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Still from 'Black Earth Rising' trailer via YouTube.

HBO to Co-Produce Michaela Coel's Upcoming Series About Dating and Sexual Consent

The showrunner's latest, "January 22," is described as "fearless, frank and provocative."

HBO has signed on to co-produce an upcoming series by Michaela Coel about contemporary dating life and sexual consent, Deadline reports.

The show titled January 22nd was first announced via the BBC last August. It was written by and will star Coel as the protagonist Arabella Essiedu, a "self-assured, care-free Londoner with a group of great friends, a holiday fling turned aspirational boyfriend in Italy and a burgeoning writing career. But when she is spiked with a date-rape drug, every element of her life and identity is called into question," as described in Deadline.


A synopsis from last year reads:

Set in London, where gratification is only an app away, the story centers on Arabella (Coel) whose raw and personal experience of consent sits at the heart of the story. Through Arabella we meet a group of fictional friends and colleagues whose sexual adventures frequently collide with a world in which new codes of sexual practice are emerging.

The show's cast, which features several young up-and-coming actors, has also recenlty been announced. The ensemble includes Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu, Aml Ameen, Adam James, Sarah Niles and Ann Akin, who play characters within Arabella's circle of friends. Opia, for instance, plays Terry Pratchard, her best friend, described as "a struggling actor but always hopeful her career's about to pop." While Essiedu plays Kwame Acheampong, "the best male friend to Arabella and Terry. He's an exercise class teacher and Grindr regular."

Production has begun in London and the show will premiere in 2020. "We're incredibly lucky to have pulled together such a talented cast to bring these scripts to life and I look forward to sharing this work with you all next year," said Coel.

Last year, the Chewing Gum creator, starred in the Netflix original musical Been So Long alongside Arinzé Kene.

Music
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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Bobi Wine and His Wife Released from House Arrest

Ugandan politician Bobi Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi have been released from a near two-week military house arrest following a recent ruling from a Ugandan court.