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Okayafrica TV: Tanzania's Fid Q In Brooklyn

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We met up with Tanzanian hip hop superstar Fid Q at an old-school Brooklyn house party. Like all parties, you never know who you're gonna run into. We found ourselves in the company of Fid's stateside pals, most of whom are movers and shakers in the music-as-activism world. Check out our brief backyard interviews with Fid Q, DJ Xpect, Toni Blackman, and Maya Azucena.

Fid tells us about his Fidstyle Friday MC project, Xpect hips us to his youth empowerment projects in the United States and Africa, Toni has been stationed in places all over Africa as the first ever hip-hop artist to work as an American Cultural Specialist for the U.S. Department of State, and Maya has been lending her soulful voice to the drive to reach Millennium Development Goal #5 for maternal and reproductive health. These folks are constantly globe-trotting so we feel special to have caught them in one place at one time - cyphering fireside no less.

Video shot by Myo Campbell.

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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