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Interview: Keri Hilson In Ivory Coast


We sat down with R&B songstress Keri Hilson to chat about her recent trip to the Ivory Coast, where she spoke to us about meeting prime minister Guillaume Soro and falling in love with poulet braisé.

So, you visited Ivory Coast recently.

Yeah, it was great! Though it was only a short stay, I got to play a show at Palais de la Culture d'Abidjan for about 4,000 people — the crowd's energy was amazing.

What did you do while there?

I was lucky to get to meet prime minister Guillaume Soro. Other than that, we got to go to the beach, do a bit of local shopping and ate out a lot. I gotta say, out of the African cities I visited this year Abidjan had the best food hands-down. We were tearing up the poulet braisé, aloco and kedjenou (laughs).

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Akon ft. Keri Hilson "Oh Africa" [for Konfidence Charity/2010 World Cup]

What sparked your interest in playing Abidjan?

Well, I've been traveling to Africa for a few years now. I first went with John Legend on his 2009 South African tour. Ever since then I've kept wanting to return. My dream is to visit each country in the continent. You know, being African-American you truly get a sense of "home" while there. I was also impressed people could trace their lineage to a specific tribe, it's something I've been trying to find out for myself.

Do you have a highlight of the trip?

Yeah, my favorite part by far was visiting La Caza — an orphanage for children who lost their parents in the civil war.  It was a really emotional experience and great to get to see the kids smile. For the holidays, I'm sending them over packages of bookbags, t-shirts, sunglasses, notebooks, and even an electric keyboard!

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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