Travel

City Guide: DJ ECool's Guide To Lagos

Davido's official DJ, ECool, shows us his favorite hangouts and beach spots in Lagos.

DIASPORA—In our series City Guide, we ask our favorite musicians, actors, artists and celebrities what their go-to spots are in their hometown.


In this latest installment, we link up with Nigerian-American producer DJ ECool, who's known for being Davido's official DJ, as well as for his hilarious Instagram videos.

Get a taste of DJ ECool favorites Lagos hangouts below and make sure to check out his latest single, "Give Dem," alongside Danagog and Selasi.

Favorite nightspot

A post shared by QUILOX (@clubquilox) on

If I had to select a favorite, I would go with Quilox. You'll find this place to be full of plush velvet couches and chairs, absolutely delicious martinis and an eclectic style anyone would love. The music played here is some of the best in Lagos and the décor includes huge vintage posters that resemble a blend of European salon style. Overall the club portrays a sense of class and culture that makes it easy to be captivated.

Best place to get a drink

The best place to get a drink would be Shisha Room. Over there you can expect fresh, house-made ingredients and an expansive cocktail list that evolves with the seasons. The place offers a plethora of spirits and wines. In addition, the live music sets the tone for a relaxed night with good friends.

Best restaurant

A post shared by UTOPIA (@utopialagos) on

Best restaurant selection would have to go to Utopia, with its outdoor rooftop patio, offering an elegant assortment of small plates, delicious cocktails, homemade drinks and live music. I've experienced some of the best lobster I have ever had at Utopia making it easy to tell that the selections are thoughtfully executed. The restaurant also offers a condensed list of food and drinks, which enables laser-like focus on quality over quantity.

Best spot to take a date

A post shared by Dad's Eye (@fromdadseye) on

I would say, romance is like beauty and is essentially in the eyes of the beholder. For some, a romantic date is an evening stroll on the beach. For others, it's a night out on the town and for more sporting couples, it's a day out in nature or on the golf course. However, I would say the beach, specially Ilashe Beach, would be a great place to take a date. There is often much anxiety and over-thinking about where to take a date, those first jitters can be relieved by going on a beach date. The ocean naturally puts you both at ease and instantly creates a fun atmosphere.

Stream DJ ECool's latest single, "Give Dem," featuring Danagog and Selasi

Best outdoor activity

Generally I love sports but I would say playing football is my favorite outdoor activity to partake in. Although it can be a rough sport, something about it is soothing to me. In addition, the adrenaline rushes help with stress release. It is also a great for a work out due to the intensity and range of movements involved in the game, including kicks, twists, turns and throws. Not to mention football is also great at helping to maintain a healthy level of endorphins. Although I don't get to enjoy playing the sport often, it is my favorite thing to do when I get a chance.

Best place to write music

For me, it's not a geographic location I am looking for when I am trying to write music. Instead, I am looking for an emotion, a location within ourselves, whether it's inspiration, tranquility, hope, anger, sadness, or so on. I do enjoy being in the studio, collaborating with others, and just having people around to help cultivate my thoughts when writing music, but more so I enjoy just walking around, getting out of my head and just going with my gut feelings where I am pulled for inspiration.

Where do you go for inspiration?

A majority of my inspiration comes from real life—specially from sincere insights into life truths, and emotional responses to events and relationships, for instance everyday speech, familiar phrases, intense emotions, deeply felt convictions, a pleasant place or thing, and a friend's insight into a problem or feeling. People inspire me, specially inspiring people, but also troubled people, people who symbolize a cause or issue, fictional characters, and every day people I know.

Travel
Maputo City Hall. Photo by Ciku Kimeria.

Travel Guide: Maputo's History Lives In Its Rich Architecture

In this photo essay, writer Ciku Kimeria explores the fascinating history of Mozambique's capital city.

Many things will grab the attention of a first-time visitor in Maputo, but the city's architecture will undoubtedly rank high. Wide avenues, larger than life monuments, buildings that hark back to another time and place—to walk through downtown Maputo, "Baixa" is to encounter history and the stories that this stunning city hopes to share with the curious visitor.

Keep reading... Show less
Travel
Photo courtesy of Rachelle Salnave.

Travel Diary: Rachelle Salnave & Her Daughters Are Welcomed Home To Ghana In the Year of Return

"No one had to tell us—we felt at home!"

In OkayAfrica's latest Travel Diary, Haitian-American indie filmmaker Rachelle Salnave shares the gift she gave her daughters of traveling to Ghana, West Africa for the first time during The Year of Return.

Staying at Agoo Hostel in Nima was a page out of the 1980's American TV series, The Love Boat—except the characters were Ghanaian!

"Akwaaba! Welcome home my sistahs," is a phrase we were told not just at Agoo, but throughout our entire Ghana girls trip. Akwabba is not just this country's motto—it's the vibe in Ghana.

This girls trip was a graduation gift for my daughters, Kiara and Nadine. Having traveled to Morocco to connect with my Moroccan stepmom and sister, Africa was not unfamiliar to them—but I knew Ghana would be different. My DNA had been traced to Ghana and Benin, it's neighboring country. I immediately saw a taste of Haiti, my parents' country and the girls felt the kinship. I prayed this trip would change our relationship with Africa and bond us closer together as women. Ghana did just that!

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Justice Mukheli. Courtesy of Black Major/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

Interview: Bongeziwe Mabandla's New Album Is a Calm Meditation On Relationships

We speak with the South African artist about his captivating new album, iimini, love cycles, and the unexpected influence of Bon Iver.

"I've been playing at home for so many years and pretending to be having shows in my living room, and today it's actually happening," Bongeziwe Mabandla says, smiling out at me from my cellphone as I watch him play songs on Instagram Live, guitar close to his chest.

Two weekends ago, Mabandla was meant to be celebrating the release of his third album, iimini, at the Untitled Basement in Braamfontein in Joburg, which would no doubt have been packed with some of the many fans the musician has made since his debut release, Umlilo, in 2012. With South Africa joining many other parts of the world in a lockdown, those dates were cancelled and Mabandla, like many other artists, took to social media to still play some tracks from the album. The songs on iimini are about the life and death of a relationship—songs that are finding their way into the hearts of fans around the world, some of whom, now stuck in isolation, may be having to confront the ups and downs of love, with nowhere to hide.

The day before his Instagram Live mini-show, Mabandla spoke to OkayAfrica on lockdown from his home in Newtown about the lessons he's learned from making the album, his new-found love for Bon Iver, and how he's going to be spending his time over the next few weeks.

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Lueking Photos. Courtesy of emPawa Africa.

Interview: GuiltyBeatz Proves He's Truly 'Different'

The Ghanaian producer talks to us about his debut EP, Different, the massive success of "Akwaaba," producing for Beyoncé and more.

GuiltyBeatz isn't a new name in the Ghanaian music scene. A casual music fan's first introduction to him would've likely been years ago on "Sample You," one of Mr Eazi's early breakout hits. However, he had scored his first major hit two years before that, in the Nigerian music space on Jesse Jagz' and Wizkid's 2013 hit "Bad Girl." In the years to come, the producer has gone on to craft productions for some of Ghana's most talented artists.

In the years to come, the producer has gone on to craft productions for some of Ghana's most talented artists, having worked with the likes of Efya, Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, R2Bees, Stonebwoy, Bisa Kdei, Wande Coal, Moelogo and many more over the last decade. The biggest break of the talented producer's career, however, came with the arrival of his own single "Akwaaba".

In 2018, GuiltyBeatz shared "Akwaaba" under Mr Eazi's Banku Music imprint, shortly afterwards the song and its accompanying dance went viral. The track and dance graced party floors, music & dance videos, and even church auditoriums all around the world, instantly making him one of Africa's most influential producers. Awards, nominations, and festival bookings followed the huge success of "Akwaaba." Then, exactly a year later, the biggest highlight of his career so far would arrive: three production credits on Beyoncé's album The Lion King: The Gift.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.