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Ivana and Jessica of VanJess. Photo: Madeleine Dalla

VanJess Are Set to Takeover the R&B World and Beyond

We interview the buzzing Nigerian-American duo about their rise and their upcoming debut album, Silk Canvas.

VanJess is here to bring back that soulful RnB that remains timeless for generations to come.

Comprised of sisters Ivana and Jessica, the Nigerian-American duo lets their music speak for itself. For me, it was their single "Addicted" that I couldn't help but fall in love with, listening on repeat for days on end.

A week later, I met the girls and watched them completely annihilate a performance at Soho House in the most intimate setting. It's one thing to be able to sing live, but it's another thing to entertain. These girls ended their 3-song set with a full-blown dance party, converting every single attendee into a fan.

Their musical journey started back home in Nigeria, where they would subconsciously sing without even noticing. For Ivana, she sang herself happy birthday at the age of five. For Jess, she wrote her first song at the age of seven. Having moved to the United States before their teenage years, the girls eventually established an online presence doing covers on YouTube.

Fast forward to June of 2018, and the girls greet me with another warm welcome at Sonos Studio in Hollywood, CA. Tonight was their Silk Canvas album listening where select friends and family arrived to the gorgeous sunset views of the Penthouse. In addition, there was a wide array of mouthwatering Nigerian food: chicken, pepper beef skewers, plantains, and, of course, jollof.

The girls were decked in all-white, as we sat down for a conversation before the album playback. Both Jess and Ivana were thrilled at the mention of OkayAfrica, as a little part of home surfaced.

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Thutmose. Photo: Jimmy Michaels

How This Rising Nigerian Rapper Landed His Song in the Official FIFA 18 World Cup Trailer

We catch up with Thutmose to discuss his journey and how his song made it into the EA FIFA 18 trailer.

Thutmose just got the biggest look of his career. A collaboration with German-bred producer NoMBe, "Run Wild" serves as the soundtrack to the official trailer to the FIFA 2018 World Cup. It's not every day you get to see one of the world's greatest athletes, Cristiano Ronaldo star in a clip synced to your record, published by the world's biggest video game franchise, EA Sports.

It's Thutmose's high-energy, high-intensity bars and standout melodies that have audiences at the edge of their seats. Following his last single, "WuWu," which was released last year, the Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-raised artist confesses his love and passion for words, using music as a means to express himself in any way possible.

Since then Thutmose, real name Umar Ibrahim, has opened for pop phenom Billie Eilish on tour and released two freestyles, "Pick It Up" and "Norcos."

With the games underway, OkayAfrica caught up with Thutmose to discuss his biggest influences, his journey, and how the FIFA placement came about.

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Tamba Hali 'Tamba Juice' EP art work detail.

How Tamba Hali Went From Playing in the NFL to Making Afrobeats Music

We talk with the Liberian-born Tamba Hali about his Masterkraft-produced EP and new record label.

Tamba Hali was the best thing to happen to the Kansas City Chiefs, and vice versa. After 12 fulfilling years as the football team's outside linebacker, the 35-year-old NFL veteran has retried his helmet, but not without a bang. Tamba is now ready to put his all his time and focus on his other passion in life: music.

This doesn't come as too much of a surprise, as Tamba has always rapped and produced on the side throughout his tenure in the NFL. Last year, he put out a record called "Chief," which went on to serve as the Kansas City Chiefs' anthem. With the help of star producer MasterKraft, who flew in from Nigeria, the track was completed in just three days.

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