Arts + Culture

Dougla: Cultural Expression Through Pattern [Gallery]

Graphic designer from Trinidad makes waves using bright palettes inspired by Caribbean culture and African art

Graphic designer Cherry Ann Davis blends her Trini' roots to create Dougla — a colloquial term used in Trinidad & Tobago to describe a mixed-race person of both African and East Indian descent. For Cherry, Dougla's designs tie together art and culture. The colors of Dougla were chosen specifically to unify different cultures of the Caribbean; Davis wanted her project to focus on the practices that make 'Afro-Caribbean' culture significant. The palettes are sure to bring togetherness in a symmetrical fashion. The artists explained it best herself:


Dougla is used as a cultural expression through pattern utilizing simple colour schemes representative of the diversity of the Caribbean Diaspora. I was intrigued by how many of the patterns survived the centuries and the manufacturing processes were also passed through the generations. Dougla seeks to create a pattern for the diversity of the Caribbean, utilising one triangle in varying arrangements. I see this project as a unifying agent of our varied cultures and an attempt to make a pattern that can be our mark in history with the great cultures of the world.

View Cherry Ann Davis' Dougla patterns in the gallery above. [H/T African Digital Art]

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.