Louise Burns: The Element Interview

Louise Burns has appreciated the craft of songwriting since she was a youngster hearing her favorite artists on the radio. The British Canadian artist took those influences and started making her own music as a teenager when she co-founded the all-girl rock group Lillix. As the bass player and co-writer in the group, she got to experience the music industry of the early 2000s after they signed with Madonna’s Maverick Records. Pop fans of the era remember their cover of The Romantic’s “What I Like About You” which ended up on the Freaky Friday soundtrack and became the theme song of the series. Three albums later the band dissolved and Burns debuted as a solo artist in 2011 with her Polaris Prize longlisted Mellow Drama album. Today her fifth album Element drops and she describes it as “pop music for introverts.” Burns talks about the impulses behind Element, her favorite songwriters and changes she’s seen in the music industry. 

You have led the release of her fifth album with a cover of Depeche Mode’s “See You.” Why did you decide to cover this song? How much has Depeche Mode influenced you? 

I’m endlessly inspired by Depeche Mode and am a lifelong fan. It’s their ability to write incredible songs that could stand alone with just a guitar that makes them so special. It’s just great songwriting! 

I know you also cite Kate Bush as someone else you draw inspiration from? It seems that “I Don’t Feel It Like I Used To” has some of her influence.

Thank you! I love her with all my heart. She’s one of my biggest inspirations, primarily because of her innovation and ability to sort of exist in her own universe. I also love that she’s a producer as well as writer. An actual visionary.

Are there any other British artists that have been important to you? 

The list is endless, British music has been a big part of my life. The Beatles, The Kinks, Northern Soul, The Cure, Sade, Depeche Mode, New Order, Massive Attack, Peter Gabriel, Everything But The Girl, the list is infinite! 

Did you feel any pressure signing to Madonna’s Maverick Records at age 15 as the bassplayer of Lillix and being hailed as the rebirth of Canada’s indie rock movement back in the 2000s?

I was lucky to have the blissful ignorance of youth during my time signed to Maverick Records. It was incredibly hard work, and we experienced every music industry cliche you can possibly think of, but ultimately I was so young and had no real context for what the music industry was like coming from rural small-town Canada. Having said that, the experience had some pretty serious consequences on our mental health. It’s taken me a while to process certain things about that time in my life.

As for Canada’s indie rock movement, I think I was more adjacent to all of that while it was happening. I’ve always been a bit more of an underground artist. While I have been working the entire time, I don’t think I really fit into that category on a large scale, but a lot of my friends did! I also play in a band called Gold & Youth, who were also fairly connected to the indie rock movement.

“For most of my life, I’ve felt like I need to have the approval of a certain kind of person in order to advance my career.”

 How did Element come together? Does the album have a concept?

The concept of Element came together during the darkest days of the pandemic. I had just experienced some serious life shifts and was only beginning to find my footing again when we went into lockdown. I’d spent some time in Baja California in Mexico right before which had a profound impact on me. I wanted to create a universe I could escape into that gave me the same feeling I got when traveling down there, or anywhere for that matter. It’s an introspective record. I’ve been calling it pop music for introverts. Lots of oceanic feelings.

The lyrical concepts are about finding strength when everything is crumbling around you, and the sonic choices I made were inspired by the natural world and a sense of movement and wonder, the same feeling I get when I travel. I wrote it between tiny apartments, and produced it alongside Jason Corbett (ACTORS) in his studio in East Vancouver. Most of our days in the studio were surreal, having to wear masks and be so careful, but it kind of fuelled the catharsis of the whole experience. The studio became my solace. 

You stated that it’s a great time to be working in the music industry because the gatekeepers are losing control. Can you dig deeper into that? 

For most of my life, I’ve felt like I need to have the approval of a certain kind of person in order to advance my career. Jobs like agent, A&R, managers, even creatives like directors and photographers have been dominated by men. Some of these men have been great. Some have been not so much. The amount of music-business-power-tripping I’ve seen in my life is enough to drive a person mad! But, over the past two decades I have seen more and more diversity behind the scenes. This gives me hope. We still have a lot of work to do, but if I can empower one single young woman to follow her dream to become a producer or engineer, then I have done my job!

What’s next? 

Hopefully some touring around Canada, The UK, Mexico and South America. I’ve been lucky in my career to travel to many different countries around the world, and I hope to see more of it on this album cycle! I also produce and write for other artists a lot, and I’m currently very excited about the two artists I’ve been working with. More on that soon. 

Keep up with Louise Burns on her official website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook


Brianna Devons Talks About Her Short Film On The Line & Suicide Awareness

Brianna Devons’s On The Line is a short film about suicide and mental health in Black communities. The budding filmmaker from Los Angeles took her personal experiences and co-wrote a script with business partner Lamar Usher to confront a topic usually ignored by minorities and the masses.  Rheeda Walker, who is a professor of psychology and director of the University of Houston’s Culture, Risk and Resilience Lab shared research this year revealing that suicide rates have increased after the pandemic for young African-Americans. Devons felt it was necessary to take the challenges her brother has faced with mental health to educate the public but to also use the film as her own personal meditation. On The Line has been seen at numerous film festivals to great applause and is currently being screened by Academy members to be voted on and subsequently nominated for the 2023 Oscars. The director and screenwriter took some time out to speak with Kick Mag about On The Line, her Royale Coalition production company she co-founded with Usher, and their next projects.  


Follow Brianna Devons and Royale Coalition at their Official Site and Instagram. Find out more about the Minority Psychology Network here. Suicide Prevention Resources. 

Alan Oldham Reintroduces JOHNNY GAMBIT For A New Generation (Interview)

Credit: Jen Jeffery

Alan Oldham is what society now calls a multi-hyphenate, but in times past, the term was Renaissance man.

For the past three decades plus, he has been an innovative purveyor of electronic music and a comic book writer and artist extraordinaire. Oldham started his trek as an eclectic art fan during the ‘80s in his Detroit hometown. He combined his love of the German Expressionist movement in film, the clean lines of Art Deco-inspired objects and more to start writing the narrative and visuals for his characters. The first major result was his trench coat-laden hero JOHNNY GAMBIT. Oldham hit paydirt and was signed to Hot Comics out of Chicago in 1986. The company folded soon after and the character would have two more issues published in 1987-88 by Detroit’s Eclectic Press.

Oldham did not have any time to think about the next move for JOHNNY GAMBIT because he was busy creating the cover art for the first Detroit Techno releases from childhood friends like Derrick May and Juan Atkins. These same friends also supplied him with music for his influential Fast Forward radio show being broadcast on WDET. This writer remembers listening to Oldham play Detroit Techno, house music and industrial in the early morning hours as listeners would call in and get an education on the new sounds that have laid the foundation for today’s myriad of electronic artists. He also worked as a DJ for Mike Banks’ sci-fi and funk-dipped techno crew Underground Resistance. As the ‘90s moved on Oldham started making his own music and founded the Generator and Pure Sonik labels.

Today, Oldham is just as excited about creating as he was years ago. A current resident of Berlin, he still travels the world as a DJ and has had art exhibitions in several countries. He is having a rebirth of sorts with JOHNNY GAMBIT and a Kickstarter relaunch. The new graphic novel is bringing GAMBIT back with a remastered 2 CD set. I spoke with Oldham last month shortly after his set at the Charivari Music Festival in Detroit. We talked about GAMBIT, the early days of Detroit Techno, and what it is about the city that drove him to greatness among his many other career-defining moments.

“It just motivates you to push further so that’s one thing about Detroit. It’s not an easy place. No one’s going to pat you on the back and tell you good job. If anything, they will shit on you. So, it motivates you to push forward, to push internationally and outside of the city.“

How did you decide to bring Johnny Gambit back now?

I’d been working on the book for almost 15 years now. I started it in 2007 and it’s been kind of in the back of my mind to bring back JOHNNY. We did a run in the ‘80s and I didn’t get a chance to finish the original story because my publisher(s) went out of business and then time went by so I thought I’d just reboot it completely.

What was your original inspiration for the character?

Well, that’s a really good question. JOHNNY GAMBIT is basically the kitchen sink character for everything I liked at the time; Japanese animation, Japanese Manga, “Miami Vice,” “Love & Rockets,” the movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang, Art Deco design, prototype cars that were never made, and there was a comic back in the ‘80s called “Mister X” that was a huge influence.

I saw where Marvel later came out with the character in “Uncanny X-Men” #266.

There was a girl, well, woman now, that I met at the old Chicago Con back in ’86, and we became friends. Turns out she worked for Marvel so we stayed in touch. It turned out I was going to New York for my first visit back in ’87 and she invited me up to visit Marvel. That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me ‘cause you got to see the real Mighty Marvel bullpen with your own two eyes. So I got to NYC, went up there and I had a bunch of my old JOHNNY GAMBIT number ones with me and she introduced me to a few of the editors like Archie Goodwin and Carl Potts, and I was just leaving my comic as a calling card.

Fast forward to 1990, I’m at Todd Johnson’s old comic shop in Ferndale, and I notice a character named Gambit with the hair to one side and a trench coat. But they gave him powers and they changed it enough so where you can’t sue them. You know how it is, they take the idea and add just enough to it so they can say hey, we came up with this on our own. But the resemblance was uncanny, no pun intended. So yeah, there’s nothing you can really do about it. At this point, it’s just an interesting story.


So as far as the reboot is concerned on the musical side what can you tell me about the new double album? How is it different from the original release?

It really isn’t, except it’s going to be remastered. It’s the same tracks as before. We never really did any real CD pressing on the original tracks, so it’s going to be remastered and repackaged and the plant that I’m using is in the US. So it’s going to be a little expensive ‘cause we make it in America and we ship it back to Germany. But it’s the same tracks by my friends FBK, Nino Sebelic, Blak Tony from Aux 88, Phrek, Altroy, Sprawl, and Krenzlin from Germany. I also did a solo soundtrack which will be included.

You created the visual art for many of the first techno labels in Detroit, how did the music influence your cover art? How were you able to visualize what the art should look like for this sound that was new then?

When I did the stuff for Djax-Up-Beats, I was encouraged to do what was in my head. Saskia Slegers, who was the label owner, would take the art and match it to the music, so she said draw whatever. The very first stuff I did for Derrick May, I just went by vibe and the track titles and things of that nature when he asked me to come in and do “Nude Photo.” It just seemed kind of obvious what I drew. I don’t know. Sometimes I got to hear the music first, but a lot of times it’s just do what you want and the label will match it to the music.

What is it about Detroit that has shaped your artistry?

You know, I have absolutely no idea other than there are so many talented people in Detroit. I didn’t really appreciate it until I left. So many talented Black people. One of the things Detroit did for me I will say, is it’s a constant fight to be recognized and you’re constantly motivated to push forward because a lot of people–especially in the early days–a lot of people like to shit on you and they try to shit on your work. It just motivates you to push further, so that’s one thing about Detroit. It’s not an easy place, no one’s going to pat you on the back and tell you good job. If anything they will shit on you. So, it motivates you to push forward to push internationally and outside of the city.

How did you start DJing for UR?

It was 1990 and I was working at a record label called Full Effect. And Full Effect Records at that time fancied themselves the Detroit version of Chicago’s Wax Trax Records. They did industrial style music. I had a real job and quit it to work at the office at Full Effect. What it turned out to be was just to sit there all day answering the phone and telling everybody that the owner, Tony Srock, wasn’t there. Because he was busy scamming people, ripping people off, and running up lines of credit, so people would call the office looking for him. The one perk was I got to make free long-distance calls all day. Full Effect only put out two releases before the house of cards crashed down.

Anyway, Jeff Mills came around to the office one day because him and Srock were friends and did Final Cut together. And Jeff said, “Hey man, come work for UR, we need somebody to do press releases and stuff and you can write, you can communicate.” I was also doing my radio show, “Fast Forward.”

So I ended up quitting Full Effect and I went to work with Underground Resistance doing press releases and promo stuff. And then a year later, Jeff quit UR to go solo and Mike Banks needed a DJ because they were getting ready to go on tour and he asked me if I wanted to DJ for UR, which of course, I said yes. And once we got on the plane he was like, What’s your code name, because everybody in UR has a code name.” I had just seen the movie “Terminator 2” and the T-1000 is the liquid metal cyborg terminator in the movie, so I took that name and it stuck, and that’s how I got involved. I was with Mike a year and half for the live shows, then he quit the road to focus on Submerge. After that I was on my own, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

I became aware of you because of your radio show Fast Forward. How did that start?

 I was a student at Wayne State, and my major was Radio TV Film. The plan at that time was to be a commercial radio jock. I had done a radio show on WAYN which at that time was the low-powered AM radio station on campus only. Only available in Student Center and the campus apartments nearby, but it afforded me the opportunity to do air checks. Air checks are when you record your show and your on-air persona and you can use those demo tapes to get jobs.

A buddy of mine named Todd Boyd who is now a film professor at USC, was telling me WDET had an internship open and I should go down there and look into it. At that time you needed an internship to graduate and I didn’t have a car like a lot of my peers, so I couldn’t go out to the ‘burbs to the big advertising agencies or the real radio stations like WXYZ, but WDET was located right on campus. I marched my Black face in there and right away I met Judy Adams, and I guess she liked me because she put me on that day, then she introduced me to Ann Delisi, who was the program director at that time. Judy was Ann’s boss, and Ann was my boss.

My first job was to alphabetize the record library. I spent the whole summer doing that and learned a lot about music, especially jazz, because you’re listening to music while you’re alphabetizing. Then finally it got to be fall and the internship was over. The overnight guy had gotten fired and Judy asked me if I could take over the overnight slot which was 3-6 AM on Fridays. Then she asked me if I had an air check, which I did. I let her hear it, and she hired me to be on WDET and that’s how that started. She came up with the name “Fast Forward.” The night of my first broadcast I went by Derrick May’s place on the east side and he gave me a whole stack of white labels, and was like “Hey man, you can play these,“ and all this stuff turned out to be some of the very first Detroit Techno records.

I got a lot of that stuff early and started playing it on my show, and people liked it from the very beginning. At the time, the show was a mixture of Detroit Techno, Chicago House, I was still into jazz fusion at the time, it was quite a mix. This was 1987.

Then 1988 was the Summer of Love in England, Acid house came in, and then you had industrial which I was getting into, and slowly the jazz fusion part was phased out and the industrial Wax Trax kind of music was coming in. I was playing a mix of everything electronic. Cabaret Voltaire, Rhythim Is Rhythim, Inner City, Kenny Larkin, Depeche Mode, Ministry, just a mix of everything.

I had fans from the beginning. Back in those days people would call into the radio station and the phones would light up and I’d be talking to people, and it was always the weirdo night owl insomniacs, you know a lot of artists and bohemians. Old hippies, painters, those kinds of folks. Real old-school Cass Corridor (not Midtown), Woodbridge-type people.

What was cool about it to me was a lot of Detroit people would call in, a lot of hood dudes who’d never heard Clan of Xymox before, never heard Skinny Puppy or Severed Heads before, and the brothers would call in and be like “Mannn what kind of music is that?” One time, I played a Kenny Larkin track, and I announced that Kenny Larkin was from Southfield, Michigan, and this guy called in, he was shocked because they think anything electronic is from Europe. It turned out I was educating people that a lot of this stuff was from Detroit, their own hometown.

 What made you want to start making your own music and start your own labels?

 I must say I was doing Fast Forward and I was also doing my comics and I’m still in my last days at Wayne State (later graduated). But it seemed like the art was really, really thankless. I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, even though I did publish. I had an actual comic book company pick me up (and I actually got paid). But what really snapped me out of it was there was a photo that I saw in the paper–you can tell how long ago it was, because it was a newspaper (laughs). There was a photo of Derrick May and he was chilling in his loft with my man from Depeche Mode, the lead singer?

Dave Gahan.

So yeah, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore were in town and came up to Derrick’s loft. The big thing with me and Detroit Techno was that these were guys that I knew, some were guys that I grew up with. They were my own age and they were making records. Not just Derrick, but all of those guys. Kevin (Saunderson), Blake (Baxter), Juan…Juan was like slightly older than us, like one or two years older, but these guys were actually making records. People didn’t make records, corporations made records.

But what really got me was Derrick hanging out with Dave Gahan and Martin Gore. That’s when I was like I’ve got to learn how to DJ and make my own music. My little studio is in my grandmother’s basement it’s all cold and I had a little space heater down there, and I’m like OK that’s miserable (laughs). I’m doing this and a guy I actually know is hanging out with these people and then you’re reading in Melody Maker how he played The Haçienda in Manchester, and he’s playing alongside Bernard Sumner from New Order, so I’m one degree away from fucking Joy Division.

When I was in college, I used to dream about going to England and somebody I knew who was my own age was hanging out there, and actually knew these people. That’s what inspired me to make my own music and learn how to mix.

It’s been 20 years since the Metro Times cover with you, Kelli Hand, Mike Huckaby and Juan Atkins. Kelli and Mike have since passed. What are your thoughts on their contributions?

Invaluable. Both of them. As far as Huck, he was a great teacher. He got a lot of people into this stuff, into production and making their own music and the freedom of it. I think his most famous student was Kyle Hall, who just played Charivari this past weekend. When I was moving over to Native Instruments’ Traktor and Maschine, I would hit up Mike whenever I had a question. I would PM him on Facebook and no matter where he was in the world, he would always take the time out to answer my dumb questions. His tastemaker days at Record Time. His Sun-Ra Reel to Reel Sessions. His productions. His mentoring. Everything that man did really came from a good place.

With Kelli, she was The First Lady Of Detroit Techno. The good news is before she passed away, she got a citation from the city that she was bonafide and that’s it. She too is just irreplaceable. Her place in the hierarchy as the first woman to do it in Detroit.

I give Kelli props because no man helped her. See that, to me, is the key with Kelli.

Guys kind of hung around and helped her hook up her gear sometimes early on. Mike and Jeff and Sean Deason would just kind of go around to her place to help her set up. But once this lady was set up, once she knew what she was doing, no man helped her after that. Which is a stark comparison to today with a lot of these young women getting in and getting famous off of Instagram, it’s their boyfriends making their music, teaching them how to DJ and all that.

The hypocrisy is what I don’t like. You know, you do these big feminist “down with the patriarchy” interviews, but you know that’s your boyfriend in the background that made that music. These women are model-looking and they just get up there and get some dude to help them. And then of course, when they get a level of fame they dump the guy.

I wish I knew who you were talking about.

All I’ll say is there’s a couple of ladies who fit that description. Kelli will always have my respect as someone who did it on her own. There is no question as to who made a K-Hand track.

You guys went back to high school, right?

Absolutely. We were at Henry Ford together. I graduated in ’81. I think she graduated in ’83. I used to think she graduated in ’82 but we were there at the same time. We used to hang out even back then, like even before music.

I remember her from The Scene. Was she always so unique and a maverick?

Totally was. She used to get her parents’ car and we’d go up to Birmingham and buy New Wave clothes. She was always her own woman.

What made you move to Berlin? I saw on your Twitter timeline one day where you said you walked into a room realized everyone hated you and decided to move.

It was a retweet of like “that feeling when you walk into a room and half the people hate you,” I vaguely remember that Tweet from my friend Andi (laughs). At the time I was gearing up to leave I wasn’t really well-liked in the city. You go to places and show your face and you’d feel vibes, it was really a tough time. This was 2000, 2001. I’m feeling weird vibes locally yet I was famous everywhere else but Detroit. I literally would go play a gig in Toledo, Ohio and get more props just 45 minutes outside of Detroit.

So finally in 2004 when my lease was up, that’s when I left. I went to Chicago originally because my ex-fiancée is from there. I thought that would be a new start but it turned out to be a big miscalculation on my part.

Then finally in 2014, that’s when I went to Berlin to stay, so that was eight years ago now. A friend of mine had gotten an artist visa. I thought it would be harder, but my friend inspired me to get one. So when I was over there on my visit I made an appointment, got my paperwork together, got a visa and ended up staying.

Can you compare here and there a little bit? Do you still feel unappreciated in Detroit?

Actually, I don’t. I’m feeling the love now, but this is almost 20 years ago. A whole new generation has taken over and it’s a new city now. And I’m not the dude from Meyers and 7 Mile anymore. I’m the cool guy from Berlin (laughs). I mean, it’s all the same for me, but the perception changes. You get that validation from the Europeans, the big stamp of approval from the Germans, now you’re the shit (laughs). I’m known as Ellen Allien’s friend now. It’s bizarre but cool, I guess.

It’s what I call doing the Jimi Hendrix.

Pretty much, you’re absolutely correct. Yeah, the Jimi Hendrix, the Willi Smith. Remember Willi Smith? The fashion designer?

Yup, Willi Wear.

You know he went to Paris and he became huge, it’s the same thing.

How do you like living in Berlin? 

I love it. It’s quite a freer atmosphere. I have health insurance there. I have the national pension. You can just do whatever you want. It’s becoming gentrified now, but you can still do whatever you want. You can have a guerilla art exhibit if you want to. You just ask around and see if you can find a space to do it. You can DJ all the time if you want. The clubs themselves are the culture and industry, there so there are many opportunities living in Berlin, and it’s just really super cool. What’s also really cool is going to different countries in Europe is like going to different states here. I just went to the French Riviera last month for vacay, it was a 90-minute plane ride.

So it’s not like a plutocracy or full of nepotism?

Not at all. The thing about Berlin in my view is that it meets your efforts, the city will reward your efforts. If you try to do something the city will reward it. The people and the audience will reward it. You don’t feel like you’re throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. If you have an idea you can do it. There’s a big movie studio right outside Berlin where they make big movies. “The Matrix,” “John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde,” the “Bourne” movies. These guys work there; cinematographers, set designers, writers, video guys outside of music. Berlin is a place of opportunity in all arts and music types, in my opinion.

How do you feel about Beyoncé bringing house music back to the mainstream?

I don’t have much of an opinion. Us older people remember when house music was mainstream before, like ’90, ’91. Cece Peniston, Crystal Waters, C&C Music Factory, Black Box, etc. It had to happen for this generation. The only problem is the younger people who follow Beyoncé may think that she invented this stuff, and there was not an underground before. That’s always kind of the problem.

It is. And to her credit, I think she publicized Robin S. because I think she sampled her and she sent her some flowers. I think the younger people may know who Robin S is.

Yeah, I think Green Velvet worked on this record, from what I understand. It was a few cool people who worked on this record. Green Velvet, Robin S., and Honey Dijon. That’s what I heard, I could be wrong.

My attitude is long as the originals are recognized I’m good. Anything that brings more coin to the original Black artists is good with me. Beyonce and her producers are recognizing (and paying) the originals, I’m cool with that.

Check out Alan Oldham’s Kickstarter campaign and follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.



The Dreams Of Peace Film Festival Founder Talks 2022 Competition

The Dreams Of Peace Film Festival is the brainchild of founder Khaliph Young. The competition invited creators from the African diaspora to share stories about their identity with one-minute mobile phone films. The call went out in 2020 after the world saw the George Floyd death at the hands of the police which was captured on a mobile device. Young’s reaction to Floyd and the kind of race-splitting dialogue coming from then-president Trump inspired him to use the festival as a way to create a vision of harmony. The filmmakers presented their views of Black life with the moxie and brilliance of new auteurs determined to be heard in a world mired in white supremacy. In the following interview Young explains the origins of the festival and how the films will stream on the Volume channel via the Vskit and Ayoba mobile apps. 




What can you tell me about your company ZenZenMobile?

We are a digital entertainment company creating lifestyle content on different platforms like mobile apps, Smart TVs and things of that nature.

Is the Dreams Of Peace Film Festival all about making people familiar with the Volume TV channel and the Vskit app?

No it’s really just all about bridging the continents acting as a bridge between African-Americans and Africans by creating films during a time when it’s a lot of racial injustice going on in America everything with the Trump administration, the killings and just the George Floyd thing so a lot of those struggles are different in Africa. We’re all African throughout the whole diaspora so even though they’re there and we’re here they’re still Black, we’re still Black so there’s a common ground. We just wanted to create an outlet for filmmakers to be able to share their stories with the stories abroad. 

You said in your press release that independent storytelling is a pivotal tool in developing critical dialogues. Are there any films in the festival that are an example of that?

Yeah, I would think the film by Tony Strickland the smart social awareness art film. I think that kind of says it all and then there’s the film about S.U.N. the recording artist S.U.N. who we shine all the time it shows a lot of Black pride, Black connectivity, crossing the bridge, where we originated from and that sort of thing. So I think those two films kind of show that.



I see the competition requires content that deals with Black identity and it’s a competition, what is the prize?

The films were selected by our panel and then the film that has the most views on the different platforms will be selected as the winner. That filmmaker will receive an Adobe Creative Suite. That will be their prize.

I saw where the Vskit app has over 15 million users in Africa?  

Vskit is like Africa’s TikTok type of app. They feature a lot of comedy but because we have a verified media channel  our lifestyle content gets a lot of views. The Ayoba app has about 10.5 million users and our channel ranked 11th on that platform out of a hundred something other channels and we’ve had over a million and a half views we have about 200,000 active users for our channel. So that platform is like Africa’s Whatsapp. It’s a Whatsapp communication platform then it has entertainment.  feature a lot of

I saw the films will start to stream on March 12th how long after before the winner is picked?

We thought we’d leave them up there for a week and then select the winners at that point.

Where will the films post?

They will post in the Vskit app and they will post on the Ayoba app. The apps have to be downloaded you register then search for Volume TV.

 How can people keep up with you?

They can go to zenzenmobile.com everything we are doing is there.

Is there anything you want to mention?

Just that we’re excited to do our first  mobile film festival. It’s been done but this is our first one and we’ve done film festivals on a variety of different platforms. First internet film festival in ’99, then we went on to PBS, onto films on Palm Pilots and pocket PCs then on to Roku. So now back to mobile since mobile is really driving everything.

You said you’ve been doing this since ’99  do you think  there is a common theme connecting these mediums over this past 20 plus years? 

I think the common theme is that there is such a demand for content. That demand is just continuing to increase and it’s created a whole creator economy. Social media and all these platforms but going back through screen sizes is the demand for content and everybody loves lifestyle content. And now accessing that content on your mobile phone just propelled it even further because now right in your pocket you got music, You got video, you got stories you got everything.

For more information about the festival go to www.zenzenmobile.com.