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Introducing Okaymusic, Our New Digital Music Service

We're launching our new new digital music service, Okaymusic. Check it out here.

Okaymusic is here.

OkayAfrica is proud to announce the official launch Okaymusic, the latest addition to its far-reaching brand.


Partnered with the music world's most notable digital platforms this brainchild of OkayAfrica will bring digital music distribution and marketing services to emerging and established artists across Africa, its diaspora and from all around the world—giving them access to upload their music onto every major digital platform.

“We understand the new digital landscape" says Abiola Oke, CEO of OkayAfrica and Okaymusic, "and will energetically defend artists' rights while making their music available to a global audience."

Okaymusic will be launching with an already-collated extensive catalogue of some of the best music from across Africa and its diaspora. Among the artists already signed to Okaymusic are Nigerian superstar, Innocent "2Baba" Idibia, top Nigerian producer DJ Spinall, Cameroonian star Numerica, Nigerian urban highlife singer-songwriter Adekunle Gold, Tanzanian superstar Vanessa Mdee, Nigerian chart busting songstress Niyola, Zimbabwean reggae star Buffalo Souljah, Nigeria's fast-rising producer Bankyondbeatz, and many more.

Check out the Okaymusic Summer '17 Playlist

Okaymusic is created with one simple goal: hands-on management of digital assets, thereby enabling artists to focus on the most important aspect of the music business, the art of making music.

Having attained Apple Music Curator status, carefully curated playlists are uploaded every Wednesday, featuring the music of signed artistes and artists that we love on Apple Music as well as on Spotify and on OkayAfrica, while Okaymusic's YouTube channel will carry their latest videos. Also launching today is Okaymusic.com, a website curating every signed artist with their biography, videos, photos, one minute extracts of their music and the ability to purchase and download individual songs or albums using a wide selection of currencies.

“What sets Okaymusic apart is that we are truly partners with our artists," says Rikki Stein, Fela Kuti's former manager and Head of A&R. “We will never take ownership, we work for the repertoire owner and have their best interests at the forefront of this venture. Artists from anywhere in the world whose music contains those distinct, eclectic elements that we all enjoy are encouraged to join us. This first taste of what Okaymusic has to offer will soon be augmented by a host of artists in a wide range of musical styles."

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify to stay updated!

For additional information visit Okaymusic.com or e-mail info@okaymusic.com

Photos
"The Astral." Photo by Mikael Owunna.

This Photo Series Is a Much-Needed Counter to Violent Images of the Black Body

"Infinite Essence" is Nigerian-American photographer Mikael Owunna's response to the one-dimensional narrative we tend to see of the black body.

This beautiful, thought-provoking photo series affirms what we already know—that the black body is magical, no matter what odds are against us.

Nigerian-American photographer, Mikael Owunna, touched base with OkayAfrica to share his new photo series, Infinite Essence. The series is Owunna's response to America's issue of police brutality, like the murders of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Walter Scott, and the viral and violent images of the dead black body we've seen as a result.

"It has become frighteningly routine to turn on the television or log onto Facebook and see a video or image of a black person either dead or dying, like images of Africans dying in the Mediterranean," Owunna says.

"With this series, I work to counter these one-dimensional narratives of the black body as a site of death and destruction with imagery capturing what I see in my friends, family and community—love, joy, and ultimately, magic."

Owunna worked on Infinite Essence for the past year, and says his creative process began with a feeling. As he notes further, it's was a process of trial and error.

"I was beginning to explore my own spirituality and journey and learning about how black, queer and trans people in particular were respected for their magical abilities in many pre-colonial African societies. I was meditating on this idea of magic and how I can capture that in my work, harkening back to the 'Final Fantasy' video games and anime series I grew up on. How could I capture all of this? I did two pretty disastrous test shoots using long exposures and lights, that did nothing for me artistically.

It had none of the feeling I was looking for. So I went back to the drawing board. I pulled up Google image search results of magic in Final Fantasy and kept scrolling and scrolling and staring at images that had that emotional tug, that spiritual capture of magic and transcendence that I so wanted to bring into the work. As I was staring at the works, a voice in my head told me glow in the dark paints, and then from looking at that I found the world of UV photography. As soon as I saw some sample works in that space, I knew that was the direction the project would go and it was all steam ahead."

Shooting this series was the first time Owunna collaborated with makeup artists Karla Grifith-Burns and Davone Goins to bring his vision to life. "It was powerful and inspirational and brought so much structure to my feeling and thought," he says.

Owunna settled on the name of his series after reading about Odinani, the Igbo traditional belief system.

"Seeking to understand the basics of that, I came across brilliant writing by Chinua Achebe wherein he used the phrase 'infinite essence' and that clicked everything around it," he says. "When I can name something, it brings it to life in my head in stunning color."

Click through the slideshow below view Owunna's series, Infinite Essence. Read his artist statement for the project, where he speaks more in depth of Achebe's work on infinite essence here. The series is also on display at Owunna's solo exhibition at Montréal's Never Apart Gallery from today until April 7, 2018.

"The Astral." Photo by Mikael Owunna.

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