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Images courtesy of Zeitgeist.

Naira Marley, Rema and Flavour Announced as Headliners for 2020 Gidi Culture Festival

Gidi Culture Festival announces Naira Marley, Rema and Flavour as headline acts for this year's edition of the largest music and arts festival in West Africa.

The 7th edition of the Gidi Culture Festival—the largest music and arts festival in West Africa—is set to take place this year from April 9th-11th.

Naira Marley, Rema and Flavour have recently been announced as the headline acts for what promises to be yet another epic instalment of the festival.


This year's theme is "Bringing it home" and is meant to celebrate the growing numbers of the diaspora returning to Lagos during the event. For the first time ever, the festival will run over several days and feature a different headline act each day.

Up-and-coming rapper Rema is set to kickoff the first day of the festival. While the promising young artist's track titled "Dumebi"was arguably the one of the most popular Afropop singles of 2019, it was his debut track "Iron man" that made it onto the Obamas' 2019 summer playlist.

Highlife king and Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, Flavour will be setting the tone for the second day of the festival. Known for his wildly successful track "Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)" and his fire collaborations with the likes of Yemi Alade, Phyno and Wizkid, this year's Gidi Culture Festival will give fans the rare opportunity to see Flavour performing live.

It's no surprise that Naira Marley has been selected as the headline act to wrap up the festival. The artist had a spectacular year in 2019 after he released several hit singles including his collaboration with Zlatan titled "I Am Yahoo Boy" which made it onto our Best Nigerian Songs of 2019 list. Additionally, his 6-track EP Lord of Lamba dropped towards the end of the year and got fans flooding social media with #TesumoleDance in response to one of the vibrant tracks on the EP titled "Tesumole".

You can purchase tickets for Gidi Culture Festival here.

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Image vcourtesy of artist.

Valerie Omari Shines in Apple Music's 'New Artist Spotlight'

Apple Music honors Congolese-born and Cape Town-based musician Valerie Omari as this month's artist to look out for.

Apple Music's "New Artist Spotlight" for this month is Congolese-born and Cape Town-based singer Valerie Omari.

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News Brief

Rexxie and Kel-P Set to Go Head-To-Head in 'Battle of Hits'

Two of Nigeria's biggest producers are set to face off on Instagram Live in a 'Battle of Hits' you won't want to miss out on.

Rexxie and Kel-P, two of Nigeria's biggest producers, are set to face off in a "Battle of Hits" on Instagram Live today at 10 PM (WAT).

This will be the third instalment of the "Battle of Hits" after Sarz and Shizzi as well as Pheelz and Masterkraft.

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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.

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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.

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