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Ivana and Jessica of VanJess. Photo: Madeleine Dalla

Davido, Nasty C, VanJess, Vanessa Mdee, Sauti Sol & More to Preform at Essence Fest 2019

This year's lineup is 🔥.

The Essence Fest line up has just been announced, and it features some of our favorite artists from the continent.

The annual summer festival takes place on 4th of July weekend in New Orleans, and is one of the largest black festivals in the nation. This festival will celebrate its 25th year in 2019, with 25 experiences throughout the weekend.

Nigerian megastar Davido, who recently set a major record for Nigerian pop with his hit single "Fall" is set to perform during this year's festival. Sibling R&B; duo VanJess will also be performing.


Representing for Tanzania is Vanessa Mdee. Kenyan pop group Sauti Sol are also slated for a performance at this year's festival. Representing for South Africa are Nasty C, Amanda Black and actress Celeste Ntuli.

Headlining the festival is none other than Missy Elliott, who will be joined by R&B; legend Mary J. Blige. The lineup also includes Nas, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Anthony Hamilton, H.E.R. and many more. This year's festival will honor soul legend Franky Beverly.

Essence Fest takes place at the New Orleans Superdome from July 4-7. Check out the full line-up below.

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Photos by David Pattinson.

First Look: This New Collection from Art Comes First Is Peak Black Yeehaw Aesthetic

The design and brand consultant duo previews the SS20 collection displayed during their residency at The Mandrake Hotel in Paris.

Following their wavy Surf Afrika collection, Art Comes First (ACF) shares with us a preview of their SS20 collection that is all things Black Yeehaw Aesthetic.

Dubbed El Charro Negro, the collection features neutral colors and an array of textures—from leather, embroidery, fringed denim and ponchos, to vests, suede jackets and straight flyness.

Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh of ACF are known as the "Travelling Tailors" where their ventures around the world influence their designs. This time the nomads, who hail from the West Indies, Ghana and Angola respectively, have landed in Paris.

Earlier this month, ACF curated a week-long event-filled residency at The Mandrake Hotel in Paris that encapsulates their ethos of taking cultural influence from around the world and only staying still long enough to create. There, Lambert and Maidoh presented an installation, live musical performances and DJ sets, a film screening and a pop-up shop leading up to Fashion Week. The residency also showcased the duo's latest collaboration with London mainstay Fred Perry.

El Charro Negro will still be showcased in Paris at another location from June 18 to 23. Keep up with ACF on Instagram to stay tuned for details.

Check out our favorite images from the collection below.

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Nonso Amadi & Kwesi Arthur's 'Comfortable' Will Get You In Weekend Mode

Watch the trippy new music video for this link-up from the buzzing Nigerian and Ghanaian artists.

Nonso Amadi is one of the standout acts from a young wave of Nigerian musicians blending afro-fusion with RnB and much more. He's now dropping the brand new single "Comfortable," an addictive self-produced track that sees him linking up with bubbling Ghanaian act Kwesi Arthur, which we're premiering below today.

"Comfortable" is built on woozy synth keys and sparse beat work, all spearheaded by Nonso Amadi's vocals about wanting freedom in a relationship.

"The song is inspired by experiences with having a girl over and not wanting them to get too comfortable by staying too long with you," says Nonso Amadi. "I thought it'll be interesting to create a song around this 'cos it's not a perspective were used to hearing from guys very often."

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Screenshot via YouTube.

Maleek Berry Makes a Statement with His First Track of the Year, 'Flashy'

And the music video follows suit.

After months of anticipation, Maleek Berry finally dropped his first track of the year, "Flashy."

The Nigerian crooner-producer surely makes a statement on the track while flexing his rapping skills, as he chronicles how he leveled up to be flashy—and it's well-deserved. The video shows us a scene of a fly photo shoot that's underway, where Maleek is dripping in gold and fancy cars surrounded by stunning black women and his homies—Eugy, Tinie Tempah, Juls and more.

Watch the video, directed by Capone and Guise of Vissionaire Pictures, below.

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