Audio

Just A Band's Blinky Bill & Russian Producer Mitya Burmistrov's 'Raindrop'

Kenya's Just A Band frontman Blinky Bill teams up with Russian producer Mitya Burmistrov on 'Raindrop' featuring Malabika.


Over the years Kenya's Just A Band have undoubtedly cemented a spot in any Okayafrica playlist. And while it's been some time since their last studio effort Sorry For The Delay (2012), frontman Blinky Bill recently came through with some surprise tricks of his own, a somber electro-cloudy collaboration with Russian producer Mitya Burmistrov (and also featuring Malabika). We asked Bill to shed light on how the new "Raindrop" track came about. "Me and Mitya are good friends, we met in the States during OneBeat for which we both involved in," explains Bill. OneBeat, which Bill took part in back in 2013 along with BLK JKS' Mpumi Mcata, is a one-month project that brings musicians from across the globe to the U.S. to collaborate, produce and perform original tracks. It was a last year's OneBeat in Florida that Bill and Mitya formed a project, which they gave the working title of "Sexy Helicopters" (though the name could change), and recorded their first track together in September. According to Bill, they have plans to release more tracks soon and are looking to shoot a video for "Raindrop." They're also hoping to put an EP out this year. And as for Just A Band, "JAB is busy as well, working on some new videos from Sorry for the Delay as we also prepare some new music in studio and hop on tour," says Bill. Until then, listen to Kenyan/Russian powerhouse collab "Raindrop" 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.