News

Naija Pop Art: Drofu's Lagos Cool Kids

Nigerian digital art label Drofu shares a series of pop art interpretations of Lagos' cool kids.

All images courtesy of Drofu


Drofu is a rising platform for digital artists in Nigeria who recently reached out to us with their vibrant interpretations of Lagos' cool kids. Founded late last year by illustrator Nnamdi Nwoha, the online hub began as a way for Nwoha to distribute his art without the hassle of dealing with the gallery system. "I started Drofu as a vehicle for publishing my art," he told us over e-mail. "Instead of putting up pieces on canvas in galleries that aren't easy to access, we distribute the art as free wallpapers on our website and as graphic prints on tee shirts."

Nwoha's images experiment with pop culture elements that reference his own Nigerian background in addition to the whole gamut of media content he consumed growing up. "What I find myself doing is creating art that fuses Nigerian culture, fashion and social archetypes with similar elements from other cultures," he said. "Japanese culture is a personal favorite, so I'm currently finding fun ways to blend Japanese visual elements with Nigerian ones. "

As a player in Nigeria's digital art scene, Nwoha notes that members of the emerging community have become more open to posting and sharing their work online. "A lot of the shared work currently seems to be themed around Nigerian music since they do a lot of artiste portraits."

For his latest series, Dressed To Kill, Nwoha crafted a series of illustrations featuring stylish young men and women fusing 21st century cool with traditional Nigerian flair. Nwoha hopes the work his collective produces will resonate with the average Nigerian in the same way that Nigerian music has. "The energy, the fashion, the color, the entrepreneurship, the hustle. These are all core aspects of the contemporary Nigerian culture that I see and that I want to reproduce with Drofu."

Keep up with new work from Drofu on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Music

11 Rwandan Artists You Should Be Listening To

Musicians like Bushali, Kivumbi King, Rita Ange Kagaju, and Alyn Sano have been putting their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

The current landscape of modern Rwandan music is more dynamic than ever before, from updated versions of traditional folk sounds to the recent 'KinyaTrap' phenomenon that has permeated playlists across the country. For decades, Rwandan airwaves have been dominated by international hits — and by a handful of established Rwandan superstars — but now, as the country continues to develop and diversify, so does its musical setting, with new and different sounds ascending from the hills. The past five years have seen the emergence of an army of young artists eager to reclaim their languages (Rwanda has four official languages) and identity, interlacing their music with influences that stretch far and wide.

Here are 11 artists that have emerged in the past five years to put their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

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