News

Photographer Chris Saunders' 'Fashion Gangs Of Johannesburg'

Chris Saunders shoots photos of Johannesburg Style Crews for GQ Style South Africa.

South African photographer and filmmaker Chris Saunders, who made his name directing visually stunning music videos for the likes of Okmalumkoolkat and Nozinja, has been commissioned by GQ Style SA to present a fashion concept portraying some of Johannesburg's different style crews and artistic collaborators for their new issue. Working with stylist Francois Ferreira, Saunders delivers a simple portrait photo series that highlights the strong characteristics of each subject chosen. Breaking from the wildly vivid set designs he is known for in his music videos, Saunders chooses to shoot his subjects in front of a white empty background, which successfully draws the eye to focus on the varied uses of colors, patterns, textures and silhouettes employed by each designer — from the traditional to the avant-garde. See the second quarter GQ Style South Africa for the printed version of the shoot.

Interview

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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