News

Portraits: Fela Kuti's Kalakuta Queens, Circa 2011

Photographer James Petrozzello's gorgeous portraits capture the strong beauty of the FELA! dancers paying tribute to the original Fela Queens. "I have long been a fan of Fela Kuti - the musician, the political figure, the icon," Petrozzello told Okayafrica. "The first time I saw his 'queens' I was struck by their radical style. I wanted to make these photos to pay homage to their beauty and to bring attention to the women who contributed so much to Fela's life." (Portraits of the original queens can be found here.)


FELA! has just returned from a triumphant "homecoming" in Lagos, and has upcoming dates in Amsterdam, England and in select US cities including Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

See images from the series below:

Hettie and Shakira. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Rujeko. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Oneika. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Catherine. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Shakira. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Lauren. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Iris. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Aimee. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Abena. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Jill. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Rujeko. Photo by James Petrozzello.

Models: Rujeko Dumbutshena, Catherine Foster, Abena Koomson, Jill Vallery, Shaneeka Harrell, Shakira Marshall, Lauren De Veaux, Oneika Phillips, Hettie Barnhill, Iris Wilson, Aimee Graham Wodobode.

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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