Photos

Okayafrica Brought the Heat to SummerStage with Mbongwana Star, Batida and Young Paris

Browse through our pictures from the Okayafrica concert at Central Park SummerStage over the weekend.

Okayafrica teamed up once again with our friends at SummerStage to host another evening of music in New York City’s Central Park over the weekend.


The heat, which at times felt like a scorching 100°F, didn’t stop the crowd from getting down to the sounds of Mbongwana Star, Batida, Young Paris and DJ Underdog in between much-needed shade and water breaks.

The likes of Fab 5 Freddy and Ghanaian singer Jojo Abot were spotted across the audience enjoying the show, as Young Paris kicked off the evening with the mix of rapping and electronic beats heard on his latest release African Vogue.

Mbongwana Star. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Paris, who comes fresh off his Roc Nation signing, was backed by his band and two stunning dancers who lit incense and gyrated throughout the set. His whole crew was clad in all-white outfits.

Batida followed next. The Angolan-Portuguese producer took the audience to school, talking through the kuduro and semba influences behind his tunes and pulling up Youtube clips of the songs he’s sampled before turning his set into a full-fledged dance party, as bursts of rain relieved the crowd from the day’s heat.

One of the highlights of the night came as Batida called up 17 people on stage to bring attention to the 17 detained Angolan activists he’s been fighting to free since last year.

As the sun went down, Kinshasa’s Mbongwana Star closed off the night with a highly-energetic live set that blended Congolese rhythms, post-punk bass, and distorted electronics into a mind-blowing and hypnotizing wall of sound.

Check out photos from the evening at SummerStage, shot by Oluwaseye, below.

Young Paris at SummerStage. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Young Paris at SummerStage. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Young Paris and dancers at SummerStage. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Batida at SummerStage. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Batida and Fab 5 Freddy at SummerStage. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Batida and Fab 5 Freddy at SummerStage. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Mbongwana Star. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Mbongwana Star. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Mbongwana Star. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Mbongwana Star. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Mbongwana Star. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Photo by Oluwaseye.

Photo by Oluwaseye.

Young Paris and dancers at SummerStage. Photo by Oluwaseye.

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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