Video

Let Shirazee's 'Iguana' Jump Start Your Weekend Dance Party

This new single from the Benin-raised, NYC-based songwriter is such a jam. Watch our premiere of the "Iguana" music video.

Shirazee's "Iguana" is such a jam.

The new single from the Benin-raised, New York City-based singer-songwriter is built on a heavily-infectious and potent afrobeats rhythm that could jump start any dance party.

"Iguana" is now getting the music video treatment in this clip we're premiering here today.

The video follows two older gentlemen who still have an eye for girls to what looks like one of NYC's best underground African dance parties.

Once there, we find Shirazee performing, plenty of eye-catching dancers and much more.

"The Iguana video is what happens when Africa is accurately translated through free-flowing rhythmic music and colorful visuals that were once only in my head," Shirazee tells OkayAfrica. "It's with great pleasure that I'm sharing this with the world and it's only the beginning."

Watch Shirazee "turn up the club like Tekno" in the music video for "Iguana" above.

If you're in NYC, head to the music video premiere party tonight at The Vnyl.

A post shared by Shi Shi (@shirazee) on

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.