Events

Okayafrica's Guide To CMJ 2013: 10 Shows And Panels

We recommend 10 showcases and panels to catch at CMJ 2013.


CMJ week has arrived in NYC. The east coast's very own SXSW-like gathering of college kiddos, bands, and music personnel exhausts with opportunity — a work-week infested with music related panels by day (at NYU's Kimmel Center), and live music and parties from breakfast til 4am. Below are ten events (panels AND showcases) which you might spot us at (note: one of these parties you will absolutely find us at, and we best be seeing you there too — scroll on).

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The Couch Sessions Present: The Circus CMJ Showcase w/ Osekre and the Lucky Bastards, Jennah Bell, + More

When: Tues. Oct. 15th, 8pm doors, 8:30pm show, 10:15pm-10:45pm (Osekre)

Where: DROM, 85 Ave. A, NYC

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Coming To America: Breaking In The U.S. (panel)

When: Wed. Oct. 16th, 3:30pm-4:30pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center Room 406, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

Though no word yet on whether Africa will be accounted for amongst panel members, BYO questions/discussion to the room for this discussion on strategies for breaking overseas acts in the U.S. market.

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Terrorbird CMJ Day Party w/ Tunde Olaniran + More

When: Wed. Oct. 16th, 1pm-6pm

Where: Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, NYC

Free, no RSVP necessary, 21+

Wednesday offers two chances to catch sets from our friend Nigerian-American Tunde Olaniran, whose experimental excursions always make for a good time, a confusion of label sound that we once referred as "strains of modern Motown meet Euro-electronica with a heart of Nigerian funk, pure pop melodies and fluid 4-octave range vocals delivered with a glam-rock sensibility." Tunde will be playing while the sun's still out at the Cake Shop in the LES and then again at 10PM at Webster Hall.

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Aputumpu's Official CMJ Showcase w/ Osekre & the Lucky Bastards, Pegasus Warning, Tunde Olaniran + More

When: Wed. Oct. 16th, 6pm

Where: Webster Hall, Marlin Room

$10-$12, 19+

The BK-based vid blog's showcase is packed with OKA favorites, including Ghanaian-American afropunk Osekre (aka Fela x the Clash crossover), the always electrifying fourpiece Pegasus Warning, and, for the second time Wednesday, Tunde Olaniran.

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The Rise of Urban Alternative (panel)

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center 406, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

OKP fam Eddie STATS gets the mic for a talk on "urban alternative," aka the de-pigeonholing of music we love. We anticipate Frank Ocean, Solange, NWTSish namedropping to be strong.

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Global Digital: Emerging Markets (panel)

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 3:30pm-4:30pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center Room 405, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

Ah yes, and industry look at emerging markets (with a focus on Africa and Latin America), a discussion we hear on growth potential respective "emerging digital ecosystem of labels, telcos, aggregators, digital service providers, distributors, hardware/software/handset manufacturers, and app developers." Come with questions.

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Okayafrica CMJ: Red Hot + Felabration w/ the FELA! Band led by Sahr Ngaujah, Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew, & ?uestlove!

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 8pm Felabration, 10pm Fela Bowl Train

Where: Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe, Brooklyn, NY

$10 (FREE w/ CMJ badge)

Yep, we're getting in on this CMJ action too. To coincide with worldwide Felabrations we're throwing a birthday (well, post) get-down of our own. We’ll be holding it down and celebrating the release of the Red Hot + FELA album alongside the FELA! band led by Sahr Ngaujah (star of FELA! on Broadway) and Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew! The party continues afterwards with a special Fela-themed Bowl Train from the one and only ?uestlove, who will be spinning afrobeat hits til the wee hours. We’ll also be showcasing some classic Fela performances and interview clips. Come out and rejoice for what would have been our afrobeat father's 75th!

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Monkey Rock Presents A CMJ Showcase w/ Zongo Junction, Jennah Bell + More

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 9pm

Where: Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 196 Allen St., NYC

No Cover, 21+

The Thursday night showcase spotlights afrobeat ensemble Zongo Junction's dynamic take on the classic West African sounds of Fela, Tony Allen, and Sunny Ade as well as Okayplayer heart-stealer Jennah Bell.

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Strange Lands: International Touring (panel)

When: Fri. Oct. 18th, 11am-12pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center Room 405, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

Artists, managers, and agents slated for the panel are set to discuss best practices for touring outside the U.S. We're all for the cross-continental vibe spreading.

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Craft Services + Rice & Cheese CMJ Showcase w/ Saul Williams & The Dragons of Zynth + More

When: Fri. Oct. 18th, 8pm, 12:15am (Saul Williams)

Where: Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St, NYC

$10, 21+

We couldn't not make mention of our friend Saul Williams, fresh off a stunning performance in Senegalese-French director Alain Gomis' Dakar-set Tey. Catch Saul on stage alongside the ethereal-space sounds of Dragons of Zynth (who also played at our launch back in the day).

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For an entire CMJ schedule head here.

Interview

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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