DJ Spoko Premieres 'War Neva End' Ft. Sam Turpin

DJ Spoko teams with Johannesburg rapper Sam Turpin on "War Neva End," a frenzied reflection on everyday anxieties.

From his home base of Atteridgeville (a township in the west of Pretoria), DJ Spoko aka Marvin Ramalepe has singlehandedly engineered an entire genre of 'bacardi house,' a kwaito-influenced jolt of military snares and pitched-up melodies. 2014 may have been Spoko's most ambitious year yet. In September he made his LP debut with the downright addictive War God. In addition to his solo work, which included a Fela Kuti remix, Spoko also joined forces with Spoek Mathambo for one of the year's most fruitful projects. Fantasma, their 5-man supergroup, made an impressive debut with the Eye of The Sun EP, a spectacular introduction to the newborn sound of South Africa's 'Guzu' music, which included two of our favorite tracks and videos. This March Fantasma will make their full-length debut with Free Love. Until then, the group's resident producer has a few tricks up his sleeves, one of which we're excited to premiere here today.

On his latest effort Spoko teams with Sam Turpin, a rising Johannesburg-born/bred emcee who first caught our attention in March 2014 with his 4-track Eternal Sentiment EP. "I was a fan of DJ Spoko and Mujava since I was 12 years old and this year I met Spoko at a few of his shows in Braamfontein," Turpin told Okayafrica. "We exchanged some emails about our stuff and one day Spoko sent the beat. Spoko chose the theme and I decided to rap about some slightly more social issues and also step outside my comfort zone and 'War Neva End' is the result!"

The track, a frenzied reflection on everyday anxieties, sees Spoko's loopy beats and military percussion joined by Turpin's mild-mannered wordgame. "Essentially it's about how people can cope during tough times," Turpin says. "Like in South Africa with music, people will still go to party even if they are in debt or are going through a lot... people can find happiness even when there are challenges that last a life time, I think Spoko's house and the sentiments expressed through rap personify the concept, the violent drums with the happy melodies and conscious yet positive lyrics! That's really what the collab is about !"

Listen to DJ Spoko's "War Neva End," featuring Sam Turpin, below. For more, grab Spoko's Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape and watch Turpin's recent video for "Alexandrie."

Photo courtesy of Sam Turpin


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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