I am so excited to introduce you to this fantastic conceptual artist I recently met, Xander Ferreira, aka Gazelle. From the southern tip of Africa comes a new sound, moving and shaking the earth as it crosses distant lands. An eclectic mix of mysticism from the dark continent, psychedelic visions of Afro-futurism, theatre and music. Gazelle is colorful part of the African Renaissance promoting the growth and worldview of any African born art. Apart from a fresh mixture of sound, a strong visual performance involving various artists and dancers makes it a very entertaining theatrical show. Combining influences from funk, reggae, disco, 80’s electropop and traditional African melody, the sound comes alive in a fresh genre.
The group was born in 2006 following a long journey of discovery in music. Xander Ferreira, the founding member, started his journey as a reggae singer known as the White Lion. Originally from a remote part of South Africa, close the border of Mozambique, he grew up being a part of authentic South African culture in confusing but colorful times. Gazelle had it’s breath of life when Xander started experimenting with producing a mixture of organic and electronic music. Mixing an element of Reggae Dub and Electro something fresh was found. Joining forces with dj extraordinaire and music producer Nick Matthews, Gazelle became a powerful production duo.
Greatest inspirations Xander?
From different places within all the art forms that I practice. I look at people that made something in the past inspirational but also keep an open mind to anything new that comes my way. From the smallest detail on the street to the most amazing sight. I am a lover of film, architecture, typography, theatre, performance and any mind feeding art work. In music it has been bits an pieces from all over, a fruit salad of Fela Kuti, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Afrika Bambaata, Boney M, Bob Marley and so many others.
How would you describe your music?
We had to make up a genre for that one....we call it LIMPOP....a fusion of contemporary and retro sounds with African influence. A mixture between Tropical Electro, Funk, Disco, Reggae and Traditional African music.
How would you describe your art?
I'm a conceptual artist exploiting various mediums ranging from staged performance, installation, photography and video to manifest social statement. Looking at the endless ongoing process of action as a fundamental point through impact on the public. Challenging Social and Political Issues is the core of my work. Engaging the viewer and the media to become a part of the process and essentially the art piece itself.
Your favorite artists/musicians and why?
My contemporary artist and friends such as-
- Athi Patra Ruga,
- Mustafa Maluka
- Micheal Mcgarry -that keeps the inspiration coming.
- But I look also to people that made me stop in my tracks when I discovered them like Jean Michelle Basquiat because he was on a mission and did not compromise.
- In many of my still imagery I love my surrealism, so I'm a Dali fan
- Fela Kuti since he was someone that saw the true meaning of being a musician.
- For the fun and comedy in human motion I love the french film director Jaques Tati.
- Guy Bourdin and Peter Beard photography
How is New York inspiring you?
The city certainly feels like a place where one can really feel the pulse of the world... A place of a high level of creation, so it pushes you to do more and better... Every one's on a mission, and I like that since I find having a mission is important.. So yes it is inspiring but I bring my real inspiration from other places and create more here and showcase it.
Anything else you'd like to share with our audience?
' Aid is a selfish temporary solution fueled by pity and greed, Help is an unselfish permanent solution driven by respect and passion.'