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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's New York Times Style Cover Story Is Full of Gems

New York Times names Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as one of "The Greats."

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of seven people to grace the over of New York Times Style Magazine's "The Greats Issue."

The celebrated novelist is recognized as being a masters in her field, alongside artists like Nicki Minaj, Amy Adams and director Park Chan-Wook.

In her profile, entitled "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Humanist On and Off the Page," fellow novelist Dave Eggers sits down with the writer for an intimate conversation about her life and career.

Below are some highlights from the story.

Adichie Calls Out a High School Student's Casual Sexism:

The students had been assigned to read Adichie's essay based on the talk, and thus it was dispiriting when the first question came from a young man, originally from Ghana, who very politely asked how Adichie was balancing her work with the responsibilities of motherhood.

She looked down and smiled. She took her time, and then, with her chin still lowered, she raised her eyes to look kindly at the student.

"I'm going to answer your question," she said, "but you have to promise me that the next time you meet a new father, you ask him how he's balancing his work and the responsibilities of fatherhood."

On her parent's reaction to her pursuing writing instead of medicine:

When I said I wanted to write, they were very supportive, which was very unusual," she said. "Nobody just leaves medical school, especially given it's fiercely competitive to get in. But I had a sister who was a doctor, another who was a pharmacist, a brother who was an engineer. So my parents already had sensible children who would be able to make an actual living, and I think they felt comfortable sacrificing their one strange child.

On feeling free from artistic constraints when writing Americanah:

I decided with that book that I was going to have fun, and if nobody read it, that would be fine," she said. I was free of the burden of research necessary for the other books. I was no longer the dutiful daughter of literature.

You can read the full article here.

Photo: Mariela Alvarez.

Interview: ÌFÉ Blends Music & Religion to Honor Those Who Have Died During the Pandemic

Producer and percussionist Otura Mun talks about his latest EP, The Living Dead, and how he traces the influences of West Africa in his new work.

There are bands that open up a spiritual world through their music. ÌFÉ is one example. An electro-futurist band that fuses Afro-Cuban rhythms and Jamaican dancehall with Yoruba mystical voices. With the success of their 2017 debut album "IIII+IIII" (pronounced Eji-Ogbe), ÌFÉ has reached an audience that is looking for Caribbean and contemporary sounds.

The Puerto Rican-based band just released a new EP, The Living Dead- Ashé Bogbo Egun, that aims to heal and honor those who have died during this pandemic. Otura Mun, the band leader, is an African-American producer and percussionist, who began a personal journey about a decade ago, when he landed in San Juan, and decided to move there. He learned Spanish, dug deep into his African ancestry and started to practice the Yoruba-Caribbean religion of Santería.

ÌFÉ, which means "love and expansion" in Yoruba, ties two worlds, music and religion, artistically. This new EP modernized prayer songs to hopefully make them more accessible to a younger generation. OkayAfrica spoke with Otura Mun on his latest work.

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Interview

Interview: Adekunle Gold Channels Refreshing Truths Into Afropop

Adekunle Gold achieves an artistic freedom that most mainstream artists don't have through a smooth balance of introspection and club bangers.

A few years ago, Adekunle Gold broke out into the scene with a refreshing way of carrying himself, presenting his art and speaking his truth with music. His debut single "Sade" started this journey of chart topping releases, sold out shows, and the constantly evolving sound that graces African airwaves. Gold's self assurance made him stand out from the very beginning, as his sound was delivered with intent, compassion, and stuffed with personal truths.

Not many artists are willing to try new things with their music, and in order to maintain mainstream success, some cling to one sound, one image and direction often crafted from fragments of their first hit. These artists get stuck trying to recreate a capsule in time, while true artists are open to the dynamic of change, and the necessity of renewal.

Adekunle Gold is one of a handful in his profession who draws on a spectrum of experiences to make honest music which is consistent with the self-revelations of a growing man. This has become his biggest strength, allowing him to craft contemplative songs like "Sade" and "Oreke" and still create afropop magic like "Something Different"

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Image courtesy of artist.

Elaine is The Most Streamed South African Woman Artist on Spotify in 2020

Elaine is the most streamed South African woman artist on Spotify in 2020, and her song 'You're The One' is the most streamed South African song across all genres.

South African R&B sensation Elaine has been breaking records and making history since she released her breakout hit "You're The One" which appears in the EP Elements (2019).

Today, Spotify revealed she is the most streamed South African woman artist on the platform by South African audiences. She is in the great company of Ami Faku, Demi Lee Moore, Sha Sha and Juanita Du Plessis among others. Elaine is the sixth most streamed South African artist across all genres and genders on the platform.

"You're The One" is the most streamed South African song across all genres on the platform. The song surpassed songs such as "eMcimbini (Live)" by Aymos, DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Mas Musiq, Myztro, Samthing Soweto and "Jerusalema (feat.Nomcebo Zikode)" by Master KG, Nomcebo Zikode. Her single "Risky" also cracked the top five most streamed SA songs.

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Nasty C is The Most Streamed South African Hip-hop Artist on Spotify in 2020

Nasty C tops the list of the most streamed South African hip-hop artists on Spotify in 2020.