News Brief

You Need To Hear This Senegalese Electronic Track

Senegalese duo Guiss Guiss Bou Bess mixes Sabar drums, Mbalax influences & electronic beats in "Jigueenu Africa."

Guiss Guiss Bou Bess is comprised of Mara Seck & Stéphane Costantini, a duo that blends electronic music with traditional Sabar percussion and Mbalax, Senegal's popular dance genre.

Their first music video for "Jigueenu Africa" "highlights Senegalese women and the magic they have when it comes to dancing Sabar," the band writes in a statement.

"Jigueenu Africa" hits you right away with its bouncing synthesizer bass line, handclaps and maze-like layers of Sabar drums. You'll have this one making rounds in your head for a minute.


The music video, directed by Benjamin Richard, is meant to be "a complete immersion in this universe made of spangles and drums in the heart of Medina, the oldest popular district in Dakar."

Their duo's goal with their music is to "preserve the cultural and identity & heritage from Senegal while making it accessible to any public. [They] wish to break down the barriers that Mbalax is facing on the international scene and make it understandable from a rhythmical side as well as from its identity."

Check out Guiss Guiss Bou Bess' "Jigueenu Africa" below.

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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