News Brief

Video: Meet the Kenyan Photographer Behind Hip-Hop Grandpas and Female Freedom Fighters

Kenyan photographer Osborne Macharia opens up in this video about the inspiration behind his jaw dropping photo projects.

The first time you see Osborne Macharia's work is a moment you'll never quite forget. We've been following him for years now and every new photo-project he produces stops us mid click. They're surreal images of the highest order—the kind of thing that while obviously fiction, you so badly want to be real that your brain makes them real.

Everything he does now get picked up internationally, inspiring credulous stories in the press about extravagant Kenyan grannies and hip hop grandpas. Our favorite project is probably the images of Kenya's female freedom fighters with opulent hair but everything he does, including his commercial work, has that sense of otherworldliness to it which has brought him wide acclaim. In the video above he talks about how everything he does is about "fiction, culture and identity" and that the key to his work is to keep refining the concept. Watch to see how this Kenyan photography master composes and produces his photo series and all the behind the scenes work from his team of creatives that it takes to make these images.

Some of his projects we've covered in the past are:

This Extravagant League Of Kenyan Grannies Is The Ultimate In #SquadGoals

 

Check Out This Kenyan Collective of Eccentric Hip-Hop Grandpas

Concept & Photography: Osborne Macharia

Osborne Macharia on Honoring Kenya’s Female Freedom Fighters with Opulent Hair

Bobo. Photo by Osborne Macharia.

Perspective is a series produced by East African speaker bureau and talent agency African Speakers + Artists (AS+A) profiling Kenyan photographers. AS+A is committed to illuminating the perspectives and amplifying the voices of dynamic African speakers and artists. The photographers are represented by partner agency ProKraft Africa. Special thanks to Blinky Bill for the music featured on this video.

 

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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