News

Obama Namechecks New Okayafrica Editorial Team Member & Young African Leader Brian 'B Flow' Kasoka

Obama namechecks Okayafrica's new editorial team member and Young African leader Brian 'B Flow' Kasoka.


Zambian musician and gender rights activist Brian Kasoka, otherwise known as B Flow, is joining our editorial team as part of President Obama's Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Starting today, Brian — who was personally name-checked by the POTUS last week — will be working with us to bring the hot, new, cool from Zambia straight to your browser.

Brian is one of 500 Fellows participating in the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Last week, the Fellows met with Obama during a summit in D.C., where the President gave Brian a special shout-out (see 7:24 in the video below):

"Brian uses music to advocate against things like gender-based violence and to educate youth on HIV/AIDS. So while in the U.S., he’s learned about our health care system, met the founder of an American HIV/AIDS organization, and now he plans to start a record label for music about social change. So, Brian, we’re proud to be your partner." –President Obama

Congratulations, Brian! We're excited to have you on board.

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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