Video

Akon & will.i.am Talk About the Rise of Afrobeats For ‘The Questions’

For the latest installment of Okayafrica TV’s "The Questions," Akon and will.i.am talk about the current state of African music.

For the latest installment of Okayafrica TV’s "The Questions," we caught up with Akon and will.i.am in Los Angeles to pick their brains about the current state of African music.


The two stars were all laughs as we got their thoughts on afrobeats, the best ways for African acts to crossover in America, and what artists they’re looking out for from the continent.

“Africa is going to be the new bubble,” will.i.am mentions, comparing the musical explosion to the rise of K-pop a few years ago.

The two also name some of their favorite current acts. Wizkid, Davido, P-Square, D’banj, and Black Coffee—who Akon calls the “David Guetta of Africa”—all get shout-outs.

Watch the Okayafrica TV video above.

 

News Brief

Akon Confirms Agreement For His New City In Senegal, 'Akon City'

It's official, Akon is developing a new city in Senegal.

Akon is developing his own city in Senegal.

The musician and entrepreneur confirmed the signing of the agreement for Akon City earlier this week in an Instagram post. "Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future," he wrote.

Akon had previously talked about his plans to launch a "Crypto City" in Senegal which would run on his own cyptocurrency, AKoin.

He's also been working on initiatives like the Lighting Africa Project, which aims to bring electricity to homes in West Africa through solar power.

Akon explained his plans in more detail last year in an interview with Nick Cannon: ""It's all renewable, the Akon-tainment solar city," he mentions. "It's a 10-year building block so we're doing it in stages. We started construction in March and stage two is going to be 2025."

Keep reading...
News Brief

Davido Wins 'Best African Act' at MTV EMAs, Wizkid Snags 3 AFRIMAs and More

See which African artists won big at this weekend's award shows.

This past weekend was full of awards shows and some of our favorite African acts took home some major trophies.

Najia music star, Davido won "Best African Act" at the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards, beating out Wizkid, Nasty C, and more to claim the title. He wasn't there to accept his award, but the artists shared his excitement about the win on Instagram.

Just moments ago, Davido shared on Twitter that he also won the Best Worldwide Act at the EMAs. The artists is having a very successful year to say the least. Congrats to him!

Davido also dropped "Fia," last week, the highly anticipated follow-up to his hit song "If." Watch the video below.

Davido isn't the only afrobeats star who had a fruitful awards season, Wizkid took home three awards during this year's All Africa Music Awards in Lagos, hosted by the one and only Akon. He snagged the Best West African Artist of the year award, Song of the Year and Artist of the year.

Our new digital music service, Okaymusic, took home two awards with Nigerian star and Okaymusic signee 2Baba winning for Best Artist or Group in African Reggae & Dancehall and Cameroon's Montess winning Best Female Artist in Central Africa.

Additionally, Tiwa Savage won Best West African Act (Female) and Simi took home Best Songwriter of the Year

See the full list of winners below.

Best Central African Act (Male) – Locko

Best Central African Act (Female) – Montess

Best East African Act (Male) – Eddy Kenzo

Best East African Act (Female) – Nandy

Best Southern Africa Act (Male) – Emtee

Best West African Act (Male) – Wizkid

Best West African Act (Female) – Tiwa Savage

Best African Collaboration – Alikiba feat M.I – "AJE"

Best Artist in African Rock – Gilad Millo (Kenya)

Best Artist or Group in African RnB & Soul – Alikiba feat. M.I – "AJE"

Best Artist or Group in African Contemporary: DJ Tunez feat. Wande Coal – "Iskaba"

Best Artist or Group in African Raggae & Dancehall – 2Baba – "Holy Holy"

Best Artist or Group in African Hip Hop – Ycee – "Juice"

Best Artist of Group in African Pop – Toofan

Video of the Year – Orezi x Adasa Cookey – "Cooking Pot"

Best Female Artist in Inspirational Music: Asikey George

African Songwriter of the Year – Simi

Producer of the Year – DJ Coublon for Seyi Shay's "Yolo Yolo"

Artist of the Year – Wizkid

Song of the Year – Wizkid feat. Drake – "Come Closer"

popular
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.

Keep reading...
popular
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.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.