Video

The Roots Of... Flying Lotus Discovers His African Ancestry

Flying Lotus took a DNA test to find out his the roots of his African ancestry. Watch to discover not only his familial ties to Alice and John Coltrane, but also his musical roots in soul makossa.

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Let's cut to the chase: we're in love with FlyLo.

Not only was Until The Quiet Comes at nearly the tippy-top of Okayplayer's Top 12 LPs of 2012 list ("...the simultaneous disbelief and limitless possibility of a lucid dream.."), one of the tracks off it, “See Thru To U”  featuring Erykah Badu, ranked #3 on our Top Songs of 2012 list ("her haunting voice wraps itself around the track, equal parts house and hard bop"), and director Kahlil Joseph's gorgeous, short film  Until The Quiet Comes outright won Okayplayer’s Best Videos of 2012. The Sundance Film Festival happened to agree with us on that last one – the vid was awarded the Special Jury Award for Short Film.

So it's more than our bashful admiration of, in his own words, the "big ol stupid grin" that lights up the stage while performing that made us seek him out as the next subject of our "The Roots of..." video series. FlyLo is a musical beast, with musical roots to match – his great aunt and uncle Alice and John Coltrane, amongst others. Above, find out where his family tree extends from, and how he's connected back hundreds of years (and centuries more) through the universal soul makossa cosmos, back to the African continent.

If you haven't yet seen our first episodes in "The Roots Of..." series, check here to watch The Roots' African ancestry revealed to ?uesto and Black Thought, and here to check out Q-Tip's real tribe. You too can discover the country and even tribe where it all began: to get your own DNA test, check out our partners over at African Ancestry.

Up Next: The Roots Of...

Videographers: Nelson-Mandela Nance, Andrew Acosta, Lis Bartlett

Editor: Allison Swank

Interview

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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