Video

Mali In Hi-8: Robert Plant's 'Zirka' Series

Watch Robert Plant Mali "Zirka" series, Hi-8 footage chronicling the Led Zeppelin singer's time in the West African nation.


Back in 2003, Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant travelled to Mali to take part in the Festival Au Désert alongside the likes of Ali Farka Touré and Tinariwen. In Zirka, an 8-episode Youtube series, Plant will be compiling and releasing the self-shot, Hi-8 film footage he recorded while traveling through the nation. The scenes from the first video span from panoramic landscapes to late night street parties, culminating with images of Plant performing with Ali Farka Touré.

"It was a journey of revelation — one of the most illuminating and humbling experiences of my life," Plant told Rolling Stone. "[The trip] took us from the scurry and bustle of our world into the homeland of the Tuareg, the Sahel of Mali, Timbuctoo, and north to Essakane," Plant recalls. "A journey that could only reinforce the power and the great gift of music across and between cultures. . . sharing outside of language." Watch the first episode of the Robert Plant Mali Zikra series below and check back every Monday for new installments.

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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