News

MTV EMA 'Best African Act' Nominations Round-Up

We round up the list of the MTV EMAs 'Best African Act' nominees, including Fuse ODG, Locnville, Wizkid, Mafikizolo, and P-Square.


MTV recently announced the nominees for the "Best African Act" category at the November 10th MTV European Music Awards (EMAs), held this year at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome. After a four year absence the African Act award is back, and with a revamped format. The winner will be entered into a new category deemed the "Best Worldwide Act" along with the winners of the other respective regional categories. We took a look at what 2013 has had in store for this year's unsurprisingly pop-heavy list of nominees.

________________________________________________________________________________

Fuse ODG

The Londoner of Ghanaian descent made great leaps riding the Azonto wave with smash hits "Azonto" and "Antenna." The latter, aside from its 8 million views on youtube, also spawned a worldwide dance competition.

________________________________________________________________________________

Locnville

Cape Town's Chaplin twins first gained worldwide attention courtesy of FIFA 11 use of their "Sun in My Pocket" single. After a three year hiatus the SA electro-pop duo returned this year with the release of popular (emphasis on pop) singles "Closer" and "Yesterday," off the Faster Longer Mixtape.

________________________________________________________________________________

Wizkid

It's been a HUGE year for Nigerian popstar Wizkid, with highlights (among many) that include releasing a Wale-featuring hit single, a Femi Kuti collab, the launch of his own label, and most recently selling out an Amsterdam arena. A second year returnee to the category, Wizkid is the frontrunner for this year's honors.

________________________________________________________________________________

Mafikizolo

As we speak the word "Khona" is being heard at every corner of the continent, the upshot of what may arguably be the definitive song of 2013. A successful start for the SA trio in 1997 was followed by trying years that included the tragic loss of groupmate Tebogo Madingoane as well as a brief hiatus. Now a duo, Mafikizolo has capitalized on the mega success of their new brand of Kwaito with performances across the continent's capitals (including Harare, Lusaka, Maputo and Lagos) as well as nominations the likes of the MOBO’s, Channel O Awards, and now the EMA’s.

________________________________________________________________________________

P-Square

Nigerian music royalty P-Square seem to do no wrong (ever) in the eyes of their following. 2013 saw the twins release another hit with "Personally," along with the accompanying MJ-honoring video. Recently they embarked on a North American tour (aka a "3-hour 13-man band" spectacle). The Naija popmakers even received honorary Calgarian citizenship (and hats) courtesy of southern Alberta's largest city, an honor reserved for individuals from outside of Canada who have excelled in their respective field.

________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.