News Brief
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Warner Music)

Burna Boy performs onstage at the Warner Music Group Pre-Grammy Party on January 23, 2020 in Hollywood, California.

Watch a Video of UK Protesters Dancing to Burna Boy’s ‘Ye’

A joyful and powerful act of community in an otherwise distressing environment.

A clip of UK protesters dancing to Nigerian artist Burna Boy's hit single "Ye" surfaced on social media this week.

The minute-long clip shows a group of individuals taking turns to dance in a circle, while the crowds cheer each other on. The choice of "Ye" was fitting, as the 2018 song speaks to a cry for freedom. The track, which is fondly considered Nigeria's second national anthem, speaks to police brutality and the abuse and embarrassment often imposed upon Nigerians, and Africans as a whole, due to their appearances.


In an interview with Fader, Burna Boy spoke of the music video for the song by saying, "Ye is a song that essentially shows the unrelenting nature of Nigerians (where I'm from). We thrive despite the leadership and circumstances … 'I can't come and kill myself' is an expression that means, you can't dwell on things that aren't working out or looking good, you only have one life after all."

With that context, understanding the connection between the protesters dancing and the afro-fusion track makes for an incredibly powerful visual. The incident speaks to the recent influx of people protesting police brutality and racial injustices worldwide, after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. While the incident took place in the United States of America, societies and communities from all over the world are finding parallels within their own justice systems and are finding power in numbers.

Check out the video below.


UK protestors vibing to YE by Burna Boy - Black Lives Matter www.youtube.com

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: JAE5 Is Crafting London's Distinct Diasporic Sound

We talk to the buzzing producer about his Grammy win alongside Burna Boy, his work with J Hus and the ever-looming influence of Ghana.