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Left: Still from Adeyemi Michael's 'Entitled,' Right: Still from Davido's '1 Milli.'

Davido's '1 Milli' Video Called Out for Allegedly Copying the Work of Nigerian Artist Adeyemi Michael

Some viewers have pointed out striking similarities between the artist's latest music video and the 2018 short film 'Entitled' by British-Nigerian filmmaker Adeyemi Michael.

Update 03/06/2020: The director of Davido's "1 Milli" stated, in an Instagram story from 2 days ago, that he was in fact "inspired" by Micheal's work and "always wanted to recreate his iconic shot," making direct reference to the shot of Michael's mother on horseback.

"Paying respect and homage to @AdeyemiMichael for the inspiration on this frame in the '1 Milli' video," wrote Dir. K in an Instagram story, that now appears as a highlight on his page. Despite the director's acknowledgment of the reference via Instagram stories, it is not clear whether Michael was asked or made aware beforehand. As of Friday, he has not been formally credited.

Continue for the original story:

Last week, Nigerian megastar Davido released the music video for his single "1 Milli," which depicted a wedding celebration between he and his fiancé Chioma Rowland. The festive video was mostly well-recieved upon its release, but now the artist is being accused of having copied the work of Nigerian-British filmmaker Adeyemi Michael.

Davido's music video, which was directed by Dir. K, features a ceremonial scene in which a middle-aged women, dressed in regal traditional attire, appears on horseback amongst a celebratory crowd. Several observers online noted that the scene bears a striking resemblance to Michael's 2018 short film, Entitled, which featured memorable shots of his mother donning traditional Yoruba attire and riding a horse through London's Peckham neighborhood. The film highlights the plight of immigrants and their ability to overcome, through shots that show Michael's mother as a regal and powerful matriarch.

Take a look at the short film below:


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After seeing Davido's latest video, several fans and supporters of Michael's work took to Twitter yesterday to share side-by-side images of scenes from "1 Milli" and stills from Entitled, noting the resemblance between the two works and calling out the alleged plagiarism on Davido's part. Others have raised questions around intellectual property and the often vague lines around what is considered "paying homage" and outright stealing.


This isn't the first time that a high-profile artist has been accused of plagiarizing the work of another African artist without properly crediting them. Back in 2018, British-Liberian visual artist Lina Iris Viktor sued Kendrick Lamar after she claimed that her work was used without her permission in his music video for "All the Stars." A similar occurrence happened last year, when South African artist Petite Noire pointed out similarities between his short film "The Gift and the Curse" and Beyoncé's "Spirit" music video.

Many have advocated for more collaboration amongst African creatives on both big and small scales in order to avoid the issue, suggesting that Davido's team could've reached out to the artist as a show of support and solidarity for another African artist. A recent example of this being Burna Boy's recent GQ spread, which has been praised for the fact that fellow Africans were involved in all levels of production, from the writing to the styling and photography.

We've reached out to Davido's team for comment. As of Friday morning neither they nor Michael have addressed the matter publicly.

For more context, see Davido's "1 Milli" below.

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Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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