Popular

Juls Explores a New Sound in 'Normal' Featuring Kojey Radical

The producer takes a step away from afrobeats in this new single and video.

Juls has constantly been on rotation for years for his own hits as well as productions alongside Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Wande Coal which, as we wrote last year when he released Leap of Faith, have put him at the forefront of the afrobeats movement.

The British-Ghanaian producer is now sharing "Normal," the first taste of his upcoming album. The song sees Juls making a clear departure from the afrobeats grooves we're accustomed to hearing from him, exchanging them for a darker UK grime-influenced production. And it definitely works.

"I don't want to be the go-to guy when you just want afrobeats," Juls told The FADER. "I grew up listening to a lot of music. With this project that I'm working on, I want to show different elements of what I'm doing."

The single also features some heavy bars from London-based artist Kojey Radical, who we named one of our 10 UK Acts to Watch last year.

Watch the new music video for "Normal," which was directed by Juls himself, below.


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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.