Events

Okayafrica Curates A Stage At 'Meet The Africa Center' In Harlem

Okayafrica curates a stage at the all day, all free 'Meet The Africa Center' extravaganza in Harlem, Saturday, September 20th.


This Saturday The Africa Center officially introduces itself to New York with an all-day, all FREE "Meet The Africa Center" extravaganza at the Africa Center's home in Harlem (5th Avenue at 110th Street). Okayafrica is excited to be curating a stage all day (11am-6pm) for the event, where you'll find DJ Birane (Côte d'Ivoire), DJ Underdog, and Rich Medina spinning tunes from all over the continent. Later in the day we'll have live performances from Sierra Leone's Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang (with special guest Bajah from Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew!), and we'll go out with a bang with Chop & Quench (The FELA! band). Hosting the stage all day is Sahr Ngaujah (star of FELA! on Broadway).

In addition to the Okayafrica Stage, the Africa Center will also have tons of incredible art on hand, including an installation from Nigerian sound artist Emeka Ogboh with some of his danfo bus as well as Beninese conceptual artist Meschac Gaba, dance by The Dance Theater of Harlem, and so much more. See below for more details on the event and follow the Africa Center on twitter and facebook.

The Okayafrica Stage At "Meet The Africa Center" Line Up:

DJ Birane: 11-12pm

DJ Underdog: 12-12:30pm

DJ Rich Medina: 12:30pm-2:30pm

Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang: 2:30pm-3:45pm

DJ Underdog: 3:45pm-4:45pm

Chop & Quench (the FELA! band): 4:45pm-6:00pm

* Chop & Quench (the FELA! band)

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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