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.

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15 South African Artists to Watch in 2019

Featuring Manu WolrdStar, Ranks, Dee Koala, Touchline, Sibu Nzuza and more.

Every year a wave of artists breaks in South Africa.

Last year saw young artists such as Mlindo The Vocalist, Muzi, Una Rams, Shekhinah, Sho Madjozi, KLY, Zoocci Coke Dope, Flame, J Molley, Rowlene and a whole lot more become household names and internet sensations. They released projects that shaped the country's musical landscape—a lot of them were on our list of 20 artists who could fuck up the game in 2018.

Alongside the aforementioned artists, there were just as many who were bubbling under, releasing singles that caught the attention of many fans. In 2019, these artists stand a great chance of expanding further and reaching more ears than they did last year.

From Manu WorldStar's lovely pop, to Ranks' version of ATM (African trap music), the refreshing Xhosa rap of Dee Koala, the street raps of Touchline, among others, we bring you a list of South African artists to keep an eye out for in 2019.

*The list is in no particular order.

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Burna Boy Teams Up With Oritse Femi & Konshens on New Track 'Play Am'

Nigeria meets Jamaica on the Young D-produced dancehall-infused jam.

Fresh off his massive collaboration with Zlatan on "Killin' Dem," Burna Boy is back with another one.

The artist teams up with fellow Nigerian artist Oritse Femi and Jamaican artist Konshens for the dancehall-infused track "Play Am."

The song opens with a memorable verse from Konshens before both Oritse Femi and Burna join in, making for a unique fusion of Yoruba, Patois and Pidgin over the track's vibrant, multilayered production by producer Young D.

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