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Video: Niniola Talks Afro-House and Getting Co-Signs From Timbaland & Drake

We sit down with the Nigerian singer for our latest installment of 'Moments With'

Niniola is the Nigerian queen of afro-house.

Through massive singles like "Maradona" and "Bana"—and standout albums like This Is Me—the singer has taken the throne as the leading artist pushing a blend of afro-pop and house. She's continued that upward trend with more recent drops like "Boda Sodiq" and "Designer." The artist was also one of OkayAfrica's 2019 100 Women honorees.

Niniola sits down with us for this latest edition of Moments With, in which she talks about growing up in Nigeria, the success of "Maradona," and getting recent co-signs from Timbaland and Drake.

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Image courtesy of the artist.

Niniola Returns With Infectious New Single 'Boda Sodiq'

The Nigerian "Queen of Afro-House" delivers another banger.

Nigeria's "Queen of Afro-house' is back with a new single, "Body Sodiq," and it's catchy as ever.

As usual, Niniola delivers a club-ready track that's made to dance along to. The song sees her laying her signature airy vocals atop pulsating production from popular Nigerian producer Kel P. On the track, the singer narrates a mesmerizing night out on the town.

It's her latest single since "Designer," featuring Sarz, which she dropped at the top of the year. The song got a cosign from legendary producer Timbaland, and that's not the only major nod the singer has received this year either. In April, Drake revealed he was a fan of the artist when he played her hit song "Maradona" on BBC Radio 1xtra.

The artist has a productive 2018, releasing the memorable "Bana." She was also one of OkayAfrica's 2019 100 Women honorees. We're excited to see what else the artist has in store for us for 2019.

For now, listen to her latest, "Boda Sodiq' below.

NINIOLA - BODA SODIQ (OFFICIAL AUDIO) youtu.be

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Hagan, Gafacci & Rvdical the Kid. Photo: Crudo Volta.

How African Polyrhythms Are the Root of European Club Music

We talk to Crudo Volta, creators of the new documentary Yenkyi Taxi, about the deep influence of African polyrhythms.

Polyrhythms, in the West African context, have long been a fertile foundation over which to tell stories. A percussive history passed through generations—through slavery and migration to North America and Europe—the polyrhythm offers a familiar soundtrack for us in the African diaspora.

Within it's contemporary context, the polyrhythm is an export firmly incubated in improvisation from highlife, jazz and funk. The advent of sampling machines soon allowed the percussive break patterns from those genres to be recorded and sampled as loops. As music software became more sophisticated, so did the innovation in changing the tempo of the polyrhythms playing at various speeds, yet still providing the backbone of the beat. A thread later emblematic in hip-hop, the broader-styled breakbeat within the early epoch of the UK rave scene to jungle and drum 'n' bass across the Atlantic.

African polyrhythms—now consumed under the umbrella of house (and it's many sub-genres) across the Mediterranean or the palatable acronym of EDM for American eardrums—have crossed over into the mainstream. There has been a fresh reconnection to the root of the African polyrhythms from the children of those from former colonies in the migrant communities of London and Lisbon through UK funky, kuduro and most recently the Afro-prefixed sound. A digital duality mindful of the past dances with pride into the future, resonating with peers who are taking ownership of their blackness on a global level.

A visual example of this unwavering commitment to own and tell the black experience around African culture is seen through the work of Italian based collective Crudo Volta. Following their excellent debut documentary film, Woza Taxi, which delved into the gqom sound incubated in the townships of Durban, Yenkyi Taxi is their latest visual narrative shifting the focus to how African polyrhythms are the root of European club music.

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Niniola Is the Nigerian Queen of Afro-House

Niniola's combination of an inimitable voice and confident songwriting shine in her debut album, This Is Me.

Niniola started out as a ballerdeer, a good one too, judging by her live performance of "Itura," an original composition she sang as a contestant on the 2013 edition of Project Fame West Africa. But that was until she "met Sarz and that's when all that changed," she mentions.

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