News

‘Black Is Beautiful’: Ivorian-British Model Aya Jones Slays In Cornrows On The Cover Of Vogue Spain

Aya Jones gives us yet another day of #BlackGirlMagic on the March cover of Vogue Spain.

Aya Jones on the cover of Vogue Spain's March issue. Photo: Nico Bustos.


As we see black beauty continue to get the love it deserves from around the world, Vogue Spain’s March issue follows suit by declaring “Black Is Beautiful” with Ivorian-British model, Aya Jones, at front and center.

Get a glimpse of some of the enchanting photos shot by photographer Nico Bustos and styled by Belen Anolín in Botswana:

We loved seeing these local Botswana women help hair stylist Karim Belghiran with Jones’ classic and simple cornrows:

Jones just wrapped up Paris Fashion Week in Miu Miu, and even shared with The Cut her favorite natural hair products, as designers continue to embrace the idea of models rocking their tresses naturally on the runway.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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