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Kojey Radical On His Starkly Beautiful 'Bambu' Video

We talk to Ghanaian-British artist Kojey Radical about this "Bambu" music video, the lead single from his EP due later in 2015.


In mid-March, British-Ghanaian artist Kojey Radical dropped "Bambu," the darkly enthralling single from an EP due later this year. The spoken-word artist, poet, and creative director recently shared the song's music video, a starkly beautiful piece of work that shows Radical searching for truth in a gray, money-raining town. As the visuals circulate around the internet, the London-based artist and the video's South African director Alex Motlhabane spoke to us via e-mail about its creation, the meaning of "street poetry," and the relevance the video has for Africa.

Okayafrica: How did you go about making the already frighteningly vivid "Bambu" song into a music video that is even more so?

Kojey Radical: Vision, we had clear intentions when making this video. It wasn't about simply dictating a narrative it was about taking the exact words you've used to describe the visual and using that to paint a portrait. This visual is something we want people to discover and discuss; the pace of music and popular culture these days often causes us to skip over the details. The song already highlights everything I wanted to say about societal and cultural issues; what the video does is offer another perspective.

OKA: What went into the creation of such jarring images as money raining down on the main character and the woman, for example, or the main character gravely eating an orange?

Alex Motlhabane: We really just set out to put up powerful images to accompany the song. And those references are straight from the song. Everything just came together organically. It's just making sure you shoot them in the right context. Aesthetically the young black woman, the chain mail dress & the money raining down is simple enough but its the connotations that give it depth.

KR: Every scene has a connotation, some even strangely ironic but all the while presented with such an air of serious confidence. We spent a while writing a lot of scenes and when it came down to the shoot days we left a lot of those ideas behind and trusted our voices as young creatives and film makers.

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Photo courtesy of AYLØ.

Interview: AYLØ Bridges His Music & Universe In the 'Clairsentience' EP

The Nigerian artist talks about trusting your gut feelings, remedying imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do.

AYLØ's evolution as an artist has led him to view sensitivity as a gift. As the alté soundscape in the Nigerian scene gains significant traction, his laser focus cuts through the tempting smokescreen of commercial success. AYLØ doesn't make music out of need or habit. It all boils down to the power of feeling. "I know how I can inspire people when I make music, and how music inspires me. Now it's more about the message."

Clairsentience, the title of the Nigerian artist's latest EP, is simply defined as the ability to perceive things clearly. A clairsentient person perceives the world through their emotions. Contrary to popular belief, clairsentience isn't a paranormal sixth sense reserved for the chosen few, our inner child reveals that it's an innate faculty that lives within us before the world told us who to be.

Born in 1994 in Benin City, Nigeria, AYLØ knew he wanted to be a musician since he was six-years-old. Raised against the colorful backdrop of his dad's jazz records and the echoes of church choirs from his mother's vast gospel collections, making music isn't something anyone pushed him towards, it organically came to be. By revisiting his past to reconcile his promising future, he shares that, "Music is about your experiences. You have to live to write shit. Everything adds up to the music."

Our conversation emphasized the importance of trusting your gut feelings, how to remedy imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do,

This interview has been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.

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