Video

Okay Acoustic With Ibeyi

In the latest Okayafrica TV episode of Okay Acoustic, French-Cuban twins Ibeyi perform a stripped down "Ibeyi (Outro)" in Central Park


Okayafrica TV caught up with Ibeyi just before the French-Cuban twin sisters mesmerized a packed Central Park SummerStage crowd at the Okayplayer showcase. On the steps of the New York City park, Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé performed an alluring version of their debut album's closing track "Ibeyi (Outro)," which they mentioned is a "traditional song named after the Yoruba word for 'twins'," guided solely by their voices and scattered handclaps. Watch our Okay Acoustic episode with the duo above and check out some pictures from the shoot by Oluwaseye below. For more, revisit our previous Okayafrica TV videos with Ibeyi record digging in NYC and interviewing each other. The sisters' debut self-titled album Ibeyi is out now on XL Recordings.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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