A New Film About Capoeira Takes Us From Brazil To The Bronx

Kamal Robinson’s new movie is a bumpy but satisfying capoeira-filled cross-country adventure. Watch it online.

The poster for Kamal Robinson's FiGHT DANCE SiNG 2: Capoeira Across the Country
Baltimore-born filmmaker Kamal Robinson’s new movie is a bumpy but satisfying capoeira-filled cross-country adventure.

Originally released in 2012, FiGHT DANCE SiNG: a Capoeirista's story, follows New Yorker and capoeirista Junie Lachman as he struggles to overcome obstacles ranging from an unforeseen house guest to street violence. This month, Robinson is back with a sequel for the film.

Utilizing a “lost footage” filmmaking style, FiGHT DANCE SiNG 2: Capoeira Across the Country chronicles the story of Junie as he takes a road trip back to his home, the Bronx, from Los Angeles where he’s been living for the past three years, stopping to get some capoeira on along the way. Junie makes the journey using only google maps and his video camera. The film’s naturalistic style, acting, and documentary-like format is refreshing.

Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that is part dance and music, part acrobatics and part effective fighting style is heavily featured throughout the film. Created by West African slaves brought to Brazil, capoeira’s swift, complex, and powerful movements were aimed at being able to take on armed adversaries - the Portuguese capitães-do-mato, a mounted and heavily armed colonial police tasked with re-capturing runaway slaves. Capoeira became essential in their fight for freedom.

The beautiful martial art that is capoeira has since made its way the world over. Make sure to peep parts one and two of Robinson’s Fight Dance Sing films below.

The poster for Kamal Robinson's FiGHT DANCE SiNG: a Capoeirista's story

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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