News Brief

Davido, Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi Cover Billboard Magazine

The Nigerian stars are part of Billboard's first-ever issue devoted to the African continent.

Davido, Tiwa Savage, and Mr Eazi are the subject of Billboard magazine's latest cover story, Africa Now.

The new Billboard story, titled 'This Isn't a Fad': Three of Africa's Biggest Stars on Making the Industry Come to Them, states that the "next musical revolution is brewing in Africa."

The story, written by Gail Mitchell, features interviews Tiwa Savage, Davido, and Mr Eazi, which were all done in a video conference call.

The article sees the Nigerian stars addressing topics like life under quarantine (Davido mentions his fiancée recovering from the virus), the dollar amounts they're now making as artists, the differences between major label & independent routes, "afrobeats" as a category, and the factors that have played a part in the music industry's investment in Africa.

"People just need to get on the train. This isn't a fad. With 1.2 billion people, we're not going anywhere anytime soon. We're here to stay," Tiwa Savage mentions in the piece. To which Davido adds, "the feeling you get from Afrobeats and African music is just different…People have always loved African music, but we didn't have the avenues to go worldwide."

"There's [also] a general wind of appreciation for what being African is all about...Back then, even in the villages you'd hear people singing Céline Dion. But now people are playing 99% Nigerian music because that's what's hip," says Mr Eazi.

The cover story features photography by Lakin Ogunbanwo and Seye Isikalu, and styling by Daniel Obasi and Quinton Faulkner.

Billboard's new issue also features stories on Apple's Platoon offering African artists advances and Marjana Jaida's Oasis Festival making Morocco a dance music destination.




Photo by Rachel Seidu.

#EndSARS: Security Forces Open Deadly Fire on Protesting Nigerians

Nigerian security forces have reportedly opened fire on protesters at Lekki Toll Gate amid continued demonstrations against police brutality. This comes after the Nigerian government recently enforced an abrupt curfew in Lagos.

It has been reported that security forces in Nigeria have opened fire on protestors at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. Several reports from various media outlets have confirmed this incident after numerous images and videos emerged on social media. The footage reveals protesters running away from security forces as they fire live rounds into the crowds while others have been shown to be injured. No fatalities have as yet been officially confirmed by mainstream media. Protesters have continued mass demonstrations against the infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which has been now been "rebranded" by the Nigerian government to a new unit termed the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

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Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

How Davido's 'FEM' Became the Unlikely #EndSARS Protest Anthem

When Nigerian youth shout the line "Why everybody come dey para, para, para, para for me" at protests, it is an act of collective rebellion and rage, giving flight to our anger against the police officers that profile young people, the bureaucracy that enables them, and a government that appears lethargic.

Some songs demand widespread attention from the first moments they unfurl themselves on the world. Such music are the type to jerk at people's reserves, wearing down defenses with an omnipresent footprint at all the places where music can be shared and enjoyed, in private or in communion; doubly so in the middle of an uncommonly hot year and the forced distancing of an aggressive pandemic that has altered the dynamics of living itself. Davido's "FEM" has never pretended to not be this sort of song. From the first day of its release, it has reveled in its existence as the type of music to escape to when the overbearing isolation of lockdown presses too heavily. An exorcism of ennui, a sing-along, or a party starter, "FEM" was made to fit whatever you wanted it to be.

However, in the weeks since its release, the song has come to serve another purpose altogether. As young Nigerians have poured out into the streets across the country to protest against the brutality of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS, "FEM" has kept playing with the vigour of a generational protest anthem. From Lagos to Abia to Benin and Abuja, video clips have flooded the Internet of people singing word-for-word to Davido's summer jam as they engage in peaceful protests. In one video, recorded at Alausa, outside the Lagos State Government House, youths break into an impromptu rendition of the song when the governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, tried addressing them; chants of "O boy you don dey talk too much" rent through the air, serving as proof of their dissatisfaction with his response to their demands—and the extortionist status quo.

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Trump to Remove Sudan from Terrorist List Following 330 Million Dollar Payment

President Donald Trump has announced that Sudan will be removed from the list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism after Sudan recently met the required payment of USD 330 million.

According to the New York Times, President Donald Trump has announced that Sudan will no longer be on America's terrorist list. This follows national orders by the United States' Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that demanded that Sudan pay USD 330 million in compensation. The compensation is for alleged terrorist attacks on US embassies in both Tanzania and Kenya in 2008. BBC reports that Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok confirmed that the funds have been transferred and is "awaiting confirmation of receipt" from the US. The country is still reeling from over 17 years of civil wars and has been unable to engage in international trade due to having been blacklisted by the US.

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South African Amapiano Hit 'John Vuli Gate' Smashes Shazam Charts

South African hit song 'John Vuli Gate' by Mapara A Jazz featuring Ntosh Gazi and Colano has recorded the highest entry into Shazam's global chart following the #JohnVuliGateChallenge on social media.