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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.


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Runtown. Photo courtesy of the artist.

How Runtown Got His Groove Back

In the past year, Runtown has had to look behind him to shed the ghosts of his former label. Now he's looking forward to more success.

In May of 2018 with two months left on his contract, the Nigerian popstar Runtown woke up one morning to news that his record label, Eric Many Entertainment, was suing him for damages worth N267 million. A potential local court injunction against him meant Runtown might face the possibility of being barred from making music until the suit was resolved. It was the the start in of a string of legal battles between the singer and his label that threatened his very existence as an artist.

As Runtown planned his next steps, his boss, Ukwudili Umenyiora was doing everything he could not to let him go. The suit was a ploy to get him to extend the contract, or reach a settlement that would allow the label to keep a stake in his future business. In the press, Runtown was lambasted daily by suspected paid agents of the record label.

After the record label tried to prevent a performance in Canada, and sent cease and desist letters to radio stations, asking them to pull Runtown off playlists, something cracked in his camp. His legal team mobilised. They launched an offensive, filing cases and petitions on many fronts across Lagos, Abuja and New York. His boss and aggressor, Okwudili Umenyiora, was arrested twice by the local police on petitions by Runtown. To stop the media harassment, Umenyiora signed a legal agreement promising to back off. With the coast clear, he could then focus on the music.

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Video still via YouTube.

'Ratnik' Is the Dystopian Nollywood Action Film You Didn't Know You Needed

Watch the dramatic teaser from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola.

A film 2 years in the making is yet another cinematic moment contributing to the growing diversity of subgenres in the Nollywood industry.

Ratnik is a dystopian action film from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola his production company Flipsyde Studios. The teaser recently dropped this month ahead of the official trailer—and from this 1-minute clip we're anticipating suspense, explosions, peculiar superhero characters and impressive vfx that we're seeing more of in Nigerian films.

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Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Swiss Producer Dejot Enlists South African Leftfield Artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, RADIO 123 and More in His New EP ‘Uhujano’

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Swiss electronic producer Dejot has a fondness for South African and its musicians. "What was really surprising to me was the fact, that when I played my music, my demos or ideas, people started to dance immediately," says Dejot in an email to OkayAfrica. "I was really surprised, that there was something in my music that hit them and made them move. This is very different compared to Europe or Switzerland, where people mostly stand around and just listen to it."

Last year, Dejot produced the rapper Robin Thirdfloor's EP Bhotela in its entirety. He has also worked with Bongeziwe Mabandla. This year, for his latest EP, Uhujano, he enlisted South Africa-based artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, Robert Machiri and the duo RADIO 123.

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