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Loyiso Gola

Shot for Loyiso's Vimeo Special

Story by Wesley Verhoeve November 17th, 2016

Loyiso Gola is a comedian from South Africa where he's know as the host, co-producer and writer of the twice Emmy nominated satirical news show, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola. His debut U.S. comedy special, Loyiso Gola Live in New York, was released by Vimeo Originals in November and featured at the prestigious New York Comedy Festival. It's very funny and contains some thought-provoking observations about America and the ongoing cultural struggles around race. Highly recommended.

A few weeks ago we met up to shoot promotional images for the release of the special. We made our way to the House of Yes in Bushwick where the special was taped. It was a drizzly day but karma was on our side and the rain stopped right during our window to shoot.

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The idea behind the shoot was straight forward. We wanted to match the aesthetic and location of the special and add to the moving images with some strong stills that communicated Loyiso's sense of performance and humor. Part of Loyiso's aesthetic is an appreciation of Hip Hop culture, which was referenced in the opening credits of the special by way of integrating graffiti imagery and a fitting instrumental. We decided to replicate and add to that vibe for these photos.

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Loyiso's sense of humor and material goes broader than one might suspect. In addition to goofy moments, sharp observations and fun poking, there is also a political element to some of his material. We incorporated that with some visual references to current goings-on in protest culture.

All in all this was a super fun shoot and Loyiso and his team were a delight to work with. It's exciting to see someone come from a place where he is very much a known quantity and humbly enter a new realm to establish his voice. I look forward to seeing the U.S. catch up to Loyiso as well.

Look for the images on Loyiso's social accounts and website, Vimeo's promotional activities and properties, and elsewhere. I have included some of my favorite shots below.

Shout out to Gabriella Barkho for assisting, Claire for making the connection, and Trina DasGupta of Single Palm Tree for making it all happen.

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Watch the trailer for Loyiso's special below.

Brooklyn, NY