Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

South African artist Boskasie pictured above.

Here's How Artists are Navigating the World of Music Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

We spoke to several artists to find out how they're working on still getting their music to fans while in self-isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The world is still coming to terms with the recent coronavirus outbreak.

As countries put in place various lockdown measures in the hopes that social distancing will prevent the further spread of the pandemic, African artists have been hard hit. Scheduled performances have been cancelled and entire tours in some instances.

On the other hand, the grim reality has also allowed artists to become more creative with how they put out their music and engage with fans. Artists such as DJ Black Coffee and singer Berita have already led the way with livestream performances on social media—a trend that's fast becoming popular.

And so we spoke to a few African artists about how they've been personally affected by the coronavirus outbreak and tried to find out some of the ways they're going about connecting with their audience.


Prince Kaybee, South African artist

"The outbreak has affected my work and performances. Gigs have been cancelled but it's given me more time to work on my music, my other business and work on ways to brainstorm with my teams—to be present. I have more time in the studio and I'm going to release more music very soon because of that.

As far as recording is concerned, it's a bit of a mission because you don't know if other artists are infected or not. So what we do is you'll send a project and someone will send it back. Although I prefer being in the studio while they write to a song, unfortunately, in this circumstance we're forced to send and trust that someone will write something meaningful to your song, record it properly and send it back so you can finish it up. But if you're only doing beats, it's easy and it gives you more time to do that at home.

I'm going to be doing the livestream thing. I'm just looking for the right concept, the right aesthetics. I just don't want to do something normal. We need to create the mood, give people the nostalgic feel of dance music. I love dark colors so it'll probably be all-black with a bit of light. I want the focus to be on the art more than anything. I need the perfect aesthetics for it and then I'll do it."

Lady Donli, Nigerian musician

"The outbreak has really put a shadow of uncertainty around my life. Shows are my primary source of income so cancelling my tour was pretty big for me. Regardless, this period is giving me time to re-group. I'm thinking of new ways to interact with my audience, so we can both get through this together—hopefully stronger.

Laylizzy, Mozambican rapper

"For the past two/three months I've been working in a lot of different studios here in Maputo, Mozambique, where I'm at right now with different engineers, different producers and artists but because it's dangerous to be in those studio environments right now, I'm gonna have to get back to recording at my home studio.

I see DJs already started doing live-streams with other DJs which is interesting because we can play from the livestream to our speakers and then play it through our homes. If you're like me, and you live with two or three people, it's entertaining during this self-isolation period. But when it comes to being a rapper, my performances are more about energy, the sweat and jumping around so my fans are going to see a big difference. We're making a plan to see if we are going to do the live performances or just keep it at dope freestyles and a lot of music."

TRESOR, Congolese musician

"The outbreak has affected my workflow and that of artists under my label. I had multiple booked shows that have been cancelled throughout till May meaning loss of income. Right now I am rather focusing on creating and writing more music. I will see how I feel in the coming days and maybe might do an online live show but can't promise anything yet."

Shingai Darangwa, founder of Punchline Media and manager of Boskasie, South African artist

"The coronavirus outbreak hit us right when it mattered most. [Boskasie] was supposed to release her single and we'd planned a whole press run. We had to cancel that. We had planned a launch at Sumo and we had to cancel that. We'd planned a whole media run and we're gonna have to cancel most of that including the promo shows in support of the single. That hits hard because we've been planning this for the last three months.

We're gonna have to find a creative way of doing music drops as opposed to the conventional ways. We're working on how to maximise social media. It is an opportunity to be creative though. During this period, we'll see who's made of the real stuff, the people who can stand the test of time and those who will crumble."

Lucille Slade, South African artist

"All promotional radio tours have been cancelled for both the songs I have out. TV shows for promotions and further gigs have also been put on hold. It puts a huge weight on you financially because any income that was expected is now cut."

Are you an artist or artist manager? How are you being impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus shutdowns where you live and work. Tell us how you're getting around the barriers and reaching your fans or new fans while they're stuck at home.

How are African Artists Dealing With Coronavirus?

The coronavirus is a global pandemic with communities across the world taking precautions to stop the spread of the disease. Some countries are in nationwide lockdowns, while in other places, people are encouraged to self-isolate. At OkayAfrica, we want to know what Africans are doing, both at home and in the diaspora, to combat coronavirus. Tell us how you've prepared in the survey below and we'll include snippets of your answers on OkayAfrica.

What is your name? (leave question blank if you'd prefer to remain anonymous)

Where do you live? Please include the city/town and country.

How has the virus affected your community?

What steps has your government taken to prepare for the virus?

How have you dealt with the impact of the virus so far?

What do people in your community think about the coronavirus?

Do you think your community is doing enough to fight the spread of the virus? If not, what do you think is stopping this from happening?

Can we reach out to ask you more questions?

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If so, how can we contact you? (We will not publish any contact information)

Africa In Your Earbuds
Photo by Hector Vivas - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Kizz Daniel Performs At The FIFA World Cup

Nigeria's Kizz Daniel recently thrilled fans when he performed at the FIFA World Cup.


Renowned Afrobeats singer, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, also known as Kizz Daniel recentlymade his debut performance at the World Cup to raving fans. The singer performed songs from a selection of some of his well known smash hit records at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is still ongoing.

Some of the songs that he performed included: 'Buga', 'Cough', 'Lie', 'Pour Me Water', 'One Ticket', 'Eh God', 'Good Time' and many others.

The singer performing at the World Cup was somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy because earlier in June, he had shared on social media that he wanted to perform at the World Cup this year.

His tweet read: "God I want to perform 'Buga' for World Cup with a mass choir. Help me say amen."

During his performance, he was greeted by over 50,000 fans, who excitedly chimed in as he delivered some of his heavy-hitting songs. The 28-year-old also featured a live-band show during his performance.

Kizz Daniel is one of the many African artists that are leaving their mark on the global music scene. When he released ‘Buga,’ he received massive recognition from the record and it quickly became an anthem in Nigeria. To many, the song was one of the most prominent African songs of the year.

Kizz Daniel's recent performance at the World Cup marks the rise in global popularity that many of his peers are also receiving.

According to Sports Brief, Kizz Daniel's performance was a part of the FIFA Sound, which had at least five international artists in it's lineup who performed on the main stage during the famed sports event. Sports Brief also shared that all of the performances were an extension of FIFA’s entertainment strategy, which is an initiative that is created to establish solid relationships between the world of soccer and music.

Following his performance, a thrilled Kizz Daniel took to social media to show some of the excited reactions that fans had during his performance.

VADO OF AFRICA 🌍 on Instagram: "AS A NAIJA 🇳🇬 BOY I SAY THANK YOU AFRICA 🌍 THANK YOU WORLD 🌎 #fifaworldcup2022 #qatar2022 ‼️"

News Brief
Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

South Africa Shocked After DJ Sumbody's Fatal Shooting

The popular Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody, was tragically killed in Johannesburg.


News recently broke that the well known South African Amapiano music producer Oupa John Sefoka, popularly known as DJ Sumbody passed awaythis past Sunday, November 20th.

The family reported that specific details of DJ Sumbody's passing could not be released because the issue was a part of a larger, ongoing investigation.

"Artist and musician DJ Sumbody has died. Details of his untimely death cannot be released but the artist allegedly ran into an unfortunate incident that led to his passing in the early hours of Sunday morning, November 20 2022," the family released in a statement, according to News24.

According to several unconfirmed reports, the renowned South African DJ was traveling on Woodmead road in Johannesburg when gunmen attacked his vehicle with a hail of bullets, which instantly killed him and one of his bodyguards.

He was en route to perform at an event in Woodmead for the All White Veuve Clicquot Picnic on Sunday. Apart from being an Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody was a creative force in the South African entertainment industry. In the early hours of Sunday, Sumsounds Music, his management team, confirmed the news.

DJ Sumbody was a pioneer of the well-known viral Amapiano sound, a word that translates to "the pianos" in Zulu and is an eclectic genre that started in South Africa in 2012 and fuses house, jazz and lounge music for a unique sonic experience.

During the pandermic, OkayAfrica featured him in the pieceDJ Sumbody Is Ensuring Amapiano Stays Alive During Times of Coronavirus and Social Distancing.

Social media users went online to share their shock about the unfortunate event.

Sports
(Photo by via Getty Images)

The Other African Footballers in the World Cup

There are five African teams in the World Cup, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were either born in Africa, or have African ancestry.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia are the five African teams in the World Cup in Qatar, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were born in Africa or have African ancestry.

This is, of course, the result of the African diaspora, the movement of people from the continent towards the rest of the world. But the stories of how African players or their families got to the other side of the world are not always so stereotypical as one might imagine. The world cup, besides a month of football, is also a way to find out about how humans move through the world. Here are a few:

One of the most talked about stories in this tournament is that of Breel Embolo, who was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, but represents the Swiss national team and refused to celebrate after scoring against his country of birth last week. Embolo scored the only goal in the 1-0 Switzerland victory. It was the first goal he ever scored in a world cup, and the video of it went viral. But it wasn’t because of his technique, it was because he refused to celebrate.

Embolo moved to France when he was six years old because his mom, who had separated from his dad, went to study there. She met a Swiss man and married him, and the family eventually moved to Switzerland when the now Monaco forward was still a kid. So when he scored for his adopted country against Cameroon, he decided to stop and hold his arms up while his teammates celebrated around him.

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Music
Photo: @Olapixels via Moves Recordings.

Get to Know Nigeria's New 'Cruise' Sound

A new, hyper dance style is bubbling out of Nigeria thanks to TikTok.

A frenetic sound has emerged from Lagos that pulses as the language of the streets. Despite inducing frenzied dancing at parties and across social media it remains a genre with no real name, mostly made on cheap PCs and ripped music software. Even many of those producing it do not care what it's called, no matter how excited they are to send dancers into electric-jolting fits.

London-based independent record label, Moves Recordings, have compiled their favorites of these tracks that ring out at a delirious BPM and they have dared to call it "Cruise."

It's music that exists as the intersection between class and social media and like punk or house before it, it's created by those whose lives are all but too immediate.

An explosion of youth-driven fast-tempo dance music may not be the signal for significant change in the disparity between rich and poor in Nigerian society, but thanks to TikTok, this music has not only burst out from the streets to blaze out across a nation. With help from the Nigerian diaspora from Ghana to the USA, the sound that has also broken worldwide, giving a voice to the voiceless in the slums of Lagos

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