News Brief

Michael Brun Explores the New Sounds of Haiti In His Debut Album 'Lokal'

The album features Mr Eazi, Adekunle Gold, Major Lazer, Arcade Fire and more.

Michael Brun is pushing the new sounds of Haiti.

Born in Port-au-Prince, the producer, DJ, and artist has been blending styles like konpa with electronic beat work to make some standout tracks that have taken him far: he collaborated with J Balvin on the Telemundo 2018 World Cup theme song, "Positivo," and joined him on the Vibras tour alongside Mr Eazi.

Brun is now releasing his 9-track debut album, Lokal, which features collaborations with contemporary Haitian artists and buzzing acts across the globe like Eddy François, BélO, Major Lazer, Win Butler & Regine Chassagne from Arcade Fire, and many more.

Read: Michael Brun Interview On How He's Pushing Haiti's Contemporary Sounds

Mr Eazi pops up for two tracks on the album: "Akwaaba Ayiti," a Haitian-inflected remix of him and Guiltybeatz' big tune, and "Pa Pale" alongside Baky and KANIS. Meanwhile, Adekunle Gold features on the smooth "Eda" with also features Haiti's BélO.


"Haiti... was made up of all these different regions of West Africa that came together and had to form a new language, Creole, and mix with indigenous people: the Taino people in Haiti, and the French and the Spanish and all these different mixes. It's just the melting pot of the world," Brun told us in a previous interview.

Playlist: Michael Brun's Zouk & Konpa Starter Kit

"When you hear the music and the rhythms, they're not that different from the Caribbean and Africa. Haiti is a central place and it's a story that I want people to know because it was very inspiring to me, and I hope that it inspires other people too."

Listen to Michael Brun's debut album, Lokal, below. It's available everywhere now.






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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