Popular

Rwandan-British Choreographer Sherrie Silver Speaks on Her Involvement in Childish Gambino's 'This is America'

Sherrie Silver shares her experience on her collaboration with Donald Glover for his latest popular music video with Interview Magazine.

"This is America," Childish Gambino's most recent beautiful yet philosophical music video, recently went viral.

23-year-old choreographer, model, philanthropist, teacher and actress Sherrie Silver is the one responsible for transforming Donald Glover's powerful lyrics into interpretive body movements everyone everywhere is still trying to decipher.


The Rwanda-born choreographer went from spreading African culture through what she coins as "Afro-dance" on her humble Youtube channel to featuring her traditional, yet innovative dance moves on Saturday Night Live, and choreographing for artists like Gambino.

Her roots in philanthropy promoting wellness in Africa by providing meals, art workshops, dental and hygiene campaigns and helping to provide housing for homeless children reflect in everything she does as an artist. Her collaboration with Donald Glover for one of his most raw music videos that explores chaos, innocence, joy, and destruction as they pertain to youth in America is no surprise.

Her involvement with the video went beyond just wanting to work with one of the most influential and politically commentating artists out there. In an interview with Interview Magazine, she shares with the world how she came up with such symbolic, powerful moves.

Take a look at key quote from Silver where she puts her involvement in perspective, below. You can read the entire interview here.

On the creative process between she, Donald Glover, and director Hiro Murai:

"With the school kids, I was trying to reflect how we are back home—in Africa. No matter what troubles we have, kids are always dancing and smiling. We always dance and have music playing. The kids' dancing shows their innocence, despite being unaware of what's going on around them. The choir is also meant to be happy and unaware.

With Donald, I put together some choreography for him based on the concept and what I call Afro-dance. He has his own dancing style and had his own ideas for the solos. We definitely met in the middle. He had done ballet before, so there's some of that in there, in addition to American dance references, like the "Shoot," "Reverse," and "Nae Nae" dances. He rehearsed at home with videos he found, too."

On African dances incorporated in the video:

"Well, every six months there's a new Afro-dance move that goes mainstream. For a while now, Gwara Gwara has been the dance that everyone wants to do and learn. It looks simple, but it's actually difficult to do. I lived in South Africa for two months while filming a movie, so I became quite familiar with it. I also included the Shaku Shaku dance from Nigeria, the Alkayida from Ghana, the Azonto from Ghana, and other moves that don't have names, as well."

On what this project meant for her:

"Being a part of the number one trending video means a lot. I don't just do this for fun. I really do it because I want to give back. I travel and teach African dance from all over the continent. I take the money I generate from teaching back to Rwanda, Uganda, and Nigeria to redevelop schools and help get homeless kids off the street. For me, it's not just about dancing. It's the actual outcome that matters most."

Zubaydah Bashir is a filmmaker and writer from South Orange, NJ. Follow her on Instagram and visit her website to view her blog and find out about her latest film and tv projects.

News Brief
Supplied.

Peep MTV Base’s Hottest MCs New Wave 2021 List

Here's the full list of MTV Base's annual list of the hottest South African new wave MCs.

In recognition of the new wave, MTV Base, since last year, follows up their main Hottest SA MCs List with Hottest MCs New Wave.

As is always the case every year, the list was decided upon by a panel of insiders who are clued up on South African hip-hop.

This year's panel members were: DJ Nikki Newlands, music curator Kabelo Makhudu, DJ Zan D, writer Misa Narrates, event MC and presenter Uncle Vinny and journalist Jade Kelly. The panel was hosted by MTV Base presenter and rapper Tshego Koke.

Below is the final list:

MTV Base’s Hottest MCs New Wave 2021 List

1. Blaq Diamond

2. Touchline

3. Lucasraps

4. Dee Koala

5. 25K

6. Indigo Stella

7. Maglera Doe Boy

8. Tumi Tladi

9. Hanna

10. Benny Chill

News Brief
Photo by Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South Africa Mourns Passing of Jazz Legend Jonas Gwangwa

South Africans are paying tribute to Oscar-nominated Jonas Gwangwa following the jazz artist's passing this past weekend.

Tributes have been pouring in for jazz musician Jonas Gwangwa after he passed away this past Saturday. South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, paid tribute to Gwangwa via the presidential Twitter account. The passing of the 83-year-old jazz veteran has led to a flurry of tributes from South Africans. Gwangwa was a legendary trombonist and anti-Apartheid icon known for hit songs "Morwa" which was a staple played at many a social event. The musician was Oscar-nominated, together with George Fenton, for their composition of the original score and theme song for the internationally recognised South African film Cry Freedom.

Keep reading... Show less
Music

The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Femi Kuti, RIMON, Joeboy, Makhalanjalo, Tayc and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Watch Pa Salieu Make His US TV Debut With Performance on 'Fallon'

With the way the Gambian-British rap star is moving, 2021 is sure to be his year.