Arts + Culture
Photos by Daniel Obasi, via Coveteur.

Alexander-Julian Gibbson & Daniel Obasi Team Up for a Stunning Editorial Featuring 6 Top Nigerian Creatives

These creatives represent just a glimpse of the influence Nigeria has on the culture.

Nigerian-American stylist and content creator Alexander-Julian Gibbson returns from his recent trip to his homeland with a fresh editorial featuring six Nigerian creatives you need to know for Coveteur.

Linking up with art director and photographer Daniel Obasi, we get to know the influencers who represent the new wave of culture makers who are pushing the cultural aesthetic, Afromodernism, forward.

We caught up with Gibbson briefly to learn more about how this project came together.

Antoinette Isama for OkayAfrica: Is this the first time you've teamed up with Daniel Obasi to work on a project? How would you describe working with him?

Alexander-Julian Gibbson: Yes, it was my first time working with him. It was great, he's very knowledgable on the Lagos scene, and has an eye for what's good. He's very mature and is such a talent for his age. I'm a big talent of his work and look forward to seeing him grow and continue to be celebrated.


Nigeria is overflowing with very talented creatives who are thriving in their own lanes—why did you select these six, and was it hard to narrow your list down for this feature?

It was a mix of tons of research and serendipitous circumstances. Before going to Nigeria, I did a lot of research on creatives. Obviously, being Nigerian I knew about a lot of the dope stuff that was coming out of Lagos, but I wanted to make sure that I got my finger on the pulse of Lagos while I was out there.

I wanted a diverse group, from different paths, and wanted both men and women to be represented equally. Each person I featured was someone that I believe had a different story and perspective to tell, but still had a certain tone of using the culture as a major inspiration for their work, like Adekunle—who has such a soulful and traditional approach to his music, or Orire—who's take on her designs pays homage to traditional Nigerian fabrics.

What's the main takeaway you want viewers to have when they learn more about these creatives?

Yes, these creatives are super-talented in their own right, but do not be mistaken, they are not outliers or special cases. There are so many other insanely talented creatives, young and old, in Lagos. Others who may have not had the opportunity to be celebrated as widely, but still have undeniable talent. I hope to use this to put a spotlight on Nigerian creatives and to create more opportunities for African talent as a whole.

In a sneak peek of the editorial below, you'll see some familiar faces, as well as some new ones you need to know. Check out the full feature here.

Adekunle Gold, musician.

Photo by Daniel Obasi. Styled by Alexander-Julian Gibbson.

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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