Video

Cameroonian MC & Producer Jovi On Composing Akon's Comeback Hit

One of our favorite Cameroonian acts talks about producing and writing Akon's "Shine The Light."

Jovi. Photo via New Bell Music.


The standout track from Akon’s comeback album Stadium, ”Shine the Light”, marries Cameroonian guitar lines, accentuated percussion and the Senegalese-American superstar’s trademark sleek vocals.

A little digging reveals that “Shine The Light” was originally composed by the rapper & producer Jovi—one of our favorite Cameroonian acts—under his production alias Le Monstre.

The song, which was originally going to opening track on Jovi’s Mboko God, is influenced by Cameroonian church choirs and samples the vocals of Cameroonian artists Reniss, Daddy Black and Jovi himself.

We talked to Jovi via e-mail below to get the scoop on how the track ended up in Akon’s hands.

How did you link up with Akon?

Akon came to Cameroon to do a concert and the VP of A&R of Konvict Music at the time, Fotemah Mba (T'Mah), came with him. T'Mah is originally from Cameroon. He met Je Wanda Magazine founder Celine Fotso and expressed an interest in meeting me. Celine Fotso arranged a meeting between us, so we made a trip to Douala to see him. We met him at this hotel and we played him our music for him. That was a day after the Akon show.

Did he know your music?

I don't know if Akon knew my music. But I was a fan of Akon's because I grew up listening to him. A lot of African kids of my generation grew up listening to Akon's music.

I came to him with the beat and the idea for "Shine the Light." [The song] was going to be the opening track for Mboko God. I played it for T’mah and he liked it. He asked if he could give it to Akon to listen.

What was the inspiration behind your beat on “Shine The Light”?

The guitar line and the vocal sample were written and composed by me. The vocal sample was inspired by the way the church choir sings in my village. I wanted it to have that feel. The vocal sample I composed constitutes of three vocalists who contributed their voices: Daddy Black, Reniss and myself. I composed the guitar melody and Mt. Cameroon (aka Fracoise) replayed it.

I also contributed the lyrics for the chorus. That chorus was part of the song and instrumental track I sent. Akon did the verses after I sent the song. I wasn't in the studio with him. It was done remotely, but we talked on the phone a couple times.

I'm very happy that someone I respect as much as Akon appreciates and supports my work. It inspires me to create more, and encourages me to continue to use African influences in my music.

Check out Jovi’s Top Music Video of 2015 choice “Zélé.”

Music

Listen to Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims’ New Mixtape ‘3 Way’

Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims finally share their debut mixtape.

If you've been following the ATM (African Trap Movement) gang closely, then you know a joint project from three of its members—Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims—has been a long time in the making.

3 Way is a 10-track mixtape consisting of songs performed by the trio collectively, including the lead single "M.I.A," which has been out for a few months. The only guests on the project are two of ATM's founding members Emtee and Saudi, who appear on the songs "Where Would I Be" and "Silent Night."

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Gallo Images/Getty Images

'My Name is Reeva' is the New Documentary About the Late Reeva Steenkamp

The South African documentary series will tell the personal story of the model who was murdered by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius.

It's been four years since one of the most infamous court trials rocked South Africa. Oscar Pistorius, South Africa's once beloved Paralympics gold medalist and "Blade Runner", was charged with the murder of South African model, and his girlfriend at the time, Reeva Steenkamp. Initially, Pistorius was sentenced to a measly six years behind bars following a controversial trial and subsequent judgement. However, a little over a year later, his sentence was increased to 13 years and 5 months.

Over the years, there have been much speculation about the relationship between Pistorius and Steenkamp. Question marks still abound in terms of what really transpired on the day Steenkamp died. More recently, her family announced that they are working on My Name is Reeva, a new tell-all documentary they hope will set the record straight on a number of issues, Channel24 reports.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo still courtesy of Vlisco&co.

Nigerian Filmmaker Dafe Oboro Tells the Lagos Hustle Story in His Vivid Fashion Film for Vlisco&co

"A Beautiful Struggle" is Vlisco&co's latest collaboration where Dafe Oboro shows us the beauty of the grind in his home city.

Vlisco&co; continues to lend African creatives a platform to tell their unique stories while incorporating designs using the vibrant wax prints we all love.

With their latest collaboration, the brand tapped Nigerian filmmaker Dafe Oboro—the mind behind the fashion film A Beautiful Struggle featuring designs by Papa Oyeyemi and Abiola Olusola.

The film is a portrait showing what the Lagos hustle looks like and the beauty in the midst of it all from Oboro's perspective. We follow Smart Song—an aspiring musician hailing from a small-town—who lands in a psychadelic Lagos to follow his passion of music and being a star by any means necessary.

Keep reading... Show less
Audio
Nonso Amadi. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Nonso Amadi Is Making His Unique Blend of Afro-Fusion

We speak with the Toronto-based Nigerian artist about his new self-produced EP, Free, which includes features from Mr Eazi and Simi.

Nonso Amadi is a Toronto-based musician cooking up his own blend of afro-fusion by mixing influences from his Nigerian background with elements of RnB, soul, pop and much more.

His releases and production over recent years have made Nonso one of the standout acts from a new wave of young Nigerian artists experimenting and pushing boundaries on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 23-year-old artist just dropped his latest release, Free, a 6-song EP which features appearances from Mr Eazi on lead single "Go Outside" and Simi, who provides vocals on "Better." The EP was entirely produced by Nonso himself, with a little help from British-Ghanaian producer Juls and AoD.

We spoke with Nonso Amadi during a visit to NYC about his genre-bending EP below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.