Interview
Photo: Sope Adelaja.

Interview: Yung L Is Putting Out the Best Work of His Career

We talk to the Nigerian artist about his fourth project Yaadman Kingsize and connecting with his spirituality amidst the internalized corruption in his country.

Yung L has paid his dues. Over a decade ago, he left Jos for the competitive Lagos market, and then established himself as one of the finest voices creating dancehall-inflected music out of the continent.

On early records like the hit "SOS," his boisterous, informed energy jumps at the listener. No one else but Yung L can embody the full-throated promise in the lyrics "I and I be the man on fire/ I and I be the Young Mandela." Subsequent years would see him dub his style 'Afro Zimm,' an homage to his black roots as well as 'Zimm,' the Caribbean music that has inspired his journey as a person and artist.

During the creation process for his sophomore album, Yung L would tell producers that Yaadman Kingsize was 'his Grammy project,' and the task for quality was early on established. Packed in a concise tracklist of 11 songs, the album follows a character-driven journey that celebrates life, women and spirituality. Although it features homegrown icons like Seun Kuti and Wizkid, the control in Yung L's songwriting shapes the album as an imminent cult classic, the kind of project that will always find its own.

OkayAfrica spoke to Yung L about Yaadman Kingsize and the spiritual awakening that is inspiring some of his best work, a decade into his career.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Stonebwoy On His New Davido Collaboration & Creating an African Grammys

We spoke with the Ghanaian sensation about ending 2020 off sweetly and manifesting abundance in the new year.

Afro-dancehall phenom Livingstone Etse Satekla, aka, Stonebwoy truly is the gift that doesn't stop giving.

The Grammy-nominated star, who favours and excels at dancehall, reggae and afrobeats, has been around for more than a decade but continues to stay relevant and in shape to deliver hit after hit for not only his fans, but anyone who wishes to celebrate Ghana and the beauty she has to offer. Stonebwoy's pride and adoration for his home country beams through his words, rhythms and actions.

The Ghanaian singer-songwriter is still riding high off the success of his Anloga Junction album and is now sharing his latest collaboration with Nigerian heavyweight Davido. Anloga Junction, the Burniton Music Group CEO's fourth studio album, had something for everyone with notable features from US R&B songstress Keri Hilson and South Africa's Nasty C lending their voices and influences to the project.

Now, as the his final release of 2021, fans have been gifted early with Stonebwoy and Davido's electrifying hit "Activate".

"Activate" is the song we need to end off a year like 2020. The high energy, vibrant and hip shaking single and accompanying music video are all acting as tools towards manifesting an abundant, healthy, fun and carefree new year. And we really are convinced. We all need a somebody to activate and captivate us in 2021, if not ourselves.

We spoke with the musician about his latest and last release, decentralizing the West, quarantine style creativity and praying for good in 2021. Check out our interview with Stonebwoy below.

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