Before embarking on a wildly exciting musical journey under the moniker Gazelle, multidisciplinary creative Xander Ferreira started off in the visual world. His first performance art project was called The Status of Greatness, and it dealt with the socio-political behaviour and marketing of modern day dictators. Studying the lives and strategies of men like Muammar al-Gaddafi, Idi Amin Dada and Mobuto Sebe Seko, Xander, together with Nick Matthews aka DJ Invizable, created the character of Gazelle. They released a book and an album in an attempt to make the character famous and much to their own surprise it worked, which is what launched Xander’s career in the music industry.
After a long period of silence while living in New York for the past few years, Gazelle has released a new album which will also be their last: The Rise & Fall of an Empire. The album came to life while travelling across South Africa and putting together an “African Orchestra” to perform an 11 scene/song tale about the infinite cycle of life. Its release is accompanied by a music video for one of the singles, ‘New Beginnings’. Xander says: “The video and song are very dear to me. Something I wanted to make for kids. We shot it some time back, with a camera on tripod self-portrait style, and some wonderful friends from Searle Street Post in Cape Town helped with the post production. Pimping on a low budget but hustling on a high level.”
Like something out of an African storybook, we see Xander and DJ Invizable kitted out in their signature style riding (concrete) elephants, zebras and crocodiles. The video ends with a slide simply saying “The end is also a beginning”, which alludes to what’s next. Though Gazelle are doing the very last ‘Swansong’ performance here in South Africa in January, Xander has been hard at work on a new, self-titled music project with Steve Williams and Paul Frasier which he will be sharing soon after.
Download The Rise & Fall of an Empire for free here – five tracks are out so far and there are six more to come, with one released every week going forward.