Photos: A Look Back At Ms. Lauryn Hill's 'Diaspora Calling!' Music Festival

Ms. Lauryn Hill called the diaspora and they responded with a night celebrating Africa.

Inside Kings Theatre during Ms. Lauryn Hill's performance at Diaspora Calling! Photo by Pascal Bernier.

Ms. Lauryn Hill called the diaspora to Kings Theatre—and they responded, bringing the sounds of Africa and the Caribbean to the stage on a brisk Friday evening.

This one-night music festival opened with New York-based Paul Beaubrun repping Haiti with his roots-blues tunes.

The Black Star was present, with Ghana’s swaggy Jojo Abot and Stonebwoy then shutting down the stage with “Go Higher,” and E.L making you want to shoki to “Koko.”

Nigeria’s Wondaboy and Mr. Eazi also rocked the stage with their hits, proving that they’re the ones to watch.

The second son of Bob Marley, Stephen Marley, serenaded the crowd with an acoustic set of his father’s classics and his own roots reggae sound while Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Montano brought carnival to Brooklyn and showed that he’s the true king of soca.

Before Ms. Hill finally made it on stage after intermission, the audience witnessed a Haitian rara procession by the Brother High Full Tempo band. African dancers led in the band of drums down the center aisle of the theatre, as horns made of metal layered over the rhythmic percussion to the stage with Chop and Quench, The Fela! Band. Vévé motifs, bold colors and video footage projected onto the backdrop, and the party really got started.

Ms. Hill’s rendition of “Everything is Everything” was reminiscent of her Afrobeat spin on “Lost Ones” (which she also performed again), where the audience got down like they were in The Shrine. Once her rearrangement of “Ex-Factor” rang through our ears, I definitely caught myself doing the alkayida and the azonto by my lonesome in my row.

The night of music at Diaspora Calling! was an overwhelming whirlwind of love, good vibes and unity.

In case you missed it, read up on our recap of the festival's art exhibition here.

Check out some of our images below:

Jojo Abot. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Mr. Eazi and his producer. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Wondaboy. Photo by Ginny Suss.

The Compozers were the awesome backup band for the African artists. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy. Photo by Ginny Suss.

E.L. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Members of the Brother High Full Tempo band. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Members of the Brother High Full Tempo band. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Ms. Lauryn Hill. Photo by Pascal Bernier.

Ms. Lauryn Hill. Photo by Pascal Bernier.

"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

Nigerian artist Tekno is back with his second single of the year, "Kata."

The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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