News Brief

5 Out of 6 Finalists For This Year's World Athlete of The Year Award are African

Africans are dominating this year's World Athlete of the year award.

Africans are literally running the world of sports.

The finalists for the IAAF's World Athlete of the year have been announced, and five out of six athletes completing for this year's title are of African descent, reports BBC Africa. In fact, all three male finalists are African.

The list of competitors includes, British-Somali long-distance champion Mo Farah who won his last race ever earlier this year in an unforgettable display, is up against Qatari-born Mutaz Essa Barshim, whose parents are Sudanese as well as South African champion Wayde van Niekerk, who will also compete for the coveted title.

The women's category is also heavily African. Ethiopian long distance runner Almaz Ayana is in the running, as well as heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam, whose father is Senegalese. They'll both go up against Greek pole vaulter Ekaterini Stefanidi.

The winner of the award will be announced in on November 24 in Monaco.

We're rooting for every single African that's nominated!

Music

Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.

Tems is striking while the iron's hot and sharing her new 5-song EP, If Orange Was A Place.

The new release comes a few days after she dropped its lead single, "Crazy Tings," an addictive and bounce-heavy track produced by Ghanaian beatmaker GuiltyBeatz.

If Orange Was A Place also features a single guest appearance from American singer Brent Faiyaz — who lends his vocals to "Found" — and production from Jonah Christian. It was mixed and mastered by Spax.

The new EP comes alongside the news that Tems has signed to Since '93/RCA Records and been announced as Apple Music's latest Up Next artist.

Tems has been a highly-buzzing name in the last month with her feature on Drake's Certified Lover Boy, in which she appears on the song "Fountains," and for the massive popularity of her single alongside Wizkid, "Essence," which recently got a Justin Bieber remix.

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Interview

Liya Wants to Stand Out

The rising Nigerian artist, who has been crowned the 'First Lady' of Davido's DMW label, tells us about how her life has changed and details her new Alari EP.

When Nigerian music icon Davido signed Liya, a day after hearing her song in a Lagos nightclub, the trajectory of her life was effectively changed. From being a hopeful up-and-comer, the singer was suddenly on the books of one of the most influential record labels in the afropop industry, Davido Music Worldwide, and primed for a breakthrough. "Melo," the enthralling single played that day in the club was released within days of Liya's signing, retro-fitted with a video that heralded her ascension to the 30 Billion Gang.

Following the buzz and positive acceptance of "Melo," Liya retreated to the shadows to deal with the evolving landscape of her life and put together a debut project that would cement her position within Nigerian pop. In August, nine months after being signed, Liya returned with Alari, a six-track EP that was released without a lead single.

"Alari is basically saying I am different," the singer says during a chat one afternoon after the project's release. Songs like "Odua" and the project's titular track prove that the Liya is effectively operating on her own plain, where she weaves desire and equanimous gratitude into languid, fluid pop anthems guided by her sirenic voice and breathless cadences.

Below, we caught up with Liya to discuss working on Alari, getting signed to DMW, and the inner workings of her life.

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Silverstone Barz Is the Fresh Face of East African Rap

Listen to her new EP, Don Bother.

Fast-rising Kenyan rapper Silverstone Barz has released her new EP and official sophomore project, Don Bother. It features hard-hitting Kenyan rappers Timmy Blanco, Boutross and Scar Mkadinali. Tanzania's Brian Simba and Navie are enlisted as well on the fierce title track that kicks off the project.

According to the Nairobi-based artist, the 6-song EP was as a result of the persistence of her friends and producers who sent her cool beats that she was jamming to. Then she connected with a few artists, worked on the music and then compiled them to make a body of work.

"The title was influenced by the first song from the EP which felt super hyped and powerful! Also, [it] could mean 'Don't bother, I got this,'" reveals Silverstone.

The 24-year-old hitmaker has a couple of releases like "Africana" featuring Victoria Kimani, "Jar Weed" and recent hit "If It's On" featuring Boutross under her belt. She also featured on Khaligraph Jones' massive track "Khali Cartel 3," which catapulted her to fame. "Khali Cartel was a major boost for me as an artist and I learnt that putting in work keeps you on top," she mentions.

With this new project, Silverstone is definitely positioning herself as the freshest and most exciting face of East African female rap right now.

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