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Photo: Ismael Kouyate/Youtube.

Watch Ismael Kouyate's New Video For 'Africa Love'

A slow-churning blend of Guinean grooves, hip-hop elements and Kouyate's unmistakeable vocal delivery.

Ismael "Bonfils" Kouyate comes through with the new music video for "Africa Love."

The Guinean-born perfomer, who was born to a long line of Griots in West Africa, initially made his name dancing for the likes of Les Ballets Africains, the national dance company of Guinea, and as the Master Choreographer for the Fela! musical, in which he also featured.

You may have also caught Kouyate's vocals in none-other-than the queen Beyonce's 2013 single "Grown Woman" (in the song's bridge).

Ismael Kouyate is now sharing the New York City-shot music video for "Africa Love," a slow-churning blend of Guinean grooves, hip-hop elements and the singer's unmistakeable vocal delivery.


Check out the Shawn Beasley-directed video for "Africa Love below and catch Ismael Kouyate performing with this band, Waraba, or his West African dance company, African Soul International.

"Africa Love" by Ismael "Bonfils" Kouyate feat. Asante directed by Shawn Beasley youtu.be

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Jordi Vidal/Redferns for Getty Images

Ivorian Reggae Artist Tiken Jah Fakoly Has Condemned Guinea's President Amid Protests

The artist says that he thought Guinean President Alpha Condé would be like the late Nelson Mandela.

Popular Ivorian musician, Tiken Jah Fakoly (real name Doumbia Moussa Fakoly) has condemned Guinean President Alpha Condé and accused him of wanting to cling to power, the BBC reports. Tiken Jah Fakoly's comments come amid protests in Conakry and Mamou that have thus far, resulted in nine people being killed after police opened fire. Protesting Guineans are against Condé's plans to reportedly change the constitution so that he can go on to run for a third term. While the 81-year-old has said that a third term will be dependent on the "will of the people", Guineans feel this is unlikely.

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Cellou Binani/Getty Images

Several People Have Been Killed During Protests in Guinea

Guineans are protesting against changes to the constitution which will allow President Alpha Condé to run for a third term.

At least five people have died during protests in Guinea's Conakry and Mamou after police opened fire on them, according to Aljazeera. The protests come just after President Alpha Condé instructed his government to look into drafting a new constitution that will allow him to remain in power past the permissible two terms. Conde's second five-year term will come to an end next year but as is the unfortunate case with many African leaders, the 81-year-old is intent on running for office yet again.

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'54 Silhouettes' at the British Council of Nigeria's Lagos Theatre Festival. Photo: Drive Adebayo.

'54 Silhouettes' Is the One-Man Play Exploring What Happens When Other People Tell Our Stories

The play is the first from Nigeria to show at the international United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC.

Playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director Africa Ukoh's award-winning play 54 Silhouettes has made its way to New York City as part of the United Solo Festival, the annual international festival, highlighting solo theatre performances through a "variety of one-person shows."

The one-man play stars the award-winning Nigerian actor Charles Etubiebi as a struggling actor who thinks he's landed his big break when he gets a major role in an upcoming blockbuster, he becomes conflicted, however, when he learns the film is yet another stereotypical "war in Africa" production—the type of film he vowed to never do. "Caught between career ambitions and ideals of his African identity, he must decide whether to do the film or ditch it," reads an official description of the show.

"The play explores African representation in global media and asks questions about creative responsibility, with tensions of cross cultural relations at the center of it all," Ukoh tells OkayAfrica. "It explores the inherent complexities in culturally unique stories being told by people of different cultures and how this intersects with power dynamics, commerce, and artistic ideals."

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Sarz. Photo: Manny Jefferson. Courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Sarz Has Powered a Generation of Nigerian Music—and He Isn't Stopping Anytime Soon

We talk to the star producer about his role in the rising global popularity of Nigerian music, spanning his production on massive singles from the likes of Wizkid, Skepta, Drake and more.

"I think more than the music, the narrative is more important these days," says Sarz as he sits at the offices of his press agency. "So one great song with an amazing narrative can get you farther than five great songs sometimes."

When Sarz talks about music, his eyes light up. They dart with excitement as he runs through topics like sounds, production, trends, and innovation. These are all words that represent his life's work of impactful music production, which has powered a generation of music in Nigeria, and is currently playing a role in its international future. Sitting at the offices, decked in a white t-shirt, red trousers and Nike kicks, he makes a point that he rarely grants interviews. And when he does, it's in spaces like this, in rooms and studios where his business is conducted, and his work is birthed and refined for public impact.

Born Osabuohien Osaretin, the 30-year-old music producer discovered sounds by accident when his ears would automatically pick apart music and focus on the beat. Interestingly, he discovered that he could remember every beat in detail. It was the entry point to a career that took off in 2010 when he scored his first hit on Jahbless' "Joor Oh" remix—during the formative stages of the current Nigerian pop success—and has provided sounds that have shaped the culture and given it its biggest moments.

With afrobeats' global ambitions taking off, Sarz's production is playing crucial roles in celebrated cross-cultural projects. He's helmed Drake's "One Dance," unlocked the chemistry between Wizkid and Skepta on "Energy (Stay Far Away)," and added composition on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift album.

"I'm inspired by the thoughts of how far I can take music. Just thinking about where this music can take me to," Sarz says, taking swigs from a water bottle. The producer has also worked with the biggest stars in afrobeats, and a look through his catalogue has hits every year since 2007.

He talks passionately about his work, the source of inspiration, where good music originates from, and how he identifies where to direct his energies. He runs an academy that has been a vehicle for delivering new producers to the culture. Sarz converses with range, a brimming energy, and a humility that is tied to purpose and achievements. He never shies away from topics that examine his revered place in this ecosystem, admitting without bragging that he is no one's mate. Even his 2019 SINYM EP is affirmation that "Sarz Is Not Your Mate." He has seen a lot and has a lot to say.

Sarz. Photo: Manny Jefferson. Courtesy of the artist.

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