News Brief
Beyoncé in "BLACK IS KING, a film by Beyoncé | Official Trailer | Disney+" (Walt Disney Studios/YouTube)

You Need To See the Trailer For Beyoncé's  'Black Is King'

The visual album, coming out on Disney+, teases features by Kelly Rowland, Lupita Nyong'o, Naomi Campbell, plus includes from Ghana's Emmanuel Adjei and Blitz the Ambassador in its creative team.

Singer, songwriter and mother of Blue Ivy, Beyoncé's latest release is a celebration of "the beauty of tradition and Black excellence," a press statement mentions.

The visual album, to be released on July 31, comes close to the one year anniversary of the live action Disney film The Lion King, where it apparently drew a lot of its inspiration from.

The album, which was written, directed and executive-produced by Beyoncé, teases features by Kelly Rowland, Lupita Nyong'o, Naomi Campbell and many more. The visuals are expected to be phenomenal as the creative team includes Dutch-Ghanaian director Emmanuel Adjei and Ghanaian artist Blitz the Ambassador. Having backdrops from South Africa, West Africa, Belgium, London and New York will surely add to the beauty too.


African fans of Beyoncé were initially up in arms as it was revealed that the album would be centered around African culture and artifacts, but not be available to stream on the African continent. This has now been rectified as a distribution deal has allowed a number of African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Cameroon, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, Congo, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Cape Verde and many more, to have access to the July 31st release.

"The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored in a tale about a young king's transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity. His ancestors help guide him towards his destiny, and with his father's teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne," Disney says of Black is King. "These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power. Black Is King is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture. The film highlights the beauty and tradition and Black excellence."

Check out the trailer here.

BLACK IS KING, a film by Beyoncé | Official Trailer | Disney+ www.youtube.com

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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