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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."

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Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

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