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Koko Clay Shares a Bittersweet Love Song to Her Congolese Heritage

The self-proclaimed "Nubian Disco Queen" premieres her new single "Motherland."

In her latest offering, the London-based artist explores her Congolese heritage over an addictive electro-R&B beat.

Koko Clay is a London-based artist of Congolese roots who stands out with an inventive sound that blends futuristic soul, retro pop and funk influences.

Originally from France, Koko made waves in the Parisian scene before moving to London to pursue her music career full time.

The self-proclaimed "Nubian Disco Queen" returns with a brand new single titled "Motherland" – a bittersweet love letter to her Congolese heritage. Full of unpredictable twists and turns, the song is a deftly-produced mix of stylish pop, afrobeats, house and gospel inspirations


"The song is a fictitious yet, realistic tale of a woman, who grew up in the streets of Kinshasa, the Congolese capital, in contrast to my own personal experience as a woman of Congolese descent, who grew up in France, proud of my roots and heritage," Koko Clay tellsOkayAfrica.

"Motherland" also shows off Koko's prowess as a fierce triple threat that writes, produces and sings all her music. With its hard-hitting beat and passionately-sung lyrics, this song is enough for repeated listens.

Listen to our premiere of "Motherland" by Koko Clay 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.

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