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Casanova, Davido & Tory Lanez' '2AM' Will Soundtrack Your Weekend

Flatbush meets Lagos and Toronto in this addictive new single.

Brooklyn rapper Casanova rolls through with an energetic new collaboration with Davido and Tory Lanez.

"2AM" sees the rapper going in over highly-infectious afrobeats-meets-pop beat work, in the same vein as we've heard from massive hits like "Unforgettable." The song was produced by 30 Roc.

The single features the star power of Davido and Tory Lanez which gives "2AM" the increased potential to be one of those huge new jams that'll be getting constant spins this year on both sides of the Atlantic (it's already got the top slot in Spotify's African Heat playlist).

The music video kicks off in Atlanta but eventually follows Casanova to Lagos, where he connects with Davido in Shitta. The clip was directed by Nigeria's Meji Alabi, the creative force behind many of your favorite afrobeats videos.

"2AM" is the lead single from Casanova's upcoming EP, Free At Last, which is due from Roc Nation/Def Jam Recordings on February 15.

We talked to Casanova below to learn a little more about this new collaboration and sound for him.


Casanova - 2AM ft. Tory Lanez, Davido youtu.be

How did you first link up with Davido?

Davido invited me to a show a couple months ago. I saw him perform and then right after the show, it was crazy, he was like, 'let's go the studio.' And I wasn't so sure 'cause [my music's] more shoot 'em up bang bang and he's Davido, you know. It didn't work out that time. But then, I got this afrobeats style song with Tory Lanez on it, I did two verses and my producer was like: 'you need an African for this beat.' And I'm like, 'ohh I got Davido!' So I let him listen to the record on Facetime and he was like send that to me. When he sent me back his part, that to me was like, 'woww, ok we got a hit.'

This was your first time going to Nigeria, and your first time in Africa, how was your experience?

It was different man. Seeing the little kids, seeing the rich and poor parts. it made me appreciate life and stop complaining about the things that I got. It opened my eyes to different sounds. You know, being in the club you listen to different types of music, like Nigerian and UK stuff. Out here it's all trap, or New York or down South music in the club. But over there you're hearing different languages and different drums.

Tell me about the afrobeats influence on "2AM," what made you pick this sound?

I'm from Flatbush and my parents are Caribbean. So it was easy for me. Flatbush is where the Labor Day Parade is. I'm very familiar with reggae and Caribbean sounds. [This new sound] was a risk I took, and I'm glad I took it.

Are you listening to any other African artists right now?

[starts singing] Ye Ye, Ye Ye Ye Ye. Burna Boy. And I'm also into Wizkid.

How was working with director Meji Alabi and shooting in Shitta, Lagos.

It was dope. He had everything under control. The area was crazy man, I felt like I've been to the hardest places in New York but that was different. That right there, it cant compare to nothing I've seen. I felt comfortable shooting there, but I also knew it could get ugly at any moment.

What can people expect from the upcoming EP.

It's called Free at Last. Davido and Tory Lanez are my only features. I might explore different sounds on it—I might go salsa or pop, who knows, I gotta see how I sound on it. The project comes out Feb 15.


Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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