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Chadian Producer Afrotronix Wants to Redefine Afrobeat In His New Album

On his latest release Nomadix, the forward-thinking producer Afrotronix flaunts the different production styles he's acquired over the years.

DIASPORA—On his latest release Nomadix, the forward-thinking producer Afrotronix flaunts the different production styles he's acquired over the years. The Chadian-born, Montreal-based artist has a lot of influences that bleed through on his new album.


“This album is a good reflection of who I am,” says Afrotronix in an e-mail to OkayAfrica. “I sing in Sara, the language from my country Chad. I mix mandingo music from west Africa with Tuareg blues from the Sahara and present it in an electronic futurist package.”

Dubstep, house, reggae and EDM, are fused with Mbalakh rumba and sai on Nomadix, making the album a virtual journey around some parts of the world.

“I want to redefine the meaning of Afrobeat. I want to present a new Africa,” says the artist. All nine tracks on the album are different from each other. The vocals, which are sometimes digitally enhanced with effects on some songs, make it uniquely Chadian. You also won’t get enough of those guitar solos that are prevalent throughout the album. 🔥

Listen to Nomadix below and revisit our 2016 interview with Afrotronix here.

 

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Exclusive: This 2019 Documentary Takes You Inside Amapiano, South Africa's Popular House Music Subgenre

A new documentary titled 'SHAYA!' unpacks the popular Amapiano subgenre.

Sponsored content from Corona.

SHAYA!, a 26-minute documentary which we are premiering here, unpacks amapiano's origins and profiles some of the subgenre's key players such as Kabza De Small, JazziDisciples, MFR Souls, Mark Khoza and others.

Amapiano, also affectionately called "the yanos", is the new craze in the streets of South Africa. The house music subgenre started in the townships of Gauteng cities Pretoria and Johannesburg. It's now one of the most popular genres in the country. Even major artists like Samthing Soweto, DJ Maphorisa, Cassper Nyovest and DJ Tira, among others, have jumped on the bandwagon and released amapiano songs and even whole projects.

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Still from YouTube.

Zlatan Drops New Song and Video 'Yeye Boyfriend'

Zlatan really wants you to get rid of your useless boyfriend.

Nigerian artist Zlatan drops a new single ahead of the release of his upcoming debut album Zanku: The Album.

On "Yeye Boyfriend" the popular "Zanku (Leg Work)" singer reasons for breaking up with time-wasting boyfriends (yeye is a humorous Yoruba term often used to describe someone as "useless" or "senseless"). The song is a change of pace for the artist, as it features him singing lightheartedly rather than delivering the grittier rap sound he's known for.

The comedic video sees the artist playing the role of a therapist to several failing couples. He calls his practice "Yeye Family Therapy." The video was shot by Visionary Pictures.

The artist also recently announced that he'll be linking up with Burna Boy soon for another collaboration called "Gbeku," which is the name of another dance the artist is popularizing. Judging by the undeniable critical and commercial success of "Killin' Dem," it's sure to be a memorable one.

The artist has featured on several tracks throughout the year, including "Shotan" with Tiwa Savage, and "Bum Bum" with Davido. Zanku: The Album is set to drop on November 1 and is now available for pre-order.

Watch the music video for "Yeye Boyfriend" below.

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Courtesy of Universal Music Group.

In Conversation with Daniel Kaluuya and Melina Matsoukas: 'This isn't a Black Bonnie and Clyde film—our stories are singular, they're ours.'

'Queen and Slim' lands in South Africa.

Melina Matsoukas and Daniel Kaluuya are everything their surroundings at the opulent Saxon Hotel are not—down-to-earth and even comedic at times. Despite the harsh lights and cameras constantly in their faces, they joke around and make the space inviting. They're also eager to know and pronounce the names of everyone they meet correctly. "It's Rufaro with an 'R'? Is that how you say it?" Kaluuya asks me as he shakes my hand.

Matsoukas, a two-time Grammy award winning director and Kaluuya, an A-list actor who's starred in massive titles including Black Panther and Get Out, have every reason to be boastful about their achievements and yet instead, they're relatable.

The duo is in South Africa to promote their recent film Queen Slim which is hitting theaters today and follows the eventful lives of a Black couple on the run after killing a police officer. It's a film steeped in complexity and layered themes to do with racism, police brutality and of course Black love.

We caught up with both of them to talk about just what it took from each of them to bring the powerful story to the big screen.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Installation view of Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara © The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2020, photography by Anna-Marie Kellen.

The Met's New Exhibition Celebrates the Rich Artistic History of the Sahel Region

'Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara' is an enxtensive look into the artistic past of the West African region.

West Africa's Sahel region has a long and rich history of artistic expression. In fact, pieces from the area, which spans present-day Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, date all the way back to the first millennium. Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara, a new exhibition showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, dives into this history to share an expansive introduction to those who might be unfamiliar with the Sahel's artistic traditions.

"The Western Sahel has always been a part of the history of African art that has been especially rich, and one of the things that I wanted to do with this exhibition, that hasn't done before, is show one of the works of visual art...and present them within the framework of the great states that historians have written about that developed in this region," curator Alisa LaGamma tells Okayafrica. She worked with an extensive team of researchers and curators from across the globe, including Yaëlle Biro, to bring the collection of over 200 pieces to one of New York City's most prestigious art institutions.

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