Multiplatinum producer and global superstar Diplo and longtime collaborator and director Shane McCauley today debut the second season of their ongoing project “Blow Your Head.” The latest installment comes in the form of a video magazine of six short-form documentaries profiling music and musicians around the world. Each episode focuses on a distinct scene or individual, and takes the crew to South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, NewOrleans and beyond. Watch the series here.
“For the last eight years I have been traversing the planet documenting emerging music cultures that I felt had distinct stories and lots of heart,” says McCauley, “Their music and culture tells the story of their environment, and often what they do goes on to influence pop culture on a global scale.’”
Episode one finds McCauley in Johannesburg, South Africa with the boys of Material Culture, a crew who call themselves the Izthokane—a township slang word for hustlers that live a lavish lifestyle—and who are some of South Africa’s best Pantsula dancers.
In episode two, McCauley travels to the Salaam City neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt to meet the musician Sadat, a widely recognized creator of the emerging genre Maheraba. Sadat explores the development of Maheraba from Shaabi, a traditional form of Egyptian wedding music, during the turmoil of the Arab spring.
Episode three profiles young New Orleans bounce artist Delish, and in episode four McCauley investigates Kenyan country-western artist ElvisOntieno and the small but mighty country scene in Nairobi.
McCauley visits Durban, SouthAfrica in episode five to investigate Gqom, an emerging electronic genre made mostly by teenagers using aging PCs and cracked production software. The episode focuses on CitizenBoy, who at 17 produces from his parents’ bedroom in Durban’s Avoco Hills.
The season concludes with a return to New Orleans, where McCauley speaks to the creators of TheMusicBox, a mobile cluster of building-size instruments built around a 200-year-old Creole cottage and playable as an orchestra.
“Blow Your Head” has been a music single, magazine and series of web shorts. Its tenets have always been rooted in the exploration, discovery and proliferation of distinct movements—dance, fashion, art and beyond—born out of localized music scenes. The title comes from an old Fred Wesley & The JB’s song which is a nod to the funk counter culture movement and the expression of people doing something different and outside the mainstream. What started as a documentary collaboration with DJ and producer Diplo has spawned into a project and a vision all its own that encompasses multiple forms of media.