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Sjava. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Sjava Says Future and Young Thug's Music Has Zulu Melodies, And He’s Right

Spot. On.

South African ATM (African Trap Music) artist Sjava's appearance on Black Panther The Album is one for the books. Through it, he introduces the ATM subgenre to the world. So does his Ambitiouz Entertainment labelmate Saudi on the song "X," featuring ScHoolboy Q and 2 Chainz, on the same album.

Sjava's music is trap but it draws influences from many South African genres like maskandi, mbhaqanga and traditional gospel, among others.

Speaking to Ebro on his Beats 1 show last week, Sjava said when he first heard trap music in 2013, it sounded familiar.


"When I listened to trap," he says, "I felt like I'd heard this before. I've heard these melodies all my life. It's just that now they are in English. When I heard trap, the melodies to me were too traditional. Because at the end of the day, we are all from Africa, it's just that they are overseas and all of that. Somewhere somehow, we are still linked within the music."

Ebro then asked the artist what trap song he feels is the most African, to which Sjava answered:

"Young Thug's 'Wyclef Jean.' On the hook, the way he did, that's straight up… there's a church, it's called Zion church, they are very good when it comes to music, the churches even have albums, very musical, Zion churches are very musical.
"So I think Future and Young Thug, they are the ones that have the melodies that I'm talking about, they are very African and very Zulu."



Listening to that Young Thug song again, Sjava has a point. The drawls and dilatory melodies do resemble those of the Zion church's music. Future's the same.

Listen to the whole interview here and revisit Sjava's gold-certified masterpiece Isina Muva below.

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Photo: Alvin Ukpeh.

The Year Is 2020 & the Future of Nigeria Is the Youth

We discuss the strength in resolve of Nigeria's youth, their use of social media to speak up, and the young digital platforms circumventing the legacy media propaganda machine. We also get first-hand accounts from young creatives on being extorted by SARS and why they believe the protests are so important.

In the midst of a pandemic-rife 2020, the voices of African youth have gotten louder in demand for a better present and future. From structural reforms, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and derelict states of public service, the youths have amplified their voices via the internet and social media, to cohesively express grievances that would hitherto have been quelled at a whisper.

Nigerian youth have used the internet and social media to create and sustain a loud voice for themselves. The expression of frustration and the calls for change may have started online, but it's having a profound effect on the lives of every Nigerian with each passing day. What started as the twitter hashtag #EndSARS has grown into a nationwide youth revolution led by the people.

Even after the government supposedly disbanded the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit on the 10th of October, young Nigerians have not relented in their demands for better policing. The lack of trust for government promises has kept the youth protesting on the streets and online.

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