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Nneka 'Soul Is Heavy' + Tour w/ Bajah & The Dry Eye Crew + Contest


Soul Is Heavy, the third full-length from Nneka, builds on the Nigerian chanteuse's blend of hip-hop beats, Lauryn Hill-esque croons and an unmistakably Naija feel. We've been covering this release for a minute now — from our own Okayafrica TV piece with Nneka, to vibing on her stellar Lagos-street clip for "My Home" and her collaboration tracks with Black Thought and Ms. Dynamite.

Nneka's Soul Is Heavy LP is (finally) out now and avaiable for purchase in the US. In its promotion, Nneka will be embarking on a North American tour with Sierra Leone's premiere hip-hop bandits Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew. Grab the album over at iTunes/Amazon and check out the full tour dates below.

In addition, Okayafrica is giving away 2 tickets to the tour's stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Philly. Enter our contest below!

ENTER HERE TO WIN TICKETS TO NNEKA LIVE IN SF, LA, BOSTON, NY AND PHILLY

Nneka North American Tour Dates

Tue 6-Mar Vancouver, BC Biltmore

*Wed 7-Mar Seattle, WA Crocodile Café

*Thu 8-Mar Portland, OR Doug Fir

*Sat 10-Mar San Francisco, CA Red Devil Lounge

*Sun 11-Mar Los Angeles, CA Troubadour

Tue 13-17Mar SXSW, Austin, TX

Sun 18-Mar Houston, TX HOB Bronze Peacock

Wed 21-Mar Chicago, IL Double Door

Fri 23-Mar Toronto, ON Canadian Music Week - Mod

Sat 24-Mar Montreal, QC Cab Mile End

*Mon 26-Mar Boston, MA TT The Bears

*Tue 27-Mar New York, NY Gramercy

*Wed 28-Mar Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda's

*Thu 29-Mar Vienna, VA Jammin Java

*Sat 31-Mar Atlanta, GA Vinyl

*w/ Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew

Featured
Photo courtesy of Mariama Diallo

Interview: Sincerely Ria Is Giving Guinean Fashion It's Flowers

And designer Mariama Diallo's NYFW debut celebrates the vibrancy and uniqueness of Guinea and its Fulani culture.

Guinea-born supermodel, actress, and activist Mariama Diallo is a face you've likely seen all over social media.

With modelling campaigns with the likes of Savage x Fenty by Rihanna, Kim Kardashian's KKW Beauty, and features in Vogue, Marie Claire, NYLON magazines, the model is commanding her space in the industry and making her way centerstage. And, Mariama's strong online presence and following has certainly made her a popular member of the global village too.

With the aforementioned achievements under her belt, the 28-year-old supermodel presented herself as an eager and excited talent within the fashion industry. Now, Mariama's talents and ambitions have attracted her to a role behind the scenes. And showing the power of intention, the role has already taken her to places she only dreamed of prior.

Debuting as the fashion designer of self-financed fashion line Sincerely Ria at this year's New York Fashion Week is but a peek into what the model has to show of herself and share with the world.

The new collection, The Oshun, celebrates not only female beauty and the many ways that it manifests itself but also the magic of womanhood. Named after Oshun, the African goddess of femininity, fertility, beauty, and love, the collection is wrapped within the warmth and divinity of its namesake. The brand follows an ethos of inclusivity, community, and the power behind being beautiful because you have decided to be. Challenging the notion that beauty is always to be accompanied by pain, Mariama and Sincerely Ria are celebrating the rejection of beauty and body standards and expectations.

The Oshun line is a nod to the opulence of Mariama's African heritage and Guinea's Fulani culture, with special attention to the use of brilliant colors, exciting designs, and stunning silhouettes. Motivated to be seen and to captivate, the emphasis on Black beauty within the clothing is certainly translated beautifully, however, stylistically available to all. Uniqueness is welcomed and encouraged. And like Mariama says herself, "You deserve to celebrate yourself unapologetically."

The line debuted at New York Fashion Week, very appropriately, on Valentine's Day of this year and love certainly was the theme. Already boasting a following of over 8,000, the brand's instagram account has shown nothing short of praise and excitement for what we've seen from Mariama, and for what's to come.

We spoke with the Guinean supermodel about the journey to Fashion Week and her love for and emphasis on community and shared experiences.

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