Video

The Top 10 Nigerian Music Videos Directed By Kemi Adetiba

Okayafrica presents the Top 10 Nigerian Music Videos Directed by Kemi Adetiba.


Waje in "Onye"

Kemi Adetiba may be a familiar face on the Nigerian music video landscape. From her compelling stories to engaging visuals, the on-air-personality-turned-director has mastered the art of giving a tasteful visual representation to music. Banky W’s "Lagos Party," Bez’s "More You" and TY Bello’s "Ekundayo" are just a few of her videos that have received critical acclaim. Adetiba, a gradaute of law, got her first media break as the host of Rhythm FM's "Sunday at the Seaside." She then transitioned to television, hosting programs the likes of  Temptation Nigeria on Mnet and the dance competition Maltina Dance Hall. After achieving success in Radio and Television she enrolled in the New York Film Academy and has since gone on to direct some of our favorite videos (in addition to her work with commercials and TV). In 2008 she released Across A Bloodied Ocean, a short film starring Osas Ighodaro which went on to screen at L.A.'s Pan African Film Festival and the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. In honor of Adetiba's already prolific career we highlighted ten of her best music videos (in no particular order).

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"Today Na Today" – Omawumi

Powerhouse vocalist and self-proclaimed Wonder Woman Omawumi was young and still trying to make it in the industry when "Today Na Today" was released back in 2009. Showing her in a totally new light, the video's costumes and vintage theme sold her as a "21st Century Brenda Fassie."

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"More You" – Bez

"More You" was alternative-soul crooner Bez's debut video and a grand entrance to Nigeria's music industry. At the time of its release the heart-wrenching video was lauded as one of the best videos to come out of Nigeria in 2010 for its attention to detail.

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"Maga No Need Pay" – Banky W, Bez, Cobhams, MI, Modele, Omawumi, Rooftop MCs, Wordsmith

Recorded for the Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN) initiative, "Maga No Need Pay" and its video lined up an all-star cast for a worthy cause (that of rehabilitating cybercrime offenders). "Maga no need pay, I go hard for ma dough," explains the song's bottom-line chorus.

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"Toh Bad" – Niyola

Niyola landed on radars as soon as her lead single "Toh Bad" was released, but its New York-shot video is what catapulted the "First Lady" of Empire Mates Entertainment into the spotlight in November of 2013 with its emotional story about a woman in love with a famous actor.

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"Onye" – Waje ft. Tiwa Savage

The "Onye" video is Adetiba's hilarious take on love featuring Waje, Tiwa Savage, Bryan Okwara (and a cameo from Omawumi) in wonderful comedic performances. Says its YouTube description, the Lagos-shot video "depicts what happens when two women (Tiwa Savage and Waje) unknowingly fall in love with the same man (erstwhile Mr. Nigeria Bryan Okpara)."

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"Sitting On The Throne" – Olamide

"Sitting On The Throne" introduced us to a different side of Adetiba. While there's no formal storyline, its surrealist imaging and costuming are a spellbinding glimpse of Olamide, Baddest Guy Ever Liveth.

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"Lagos Party" – Banky W

Despite Adetiba admitting Banky W's "Lagos Party" video was not the original concept for the video, it's still a winner. The star-studded video released in 2010 brought out tons of nostalgia, especially with Wizkid dancing alongside Banky W.

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"The Future" – TY Bello

In the inspirational video for "The Future" Adetiba interpreted TY Bello's words and portrayed the hope that someday there will be a better Nigeria.

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"Say" – Bez

From start to end, Adetiba tells a tale about love and a not so happy ever after in the cinematic, New York-shot visuals for "Say," one of our Top Nigerian Videos of 2013.

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"Fall in Love" – Ego

As we wrap this list up, it's safe to say that Adetiba interprets love songs very well. The video that shows Eldee as Ego's love interest is a fan favourite. Plus its styling is on point.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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