News Brief

This South African Opera Singer Will Leave You In Awe

South African opera singer Pretty Yende blows us away with her performance of "Una Voce Poco Fa."

There's never a good enough reason to actually watch the Wendy Williams show, but this comes pretty close.


Last week, we were introduced to the immaculate voice of South African opera singer Pretty Yende who performed "Una Voce Poco Fa," an opera classic previously sung by Kathleen Battle.

She's an actual powerhouse.

Yende, who was born in the small town of Piet Retief, South Africa, grew up singing in the church choir. "Then at the age of sixteen, she heard the Flower Duet from Lakmé on a British Airways television advertisement, and was so enraptured by its beauty that she determined to find out what it was. On learning that it was opera, she decided at that moment to abandon her plans to become an accountant, and train to become an opera singer instead" her team tells us.

She's currently starring in The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and she's slated to star in Romeo and Juliet this March.

Aside from her many other accomplishments, she also managed to single-handedly save an episode of the Wendy Williams show. This level of talent is hard to find.

Get into it with the video above.

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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