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Mr Eazi. Photo: Emily Nkanga.

Mr Eazi's emPawa Is Reopening to Submissions

30 new artists will receive funding and mentorship from the likes of Diamond Platinumz, Sarkodie, Kwesta, Juls, Diplo and Mr Eazi himself.

Mr Eazi's emPawa initiative, a talent incubator for rising African artists, is reopening to submissions on Friday, August 15.

This time around, emPawa Africa will offer 30 artists the funds to film their music video, as well as offer mentorship and guidance from cemented names like Diamond Platinumz, Sarkodie, Kwesta, Guilty Beatz, Juls, E. Kelly, DJ Neptune, Diplo and Mr Eazi himself, who will all be participating as mentors.

To be considered, artists just have to upload a short video (up to 1 minute in length) to Instagram of themselves performing an original song, cover, or freestyle, with the hashtag #emPawa30.

Read: The Music Business of Mr Eazi

In this second phase of the program both artists based in Africa and across the African diaspora are welcomed to apply. "The #emPawa30 will include 10 artists from Nigeria, 10 artists from other countries on the African continent, and five U.K.-based African artists, with the remaining five spots open to African-born artists in countries around the world, including the U.S. and Canada," a press statement reveals.

YouTube Music will be partnering with emPawa to provide support for the 10 Nigerian artists that are chosen. "It's critical to develop the next generation of talent—and there is so much talent exploding out of Nigeria and the African continent right now," says YouTube's Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen. "Africa is setting the tempo all around the globe."

In its initial phase last November, emPawa had some notable successes from the likes of Ghana's J. Derobie, Nigeria's Joeboy and others.

The program will close to submissions on September 15, after which each entry will each be evaluated by Mr Eazi and his team.


Video

Video: Mr Eazi On How He's Helping Young African Artists Grow

In 'Moments With: Mr Eazi,' the buzzing Nigerian star tells us about Banku music, being a serial entrepreneur, and how he's been pushing young African artists through his emPawa initiative.

Mr Eazi stopped by our offices in New York City during a packed round of promo around his new emPawa platform.

The Nigerian star sat down with OkayAfrica and spoke in-depth about his early days, how his friends all pooled money to help him get started, how his famous 'hat' look came about, the blend of Ghanaian & Nigerian sounds that make up Banku music and more recent things like collaboration with J Balvin and Bad Bunny.

Watch our Moments With video with Mr Eazi below.

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Audio

Mr Eazi & Simi Drop the New Single and Video For 'Doyin'

A head-nodding Afro-R&B track produced by Killertunes.

Mr Eazi seems to be in unstoppable work mode right now as he's been popping up in big singles and collaborations all over the place this summer, as well as continuing his emPawa Africa initiative.

For his latest single, "Doyin," Eazi connects with Nigerian singer Simi for a head-nodding Afro-RnB track. The new song, which is built on woozy synthesizers and mid-tempo beat work, was produced by Killertunes. Eazi and Simi trade verses in the addictive single, which comes paired with a new music video directed by Manuel Concha.

Read: The Music Business of Mr Eazi

"Doyin" is the first song released through emPawa Distribution, a digital music aggregator focused solely on distributing African music, which Eazi announced after the success of emPawa Africa. Speaking of the initiative, emPawa Africa is now reopened to submissions that will help fund the music videos of 30 up-and-coming artists and offer mentorship from big name artists.

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(Photo Courtesy of DIARRABLU)

Meet the Senegalese Designer Making Math Chic

Diarra Bousso uses algorithms to create designs for her line DIARRABLU.

Who knew that math and fashion could work together so seamlessly? Apparently Diarra Bousso did, the self-described "Creative Mathematician" and mastermind behind DIARRABLU. The Senegalese serial entrepreneur and multidisciplinary artist left a career of trading on Wall Street to pursue design and it paid off. She has just been awarded a coveted spot as the Designer in Residence at the San Francisco Fashion Incubator for her innovative use of equations and algorithms in her beautiful designs.

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

Daniel Kaluuya Is Producing a Live-Action 'Barney' Movie with Mattel

Yes, you read that correctly.

In a move that absolutely no one saw coming, Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce a live-action Barney movie in conjunction with Mattel Films. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.

Kaluuya will co-produce the film as part of his 59% production banner, which signed a first-look deal with Paramount back in May. Speaking on his involvement with the project and the impact of Barney & Friends, Kaluuya had this to say: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

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