Photos

Photos: Meet The Ethiopian Artist Behind Beyoncé's Stunning Maternity Shoot

Beyoncé enlisted Ethiopian photographer, Awol Erizku, for her Venus-inspired maternity shoot that broke the Internet.

Unless you've been residing under a rock, by now, you've heard that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins.


She shared the news of her pregnancy yesterday with a portrait of herself in front of a floral backdrop with green mesh adorning her head and stomach. Today, she released the full maternity shoot, and the rest of the pictures are just as stunning.

The striking viral photos are the handiwork of Ethiopian-American photographer and conceptual artist, Awol Erizku, who's long been on our radar thanks to projects like The Only Way is Up, which we featured back in 2014.

#Beyonce #Blue

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

#Beyonce #Blue

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

#Beyonce #twins

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

#Beyonce

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

Much of the Los Angeles-based artist's earlier works placed Black subjects at the center of well-known Renaissance paintings.

Erizku took a similar direction with Beyoncé's shoot. The photos envision the singer as a Black (and beautiful) version of the Roman goddess Venus.

For his latest collection, I Was Going to Call It Your Name But You Didn’t Let Me, Erizku paired his paintings with curated mixes of the songs that inspired them. It showcased last year at Art Basel.

This isn't the first time that Beyoncé has looked to African artists for inspiration. The works of African creatives have been unmistakably present in many of her recent projects. On last year's Lemonade, she spotlighted Laolu Senbanjo's Sacred Art of the Ori and commissioned the writings of British-Somali poet Warsan Shire—who also wrote the Yoruba-inspired poem "I Have Three Hearts" that Beyoncé shared on her website to accompany the maternity photos.

Beyoncé's affinity for African creatives is no secret, and with the wealth of innovation and talent coming from this group of artists, it's not really a surprise either.

Check out more of Awol Erizku's work below.

 

 

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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