Video

Nigeria's First Superhero: Keziah Jones Is 'Captain Rugged'

Behind the scenes of Nigerian Keziah Jones' video for "Afronewave," the first single of his upcoming 'Captain Rugged,' LP.


Keziah Jones has just launched the teaser video for "Afronewave," the first single off the upcoming Captain Rugged. It's a quick-paced funk track with a touch of afro-psychedelia from Keziah's 6th studio album, to be released November 4 worldwide.

The song and album unveil Keziah's secret alter ego in the form of a Nigerian superhero, born and raised amidst the grit and hustle of Lagos city — one of the continent's most populous and notorious cities.

Captain Rugged is a concept album to be sold along with a graphic novel chronicling Rugged's quixotic adventures thoughout the city. From his birth place in Makoko, the Nigerian slum version of Venice — an illegal water settlement on stilts within the Lagos lagoon — through the hectic bus stations of Obalende. The teaser clip also shows Paris-based, Nigerian-born street artist Native Maqari sketching scenes on-the-go, situating a comic book version of Captain Rugged in his element around the busy city.

The album graphics were the work of renowned Lagos-based painter and photographer Kelechi Amadi-Obi. He captures the journey of Rugged out and about in the busy marketplaces of Lagos — hanging out of public buses and cruising in his Ruggedmobile-rocketship while also revealing to us Rugged's secret penthouse lair atop an abandoned 17 story building in the heart of Lagos Island.

The "Afronewave" music video, dropping soon, was directed by New York-based photographer and filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu, known for his screen work on Restless City and Mother of George winner of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award. He directed Keziah's video for "Long Distance Love" featuring Nneka in 2009 and has also done videos for Talib Kweli, Common, Maxwell, Angie Stone and Issac Hayes. The official vid for "Afronewave" premieres later on this month so watch this space and head here for a free download of "Afronewave."

keziah-jones-afronewave

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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