News Brief

Celebrities And Activists Speak Out Against Trump's Muslim Ban

Several celebrities and activists took to social media this weekend to denounce Trump's unconstitutional and discriminatory Muslim ban.

Over the weekend, demonstrators took to airports across the country to protest Trump’s executive order to ban refugees and international travelers from several predominantly Muslim countries—specifically Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia—from entering the United States. Several travelers arriving from these countries were barred passage and detained in airports for hours, while other green-card holders who had travelled outside of the United States were prohibited from boarding their return flights.


As crowds gathered, a number of celebrities took to social media to condemn Trump's actions.

Rihanna kept it very real with this tweet about the man currently in charge of running the country:

 

Somali-American Representative, Ilhan Omar shared her reactions to the ban via CNN:

 

Questlove shared this photo on his Instagram:

History Has Its Eyes On You. Know what is right. Know what is wrong.

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

 

Dave Chapelle shared these words at an Anti-Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio:

 

Mahershala Ali took home an award for "Best Supporting Role" at last night's SAG awards and used his acceptance speech as an opportunity to speak out against Islamophobia.

 

British-Somali Olympic medalist, Mo Farah, shared this Facebook post about the personal affects of the ban on him and his family.

With the Muslim ban, Trumps fallacious, anti-Muslim rhetoric has been actualized. As he continues to utilize his platform, aka his Twitter page, to disseminate alternative facts and clear-cut hate, it is important that celebrities, and others with the ability to engage large audiences, use theirs to do the very opposite.

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.

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