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Interview: Rexxie Steers His Street Sound Into Mainstream Afropop
Culture, Entertainment

Interview: Rexxie Steers His Street Sound Into Mainstream Afropop

Rexxie has been instrumental in the rise of the zanku sound in popular Nigerian music. As the pioneer and go-to producer for the sound, his infamous producer tag, "Yo, Rexxie pon dis one", can be heard in many infectious zanku-inducing songs that have made the youth of Nigeria (and around the world) show off their leg work. Born Ezeh Chisom Faith in Anambra State, Rexxie played the piano at his father's church as a child. And about 10 years ago, he began his career as a producer, crafting beats for his friends. It was however in 2018 when his name started getting traction, after producing Chinko Ekun's culture-shifting hit "Able God" featuring Lil Kesh and Zlatan. Over the past few years, he has been mostly known for his continuous work with Zlatan and Naira Marley, relationships that s...
Interview: The Awakening of Bas
Culture, Entertainment

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice. Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about. We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing a...
Ayra Starr Is Ready to Take Off
Culture, Entertainment

Ayra Starr Is Ready to Take Off

When Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe—now better known as Ayra Starr—was in university, she was often complimented for her vocal skills. "I would just be singing and people would be like you have such a great voice,'' she tells OkayAfrica over a Zoom conversation. Because of this, her friends kept telling her to consider recording covers of songs to share on social media. Ayra refused—not to make the videos, but to post them—because she was shy. Eventually, she allowed her friends to share her covers on their own social media channels. Ayra would try to stay away and not keep track of people's reactions to them, but each time she would fail and end up going to the comments section, she'd be surprised at the overwhelming support. ''The first time I did a cover it was crazy, people just went m...
Loyiso Gola Details His Upcoming Netflix Special in New Interview
Culture, Entertainment

Loyiso Gola Details His Upcoming Netflix Special in New Interview

Accomplished South African comedian Loyiso Gola's Unlearning is coming on Netflix on the 23rd of March. The stand-up comedy special is the seasoned comic's first on the streaming platform. It will also be the first solo stand-up Netflix Special. Gola made his first appearance on Netflix in 2018 on the streaming platform's Comedians of the World series alongside fellow South African comedians Tumi Morake, Loyiso Madinga and Riaad Moosa. Gola recently detailed the special in his GQ South Africa covert story. The special was recorded in one of the country's grandest art galleries, Cape Town's Zeitz MOCAA. He shared his reasons in the interview: "The special communicates grand ideas, which is what art is: an artist uses a framework or method to express an idea. When you read about artwork y...
<div>Master KG Demands Royalties for the Commercial Use of 'Jerusalema' Videos</div>
Culture, Entertainment

Master KG Demands Royalties for the Commercial Use of ‘Jerusalema’ Videos

Master KG has reportedly filed letters of demand pertaining to licence fees for the illegal commercial use of his viral hit single "Jerusalema". This comes after the hit single started a global dance wave under the #JerusalemaChallenge which saw the creation of dance videos from music fans to large brand houses. Warner International, under which Master KG is cosigned, has reportedly sent out letters of demand of royalties to organisations that have allegedly used the single and the dance challenge for brand advertising and promotions. Read: Master KG's 'Jerusalema (Remix)' Reaches Diamond Status in France According to DW, a Warner spokesperson from Warner Germany stated that individuals would not be fined or need to obtain a license to use "Jerusalema" as part of the challenge in German...
<div>AKA Drops Cinematic Visuals for 'Finessin'</div>
Culture, Entertainment

AKA Drops Cinematic Visuals for ‘Finessin’

South African rapper, AKA, has finally released the visuals for his latest single "Finessin". Supamega's latest music video offers crisp and clean visuals with a grand theft auto storyline that will have fans gripped to the screen. The "Finessin" music video is the fourth grand visual spectacle from the rapper's heavy weight album, Bhovamania. Read: AKA's 'Bhovamania' Decoded The music video for "Finessin" is AKA's latest signifier of his high level of craftmanship. The storyline centers AKA as a shady mechanic who dabbles with underground car theft and races. AKA, who executive produced the music for "Finessin", does not hold back and brings high definition cinematic quality to the music video which is over six minutes long. Hip-hop artist, Don Design, also features in the music video....
Spotify is Set to Launch in 40 Additional African Countries
Culture, Entertainment

Spotify is Set to Launch in 40 Additional African Countries

Spotify has recently announced that it will be expanding into 85 new markets across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. The announcement was made through its online event today titled "Stream On". Previously only available in South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, Spotify will now be available in 40 additional countries including Kenya, Angola, Benin, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Gabon, Nigeria and more. READ: Spotify Now Has an 'Afro Hub' Playlist Section According to Variety, Spotify will avail its global music catalogue to these new markets in addition to ensuring its podcasting catalogue is accessible to the majority of them. The streaming giant will also reportedly work with local creators in order to meet each market's unique needs. Pricing costs have, however, ...
Bobi Wine Withdraws Legal Challenge Against Election Results
Culture, Entertainment

Bobi Wine Withdraws Legal Challenge Against Election Results

Ugandan politician Bobi Wine has officially withdrawn his legal contestation of this year's national elections. The opposition leader has alleged bias from the Supreme Court justices residing over the case as the primary reason for his latest move. The national elections, which were held on January 14th off this year, saw Museveni clinch 59 percent of the vote and a sixth consecutive term in office while Bobi Wine secured 35 percent. READ: Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi Seeks Refuge in Kenya Speaking at a news conference in Kampala, Bobi Wine remarked that "the courts are not independent, it is clear these people (judges) are working for Mr Museveni." According to Business Day, Bobi Wine has cited the courts rejecting his application to provide further evidence for electoral fraud as pro...
<div>Interview: Mr Eazi's 'Something Else' Is Afrobeats Excellence</div>
Culture, Entertainment

Interview: Mr Eazi’s ‘Something Else’ Is Afrobeats Excellence

Mr Eazi is a mogul. From navigating a solo afrobeats career to building a music business empire, the Port Harcourt, Nigeria-born singer and songwriter went from simply making music of his own to becoming a full-fledged music executive. Over the past few years he has made the business side of music his business, and as a result African music is beginning to show forth the fruits of his efforts in more ways than one. Throughout last year, Mr Eazi held off on releasing a full-length solo project to focus on gaining ground with his full service music firm emPawa Africa. Nigerian singer Joeboy is one of the imprint's success stories. From going through emPawa's incubator program to becoming Africa's next global afrobeats star, the singer's flourishing career is a shining example of Mr Eazi's m...
<div>Op-Ed: Fela's Nomination to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Should Have Come Decades Ago​</div>
Culture, Entertainment

Op-Ed: Fela’s Nomination to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Should Have Come Decades Ago​

While Fela Kuti's nomination to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame further reenforces his never-ending influence, it should have occurred perhaps a decade ago. A brief look into past awardees reveals no solo African artist has ever been inducted into the RRHOF. The two previous African artists had gotten in as members of a band—South African Trevor Rabin in 2017 as part of the band Yes and Freddie Mercury (who was born in Tanzania) in 2001 as a member of Queen. At first, most Nigerians were expressionless to the news of Fela Kuti's nomination. It took Fela's son, Femi Kuti, Burna Boy, and several social media users to amplify the news of the nomination and the fan vote vital to the possibility of induction. But, why is this nomination just coming for Fela, who has been eligible for the RRH...