News Brief

Stonebwoy's New Album Is a Tribute to His Biggest Fan—His Late Mother

The Ghanaian dancehall artist talks in depth about his album, "Epistles of Mama," with BBC.

Stonebwoy is his mother's son. The Ghanaian artist dropped his latest album, "Epistles of Mama," where he dedicates it to his late mother who was his biggest fan.

"This is the tribute album to my mother," he says in a radio interview with BBC, "because she passed two years ago, may her soul rest in peace. Up until this point, I've realized that everything she's taught me, everything that I grew upon is now manifesting."

In the interview he talks about his versatility as a cross-genre artist, and how he can't be put into a box when describing his music. The album boasts that cross-cultural collaborations including Sean Paul, I-Octane, Assassin and other Jamaican dancehall greats.

He also touched on Libyan slavery crisis, saying that he could've easily been one of those migrants to search for better opportunities in Europe.

"I'm a witness of a number of youth who come from where I'm from, Ashaiman. I could have easily been one of those people who would've embarked on such journeys," he says. "We only have to make our homes better places for us to live, such that our youths can find job opportunities—this dives down to the political leaders."

Listen to the full interview below, and listen to "Epistles of Mama" on Apple Music and Spotify.

(YouTube)

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Black Sherif, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, M3NSA x M.anifest, and more.

As the summer winds down releases have slowed down just a tad, but it's nothing to fear because a number of our Ghanaian music faves are in album mode, and it's only a matter of time before they let loose! In the meantime the rest of our faves have been steady dishing out that fire, making for another month of dope releases. Want the scoop? Check out the best Ghanaian songs of the month below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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(YouTube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Nandy, Juicee Mann, Alikiba, Diamond Platnumz and more.

July featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newbies.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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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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