suspension upfront and multi-link at the back this ensures a smooth ride. There is little to no engine noise in the cabin and with dual zone climate control, the temperature can be set to suit everyone's needs. I also love the controls for them, as you just run your finger up or down the lengthy control. The car also comes with heating and cooling seats, which prove to be a winner in Durban with the extreme heat and humidity.  


PERFORMANCE

Its the first time Lexus has added a turbo engine to its local line up, and it's about time they did with the other manufacturers taking advantage of this over the years. The engine is a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, inline arrangement with D-4ST (Direct injection 4-stroke) with a maximum power output of 180kW @ 5800rpm, pushing out 350Nm of torque. The car has three driver settings, Eco, Normal and Sport, driving around urban areas, the Eco mode shines through, with low fuel usage, power when you need it with an extremely quiet and gentle ride, almost as if you're floating around. The Normal mode gives you slightly higher revs and quicker reaction time but at times it also switches automatically to Eco mode when the car feels it could use less power than actually needs, a great feature to help you save fuel. There is a slight turbo lag if you want to get off a standing start quickly but that is reduced quite a bit when flicked over into sport mode, naturally this makes the car very thirsty so just watch your foot. It's so much fun though, slap the gear selector into manual mode, and take charge of the gear changes with the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel and it will make you feel like a race car driver. Once going in any mode, the car picks up pace very quickly so you got to keep and eye on the counter. All in all, this engine packs quite punch but at the same time is the perfect all rounder for a car like this. 


TECH

Like I said, Lexus is known to have most features that other manufacturers would deem optional extras as standard in their models. As previously mentioned, the IS has heated and cooling seats, standard, as well as dual zone climate control, standard. Advanced energy saving LED headlamps, standard, 8-way electrically adjustable seats with driver lumbar support, standard and the list goes on though there were a few things that I thought the they could have included as standard feature which were missing. PDC's is one of them, with most cars these days, its almost becoming essential and with the design of the car, its not that easy to judge how far away you are from objects, so even if I'm pushing it, a reverse camera? Most Corolla's have that as a standard feature now so you'd think it would be in a Lexus. Anyway, that is about the only low point I have with the car. The standard sound system the car comes with is impressive as well, a 10 speaker audio system with full iPod integration and 2 USB ports with an added auxiliary port. The IS also comes with Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming so there really isn't a need for all the wires. 


VERDICT

Everything about the brand is personified by it's slogan, "The pursuit of perfection" and it shines through in their products. This model is a revised version of the IS but to show you how they focus on not just improving their product but the intricacies they go through to make it perfect is mind blowing, here's an excerpt from the brochure "we've moved the driver's seat hip point backwards by 18mm and lowered it by 9mm, and raised the steering wheel pitch by 3 degrees" . Millimeters, that is the level of detail they go to, to ensure the product they send out is perfect in their eyes and it's something that I admire about Lexus. Whilst the cars price range is a bit more than its competitors, one must remember what you're getting in the IS200t E as apposed to the others, for me personally, I think this is the best all round purchase for the D Segment category and a complete package if I may call it that.


SPECIFICATIONS


 Engine
 2.0 litre, 4 Cylinder
 Gear Box
 8 speed automatic with paddle shift
 Power
 180kW
 Torque
 350Nm
 Top Speed
 230km/h
 0-100km
 7.0 seconds
 Price
 R601 900* 

*Base price.