Events

Major Lazer, Sean Paul, Ibeyi, Mayra Andrade & More Are Playing Cuba’s Biggest Music Festival

The Musicabana Festival will mark Cuba’s biggest music gathering in over 30 years.

Ibeyi photographed by Oluwaseye.


This May, Havana will be hosting Cuba’s biggest music gathering in over 30 years, the Musicabana Festival—the first festival produced by American and Cuban partners since diplomatic relations were restored last year.

Okayafrica and Okayplayer are proud media sponsors of the festival.

The impressive Musicabana artist line-up includes performances from Major Lazer, Sean Paul, Ibeyi and Mayra Andrade, who will be joined by Cuban acts Pablo Milanés, Carlos Varela, Los Van Van, Orquesta Aragón, and many more.

Musicabana will be entirely free to the Cuban public, with special travel packages and VIP tickets available for international visitors.

Major Lazer, the dancehall-inspired crew of Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire, will be the first major US act to perform in Cuba since diplomatic ties were restored.

“For as long as I can remember, Cuba has played an influential role on my love of music—Cuba has such a powerful cultural impact all over the world and for me, especially growing up in Florida, it became one of the biggest cultural centers for music to evolve from,” mentions Diplo.

Find out more information about tickets and passes at Musicabana’s website. The festival takes place May 5—May 8.

Image via Musicabana's Facebook.

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9 Must-Hear Songs From Ghana's Buzzing Drill Scene

We give you the rundown on Ghana's drill movement, Asakaa, and the most popular songs birthed by it.

Red bandanas, streetwear, security dogs, and gang signs. If you've been paying any attention to the music scene in Ghana over the past few months, then by now you would have noticed the rise of a special hip-hop movement. The movement is called Asakaa, and it's the Ghanaian take on the Chicago-born subgenre of hip-hop called drill music. It's fresh, it's hot, it's invigorating and it's nothing like anything you've seen before from this part of the world.

The pioneers of Asakaa are fondly referred to by the genre's patrons as the Kumerica boys, a set of budding young rappers based in the city of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. They came into the limelight towards the end of 2020, and have been dropping banger after banger since then, topping several charts and racking up millions of views collectively. The rap is charismatic, the visuals are captivating, and their swag is urban. Characterized by Twi lyrics, infectious hooks, and sinister beats, the allure and appeal of both their art and their culture is overflowing.

"Sore," one of the benchmark songs of the movement, is a monster hit that exploded into the limelight, earning Kumerican rapper Yaw Tog a feature on Billboard Italy and a recent remix that featured Stormzy. "Ekorso" by Kofi Jamar is the song that took over Ghana's December 2020, with the video currently sitting at 1.3 million views on YouTube. "Off White Flow" is the song that earned rapper Kwaku DMC and his peers a feature on Virgil Abloh's Apple Music show Televised Radio. These are just a few examples of the numerous accolades that the songs birthed from the Asakaa movement have earned. Ghana's drill scene is the new cool, but it isn't just a trend. It's an entire movement, and it's here to stay.

Want to get familiar? Here we highlight the most prominent songs of the Asakaa movement that you need to know. Here's our rundown of Ghana's drill songs that are making waves right now. Check them out below.

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