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BUDX Lagos is Bringing Together Some of Nigeria's Biggest Culture Creators

For three days in June, Lagos will be home to a global celebration of creativity. And it's free.

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At the heart of all cultural movements are the people that drive it. That's the philosophy behind BUDX, a globe-traveling celebration of creativity from electronic music magazine Mixmag and Budweiser beer. The goal of BUDX is to unite and spotlight outstanding creative minds by focusing on exciting local scenes from around the world. From Tokyo to Lagos to Ho Chi Minh City, BUDX presents the absolute best that these cities have to offer across cultural hot points including music, art, technology, fashion and film. Innovative and carefully curated talks, masterclasses, installations, visual arts and performances, give creative leaders their time to shine.

The latest edition of BUDX, is happening in Lagos from June 26th to 28th. That's three full days and nights of music panels, workshops and parties featuring many of Nigeria's biggest stars alongside global speakers and artists.

The speaker's list is stacked with OkayAfrica favorites. Day one sees Trinidadian DJ and former Major Lazer affiliate Jillionaire who will talk about how music is bridging the gap between Africa and the Caribbean—one of our favorite topics. Then DJ Obi will talk about how he fought sleep deprivation, hallucinations, hunger and fatigue while breaking the record during a DJ set that lasted 10 days. Later Jillionaire will cap off a night of performances featuring Ycee, Rema, DJ Obi and Smallz the DJ.

Day 2 brings style icons Tokyo James, Orange Culture and Ladipoe together to talk about the evolution of Nigerian fashion into the globally influential scene it is today. Following that, Teni the Entertainer, OkayAfrica's "breakout star of 2018" will lead a panel on how Nigerian women are leading the next wave of Nigerian culture. Then the discussion will turn to Nigeria's biggest cultural export—film—with the multitalented Kemi Adetiba and legendary filmmaker Sesan Ogunro alongside pop-music icon Banky W. The panels will be followed by performances from Distruction Boyz, Teni the Entertainer, DJ Nana and special guests TBA.

The next day Zlatan, the man behind the Zanku dance sensation, will talk about Nigerian dances going viral with Westsyde Lifestyle NG. Then DJ Lambo and DJ Nana will discuss how female DJs are guiding Nigeria's club scene while Mayorkun and Ycee will talk about how Nigerian artists are infiltrating the global mainstream. That night expect performances from some of Nigeria's most exciting singers right now—Runtown, Mayorkun and Zlatan with DJ Crowd Kontroller and DJ Consequence.

So, come to BUDX Lagos for a three day program meant to amplify the voices and stories of rising artists, to seize new, energizing opportunities and encourage all culture creators to rise up and Be a King.

Entry to this exclusive series of events is free but you need to RSVP via www.budxlagos.splashthat.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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