Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kwesta.

BMW South Africa Responds to Using Kwesta’s Song Without Permission on Latest Advert

BMW has responded to Kwesta three days after he called out the German car company for their latest advert that used his song without his permission.

Update 09/25: BMW South Africa has finally responded after callously releasing an advert using Kwesta's song without formal permission from the hip-hop star. This response follows public outcry after Kwesta shared the news on Twitter and indicated that he had consulted with his lawyers with regards to copyright infringement. Fans and followers of Twitter subsequently joined Kwesta in slamming BMW.

The German car company recently responded with a tepid apology stating that they "celebrate" the "legacy" of the song and are thus in communication with the artist's team. The details of how the company plans on correcting the use of the song in their advert are yet to be revealed.

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Kwesta has called out BMW South Africa for blatantly using his song without his permission and not crediting him. In a new advert promoting the new limited edition 330iS, BMW South Africa tapped into the BMW 3 Series' heritage in South Africa by using Kwesta's mega hit "Spirit". According to the artist, he wasn't contacted about the use of his song. The hip-hop super star took to Twitter to slam the German automobile manufacturer for their ad.

Kwesta released the Wale-assisted song in 2017, and it instantly became a hit in South Africa. Currently sitting at 6.5 million views on YouTube and close to 2 million streams on Spotify, "Spirit" is one of the biggest South African hip-hop songs of all time. The song celebrates township living especially for boys who grew up idolising older men and the cars they drove.

The second generation of the BMW compact sedan, the 325iS (E30) popularly known as a Gusheshe, has a cultural significance dating back to a golden era in SA townships (especially Soweto) post-apartheid. A time when, kwaito, a homebred music genre, was booming and BMW models (especially the Gusheshe which was produced between 1982 and 1994) featured in the music videos of the time, a trend which continues to this day. "Spirit" references kwaito and samples the song "These Tears" by the house music duo Spiritchaser.

For their ad, BMW remade "Spirit" using the same sample and similar drum pattern (needless to say the song isn't that great) and also lifted the song's music video which portrays township life. The "Spirit" music video captures quintessential Soweto activities, with BMW 325is spinning and also pays homage to the successful "grootman", a term given to older men society looks up to.

The music video was not only a hit because it featured Wale in Soweto, but because it organically depicted the childhood story of every Sowetan if not every South African.



The scandal has South Africa riled up because BMW has cultural significance, and their failure to acknowledge Kwesta's song is just disappointing. When brands get it wrong, South Africans, especially on Twitter, always call them to order. Recently, the liquor brand Savanna was called out for using "syavana", a term popularised by popular comedian Farieda Metsileng (@pharoahfi) and neither crediting nor inviting her to appear on the ad. After complaints on Twitter, the brand released another ad in which Metsileng appears. BMW has not responded to Kwesta.

Watch the BMW advert and "Spirit" music video video below and judge for yourself.

Kwesta - Spirit ft. Walewww.youtube.com

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(Youtube)

Asake Kicks Off His Year With New Single 'Yoga'

The Nigerian superstar shares his first single of 2023.


Ahmed Ololade Asake, popularly known as Asake, drops a new single for 2023 called "Yoga." The "Mr. Money" crooner shared the single along with a vibrant music video which depicts a deep, spirited, message that is expertly interwoven into the the song, and is primarily sung in the Yoruba language. According to Asake, the song is about peace and zen.

“The song is about minding my business and guarding my peace so no one can disrupt it,” says Asake. The Nigerian artist, who has consistently been releasing hits ever since he became a mainstream sensation, took to social media in the early hours of January 30th, 2023, shared a snippet of the new record with his followers.

The music video, which was directed by celebrated cinematographer TG Omori, boasts of colorful imagery and was shot in Dakar, Senegal. Last year was a highly-successful year for the YBNL signee, with us claiming that 2022 Was the Year of Asake, and stating that the singer's "clear-cut domination of the year was without a doubt."

According to that previous OkayAfrica essay, the Nigerian megastar has historically drawn inspiration from street-hop sonic influencers like DaGrin, Lord Of Ajasa, and Olamide, who poured the hardships in their lives into their music. In "Yoga," Asake uses his signature sonic blend of Fuji music, merged with spiritual affirmations.

Following his debut album Mr. Money With The Vibe, Asake set the tone for a streak of musical success that has been celebrated by Okay Africa's curated music lists, including Best Nigerian Songs of 2022 and Best Afrobeats Songs of 2022.

Watch the scintillating music video for "Yoga" below.

Listen to Asake "Yoga" below

Featured
Photo via Warner Music Group.

Burna Boy's 'Last Last' is Eligible for Platinum Certification

Burna Boy's global smash "Last Last" is set to receive yet another accolade.

Burna Boy released a global anthem when he shared "Last Last" with the world.

The song, which samples Toni Braxton’s "He Wasn’t Man Enough," quickly became the biggest hit of The African Giant's career. And, according to Chart Data, the record has now surpassed onemillion units in sales in the United States. The record is now eligible to receive a Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The global superstar released "Last Last," in the summer of 2022, and it soon became one of the most memorable records off of his sixth studio album Love, Damini .

Asides from becoming a fan-favorite, the record also quickly became a global phenomenon, earning it multiple weeks on the Billboard 100, where it peaked at No. 44. This is not Burna Boy's first run at the rodeo with an RIAA certification. He also previously received a gold plaque for his 2018 smash hit 'YE,' which played a big role in helping him to amass a growing, loyal fan base.

The celebrated singer continues to make a mark both home and abroad, and in addition to his RIAA recognition, he was featured on Popcaan's latest album Greater Is He. Everything seems to be falling in line for Africa's Giant. He's also set to headline Burna Boy Afro Nation Miami, alongside Wizkid, in May.

Last year, we spoke to Chopstix about crafting the song. He told us:

“Bro, as soon as this song was done — as soon as I hit export — Burna and I had a moment where we looked at each other and we knew that we had caused trouble."

"Trouble" is an understatement.

Music
Image courtesy of the artist.

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Every month, artists around Nigeria, one of the continent's biggest musical exports, release new songs in hopes of momentarily owning the hearts and ears of current and new fans amidst a barrage of new releases.

Here’s a list of the best new songs and music videos that have come out of Nigeria this month for your viewing and listening pleasure.

For more music lists, check out our Songs You Need to Hear This Week roundups and our regional monthly lists for Ghana, South Africa and East Africa.

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Photo: The Sundance Institute

C.J. Obasi On Bringing the Legend of Mami Wata to the Big Screen

The Nigerian director saw a vision of Mami Wata, then made a film that became the toast of Sundance and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography.

C.J. Obasi’s third feature length film MamiWata has taken Sundance by storm. The mesmerizing fable, which marks the first time a home-grown Nigerian film scores a competition prize at the Sundance Film Festival, delves into the myth of the Mami Wata folklore, a terrifying mermaid goddess popular across West Africa. Obasi’s MamiWata tells a simple enough story of good versus evil, and the importance of maintaining balance while hurtling towards societal change. But Obasi is not your basic filmmaker, and his interpretation of this well-known folklore is a startling cinematic achievement that advances his singular vision.

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