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Owo Channels the Afro-Diasporic Sounds of Summertime in Brooklyn on Her New EP

Nigerian singer and songwriter, Owo, shares a gorgeous and emotional EP inspired by rhythmic summers in Brooklyn.

Nigerian singer and songwriter, Owo's new EP D+Em: drums and emotion, is a self-reflective offering of rhythm and feeling. The "drums" flow from the colorful summertime sounds of her block in Brooklyn, while the "emotion" comes from grappling with life's darker moments.


"Every summer in my Brooklyn neighborhood, there's a seasonal tradition of live drumming on the streets. As soon as it gets warm out, a group of elderly men from various countries in the African diaspora get together with congas and djembes and beat their hearts out outside of my window all day and night," Owo tells OkayAfrica.

"Their drumming became the inspiration for making this new project.Inspired by their rhythms and my personal emotional baggage, I wrote songs and started to put together tracks blending afro, electro and r&b sounds which would become the bulk of this project," the singer mentions.

While the EP features a selection of percussion-fueled,  and often, dance-worthy beats, the lyrics reflect a heavier mood—one that the singer contends with throughout the EP, but ultimately comes to understand.

"The lyrical content talks about being overcome with dark emotions and trying to figure out how to ease the pain away, just to find out that only time heals."

Stream Owo's beautifully introspective D+Em EP below.

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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