Music
Still from YouTube.

'Entertainment Has Saved Nigeria'—Here's What Happened When Davido Spoke at Columbia University

The artist discussed his new album 'A Good Time' and changing perceptions of Africa through music with Melanin Unscripted founder Amarachi Nwosu.

A week ago, media platform and digital agency Melanin Unscripted along with Columbia University's African Students Association hosted none other than Nigerian megastar Davido for a talk entitled "Shaping the Image of Africa Through Music," which focused on the themes in his newly released sophomore album A Good Time as well as "the next frontier of afrobeats."

There was a feeling of pride and excitement as attendees—mostly African students from Columbia, gathered at university's campus in NYC. The night's two hosts quizzed the audience on Davido trivia, and ran through other Afrobeats-related questions to keep the audience entertained as we awaited the artist's arrival.

Once Davido finally came through—about an hour and a half later—the excitement still hadn't waned. Moderator, Amarachi Nwosu, the founder of Melanin Unscripted, asked the artist a range of questions that touched on the role of social media in helping spread African pop music, using his platform and influence to address social issues in his country—"entertainment has saved Nigeria," the artist remarked—as well as the making of A Good Time. "I just got tired of Americans singing 'If' and 'Fall," the artist joked.

In line with the night's theme, the event was an overall "good time," complete with a fun conversation between Davido and Nwosu that highlighted the artist's humorous side and energetic personality. You can check out the 45-minute conversation in full below courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.


Davido "Shaping The Image of Africa Through Music" Talk at Columbia University www.youtube.com

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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.