Featured

Hugh Masekela + Amadou & Mariam Nominated for Grammys

The Grammy Awards have nominated Hugh Masekela and Amadou and Mariam for "Best World Music."


The 55th Grammy Award nominations are out and two Okayafrica favorites, Hugh Masekela and Amadou & Mariam, got the nod for Best World Music Album. Bra Hugh is nominated for his tradional South African wedding-inspired Jabulani LP and Amadou & Mariam for their excellent album Folila.

Looking past our issues with the problematic "world music" tag —  we'll let you hear that from David Byrne — and the fact that the Grammys are notably out of touch with modern music (see: Steve Stoute), we'd like to congratulate Hugh Masekela and Amadou & Mariam for this major feat in terms of American exposure. They're joined in the category by Daniel Ho, Anoushka Shankar, and Ravi Shankar. Watch or Okayafrica TV episode with Amadou & Mariam and Hugh Masekelas music video for "Sossie" below.

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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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