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Thutmose. Photo: Abi Polinsky. Courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Thutmose Blends the Sounds of Brooklyn & Nigeria Into His Own Pop Flavor

The Nigerian-born artist talks to us about his new EP, Don't Wake Me, as well as getting on the Spider-Man soundtrack, touring with Billie Eilish, and collaborating with Rema.

Thutmose is living out his dream. To this day, the Nigerian rapper and singer has a hard time accepting this is his real life—from "Run Wild" becoming the soundtrack to the official trailer of EA Sports' FIFA 2018 World Cup game to to opening for pop/R&B sensation Billie Eilish and being featured on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack.

At eight years old, Umar Ibrahim migrated from his home of Nigeria to Brooklyn, New York. Admitting to encountering a "complete culture shock," Thut quickly adapted to his surroundings and took took a liking the East Coast. When it comes to his music, he makes it a point to highlight his journey from his Nigeria to the States, naturally combining both upbringings into one style.

Thut has yet to return to Nigeria in over 16 years, which makes his forthcoming trip in December that much more meaningful. In any case, he just hopes to inspire and motivate all those who come after him. Now, he unleashes his new EP, Don't Wake Me, a tribute to this dreamscape he's been living as a reality. On the five-track project, he recruits highly-buzzing Nigerian recording artist Rema and even samples Koffee's "Raggamuffin."

OkayAfrica caught up with Thutmose in Los Angeles to discuss the inspiration behind Don't Wake Me, working with Rema and Koffee, and how he landed on the Spider-Verse soundtrack.

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Interview
Image courtesy of Sarkodie.

Interview: Sarkodie Is Going Global By Staying True to Ghana

In a new interview with the star rapper, we talk about his upcoming album "Black Love," his monumental BET award win, plans for the Year of Return and the 'afrobeats invasion.'

For many, Sarkodie is Africa's best MC, and he's got the flow to back that up. For about a decade now, the artist has remained consistent in dropping jams that aren't only memorable (and often fun to party to), but ones that also stay unapologetically true to his Ghanaian heritage.

With his upcoming project, Black Love (which is slated for a surprise release) he continues on that path, but with a special focus on love and relationships. "Can't Let You Go," the first single, which he released over a year ago, also doubled as a wedding video. Since then, he's dropped a string of singles that also capture the theme at the heart of the project. The most recent being "Party & Bullshit" featuring Idris Elba and Donae'O—a collaboration between the Ghanaian artists that celebrates the love felt amongst friends when simply having a good time.

The artist's status as a formidable MC was further solidified last month when he became the first artist to win BET's Best International Flow Award and delivered a freestyle mostly in Twi that represented his heritage and spoke to the importance of black pride. The international recognition was welcomed, but it merely reemphasized what most of those paying attention to his career already knew. It was unsurprising that he'd win an award for his flow— his fans have been raving about his for years. "They created [this category] for him," remarked one Twitter user.

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