Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday Choon: Avicii Remembered

Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii sadly passed away last Friday, he was found dead in his hotel room in Muscat, Oman. He was just 28 years old and had already accomplished so much in his short time on earth. The Swedish producer come DJ was a cult legend in the EDM world, he was fearless, bold and always pushed the boundaries in an industry where many chose to be comfortable in a set style they had. My first recollection of his music came in 2010, back when people still watched MTV, they had a Dance Floor Chart every Friday night, I used to watch it religiously. While they only featured 10 tracks a week, it was the top 10 at the time, and an unknown artist was featured as a new entry, Tim Berg - Seek Bromance. If you think the title of the track was odd, watch the music video and be even more perplexed, but back then all music videos were a bit weird but the music was ace. It was a time where EDM was just known as Dance music and there was no division over genre's. This track was epic though, something that was different to what everyone else was making, a new sound, a great beat which was catchy and hence got him quite high up the charts very quickly

In 2011 the world was introduced to Avicii, Tim at the time had many stage names but this one seemed to have stuck and with it he released possibly one of his greatest tracks ever. He himself knew he had a brilliant creation but I don't think he could have fathomed how much of an impact that song would have had worldwide, the song was Levels. That song elevated him into instant stardom, he was 22 years old and already getting bookings all over the world. He toured South Africa in March of 2012 and I was very fortunate to have seen him play live, in his prime at the Wavehouse in Gateway. He played Levels 3 times that night but I don't think anyone cared, he had us going and we were loving it. I was slightly disappointed that he didn't play his New Generation Mix of Nadia Ali's hit track, Rapture at the show. It was also released about the same time as Levels and still to this day I rate as one of the best remixed tracks made. 

Avicii's tour to South Africa came a week just after he killed Ultra Miami in 2012, if anything was an indication of how big these Swedish talent was, it was that festival. At the time he collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, let a lone electronic music. He had made songs with Lenny Kravitz, Alesso, Nicky Romero and even Madonna! He got Madonna to Ultra Miami in 2012. The production team behind the event said it was the biggest star they've had at the festival and I'm sure still is that way. While his track with Madonna "Girl Gone Wild" was pretty epic, his track with Lenny Kravitz, "Super Love" was everything at the time and even featured on the Ultra Miami Aftermovie. 

Many lauded his bold approach at trying new things with his music. As mentioned, he didn't conform himself to one set style, while his music was easily identifiable he always liked to mix around with other genre's and see how he could adapt that to his music. Hence in 2013 at Ultra Miami, he shocked the whole EDM world, when his set began with an unplugged version of "Wake Me Up", the crowd was left a bit dumbfounded, as this was the first time we've heard the track and it wasn't anything remotely close to dance music. It was more Country Western, I still recall listening to the podcast and wondered if someone was playing a prank and uploaded something from Tim McGraw. I loath country music so for me, that set was a write-off. I thought to myself, how can someone blow peoples minds the one year, then go and do that the next year? Many felt the same but slowly as the year went on, people realised there was a deeper meaning to his music. I still wasn't a fan though.

Over the next few years, he spent a lot of time touring, while still working on new music. His music hit a high commercial level where almost every radio station was playing it, more so than clubs. Had he succumbed to the commercial Devil? Whereby he made music just for the airplay and money instead of making it for the sheer joy and enjoyment? It's a bit of a harsh comment, I know but it sure felt that way but it wasn't. If you just have a look at all the music he made, it followed a pattern and this was just one of the phases of that pattern. Slowly in 2017 a new sound was transitioning from him, when he released the track "Without You", I heard it on a podcast from another famous DJ, I instantly took a liking to it, it came as a nice surprise to see Avicii on the artist profile. Maybe it's just from my age, that the maturity of the song appealed to me but I was very happy to have Avicii back on my playlist. 

One of his last song's he made that still features on my play list is a collaboration he did with Rita Ora, again just shows you the pull he had with working from artists outside the EDM sphere. It was more Pop than EDM but again, it had the unmistakable Avicii signature to it, you could feel that he was onto something great. His management have come out and said that there was an album he was working on, which was almost complete, so lets hope they somehow get to finish it and let the world celebrate his last achievement. Thank you Avicii, for your music and your legacy that you leave behind. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bucket Babe: Emelia Vermeulen

First things first, this post may be because it's my birthday as a gift to you, the readers and no I did not wait for four months to post it and no the number of local born beauties didn't dry out like the water in the Western Cape, there are still plenty of those in our land and they all waiting to be featured. Today's featured model comes from the City of Roses, and she herself personifies the rose, in both beauty and appeal. She's been in the industry from a young age and has traveled far and wide but business is where her heart lies, for someone who doesn't classify herself as a petrol head, she sure does have great taste in cars. Her skills in the kitchen need to be admired as well, reading about that sandwich had me drooling on my keyboard, and don't judge her for her popcorn antics, as we all do it too. Anyway, that's enough from me, here is this months featured model...

Oh and, please vote for her in the World Swimsuit model search, link is below!

Emelia Vermeulen


Hi! I'm Emelia. I'm from a small town in the States...well, the Free State, called Bloemfontein. We've got a whole lot of students, farms and, of course - The Supreme Court of Appeal, BOOM!

However, being such a nomad I have pretty much lived all over the world. I'm totally a lone wolf, which affords me the luxury of travelling alone and making friends wherever I go. I have always been a curious individual and tend to get bored really quickly. I started modelling when I was 14, you could say I've been doing this for more than half my life. (Not giving my age away at all, or am I...)

Modelling has provided a fun way of earning money while I travel the world and meet interesting (and sometimes bizarre) people.  

My hobbies mainly focus around health and fitness; I enjoy running, horse riding, yoga and ballet. Oh, and recently I've made good friends with the Pole, totally for fitness reasons of course. I mean, who doesn't like a girl who can do the splits on a pole or an inverted helicopter. I just love pushing my own limits and mastering a new craft. 

When I have lot on my mind I like to take out a canvas and paint (with brushes, not my fingers). I find it helps me to release frustration. I am very much focused on my career, nothing comes close to the feeling of closing a deal, or two, or three - hey, I'm an overachiever. There is truly nothing more rewarding than being respected for your ability and knowledge in your field. I have  afew goals ahead of me, one will be the launch of a new company - however, sshhhh, its my little secret for now!

I've entered the World Swimsuit competition as it's always been a dream of mine to shoot for Sports Illustrated, I'm putting myself out there and going ALL IN!



As Emelia stated, she is in the running for the World Swimsuit Model search, so help her out by casting some votes for her. :


1. Hot girls and hot cars go hand in hand, what ride would you like to  see yourself in?
  • I'm not much of a petrol head but I drive like the devil so therefore the Mclaren 570S or the Jaguar F-Type would be my kind of ride. I would drive it like I stole it. Hello autobahn!
2. What sandwich are you most likely to make for me? and will it be toasted or plain?
  • It would be a toasted gourmet sandwich. Bacon, caramelised onions, brie, avocado and rocket. No one likes a basic B*tch or a basic sandwich. 
3. Everyone loves popcorn (well I think they do) what is your topping/ sprinkle of choice?
  • Salt and vinegar or sometimes I might lightly salt it and pour a box of Astros. Don't look at me with that judgmental tone of dace. Pfft!
4. Dream cover shoot?
  • GQ, I think that's pretty much every girl's dream, except in my dream I am sharing the cover with that hottie, Chris Hemsworth. 
5. If given a choice, full time model or full time executive, what would you choose?
  • I have done the full time modelling thing for many years and though it's great to travel and to experience the finer things in life, it's not something that can be sustained forever. I love the idea of having a career and being an independent and successful business woman. Being a powerful female in a man's world is much more rewarding than being a sex symbol who relies on their looks to get things done. I still love modelling and shoot when I can, I just think that woman should empower themselves with a career that taps into their gidts and purpose so that you don't need a man to provide for you. Independence is sexy.
6. Growing up you must have had someone you aspired to be, so who is your role model?
  • My role models changed a lot throughout the years. When I was a teenager I would aspire to be like people who I regarded as attractive, however, I soon learned that the real heroes were not those who were beautiful and famous, it was actually those who had made something of themselves against all odds. I love people like JK Rowling who wouldn't allow rejection to define her, who persisted and made their dreams a reality in spire of everything they had against them. I admire people that can turn their lives around after battling through addiction and eating disorders. People like that are admirable, definitely not those Kardashians.
7. Anyone holding that hand yet? or is it available?
  • There's no ring on my finer if that's what you want to know? Come on guys, you need to up your game ;).
8. Obviously being a female you would love fashion. Favourite label/ designer?
  • Okay so I am a shoes and lingerie kind of girl so I would prefer a pair of Jimmy Choo's, Christian Louboutins and Victoria Secret over a dress any day.
9. What type of music gets your booty shaking?
  • My taste in music is very diverse but if I wanted to dance it would probably be to some sexy hip hop beat. At the moment I've got "Lemon" by N.E.R.D and Rihanna playing in my car. Apparently I'm very entertaining to my neighbors in traffic. The 50 Shades Soundtrack is also quite hot.
10. Which city is your dream party destination?
  • I love the exotic so it would probably be on some island like Kuta Beach in Bali or San Juan del Sur - Nicaragua. I wouldn't mind trying Rio out either.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bucket Seat: BMW M2 Competition - First Impressions

When it comes to "pocket rocket" performance cars, one doesn't look to far from the BMW M2, as it has everything a motor sport enthusiast would need in a small sized performance sedan/coupe. But when the M2 was released, there was already a lot pressure on it to deliver, following in the footsteps of the much praised 1M was not going to be easy and while it did do a great job, many felt that there was that margin for improvement as you could get the M240i and still have as much fun with it as well. Obviously this got to the engineers in BMW and what that transpired to is the BMW M2 Competition. 

Like the M3, M4 and recently announced M5 Competition, the baby in the stable gets a beefed up version of the M Performance variant and boy does it sounds good!  The M2 Competition will feature a new six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology based on the power unit from the BMW M3/M4. So essentially they doing what they did with the 1M, giving it the 3L motor from the M3, tweaking it to suit the M2 frame and wheelbase and all this results to 302kW and 500Nm of torque! The claimed 0-100km/h time is 4.2 seconds which is about 0.1 seconds faster than a standard M2 but a buyer of the M2 Competition would know that you're not just buying this car for straight line speed. 

The car features high-precision CFRP strut and bulkhead strut for increased front section rigidity, a new cooling system, including new front skirt and larger, redesigned BMW kidney in high-gloss black. The car also has a new dual exhaust system with two electronically controlled flaps to optimise noise on them. The cars true potential lies on the track, where it was made for. In terms of design, it might not look that much distinctive to the normal M2 but subtle differences do make the cars appearance more sporty. Like the front angled scoops which help with aerodynamics as well as air intake for cooling. New multi-spoke Competition rims. The large kidney grilles as mentioned before and a fatter rear diffuser which adds to the cars bulky appearance and gives it a more aggressive look. 

The M2 Competition will be available in SA from September this year, no indication on the price yet but be expected to cough out over a million for this one. Is it worth it? Well if you look at the cars it's competing against, the RS3 Sedan comes to mind and the CLA45 which the new one hasn't been released yet, and after this move by BMW you can bank on a CLA45S model coming. But overall, yes, BMW had a good car with the M2, and for those who felt it was lacking, this should be the remedy it needed. The car looks great, figures on paper are great and I'm sure it will be stellar to drive. Love it or hate it, I can guarantee you that order books will be filling up fast for this one. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday Choon: Clean Bandit, Julia Michaels - I Miss You (Kryder Remix)

Remix's for me can go one of two ways, really good or really bad, there is no in-between especially when the track you're remixing is already good. I've heard my fair share of terrible remixes over the years and often wondered what the hell were these guys thinking, and some were down by respectable artist in the industry. Now, enough with the complaining, as you can gather today's featured song is a remix, and it's of the track "I Miss You" by Clean Bandit featuring Julia Michaels. The song on its own is a great track, but I stumbled upon the Kryder Remix last week and ever since have got it on repeat. It's simply brilliant, from the build-ups, to the underlying beat, the speed-up of the tempo really gets you into the track. It gets you going in stages and that for me is ultimately what remixes should do. From the fades to the added electro backdrop beat, this song has hit the nail on the head for me and I'm ready to put it down as one of the remixes of the year. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bucket Seat: 2018 Ford Focus - First Impressions

Ford yesterday showcased their latest Focus range which included the much loved hatch, sedan, station wagon and for the first time, a Focus based cross-over. With the C-Segment market hotting up over the past few years, there have been a few front runners in the market, with VW still being firm favourite going just by purchases. No doubt the Golf has a mighty heritage and many have tried to out do the German's with their own variants. While consumers might have blind faith in one company, its always worth a look at what competitors are doing. Ford have been one of the stronger few over the past decade or more, with their Focus proving to be stiff competition, both in their guise and their sport offerings in the ST and RS models. Built in several plants around the globe, the Focus still remains a predominately UK based model from the American Motor giant. So a lot of this car is molded to the European market and needs. 

Looking at this new model, the design is fresh but still resembles the outgoing model. The car is more sleeker than the older shape, more straight lines and smoother curves, the rear more is elegant and protruding bumper and diffuser gives it that sporty look. In the hatch, it looks like there are two option packages to chose from, the ST Line which offers the customer a sporty look, with blacked out trapezoid front grille, winged type molds at the fog lamps, large five spoke rims, blacked out rear diffuser and twin chrome exhaust pipes. This will definitely be a hit in the local market, as trends show our consumers to opt for the sports packs when it comes to buying new cars. The other option being the Vignale, which is sort of their "Luxury" package, key features are the chrome front grille, silver and chrome trimmings throughout the car, multi-spoke silver rims and dual chrome exhaust pipes on the rear. For some reason I'm preferring this Vignale over the ST Line, both look great but maybe it's the old man in me that is opting for luxury over sport.

Ford also showed their other variants of the Focus range, the Sedan, which in the pictures sports Chinese plates, not sure if this is an indication that the model will only be available in China, seeing that certain manufacturers opt to do this, as seen with BMW and their 1 Series Sedan. The Focus station Wagon is another model that I'm not sure will come to South Africa, for some reason Wagon's don't sell in the local market, most of the time these models make more sense to have but I guess purchases have to do with appeal and Wagon's lack that. 

The interior looks great and whilst similarities might be drawn to competitors models, there are some distinct differences in the Focus. The large 7" infotainment screen takes center stage in the cabin, which comes loaded with Ford Sync 3, which has Apple Car Play and Android Auto capabilities. There is a jog shuttle selector for those who don't want to touch the screen, also depending on the options you chose, there seems to be a host of other buttons below that, I'm guessing its for comfort modes and turning the stability control on and off. The Focus steering wheel has multifuction controls, and an optional heads up display. The interior upholstery has a few options for your fancy, with both leather and cloth on offer. 

There's a new model to get the Focus badge and that's the Ford Focus Active, which is their cross-over model. Looks wise, it looks superb, it's basically the Focus Hatch with some beef! It's height has been raised, given large rims, some brushed metal accessories and scuff plates giving it that rugged look. It's a model that will appeal to the adventure seeker, would have looked cool with some roof racks on it but not quite sure if Ford have plans for that. Also not sure if the car will be AWD, it would be cool if it was. Overall Ford have really upped the anti to this model segment, with VW planning to unveil the Golf 8 soon and with most of the world already surprised at Toyota's new Auris/ Corolla Hatch, it only adds more competition to this important sector. The Focus is set to be launched towards the end of 2018 in South Africa, when we get more details on the models, engines and pricing available here, we will let you know. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Monday Choon: Armin van Buuren vs Shapov - The Last Dancer

Following the trend of featuring new hits from Ultra Miami, here is another one that just came off the production line. It's the new one by legendary DJ Armin van Buuren which he worked with Russian producer Shapov to make this track. The track it self is great and you can identify the high energy style from Shapov with the uplifting trance from Armin's side. The multiple drops are the kicker to me, added to that the violins plus the bass just ties the entire song up so well. Armin dropped the track at the main-stage at Ultra where her invited Shapov onto stage to share the moment with him. We have that moment for you today, enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Bucket Tech: Huawei P20 Series SA launch

Last night saw the much anticipated local launch of Huawei's P Series smart devices, the launch focused on the P20 and the P20 Pro but another model which SA is also getting is the P20 Lite. All devices are available from today, countrywide at all mobile outlets. This is a significant feat from the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer as the devices were launched globally just last week in France. The affair was a glamorous one, with over 300 guests in attendance, all of which from different creative backgrounds and businesses, Huawei wanted to tell the nation what a great device it was bringing to our country. 

Huawei dubs this phone as the future of smartphone AI Photography, and if you look at the hardware the device has, along with it's AI capabilities, this is certainly a new benchmark for mobile cameras. As a test, Huawei gave the P20 Pro to a bunch of prolific Instagram users from all over the country, each with a particular feature to test on the device and the images that were capture were simply amazing. Many of them stated that with the P20 Pro in their pocket, they could not only capture the moment but with great detail as well. The camera on the P20 Pro is something to be admired, it is the first phone to use triple-lens technology, which was created with Leica, and is a 40MP camer that not only captures colours and details but also at a faster speed, thus minimizing the chances of blurred or shaky pictures.

"The P20 series is built on unprecedented AI advances, combining technology and art to bring to life a groundbreaking smartphone experience", says Akhram Mohamed, Marketing Director. "We are ushering in a new era of smartphone cameras that combine the very latest in smartphone technology with Leica Camera's legendary expertise, drive by artificial intelligence. Essentially, we give users the tools to achieve professional photography results with every single shot."

The P20 is not only a great device with great technology but it also looks stunning. The full view display, great unibody design that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and the colours it's available in, just exude class and art. It also is very fashionable as Huawei went to prove by joining forces with one of SA's leading fashion designers, Gavin Rajah who showcase a range of garments which were made using inspiration from the device. Overall, the P20 Pro looks like the phone to get and if you're a photo fundi, whether it be taking selfies, pictures of your food or a professional photographer, this device is for you! 

Price on the devices which as mentioned before are available from today are as follows. 

  • P20 Lite - R5,999
  • P20        - R12,999
  • P20 Pro - R15,499

Huawei is also offering a VIP service for their customers, giving them one free screen replacement as well as battery replacement within the first year of purchase, if done at one of their service centers, they also say that it would take just one hour. This also applies to their P10 and Mate 10 devices.  Huawei also announced its sponsorship of the new Survivor Philippines, which debuts on M-Net, on the 3rd of May at 7pm.