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Still taken from music video on YouTube.

Olamide Will 'Rock' Your World with His New Single & Music Video

Olamide's latest single 'Rock' is the first single from his upcoming album 'UY Scuti' which is set to drop this June.

Nigerian artist Olamidehas released his latest single "Rock" with the accompanying music video. The track is the first to be featured on his upcoming album which is due to be released on June 14. The 10-track project, titled UY Scuti after one of the largest known red stars, is the follow-up to his 2020 album Carpe Diem which included the smash hit, "Infinity" featuring Omah Lay,as well asseveral other notable artists including Bella Shmurda, Phyno, Bad Boy Timz, Peruzzi and Fireboy DML.


READ: The 20 Essential Olamide Songs

"Rock" is a mellow and flirtatious little number that stays true to Olamide's distinct sound. It's certainly a smooth jam you'll have repeating over and over again on your various playlists – trust us.

Describing the track in his own words, Olamide says that, "The song is saying my lady doesn't have to do too much to impress me — I love you already." He goes on to add, "It's expressing what a guy would sing to a girl to give her confidence. I'm telling the women out there that, if a man truly loves you, you don't have to go overboard to please him."

The music video, directed by the talented Nigerian filmmaker and music video director, Clarence Peters, is a hazy mashup of intensely choreographed scenes, disco-inspired colours and what appears to be a whirlwind love affair in the making between well-known dancer Soliat Bada and Olamide himself. The visuals accurately portray both the sensual energy and mischievous intentions conveyed in the lyrics of the track itself.

Speaking about his upcoming 12th studio album and how he came to choose its unusual title, he says, "I chose UY Scuti for the title because this project is way bigger than anything I've ever done before." He ends off by saying, "From the creativity, the amount of work that went into the project, the process, it's just a new Olamide inside me."

Watch the music video for "Rock" below":

Olamide - Rock (Official Video)www.youtube.com


Listen to "Rock" on Spotify:


Listen to "Rock" on Apple Music:

Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Joeboy Wants to Take on the World

The Afrobeats star talks global dominance, future plans, and his new album, Body & Soul.

Joeboy’s ascent has been meteoric.

Since his 2019 breakout single, "Baby,” the Nigerian musician has amassed a year-by-year plethora of continental hit singles that have cemented him as Afrobeats’ sweetheart and a true African popstar.

Releasing an EP and an album along the way, Joeboy’s often romantically-themed music, which usually seeks to serenade, has gradually morphed into more varied forms of love—he is love-starved in “Alcohol,” correctional in “Contour,” thirsty in “Duffel-bag,” and affectionate in “Body & Soul.” Those four singles preface his much-anticipated sophomore album, Body & Soul.

“This album definitely has more edge, it is less innocent than the first one,” Joeboy tells OkayAfrica about his new album, which is titled after one of his earlier singles.

With well over a billion streams, Joeboy swiftly became a vanguard of the new class of Afrobeats superstars, but with his latest effort, the Lagos-bred artist seeks to stamp his African popstar claim on the world stage.

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News Brief
Photo by David Corio/Redferns.

Seun Kuti Released From Police Custody

After eight days in police custody, the Nigerian musician has been released following an arrest for assaulting an officer.

Seun Kuti, the acclaimed Afrobeat musician and son of the legendary Fela Kuti, has been releasedf ollowing an eight-day stint in police custody. This marks freedom for the Nigerian artist, whose ordeal started on May 16 when he voluntarily surrendered himself at the State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti, Lagos State.

According to Punch Nigeria, Seun's sister, Yeni Kuti, shared that the musician has successfully met the conditions set forth by the magistrate for his bail, and was released. She shared that relatives Lande Ransome-Kuti and Funke Kuti stood as the sureties for Seun.

“They have perfected his bail, the judge has signed and the sureties have been accepted. They have gone to the sureties’ houses to inspect, Lande and Funke stood as sureties for him,” Yeni said.

In spite of his release, the Nigeria Police submitted an application to arraign the singer on charges of assaulting a police officer, citing the absence of legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution.

Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun, presiding over the Chief Magistrate's court in the Sabo-Yaba region of Lagos State, delivered a ruling dismissing the request and the court adjourned the proceedings until July 3, allowing ample time for the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to provide their legal guidance on the matter.

According to reports, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, who is also Seun’s lawyer, firmly objected to the matter.

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Music

Mr Eazi Launches New Group ChopLife Soundsystem

Listen to the new 14-song album Chop Life, Vol. 1 Mzansi Chronicles.

Mr Eazi, the acclaimed music superstar, business visionary, and globe-trotter, extends a heartfelt invitation to music enthusiasts to embark on a sonic journey to South Africa with the release of Chop Life, Vol. 1: Mzansi Chronicles (Choplife Limited/emPawa Africa), the inaugural offering from his newly-formed pan-African music collective, ChopLife Soundsystem.

Crafted amidst the vibrant locales of Cape Town and Johannesburg, this 14-track album serves as an exuberant tribute to amapiano, the electrifying dance music genre that has burst forth from South Africa and garnered international recognition. Joining forces with an excellent lineup of South African music luminaries such as Moonchild Sanelly, Focalistic, Nkosazana Daughter, Ami Faku, and Major League Djz, alongside a host of emerging talents, Mr Eazi presents his interpretation of the scene's captivating elements.

Mzansi Chronicles is an ode to the amapiano sound that has been the soundtrack to my parties and me going to clubs,” Mr Eazi said of the project. “It’s me working with some of my favorite artists and capturing my interpretation of elements I love from the scene.”

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Film
Photo courtesy Directors’ Fortnight.

Rosine Mbakam on the Power of Family and Returning Home in Filmmaking

The Cameroonian filmmaker uses her documentary skills to create her first fictional feature, Mambar Pierrette, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

After a critically lauded career as a documentary filmmaker, writer/director Rosine Mbakam arrives at the Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight program with her first narrative feature: Mambar Pierrette. The film sees Mbakam returning to her homeland of Cameroon to tell the story of a dressmaker — Pierrette (Pierrette Aboheu Njeuthat) — as she deals with mounting financial calamities that threaten her children’s school year and the health of her business.

It’s a conceit that feels familiar to Vittorio De Sica’s film, but with a different, uniquely African touch. While Mbakam has switched mediums for this film, the story, and its translation is similar to the director’s previous films, such as Chez Jolie Coiffure, Delphin’s Prayer, and The Two Faces of a Bamileke Woman in their focus on Black women who use their respective craft to cope with the hurdles they encounter. For Mambar Pierrette, Mbakam retools these familiar themes for Cameroon. The result indicates a change of direction for the filmmaker with regard to mood and tone, switching from ruminative to joyous, from staid to colorful and vibrant. Because all around Pierrette is life: It’s her children, it’s her village; it’s her vivid customers and the lively dresses she designs.

With Mambar Pierrette, Mbakam offers the unique cultural lens she’s spent nearly a decade crafting to give viewers a vision of radical empathy and a change in perspective. After having spent several years working in television, she attended film school in Belgium, where she is now based, before going on to create her first trio of feature-length documentaries that shared stories of Cameroonian women.

She talks to OkayAfrica about wanting to show a different Africa, making a film with her family, and subverting the traditions of Western filmmaking.

The interview below has been edited for length and clarity.

You’ve spent your career doing documentaries, but this is your first fictional film. Why did you feel you needed to switch for this particular story?

Fictional features were my first desire. I discovered documentaries when I was in film school. But my desire when I wanted to do cinema was to do features because it was what I was seeing on television in Cameroon. It was not documentaries. When I was in film school I really didn't know what kind of fiction I wanted to do. And when I discovered the documentary [form], it gave me a lot of freedom to be myself, to really experience what I wanted to, because I didn't want an intermediary between me and the people that I wanted to film.

Because of all the legacy of colonialism — I was in Belgium — I didn't want to use a white person or a person that didn't know what I wanted to question. But the documentary really helped me to deconstruct my gaze, and to just find my way and really see what kind of fiction I could do. Because the fiction that I learned in film school was Western fiction, and it was difficult for me to apply it in my reality in Cameroon. I'm really happy to come to my first desire of cinema, of doing fiction and really the fiction that I want to do with all the knowledge that I had from documentaries.

An image of the filmmaker, Rosine Mabakam, holding a microphone.Rosine Mabakam speaks at the premiere of her film in the Directors’ Fortnight program at the Cannes Film Festival.Photo courtesy Directors’ Fortnight / Delphine Pincet.

Your previous films are set in Belgium, but for this one you returned to Cameroon. Why did it make sense to return now?

Because when I was in Belgium I was there in the context of the legacy of colonialism. And I was confronting it every day. I wanted to really find my position there because I chose to live there, even though my inspiration was Cameroon. I wanted to deconstruct that and find my way because I knew that when I was deconstructing it that it would help me to see my reality differently. Because when I was in Cameroon, I was colonized. I didn't know I was reproducing all the things that I was seeing from the films I was watching in Cameroon. I wanted to discover how the rest of the world saw people like me in Belgium. It was important for me to deconstruct that first and to go back to Cameroon afterwards because I didn't want to reproduce the power of Western cinema on people that I wanted to film in Cameroon.

I love that you see it as a deconstruction of the image white people have of people from Cameroon or really any African country. You always get to the inner lives of the people you capture by looking at their craft. With Chez Jolie Coiffure, for instance, you focus on hairdressers. What draws you to a person's relationship with their craft, and why did you choose a dressmaker for this film?

In Cameroon, in my culture, all of those small spaces are where people come and drop stories and drop pain and also reconstruct their mental health. And I want to underline those spaces that sometimes people neglect because for them, maybe, it's not important. For me, for Chez Jolie Coiffure, with the hairdressers, it's the same thing. It's the space where women, and some men, come to just drop something and or take something.

I want to make people understand that sometimes it's not big spaces or important spaces that make us feel confident or that make us feel fine. I grew up in those smaller spaces. My mother was a dressmaker and my grand sister was her hairdresser. I really know those spaces and I know how it's built my imagery for stories of strong women. I wanted to show that.

I love the designs of the dresses; they’re so vibrant and vivid. What do they represent to you and to the character of Peirrette?

It's the dresses and how people can rebuild themselves through them. It's the space where your life can change with the world, with solidarity and also with love that people have brought to you through those spaces. You are surrounded not only by one woman, but by all these people who are coming. And yes, I really like fashion and also the colors.

In Cameroon, we don't have enough confidence in what we have. Even in fashion, we’re always looking at the West and how the West dresses without taking into account what we have. I wanted to show that it's beautiful and our story is important by just talking to ordinary people to show that even if we are ordinary, we have something important to say.


A still from the film of a group of women outside a rural dress shop.Rosine Mbakam’s first narrative feature is set in Cameroon.Photo courtesy Directors’ Fortnight.

The actress who plays Pierrette is your first cousin, correct? And it’s her first time acting?

It's not only my cousin. All of the cast are members of my family except for two people. But the rest are my mother, my aunts, my cousins, my sisters, my grand sisters.

Did you find it challenging directing people who you're not only related to but are in a situation where they’ve probably never acted before?

It's more challenging. There is a power in cinema and we know how that power has been used to stereotype Africans. I know the consequences of that power. And even more so with my family. Because they didn't really don't know what is the cinema, and how that power can be destructive. It's easy to take that power and to make them do what I want. It's important for me to be more vigilant and to give them the space to express themselves. That was really challenging because I had to be more careful about that.

With all of the travesties that befall Pierrette, a woman on an economic edge, I was really reminded of Vittorio De Sica’s films like Bicycle Thieves and Umberto D. And yet, you don’t remain on a track toward heartbreak like those films do. It’s almost like a De Sica film would be impossible to pull off because the idea of community is so present here?

I didn't feel it was possible to end like that because, usually, it doesn’t end like that in my family. With every problem you have people going together to resolve something, to bring joy, even if there is something very painful. For me, it was a perspective that I wanted to give to that story. And I wanted to give the perspective of that power that I can see in Pierrette and all of the members of my family. I wanted to show that power is higher than the difficulty. That was the intention behind that ending with the mannequin, and of all the neocolonialism that exists. Our power can overtake those problems.

A still from the film, 'Mambar Pierrette,' of a woman walking next to a girl carrying a bucket on her head.In ‘Mambar Pierrette,’ Rosine Mbakam enlisted family members for the film.Photo courtesy Directors’ Fortnight.

Her shop is also very small, yet open. Whenever Pierrette is making dresses, in the background you can see the street and you can see the life of her neighborhood. Could you talk a bit about why you framed her in that way as opposed, to say, close-ups?

If you see my film Chez Jolie Coiffure, you’ll notice it's really close. But if I close the perspective, here, it's not how we live in Cameroon. There is always a door open somewhere or someone can open the door to give you something, to give you help, to give a testimony. But in Chez Jolie Coiffure, in the West, Black people are closed into their space. In Cameroon it's different. There is always a perspective, there is always a solution. And I wanted to show that, to open that place, even if it's small. In Chez Jolie Coiffure, in the salon there is no door open anywhere. It's really close. It's like a prison. It's really close. In this film, it’s different. You can see the life of the earth coming, you can see light coming.

What do you hope people take away from this film when they’re finished?

I hope people will see another Africa and another way of filming Africa, another way to imagine Africa, and how we can look at Africa differently. I don't think we usually see that perspective, to be in the position of someone in Africa. I want people to be with these people and to help them understand what they want to say. I hope that people will watch the film and will remember the images and the words of this Black woman.

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