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Issa Rae.

Viola Davis, Doja Cat, Issa Rae, Wizkid And More Win at the 2021 NAACP Image Awards

Check out the full 2021 NAACP Image Awards winners list spanning the best Black entertainers across television, music, film and literature.

The NAACP Image Awards winners have been announced. This comes after the award show took place virtually this past Saturday. Winners of this year's most acclaimed award for people of colour includes Issa Rae, Doja Cat, Viola Davis, Wizkid,Regé-Jean Page and more.


Read: Here are the 2021 NAACP Image Awards Nominees

Davis bagged the "Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series" for How to Get Away with Murder. On the other hand, Rae took home the "Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series" award for Insecure. The Zimbabwean-born British actor ,Page, won an award for his lead acting performance in the Netflix hit Bridgerton. The Black-ish cast and crew swept through with numerous television award wins. Marsai Martin grabbed two notable wins for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Performance by a Youth".

According to Billboard, the music category was dominated by Beyoncé as she was awarded "Outstanding Female Artist" for "Black Parade". She added three more wins with the "Savage remix" with Megan Thee Stallion which won two separate awards. "Brown Skin Girl" featuring WizKid, SAINt JHN and Blue Ivy Carter won "Best Visual Album". The "Outstanding New Artist" award went to rapper and singer Doja Cat for her hit sinlge "Say So".

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom dominated the motion picture category. Chadwick Boseman continues to posthumously receive awards for his outstanding performance in the film. Additionally, he was accoladed for his role in Spike Lee'sDa 5 Bloods. Davis snatched the "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture" award and the cast collectively won the "Outstanding Ensemble award".

The 52nd NAACP awards were held in Burbank Californa with only a small number of attendees from nominees and the NAACP. Most of the nominees received awards from their homes. Alicia Keys, Swizz Beats, Misty Copeland and Tracy Morgan presented awards virtually. Jasmine Sullivan and Maxwell jazzed up the show with performances of their songs.

Below is the complete list of the 52nd NAACP Awards winners:

Hall of Fame Award
Eddie Murphy

Entertainer of the Year
D-Nice

Chairman's Award
Rev. D. James Lawson

Presidents Award
LeBron James

Social Justice Impact
Stacey Abrams

Motion Pictures

Outstanding Motion Picture
Bad Boys For Life

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture
Chadwick Boseman - Da 5 Bloods

Outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture
Phylicia Rashad - Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Outstanding ensemble cast in a motion picture
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Outstanding breakthrough performance in a motion picture
Madalen Mills - Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Outstanding breakthrough creative (motion picture)
Nadia Hallgren - Becoming

Outstanding independent motion picture
The Banker

Outstanding international motion picture
NIGHT OF THE KINGS

Outstanding writing in a motion picture
Radha Blank - The Forty-Year-Old Version

Outstanding directing in a motion picture
Gina Prince-Bythewood - The Old Guard

Outstanding animated motion picture
Soul

Outstanding documentary (film)
John Lewis: Good Trouble

Outstanding short-film (live action
Black Boy Joy

Outstanding short-film (animated)
Canvas

Outstanding character voice-over performance - motion picture
Jamie Foxx - Soul

Music

Outstanding female artist
Beyoncé - "Black Parade"

Outstanding male artist
Drake - "Laugh Now, Cry Later"

Outstanding duo, group or collaboration (traditional)
Chloe x Halle - "Wonder What She Thinks Of Me"

Outstanding duo, group or collaboration (contemporary)
Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé - "Savage Remix"

Outstanding album
Chilombo -- Jhené Aiko

Outstanding soul/R&B song
"Do It" - Chloe x Halle

Outstanding hip hop/rap song
"Savage Remix" - Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé

Outstanding new artist
Doja Cat - "Say So"

Outstanding producer of the year
Hit-Boy

Outstanding music video/visual album
"Brown Skin Girl" - Beyonce' feat WizKid, SAINt JHN, Blue Ivy Carter

Outstanding soundtrack/compilation album
Soul original motion picture soundtrack - Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste and Tom MacDougall

Outstanding gospel/Christian song
"Touch From You" - Tamela Mann

Outstanding gospel/Christian album
The Return - The Clark Sisters

Outstanding jazz album - instrumental
Music from and Inspired by Soul - Jon Batiste

Outstanding jazz album - vocal
Holy Room - Live at Alte Oper - Somi

Outstanding international song
"Lockdown" - Original Koffee

Television

Outstanding drama series
Power Book II: Ghost

Outstanding comedy series
Insecure

Outstanding talk series
Red Table Talk

Outstanding reality program/reality competition or game show
Celebrity Family Feud

Outstanding variety show (series or special)
VERZUZ

Outstanding news/information (series or special)
The New York Times Presents The Killing of Breonna Taylor

Outstanding children's program
Family Reunion

Outstanding animated series
Doc McStuffins

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Regé-Jean Page – Bridgerton

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis – How To Get Away With Murder

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series
Clifford "Method Man" Smith - Power Book II: Ghost

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series
Mary J. Blige - Power Book II: Ghost

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Issa Rae – Insecure

Outstanding actor in a comedy series
Anthony Anderson - black-ish

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series
Deon Cole - black-ish

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Marsai Martin - black-ish

Outstanding performance by a youth (series, special, television movie or limited-series)
Marsai Martin - black-ish

Outstanding writing in a comedy series
Michaela Coel - I May Destroy You - Ep. 112 "Ego Death"

Outstanding writing in a drama series
Attica Locke - Little Fires Everywhere - Ep. 104 "The Spider Web"

Outstanding writing in a television movie or special
Geri Cole - The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special

Outstanding directing in a comedy series
Anya Adams - black-ish - Ep. 611 "Hair Day"

Outstanding directing in a drama series
Hanelle Culpepper - Star Trek: Picard - Ep. 101 "Remembrance"

Outstanding directing in a television movie or special
Eugene Ashe - Sylvie's Love

Outstanding short form series - comedy or drama
#FreeRayshawn

Outstanding performance in a short form series
Laurence Fishburne - #FreeRayshawn

Outstanding short form series - reality/nonfiction
"Between The Scenes" - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Outstanding documentary (television - series or special)
The Last Dance

Outstanding character voice-over performance (television)
Laya DeLeon Hayes - Doc McStuffins

Outstanding television movie, limited-series or dramatic special
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Outstanding actor in a television movie, limited-series or dramatic special
Blair Underwood - Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Outstanding actress in a television movie, limited-series or dramatic special
Octavia Spencer - Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Outstanding host in a talk or news/information (series or special) – individual or ensemble
Trevor Noah - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Outstanding host in a reality/reality competition, game show or variety (series or special) – individual or ensemble
Steve Harvey - Celebrity Family Feud

Outstanding guest performance - comedy or drama series
Loretta Devine- P-Valley

Outstanding breakthrough creative (television)
Raynelle Swilling - Cherish the Day

Television or Motion Picture

Outstanding directing in a documentary (television or motion picture)
Keith McQuirter - By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem

Outstanding writing in a documentary (television or motion picture)
Melissa Haizlip - Mr. SOUL!

Outstanding literary works

Fiction
The Awkward Black Man - Walter Mosley

Nonfiction
A Promised Land - Barack Obama

Debut author
We're Better Than This - Elijah Cummings

Biography/autobiography
The Dead Are Arising - Les Payne, Tamara Payne

Instructional
Vegetable Kingdom - Bryant Terry

Poetry
The Age of Phillis - Honorée Jeffers

Children
She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm - Katheryn Russell-Brown, Eric Velasquez

Youth/teens
Before the Ever After - Jacqueline Woodson

Special Awards

Activist of the year
Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony

Youth activist of the year
Madison Potts

Spingarn medal
Misty Copeland

Founder's
Toni Vaz

Sports award I
Stephen Curry

Sports award II
WNBA Player's Association (Nneka Ogqumike accepting on behalf of WNBAPA)

Key of life
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

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Photo Credit: From Taamaden

10 Upcoming African Films to Look Forward to in 2022

From Nigerian thrillers to South African documentaries, here are 10 African films we are looking forward to in 2022.

The glitzy and glamorous Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) recently returned for its 43rd edition. The eight day festival, which took place in Durban (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa), featured an embarrassment of riches on the program, from around the world. The festival is a good indicator of what we can expect from African cinema for the rest of 2022.

The 10 films on this list were all screened at the festival. These films managed to stand out for reasons that have been explained below. (One of those films, Robin Odongo's Bangarang from Kenya, won the Best African Feature Film award at DIFF.)

Do not miss these movies when they come to a theater or streaming platform near you.

1960 (South Africa)

This pleasant, King Shaft directed period musical centers a heroine who may have been inspired by the life of the late South African icon Miriam Makeba. 1960 opened the Durban festival this year and set the tone for what would come after. Lindi (played by both Zandile Madliwa and Ivy Nkutha) is a singer who in her twilight days digs back into her past to shed light on the murder of an apartheid-era police officer when his remains turn up in Sharpeville some six decades after the infamous massacre of 1960.

African Moot (South Africa​)

There are plenty reasons to be hopeful for the future of the continent. According to Shameela Seedat’s African Moot, the educated youth are leading the way. This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows a group of bright law students who are participating in the annual African Human Rights Moot Court Competition. Seedat, a human rights law specialist turned filmmaker, heads to the University of Botswana with her subjects. Her film details the interesting ways the students approach the fictional case of a people crossing fictional African borders to escape oppression.

​Bangarang (Kenya)

Inspired by true events, Robin Odongo’s chaotic feature expounds on an earlier short film. Bangarang’s protagonist, Otile (David Weda) is a graduate of engineering who has failed to secure decent employment a decade after university. He makes a meagre living as a bike rider instead. When election violence erupts after the disputed Kenyan presidential elections of 2007, an embittered Otile leads rioters on the streets of Kisumu. Before long, he is on the run from the law, accused of murder.

Collision Course (Nigeria)

A frustrated young man collides with the brutal power of the police force. Can a tormented official stop the descent into carnage? The third feature length title from Nigerian director Bolanle Austen-Peters (The Bling Lagosians, The Man of God) is a propulsive thriller set over the course of 24-hours. Starring Daniel Etim Effiong and Kelechi Udegbe, Collision Course digs into the underbelly of urban crime, law enforcement gone rogue, and the desperate victims that suffer the consequences.

The Crossing (La Traversee) (Burkina Faso)

After years in Italy, Djibi returns to his native Burkina Faso and begins to mentor a group of young people whose sole purpose is to leave for Europe. Djibi prepares them for this crossing through a tasking physical and intellectual program that helps bring them personal achievement and may end up neutering their resolve to migrate. Can he make this difference? Irène Tassembédo’s social drama embraces the complicated nature of the immigration experience.

Lesotho, the Weeping Motherland (South Africa)

Told interchangeably between South Africa and Lesotho, this Lwazi Duma-directed documentary engages with the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector, a key income earner in the region. Duma follows Khethisa Mabata as he attempts to revive his father’s farm. The film uses Mabata’s personal story as an entry point into the larger national crisis that has taken Lesotho from a thriving food basket to one suffering extreme drought.

Skeletons (South Africa)

Conceived as an experiment in theatre-making during the COVID-19 lockdowns, this magical realist expression was re-written for film and now sits somewhere as a hybrid between theatre and film. Set in the heart of the Maluti mountains, Skeletons grapples with the issue of land and ownership as told through the lives of four characters. In an environment of scarcity, these four people wrestle to break free from the vicious cycle of oppression. Skeletons confronts notions of home, belonging, and identity.

Streams (Tunisia)

Amel, a married Tunis factory worker is imprisoned on charges of adultery and prostitution following an assault. Upon release, she attempts to put back the pieces of her life and reconnect with her teenage son whose life was derailed by the scandal. Director Mehdi Hmili comments on the decay, contradictions, and hypocrisies of contemporary Tunisian society with this engaging drama about the breakdown of a working-class family and the state’s unwillingness to protect the vulnerable.

Taamaden (Cameroon)

In Taamaden, Mali-born filmmaker Seydou Cissé paints a uniquely intimate portrait of immigration and zeroes in on spirituality. Taamaden, which is the Bambara word for traveler or adventurer, presents two different points of view. The first is that of Bakary, a young Malian preparing for yet another attempt at crossing over to Europe. The other is a motley crew of West African immigrants struggling to survive in Spain. They are united by their ties to their spiritual clairvoyant.

You’re My Favorite Place (South Africa)

Jahmil X.T. Qubeka (Of Good Report, Knuckle City) is one of the most exciting and original cinematic voices on the continent. His latest, which closed the Durban film festival, is a change of pace attempt that also carries some of Qubeka’s slick imprint. On the last day of high school, the young heroine of You’re My Favorite Place and her three friends embark on an unforgettable road trip. They steal a car and head to the remote Hole in the Wall, a landmark that according to Xhosa legend, enables communication with the dead.

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Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

An Inside Look Into the Underground Queer Party Scene in Nigeria

As a result of the laws and law enforcement bodies in the country, queer nightlife in Nigeria is shrouded in secrecy and has been forced to go underground.

A few minutes before midnight on a June evening, there was a line of people attempting to gain access to an unmarked apartment block in Lekki Phase 1 — a suburban neighborhood in Lagos State. To the uninitiated, it was a regular house party in the heart of Lagos Island, which is populated with young people in their 20s. For the attendees who had a flier on their phones and a passcode on their lips, this was an event they had looked forward to for weeks. When they arrived at the doors, they were all asked for a passcode which transported them into a vibrant pulsing party which had drag queens walking across the room and men in shorts that barely went past their crutches gyrating on other men while afrobeats blared. Welcome to queer nightlife in Nigeria where, on weekends, apartments turn into gay clubs, barred with passcode-guarding doors to protect against homophobes.

Party people hugging each other

Secret house parties, discrete raves, and clubs are now becoming increasingly popular amongst young queer Nigerians.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

Across the country, especially in the big cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, lounges, clubs, and bars dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community have started sprouting despite legislation that makes it illegal for them to exist. In 2014, the Nigerian government passed the highly controversial and homophobic Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Despite the name, the law would go on to criminalize many other aspects of queer existence and not just marriage between people of the same sex. The far-reaching law criminalized queer social spaces, groups that advocate for queer rights, and even individuals advocating and supporting queer rights. The law also went on to prescribe a prison term that could go up to 14 years for those who were found guilty of these crimes in southern Nigeria. However, in Northern and mostly Muslim Nigeria, where Shariah law takes pre-eminence, these crimes could lead to death by stoning. While there isn’t an extensive record of people being found guilty for these crimes in Nigeria, these laws emboldened many homophobic mobs who took the laws into their hands and would beat individuals who they identified as queer and destroy spaces and parties that they suspected were hosted by or for queer people. One of the most infamous instances was a 2018 case where 57 men were arrested at a party in Lagos under the suspicion of being initiated into a gay club. While this particular case garnered significant press coverage as the men were made to go to trial, it is far from being the only case of its kind. It is fairly common for the police to raid suspected queer parties to arrest everyone in sight — often with little to no proof of the suspects being gay.

As a result of the laws and law enforcement bodies in the country, queer nightlife in Nigeria has been forced to go underground. Bars and clubs are left behind for parties in apartments. Recent years have seen a resurgence in the public profile of queer nightlife in Nigeria — partly thanks to a rise of resistance against oppressive systems within Nigeria that have been supported and have originated on social media, more queer people are becoming brave and open about queer nightlife in Nigeria. Secret house parties, discrete raves and clubs are now becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst young queer Nigerians. Creative collectives like hFactor and Pride in Lagos have pushed the narrative even further by organizing pride-specific events and raves in Lagos over the last few years.

Man making out with man

"‘‘I had been to clubs before but this was different. There was a freedom I didn’t feel in other parties."

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

‘‘My first time at a queer party in Nigeria was in 2021. A friend invited me to a hFactor event and It was such an experience,’ Peju, a 23-year-old bisexual man tells OkayAfrica. ‘‘I had been to clubs before but this was different. There was a freedom I didn’t feel in other parties. Guys were grinding on guys, girls were flirting with girls. There wasn’t a need to pretend to be something I’m not.’’

However, attending these events comes with specific risks. Guests often took precautions — attending the parties with friends, letting their friends who weren’t there know where they were at and confirming there were accessible exits at all times. For many of these attendees, they may have never had to use those themselves but they know of people or at least have heard of people who have had to. Tamuno, a 31-year-old gay man, tells me of a near-capture experience when he had gone to a party in Port Harcourt in 2020.

‘‘There was this party that happened weekly. It became kind of popular and more queer people started coming. What we didn’t account for was that neighbors had realized it was full of queer people,’ Tamuno said. ‘‘One day, we were all at the party and they surrounded the house. Some of us managed to escape, others weren’t as lucky. I wasn't lucky.’’ Tamuno recounts that after being taunted and shamed and then stripped to their boxers for a relatively long time, the police then came. ‘‘The police coming to carry us was what saved us because then my brother, who I called, was able to bribe them to let us go. Whenever I think about what would happen if the police hadn’t come, I experience a full body shudder.’’

a group of people taking photos

Organizers have to find ways to limit people who can gain access to these parties.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

To help combat this, organizers of these events prioritize security and the safety of their guests. It is important that attendees feel safe from homophobic attacks from civilians and the armed forces. To achieve this, organizers have learned to deploy multiple guards.

‘‘Everyone’s safety is a priority to me and this means that multiple channels of security are constantly put in place to help safeguard our guests.’’ Kayode Timileyin, one of the organizers of Pride In Lagos tells OkayAfrica. ‘‘The first of which is the fact that all our events are only by a registration and verification process. Also, external security guards are made available. Lastly, we go all out to look for a real safe space.’’

It doesn’t end at just verifying the identities of the guests. Organizers have to find ways to limit people who can gain access to the location. This might mean generating a password only verified guests are given or keeping the exact location — and sometimes even date — a secret and only given to the verified guests. For these organizers, these security measures are put in place, not against potential miscreants or robbers but instead to keep off the police force and homophobes.

woman wearing black smiling

Despite dangers, the queer nightlife scene is bustling and thriving.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

The underground nightlife scene in Lagos is bustling and thriving — despite the laws that criminalize it and the constant danger. This illustrates the spirit of resilience amongst queer Nigerians who choose to reach for any semblance of freedom they can find even if it is on the dance floor for just a night.

‘‘My experience getting arrested traumatized me. It scared me. I was getting beaten, and paraded and I was so scared that they would kill me. But they didn’t so of course, I’ll party again," Tamuno said. ‘‘I still go to these parties and I’ll still keep going. It’s not that I’m scared. It’s just that when I’m on the dance floor surrounded by other queer men, I feel like my true self. I feel happy. I feel content. And that’s what I want out of life. If I die because I am seeking that, that’s fine.’’

a group of friends taking a photo

More queer people are becoming brave and open about queer nightlife in Nigeria.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Kelvyn Boy On Becoming One of Afrobeats’ Leading Stars

The Ghanaian singer narrates how his latest single "Down Flat" has accelerated the trajectory of his career.

Kelvyn Boy is one of the leading afrobeats hitmakers from Ghana. Since his official debut in 2017 under singer Stonebwoy’s record label imprint Burniton Music Group, the talented singer, songwriter, and performer has consistently dished out hit after hit. From the sentimental midtempo ballad “Na You” to the gritty afropop cut “Mea” to his Mugeez and Darkovibes-assisted smash hit “Momo”, with every new release Kelvyn Boy has established his profile as one of the West African nation’s top afrobeats acts.

Fast forward to January 2022, Kelvyn Boy drops his most recent single “Down Flat," an infectious afrobeats single produced by Nigerian producer KullBoiBeatz, and the song has been immensely successful. “Down Flat” has held the number one spot on Apple Music’s “Top 100: Ghana” playlist, hit number 10 on Billboard’s “Worldwide Digital Song Sales” chart, just a couple of out several other accolades the song has landed in the few short months since its release.

The effect of the song’s success has already kicked in, with the singer in London, United Kingdom as I speak to him, which is one of the early stops of his current world tour. “Down Flat” is currently the biggest song of his career so far, and even Kelvyn Boy himself didn’t see it coming. “Some of the great things that happen are unpredictable and unplanned. I didn’t really see it coming” he explained. “Everyone believes in himself or herself. I have that belief and that feeling already when I’m making every song. If it’s not right, I won't sing it. But I didn’t see it coming as quick as it did, and I didn’t know it would get to this level. I knew it was gonna be big, but honestly it got out of hand.”

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Interview

Interview: Director K Is Making Historic Music Videos For Afrobeats & Beyond

The 28-year-old director behind the "Essence" music video (and many more) tells us about his come-up, inspirations and working with the biggest stars in the game like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, and more.

African music is sprouting into dominance with the upswing of genres such as Amapiano and Afrobeats across dance floors, day parties, festivals, and gatherings across the globe. Among the ranks of directors curating the visual interpretation of African music; Director K, born Qudus Olaiwola, is an oft-tranquil figure that has charted a lane separate from his contemporaries.

Starting off in the perpetually bristling clusters of Surelere, Lagos, Nigeria as a phone repairer at his uncle’s workshop, Director K’s curiosity shoveled him into believing he could shoot videos on his iPhone. “I used to go super crazy on iPhones, I used to make iPhones do stuff that you couldn’t normally do,” he tells OkayAfrica nostalgically.

Raised in the hovels of Shitta, Surulere, and Lagos — home to Afrobeats trailblazer Wizkid—Director K found a neighborhood artist called C.O. Decoast, and tested his hands at music video directing off the lens of his iPhone. “It wasn’t anything big. It was just something in the hood that I shot with a few people."

Now, in the parking lot of a lush apartment in Lekki, Lagos, Director K regales me with stories of his journey while walking me towards a modest swimming pool. The Creative Arts dropout has had his work nominated for Video Of The Year at the Soul Train Awards, and he has won an NACCP Image Award and Best Music Video at Nigeria’s most-prestigious awards show, The Headies.

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Moroccan-Belgian Photographer Mous Lamrabat’s New Exhibition Captures the Necessity Of Peace

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Interview: Ajebo Hustlers Are Port Harcourt’s Latest Cherished Export

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Listen: Mádé Kuti Pleas For 'No More Wars' In Latest Single

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Fireboy DML On Embracing His Inner 'Playboy,' Stepping Outside & Learning to Let Go

On Playboy, Fireboy moves further away from his previous records and embraces the mainstream afrobeats sound hinted in recent hits like "Peru" and "Bandana." We sit down with the Nigerian star to talk about his new album.

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Spotlight: NK Is The Future and Star of His Own Show

We spoke with the 18-year-old visual artist about creating art from his surroundings and empowering his generation.