Interview: From Lagos to Atlanta with WurlD

Nigerian born recording artist WurlD opens up to Okayafrica about his journey to Atlanta, and the beginning of his musical career.

Nigerian born recording artist WurlD has had a unique entry into the music industry. Moving from Lagos, Nigeria to Atlanta in pursuit of higher education, his nomadic journey has proved to be even more rewarding than he could have imagined. After working with artists and producers like Mario and Kenny Smoov, this multitalented songwriter, composer, and producer is finally bringing his own sound to the main stage. Infusing electronic dance beats with velvet-like vocals, WurlD feels he is ready to influence the globe. Okayafrica linked up with WurlD to ask him a few questions about his life and musical journey. Check out what the Nigerian artist had to say.

Okayafrica: How would you introduce your music to those that might not be familiar with it?

Wurld: My music is mainly a fusion of soul and electronic music with sprinkles of different genres of music I have been introduced to as a kid until now. I let the music speak for itself and hope to connect with as many people as possible from different regions of the world.

OKA: You moved from Lagos to ATL to pursue university studies, how did you end up making tracks with the likes of Mario?

W: Music has always been a part of my life even when I lived in Africa at a young age. Moving to the US gave me an opportunity to pursue music more as career while I attended college full time to study computer science. I joined SESAC in Atlanta while I was still an undergraduate and I was able to meet several songwriters and producers. Meeting and working with artists like Mario and many more has been a simple blessing from God.

OKA: How did your move from Nigeria to the US affect your songwriting? Was the move tough?

W: Leaving my parents and siblings was the toughest part for me. That was the first time I've ever really been that far away from my immediate family. My songwriting has evolved since I moved from Nigeria due to the fact that I have been able to study the art by working with amazing songwriters, artists and producers with vast creative styles. Giving up is never an option, I'm always learning and still learning.

OKA: Which artists from Nigeria, or the continent, would you name as influences on your sound?

W: I would say Seal, Fela Kuti, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, and Phil Collins to name a few. I love music and get inspired by artists and music that stand for something positive.

OKA: Do you feel your tracks abridge the scenes of Lagos and Atlanta? Or is there a city/country that WurlD's music sits better in?

W: I believe music should have no boundaries, and I create music with that attitude. I'm curious to see how far beyond my imagination my music can reach. Only time will tell.


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Keep calm with this playlist afro-jazz, funk, alternative, and R&B tracks from Nigeria, South Africa and more.

It's a time of uncertainty and stress right now for people all over the world. As we socially distance and quarantine ourselves, it's expected that we deal with feelings of anxiety and loneliness. But it's also good to remember that we're all in this together and music can certainly help with that.

For that, we've curated a playlist of Chill Songs to Relax to at Home with music ranging from afro-jazz, funk, alternative, and R&B that can help you relax but also maintain perspective during these days.

Listen to this playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Photo credit: Hugo Glendinning & Gavin Rodgers

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Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

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The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

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