Credit: @JamesFramed

How I Made Kojo Funds' Epic Afro Swing Music Video For 'Stallin'

British-Ghanaian director Gerald Sagoe breaks down how he created the music video for Kojo Funds' "Stallin'"

Kojo Funds is one of the leading name's coming out of London's flourishing Afro Swing movement. The buzzing artist just released the striking new music video for "Stallin'," which paints a vivid portrait of the paths young, black British people can choose to take while challenging the audience's perceptions.

Below, music video director Gerald Sagoe of So Fraiche, tells us how he set up, shot, and delivered this epic new music video.

All photos by @JamesFramed and @kd_visuals.

Hearing the newly released song/single, "Stallin'" by Kojo Funds, it initially struck me as a gritty anthem that would excite the streets and have everyone blaring it from their cars. I was excited to undergo this project, taking a step back from working on global brand projects within my company, So Fraiche Media, to produce not just a music video, but a movie.

Kojo Funds is the pioneer of Afro Swing, a genre that is permeating culture globally. Representing the eclectic Afro Swing of sound, this style of music was birthed in the most deprived borough of East London, also the birth place of Grime music. As the director, I persisted to stay true to the sound by shooting in a London Estate, with its striking tower blocks and open space that would evoke a concrete jungle and create an artistic, eye-catching and thought-provoking visual, a portrait coming to life. Combined with a stark black-and-white aesthetic, it created a classic 'film noir' look.

Credit: @JamesFramed

Raised in Britain and being Ghanaian myself, I realised that Afro Swing represents the time we live in, where there is a new sense of African pride. We are influenced by our heritage, inspired by the cultures of the entire diaspora; from the sounds of Afrobeats, to Hip-hop, Bashment and Dancehall—a hybrid of Caribbean, African and London culture have led to create this movement.

I wanted to deliver a message and a unique video; presenting the paths young black men can choose and challenge what people are expected to see in the context of a music video like this, as well as our own prejudices as a society. The story starts with a bag being placed in a car, holding a symbolic value, the viewer should not realise the purpose till the end of the video. Just like artwork in an exhibition, the video is meant to be left to the interpretation of the viewer, provoking their thoughts.

Credit: @JamesFramed

Focusing on the zeitgeist within London with its rising rate of violent crime, I felt it was important to tackle the video in this way, challenging the social climate and the mentality of young men depicted, who are ultimately trapped in a cage (a metaphor depicted in the video during an epic brawl). Kojo Funds is very talented and amazing to work with as he's laid back and happy to take direction and give everything he can. He has tremendous acting qualities and I told him that he's similar to Tupac, as he's extremely versatile and can switch from charismatic lady killer to gangsta effortlessly.

Shooting the video in a different style outside of the norm was important for its direction. Opting to shoot in super slow motion, with a phantom camera intended for the shots to jump out at the viewer, leaving them fixated. I drew from different sources of inspiration, from Kendrick Lamar's visuals, to iconic photos of DMX, to classic films. Every single shot was thought out thoroughly, all in an effort to showcase something powerful and deliver a message through art.

Afro swing is set to be one of the UK's biggest cultural exports, with its international scope, irresistible melodies, and diverse influences. It is a reflection of the African diaspora and I look forward to it's growth and realisation. I'm currently working on a documentary-film on the subject and look forward to releasing that soon. My overall mission is to keep on pushing the bar in filmmaking, original content and inspiring the African diaspora globally.

Credit: @kd_visuals

Credit: @kd_visuals

Credit: @kd_visuals

Credit: @JamesFramed

Credit: @JamesFramed

Credit: @JamesFramed

Credit: @kd_visuals

Credit: @JamesFramed

Credit: @JamesFramed

Credit: @JamesFramed

Credit: @JamesFramed

Sudan Uprising

Sudan has Appointed a Prime Minister to Govern During the Transitional Period

Abdalla Hamdok says that peace and resolving the economic crisis are his top priorities.

Earlier this month, the leader of the main opposition coalition, Ahmed Rabie, and Gen Mohamed Hamdan Daglo of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), signed a constitutional declaration just shortly after signing their first power-transfer deal. The declaration detailed how a Sovereign Council, consisting of six civilians and five members of the military, would oversee the governing of Sudan during the three-year transitional period to complete civilian rule. Recently, Abdalla Hamdok, was sworn in as the transitional prime minister, according to the BBC. His appointment comes after Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan was appointed the leader of the Sovereign Council, Aljazeera reports.

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Still from YouTube

Watch the Retro Music Video for Dyo's 'Go All the Way' Featuring Mr Eazi

The video, directed by Mahaneela, is a tribute to the vintage photography of Malick Sidibé, James Barnor, Seydou Keïta, and Samuel Fosso.

Mr Eazi teams up with budding Nigerian artist Dyo, for her latest single "Go All the Way."

The duo share a memorable music video, inspired by the work of vintage African studio photographers like Malick Sidibé, James Barnor, Seydou Keïta, and Samuel Fosso. The music video features cameos from several young African creatives including Congolese artist Miles from Kinshasa, who are all photographed in stylish clothes before staged backdrops.

The video was directed by multi-hyphenated creator Mahaneela, who also appears in the video,

The Mirza-produced song sees both artists singing suggestively about their lovers. "Go go, go all the way," Dyo sings smoothly on the track's chorus.

Still from YouTube

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Join Us For an Everyday Afrique Party This Labor Day In NYC!

Featuring music by DJ Moma, DJ Tunez, Rich Knight, Boston Chery and DJ Buka.

Everyday People, OkayAfrica and Electrafrique are back with the best Labor Day weekend party around with Everyday Afrique.

Come hang with us for another installment of the party that brings out the New York City's finest.

This September 2 we're taking Everyday Afrique back to The Well in Brooklyn, where you can dance and drink the day & night away across the venue's outdoor and indoor spaces.

Grab Your Tickets to Everyday Afrique's Labor Day Party Here

Music will be handled by a top-shelf line-up of selectors including DJ Moma, DJ Tunez, Rich Knight, Boston Chery and DJ Buka.

The party will be hosted by Young Prince, Saada, Roble, Sinat, Giselle, Shernita and Maine.

Make sure to grab your tickets here and we'll see you on the dance floor!

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Courtesy of Sibu Mpanza.

INFLUENCED: Meet Sibu Mpanza—the YouTuber Who's Making a Killing from Just Having Fun

'I am the person I needed when and even before I started my YouTube channel,' the prolific YouTuber says.

OkayAfrica brings you the 2019 INFLUENCED Series. In the coming weeks, we'll be exploring the online communities being fostered by young South Africans who are doing more than just influencing. From make-up gurus and hair naturalistas to socially-conscious thought leaders, get ready to be influenced. Read the rest of the series here.

Years ago, Sibu Mpanza found himself experiencing two realities Black South African students are still battling with even today: crippling financial woes at university and debilitating depression.

An aspiring musician who ended up studying psychology instead at the University of Cape Town, Mpanza began skipping as many classes as he possibly could. He would spend copious amounts of time at a computer hidden away in the corner, passing the hours watching funny videos on YouTube. In fact, he says he spent so much time on YouTube that he was literally one of the very first people to view Beyoncé's epic "711" music video—something Mpanza recalls in stitches.

He was searching for something, although admittedly, he didn't quite know back then what it was exactly. It eventually got so bad that in his second year of university, he packed up his things, dropped out and moved to Johannesburg to see if he could become what he'd always imagined he could eventually be.

Fast-forward to 2019, and the name Sibu Mpanza is not only an undeniable success story but an entire brand.

Mpanza is a full-time YouTuber who has been able to capitalise on creating hilarious content about his life and pretty much anything that interests him. While he initially "blew up" because of a YouTube video he put out, a video which called out White students at the University of the Free State who were recorded beating up protesting Black students at a rugby game, he's since moved onto a second channel, More Mpanza, where he makes content that's a lot more fun, apolitical and doesn't take a toll on his mental health. As if two successful channels weren't enough, he's also got a third channel, Arcade, where he and his business partner talk about things they enjoy in the technology space.

For anyone looking to just let off some steam, watch a YouTuber who's willing to poke fun at himself or find some really quality content in an era where everyone seems to have a YouTube channel about something or the other, Mpanza is definitely your guy.

We caught up with him to talk about what inspired his various YouTube channels, the fame that comes with being a household name and what's really important to the young South African creative.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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