Future Kwaai Records is a record label, fashion house and media company founded by artist Umlilo Siya Ngcobo aka Kwaai Diva. Intergalactic shape-shifting kwaai diva "Umlilo" is an innovative genre and gender-bending multi-disciplinary artist in music, fashion, 3D animation, VR, visual art and performance. She is the founder of Future Kwaai Records, co-founder of LeGrand Queer Arts Festival and the fashion label Kwaai Boutique. Her work is rooted in the black and queer experience and tries to foster conversation and exchange with local and international communities and artists
BLOOMING SOUNDS OF JOBURG, BASSLINE
Under Future Kwaai Records Umlilo has completed several art projects including a Spring concert that took place on 26 September 2020 under Bassline’s Bloomin’ Sounds of Joburg. The virtual concert was shot at the Women’s Prison at Constitutional Hill and broadcast to SkyRoomLive, SABC 2 and Serious Fm in the UK.
February 2021- April 2021
ARCHIVE OF FORGETFULLNESS, GOETHE INSTITUTE
The Archive of Forgetfulness online exhibition has been live since the 12th of April 2021. It is an archive of mobility, infrastructure, and story-telling; it holds together acts of remembering, collecting, and gathering stories often untold. Umlilo and Future Kwaai Records submitted collaborative a film titled Qhakuva co-produced by Francois Knoetze.
January 2021- February 2021
NORIENT FILM FESTIVAL NFF 2021
In 2021 future Kwaai Records was commissioned by Swiss multimedia publication Norient for their 2021 edition of the Norient Film Festival NFF where they commissioned ten artists around the world to work on short artistic media pieces. They were asked to reflect on their personal thoughts of «2021». How do they see and describe the world they live in? How do they see the present and the future?
May 2021 - June 2021
UMLILO LOCKDOWN JAMS, CONCERTS SA
Umlilo, under Future Kwaai Records, also completed a second concert titled Lockdown Jams commissioned by Concerts SA. Umlilo Lockdown Jams was live-streamed on Youtube and Facebook and the concert was produced, directed, written, and performed by the avant-garde artist. The one-hour concert showcases songs and recordings by Umlilo influenced by the lockdown in South Africa.
January 2023 - June 2025
ONEBEAT VIRTUAL 1-3
Umlilo has facilitated 3 OneBeat Virtual residency programs working on innovative labs with 30+ artists and musicians from all over the world. OneBeat is a cultural diplomacy programme sponsored by the US State Cultural Department.
January 2022 - April 2022
PROHELVETIA CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMME
Umlilo was the artist in residence at Villa Strauli in Winterthur, Switzerland from 15 January to 15 April 2022. Her project,
Isambulo (The Revelations) was a multi-dimensional project that deals with grief, the Covid-19 pandemic and healing arts practice. During her residency, Umlilo collaborated with artists living and working in Zurich to explore ideas of artistic vulnerability and identity.
Live performances, music video projects and digital projects.
Umlilo's latest album, Mpumi, marries complex musical influences and an avant-garde style, with hints of alternative pop, kwaito and even electronic music lingering within the comprehensive mix.
ICA (UN)INFECTING THE CITY 2021
Umlilo under Future Kwaai Records was commissioned to submit the film Umzabalazo for the 2021 (Un) Infecting the City. The festival staged a virtual and site-specific art in light of the pandemic.
UMLILO LOCKDOWN JAMS BY CONCERTS SA
Umlilo, under Future Kwaai Records, also completed a second concert titled Lockdown Jams commissioned by Concerts SA. Umlilo Lockdown Jams was live streamed on Youtube and Facebook and the concert was produced, directed, written, and performed by the avant-garde artist. The one-hour concert showcases songs and recordings by Umlilo influenced by the lockdown in South Africa.