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Still from La Même Gang's "Kemor Ame." (Youtube)

5 Young African Music Video Directors to Look Out For In 2019

The new wave of African music video directing is here .

From the burgeoning alté scene to the mainstream, the new school of African directors are injecting fresh energy into the music videos of some of the continent's biggest artists and more.

With their unique perspectives and innovative visual concepts, these young directors and filmmakers are defying many of the cliché music video ideas seen in the Nigerian and Ghanaian scenes—and having a lot of fun every step of the way.

Here are the brilliant new talents behind the lens in the African music scene: David Duncan, Scilla Owusu, Ademola Falomo, Babs Direction and Daviid Anthony.


David Duncan, 23

Ghana-based director David Duncan only creates visuals for music that he likes.

Dave is motivated by the idea of being "different" and this pushes him to think beyond expectations. His refreshing visual experiments for the likes of Joey B and La Même Gang have set him apart as a director in the Ghanaian music scene and a talent to keep our eyes on in the new year.

Has Worked With: Joey B, La Même Gang, Wavy The Creator, Pappy Kodjo, B4bonah.

Would Love To Work With: Meek Mill and many artists from Atlanta rap scene.

Advice for other upcoming directors: "I think letting upcoming directors learn from their own mistakes is the best way to train them, I remember, on the come up I've heard a lot from senior directors and only choose to listen to few advices that I thought would be useful to me, we can't all follow the same rule in fact there's no rule with creativity, All you need to do is find yourself, work hard till you get that self confidence that's how you become innovative."

Also check out: La Même Gang's "Kemor Ame" directed by David Duncan

Ademolo Falomo, 21

"The artists I have worked with are particular because I love to create visuals that explore the youth culture, these artists have the songs or the style that help me push my creativity along that line," says 21-year-old Ademola Falomo , a Nigerian filmmaker based both in Dubai and Lagos. Inspired by Spanish cinema , the young director prefers to use natural light sources, handheld shots, and film colouring that gives his videos a distinct diffused, hazy aesthetic with amber tones.

Has Worked With: Odunsi The Engine, Santi, D-O, Wavy The Creator, Zamir, Kah-lo & Riton

Would Love To Work With: Runtown, Burna Boy, Skepta, Sho Madjozi, Not3s, Flo-hio, Ezi Emela, Koffee, Col3trane iamddb.

Favorite Quote/Advice for Upcoming Directors: "I just really got a grasp on this quote: 'the game is the game.'" As for my advice for directors; embrace the act of collaborating, that is the fastest way to learn and get better at what you do."

Also check out: Riton & Kah-Lo's "Fake I.D." directed by Ademola Falomo.

Daviid Anthony, 22

"My creative process is weird," mentions Daviid Anthony, "my strong point definitely is outdoor. I love colours and nature." Within a short period of time, the rising Nigerian filmmaker has utilized his distinctive style to create visual content for household names like Wizkid and Tekno. He strives to create a special vibe when directing or editing his videos, and his already-impressive portfolio only gets us more excited for what he will be working on next.

Has Worked With: Tekno, Wizkid, Famous Bobson , Ceeza Milli, Legendury Beatz, Ycee and more.

Would Love To Work With: Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Teyana Taylor.

Word of Advice: "Positivity is key. We are all stars."

Also check out: Bobson's "Iyawo" directed by Daviid Anthony.

Scilla Owusu, 22

Whether she is producing or directing, Scilla Owusu is the woman taking the lead behind the camera for many popular afrobeats and afro-swing music videos. Starting out as a screenwriter and film producer at the age of 18, her online series, A Lesson Learnt, won best web series ensemble award at the Screen Nation Media Awards in London. Within a short period of time, the British-Ghanaian director has transitioned to being on set with some of Africa's biggest artists and she's just getting started.

Has Worked With: Don EE, Stonebwoy, Davido, Sarkodie, Maleek Berry, Patoranking, Fuse ODG and more.

Would Love To Work With: Wizkid, Burna Boy, Beyonce, Travis Scott, Niniola.

Professional motto: "Aspire to inspire before I expire. While I'm on this earth, through my actions, my aim is to aspire someone else especially in the field I'm in where you don't see many women who look like me. To inspire them to get started on whatever it is that they may think is difficult to do. Showing them if I can look like you and I can do it."

Also check out: Diztortion, Lethal Bizzle & Maleek Berry's "Pull Up" directed by Scilla Owusu.

Babs Direction, 25

With every single project he embarks on, Awudu Musa also known as Babs Direction, wants to create a masterpiece. At only 25, he has become one of the most sought-after directors in Ghana. His stellar catalogue features big names like Wizkid, R2bees, Sarkodie and more. To him, there are a million interpretations to a single creative thought and he prefers to stay open-minded when brainstorming for his high-profile music videos.

Has Worked With: R2Bees, Wizkid, Darkovibes, King Promise, Stonebwoy , Patoranking, Adekunle Gold, Efya, Juls and more.

Would Love To Work With: Prefers to go with the flow.

On Finding Inspiration: "As a creative person, I am greatly inspired by everything around me, mostly visuals and everyday happenings. There isn't like a go-to spot for inspiration for me. But I am mostly inspired by anything visually satisfying , my regular day involves at least 3-4 hours of scrolling through Pinterest and Tumblr. It's like a ritual for me!"

Also check out: King Promise & Wizkid's "Tokyo" by Babs Direction.


Audio
Fatoumata Diawara on A Colors Show (Youtube)

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring K.O, Fatoumata Diawara, Burna Boy, Harmonize, Darkovibes x Runtown, Shatta Wale and more

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Still from YouTube.

Watch Burna Boy Perform 'Anybody' and 'Collateral Damage' on 'The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon'

The 'African Giant' delivers another memorable late night appearance.

Grammy-nominated artist Burna Boy, appeared as the musical guest on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon yesterday, marking another standout late night appearance from the artist, following The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live from earlier this year.

Burna Boy performed a medley of his songs "Collateral Damage" and "Anybody" from his latest album African Giant. Opening with 'Collateral Damage," the artist asked audience members to raise their fists, describing the song as "protest music." After that he headed into an energetic rendition of 'Anybody," delivering the zanku and several "gbeses" during the performance.

Burna Boy has won several awards throughout the year, including "Best International Act" at the BET Awards and "Best African Act" at the MTV Europe Awards. Most recently he's been nominated for a Grammy in the "Best World Music" category for African Giant alongside Angelique Kidjo and more.

He's also collaborated with several artists, including fellow Nigerian artist Zlatan on the dance banger "Gbeku" and Stormzy on his latest track "Own It" also featuring Ed Sheeran.

Check out Burna Boy's performance on The Tonight Show down below.

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Cardi B Teases New Remix of Davido's 'Fall'

Looks like the Nigerian star's massive hit is getting yet another re-up.

Cardi B has teased her apparent upcoming remix of Davido's "Fall."

Posting from a private jet, as she was on her way to New York before heading to West Africa, Cardi B shared a video of herself rapping and dancing along to the unreleased remix.

From the sounds of it, Cardi's "Fall" remix will feature a brand new verse from the New York rapper.

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Art
Image courtesy of Trap Bob.

Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

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