Exclusive: Nadia Nakai Gets Immortalized in the Music Video for ‘Amai’

Watch Nadia Nakai's music video for 'Amai.'

For her debut album, titled Nadia Naked, Nadia Nakai gives her listener more than just bravado in the form of chest-punching raps. In some songs, the South African/Zimbabwean rapper tells the story of the person behind the feisty and intimidating character that is Nadia Nakai as we all know her.


One such song is "Amai." In the song, the rapper lets the listener in on how her mother has always been there for her, rapping: "The machine I cannot live without/ She pick me up when I break down/ Now I'm up, I bow down."

In the song's music video, Nadia can be seen getting draped in mold in the process of making a bust of the rapper.

"The song is literally about how your family molds you into becoming a grown person," Nadia tells OkayAfrica. "So, when they're putting the mold on me, that is forming me, and that's what my family has done for me."

Revered director TAKEZITO who's behind the visuals, tells OkayAfrica:

"The statue was an idea by my muse and art director on the project Sandile Mhlongo where he wanted to immortalize Nadia in this moment of her debut album. I loved the idea of immortalizing her and capturing her essence. It really was a very poetic and magnetic idea. Sanza enlisted Lazi Mathebula to create the artwork and Lazi was assisted by Mashilo Setlamorago."

The monochrome color scheme and close-up shots make the video an intimate work of art. "As a director," says TAKEZITO, "I found it very interesting that Nadia, as an entertainer, has to put so much effort into her look, [but] when you get to know her, she is a truly beautiful woman from the inside out. Like she really doesn't need to do anything and she just shines! And so, I really wanted to present her in her stripped-down form—natural, loving, vulnerable and pure.

"Overall, we set out to create a raw piece of art and our main concern was with making the sculpture but we feel the visual that accompanies it lives up to the pureness of the work."

"Amai" is the latest single from Nadia Naked, the rapper's critically acclaimed debut album, which was released in June. It features the likes of Cassper Nyovest, Kwesta, Lady Zamar and a few more others.

Watch the music video for "Amai" below and stream Nadia Naked underneath.

Nadia Nakai - Amai www.youtube.com




Follow Nadia Nakai on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Music video credits:

Production company: The Visual Content Gang

Director and producer: TAKEZITO

Production manager: Siphe Maphumulo

Director of photography: Sitho Bandezi

Gaffer: Onkgotpotse 'OG' May

Art director: Sandile Mhlongo

Sculptor: Lazi Mathebula assisted by Mashilo Setlamorago

Make-up artist: Noxolo Judith Mabota

Offline editors: Katleho Morabe & Itumeleng Nomtshongwana

Online edit and grade: Ludus Post Production

Post production producer: Sheron Enslin

Online editor: Michael Naidoo

Colorist: Michele Wilson

Interview
Photo: Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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