Audio

Hanging With Christian Tiger School At Their ‘Chrome Tapes’ Launch Party

We caught up with Christian Tiger School at their Johannesburg launch party for "Chrome Tapes."

Christian Tiger School, the Cape Town-based production duo of Sebastiano Zanasi and Luc Vemeer, made a trek up north to Johannesburg where they launched their sophomore album Chrome Tapes (part of a series of four releases). The producers were supported by friends such as Jab A Jaw and Felix Laband, the South African electronic music legend who's recently scored music for the gritty Cape Flats biopic Four Corners. We got to hang out with CTS during the launch, learning a couple of things about their upcoming projects.


Christian Tiger School dwell at the confluence of where mainstream hipsters go to retire and full-out creative hippies are born. None of the music on Chrome Tapes will be available on-line until the fourth and final installment gets released — that's worth about three lifetimes of hipsterdom and roughly nine months on Earth time.

During the making of Chrome Trapes Seb was listening to a lot of house and techno, while Luc simply listened to "like, four house songs regularly throughout the past year." Producer Jon Hopkins is one of the names he dropped. Besides studying jazz guitar at the South African College of Music, Seb is also a member of Fever Trails (Nick Van Reenen of Bateleur's electronic music project) and plays with his own outfit Yes In French. Meanwhile Luc continues to expand his subversive beat exploits as Desert Head. His music is featured on two recently-released compilations, the production collective Gravy's Gravy002 and naasMusic's naasMUSIC Presents: Slip Slop. He's also got a possible collaboration with Damascus in the works. On top of all that, the two producers are also working on a film to be released on VHS (chalk up another hipster point).

Hot on the heels of their Player Xchange collaboration with Bilal and World's Fair, CTS will be making an appearance at our Okayplayer x Soulection SXSW Showcase tonight. Although, never ones to get overwhelmed, Seb and Luc and pretty chill about it all.

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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