We talk to MHD about his sophomore album and what it's like to be such a prominent figure in both France and Africa's music scenes.
Mohamed Sylla, better known as MHD, 24, is the French phenomenon taking his sound inspired by a love of afrobeats, hip-hop, and trap around the world.
His most recent album, 19, has gone gold and introduced a side to the artist unknown to his loyal fans. The album's strength lies in it being an open letter to the fans that have been with him over the course of the past few years. It's the story of a life pre and post fame.
We got to speak to MHD last month. Although he's notorious for non-stop touring and just sold out London's O2 arena, it was a calm moment before the storm that was to come. He's already on another multi-country tour, as we speak.
This interview was conducted in French and has been translated and edited for length and clarity.
MHD's second album is brilliant and reveals of a side of the young artist we haven't seen through versatile production and features from Wizkid, Salif Keita, andYemi Alade.
MHD, the king of France's Afro Trap movement, has dropped his highly-anticipated second album, 19.
By now, you should know the story of the pizza delivery man turned French phenomenon, who's performed on the biggest stages like Denmark's Roskilde and California's Coachella. MHD's effortless mix of rap and afrobeats has solidified his place as the voice of a generation, gotten him two invites to France's presidential palace, l'Élysée, and a noteworthy reception when he arrived in Guinea.
The 19 tracks on the album and its title are an homage to the 19th arrondissement, the Parisien borough where he grew up and continues to dwell. This new record has all the potential to be just as successful as the 24-year-old's triple platinum debut and the Afro Trap series that catapulted his career.
19 includes features from the likes of Wizkid, Salif Keïta,Yemi Alade, Orelsan, Dadju, andStefflon Don as well as production by Diplo, Stromae, Dany Synthé, Junior a la prod, DSK On The Beat, S2keyz and Heezy Lee. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these features were landed through simple social media direct messages—MHD has mastered the art of using YouTube and Instagram to his advantage in an internet age.