Music
S.O. - Headwrap Diaries | Official Music Video (@sothekid @lampmode)

S.O. and Fanm Djanm's 'Headwrap Diaries' Celebrates Collaboration Among Black Women

In her directorial debut, Paola Mathé, enlists a diverse group of creatives for an ethereal music video that celebrates black women.

Creative director and founder of lifestyle brand Fanm Djanm, Paola Mathé teams up with Nigerian-born, San Antonio-based Hip Hop artist S.O. for the visual project "Headwrap Diaries," her directorial debut and the first project in what Mathé describes as a new initiative to highlight the work of black creators.

For "Headwrap Diaries," she enlisted a team of black women stylists, designers, make up artists and more to bring the celebratory song to life visually. "I wanted to show all types of beauty and strength," Mathé says. "It was important for me to show different generations, skin tones, and afro hair texture in such a beautiful, natural way." She worked with costume and set designer Al Malonga who dressed models in clothes provided by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah's sustainable fashion label Studio 189.

The music video features models Diandra Forrest, Tatiana Cooper and Aluoch Catherine, as well as S.O.'s wife Sophia Otukpe—who is the inspiration behind the song—as well as their daughter Sade Rose. "I wanted to write about my experience as a husband of a Black woman who wore headwraps," says S.O. about the creation of the song. "As I started writing it, I realized that the experiences I wrote about in the song were not only my wife's but all women who wear headwraps."


Mathé's vision for the project was to center black women, and allow them to see themselves in an illuminating way. "In a world where black women face both with structural inequalities and a barrage of negative messages about their hair, skin and cultural experience, it is our hope that this digital initiative will leave your audience feeling inspired and empowered to support, encourage and uplift women in their communities."

Watch the music video for "Headwrap Diaries" above, and check out some behind the scenes images from the shoot below.

Photo by Aaron Pegg for Fanm Djanm

Photo by Aaron Pegg for Fanm Djanm

Photo by Aaron Pegg for Fanm Djanm

Photo by Aaron Pegg for Fanm Djanm

Photo by Aaron Pegg for Fanm Djanm

Photo by Aaron Pegg for Fanm Djanm

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.

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