Video

NYC: Just A Band - All The Way From Kenya!


All the way from Nairobi, our favorite new electro-synth-pop-afro-futurists, Just A Band, have arrived in New York City.  If you're a native NYer, hopefully you've already checked out their art installation "Kudishnyao!" which debuted at RUSH gallery in Chelsea last week (it's up until Sept. 3).  And then there was their epic performance at the OKAYSUMMER! pop-up party this past Saturday (check out the amazing photos HERE).  Next up?  A live performance this Thursday at Drom (85 Ave. A) in the East Villy.  Get your tix now for only 10 bones (15 at the door).  For more from Just A Band, check out their fresh video for “Ha-He” a.k.a “Makmende Returns” below, and then head to their website for more.  Shout out to BoldAsLove.us who are presenting this dope show.

“Ha-He” a.k.a “Makmende Returns”

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Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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