News

Kenyan-American Artist Jamilla Okubo's Other-Worldly Photo Series

Jamilla Okubo poses in her own textile creations, shot by Dex R. Jones.

Since we last caught up with Kenyan-American artist, textile designer and student Jamilla Okubo she's been steadily honing in on her talents, amassing an impressive and diversified body of work that she regularly shares on her Tumblr. Just recently, she shared a new photo series for her final assignment in her “Fashion, Illustration, & Performance” class at Parsons The New School of Design. This series, shot by the equally talented photographer Dex R. Jones, is a dazzling combination of performance art and fashion, and incorporates Okubo's vividly colorful textile work. Trying her hand at performance art, Jamilla also models the clothing herself, with her face completely covered and the true shape of her head manipulated to create a peculiar, other-worldly figure. Her poses are highly evocative while at the same time mysterious, beautiful and haunting.


To hear more about Jamilla Okubo and her work, you can check out an interview we featured between Okubo and The Style Idle‘s Adwoa Afful.

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.

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