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MTV EMA 'Best African Act' Nominations Round-Up

We round up the list of the MTV EMAs 'Best African Act' nominees, including Fuse ODG, Locnville, Wizkid, Mafikizolo, and P-Square.


MTV recently announced the nominees for the "Best African Act" category at the November 10th MTV European Music Awards (EMAs), held this year at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome. After a four year absence the African Act award is back, and with a revamped format. The winner will be entered into a new category deemed the "Best Worldwide Act" along with the winners of the other respective regional categories. We took a look at what 2013 has had in store for this year's unsurprisingly pop-heavy list of nominees.

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Fuse ODG

The Londoner of Ghanaian descent made great leaps riding the Azonto wave with smash hits "Azonto" and "Antenna." The latter, aside from its 8 million views on youtube, also spawned a worldwide dance competition.

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Locnville

Cape Town's Chaplin twins first gained worldwide attention courtesy of FIFA 11 use of their "Sun in My Pocket" single. After a three year hiatus the SA electro-pop duo returned this year with the release of popular (emphasis on pop) singles "Closer" and "Yesterday," off the Faster Longer Mixtape.

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Wizkid

It's been a HUGE year for Nigerian popstar Wizkid, with highlights (among many) that include releasing a Wale-featuring hit single, a Femi Kuti collab, the launch of his own label, and most recently selling out an Amsterdam arena. A second year returnee to the category, Wizkid is the frontrunner for this year's honors.

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Mafikizolo

As we speak the word "Khona" is being heard at every corner of the continent, the upshot of what may arguably be the definitive song of 2013. A successful start for the SA trio in 1997 was followed by trying years that included the tragic loss of groupmate Tebogo Madingoane as well as a brief hiatus. Now a duo, Mafikizolo has capitalized on the mega success of their new brand of Kwaito with performances across the continent's capitals (including Harare, Lusaka, Maputo and Lagos) as well as nominations the likes of the MOBO’s, Channel O Awards, and now the EMA’s.

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P-Square

Nigerian music royalty P-Square seem to do no wrong (ever) in the eyes of their following. 2013 saw the twins release another hit with "Personally," along with the accompanying MJ-honoring video. Recently they embarked on a North American tour (aka a "3-hour 13-man band" spectacle). The Naija popmakers even received honorary Calgarian citizenship (and hats) courtesy of southern Alberta's largest city, an honor reserved for individuals from outside of Canada who have excelled in their respective field.

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Listen to A-Reece’s Surprise EP ‘And I’m Only 21’

A-Reece just dropped an EP on the same date he dropped his albums Paradise and FMTYAY.

Those who have TVs say A-Reece stole the show on the B.E.T Hip-Hop Awards' South African cypher, in which he sparred fellow lyricists Shane Eagle and Nasty C.

As if it was all part of a plan, while the hype for his verse is at its peak, the MC releases a surprise five-track EP. Its title, I'm Only 21, is a reminder that one of the country's most potent lyricists is only 21 years of age.

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Tay Iwar. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tay Iwar Is Nigeria's Hidden Gem

In a rare interview, the reclusive Nigerian singer and producer talks in-depth about writing and producing his new EP 1997, his forthcoming album Gemini and Nigeria's 'Alté' movement.

Tay Iwar wants some space. The word is the title of one of three songs on his new EP and also one that comes up during our interview, conducted via voice notes and texts on Whatsapp from his base in Abuja—a long way from Lagos which remains Nigeria's music hub.

The choice of the nation's quieter capital over the bustle of its music metropolis is a deliberate one for Iwar and one which fevers his reputation as a recluse and cult figure in Nigerian music circles. This especially happens among the subculture referred to as "alté"—an abbreviation of the word alternative which is used to denote the independent movement that is free from the flash and perceived vacuity of afropop. Precise definitions of the word vary but common denominators include introspection and melancholia, as well as trap and R&B.;

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Photo: Dancers of the Asociación Cultural Afro Chincha Perú via Wikimedia Commons

After Decades of Erasure, Afro-Peruvians Will Finally be Counted in the National Census

Despite an Afro-Peruvian cultural resurgence not a lot has been done to increase the population's visibility on a political level.

In 2009, Peru became the first Latin American country to issue an official public apology to its afrodescendiente population for centuries of "abuse, exclusion, and discrimination." Since then, many have criticized it as more of a symbolic gesture, especially for its failure to mention slavery. It was also seen as a way for the government to highlight Afro-Peruvian culture over making any substantive improvements to the material conditions of Afro-Peruvian communities.

Enter the census, which can play an important role in compelling the Peruvian government to address systemic inequality related to education, poverty, and health. Unfortunately, the last time Peru made a formal attempt to keep track of its African descended population via the census was in 1940.

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