Audio

Wanna Hear Grime Verses Over Afrobeat Tracks? This 'Afrogrime' EP Has You Covered

French producer Ozferti mixes classic UK grime bars from with Nigerian afrobeat on his 'Afrogrime' EP.

The world got a very small taste of what grime bars might sound like atop afrobeats production last year when Skepta jumped on the remix of Wizkid’s "Ojuelegba" along with Drake.


If you were curious to hear a more traditional afrobeat-grime fusion, Ozferti—the production moniker of French illustrator, musician, and producer Florian Doucet—has you covered.

On Afrogime EP Volume 2, the artist marries classic grime cuts with the sounds of Nigerian afrobeat, Ghanaian highlife and vocal traditions from Ethiopia, Mali and Cameroon, to create a collection of pulsating, experimental tracks. He samples verses from the likes of Wiley, JME, Skepta, Big Narstie, and other grime acts.

"Imagine an alternate dimension where East Africans spirits meet steampunk technologies, that's what Ozferti is about," the artist tells Okayafrica.

The musician is no stranger to merging preexisting genres and creating musical styles of his own. He’s described his past releases as “Ethio-hop” and “Nubian Bass."

With Afrogrime EP Volume 2, Ozferti tells us to be prepared for “abstract landscapes, grime beats, spicy percussion, southern guitar riffs, and scissor flows.”

These rare vibes of Afrogrime are worth getting into. Listen to the EP below—which samples verses from the likes of Wiley,  and check other music from Ozferti via Bandcamp.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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