Featured

The Come Again: Aïcha

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Aïcha. Aïcha. Aïcha. Who, in all the world, could resist you after Algerian master Cheb Khaled laid his soul bare with this gushy, weepy, awesome-ness filled love ballad that rose to the top of the charts across Africa and Europe in 1996? It makes us here at Okayafrica all want to pull our lovers into dark corners for lascivious acts. Or maybe that's just me.

Meanwhile, Khaled is willing to give it all away. He sings:

"Aïcha take: all is for you.

Here, the pearls, the jewels,

also the gold around your neck

The fruits, well ripe with the taste of honey

And my life, Aisha if you love me!..."

But alas, her response:

"Keep your treasures,

Me, I'm worth more than that.

Bars are still bars even if made of gold.

I want the same rights as you

and respect for each day,

Me I want only love."

Smart lady. And yet we'll take the money, jewels, and life-long loyalty, too.

Hear the song salsa-fied, and sung in Wolof  the Africando Allstars, below:

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Interview

Interview: Omah Lay Is Nigeria's New Young Act to W​atch

We sit down with the rising Port Harcourt-born musician to talk about his latest EP, Get Layd.

Omah Lay's music is at once introspective and hedonistic, matched with the vibrancy of alt-pop production, sometimes crafted by the artist himself. The Nigerian act, who released his debut EP, Get Layd, earlier this year has been described as wielding the "lyricism of Burna Boy and the melodies of Wizkid."

Omah Lay's grandfather played in Celestine Ukwu's highlife band; his father played the drums too. Being put through his paces in Nigeria's South region—specifically Port Harcourt—supplies the grit to Omah's velvety singing. The starkness of the world he inhabits is a wonder and his lyrics are too. Phrases like "You dun burst my eyeglass" and "Omo she be SARS and she carry full van" are a cultural stamp, a burst out of the ordinary for listeners, many of whom now declare Omah Lay as "special."

Following the validating reception of singles "You" and "Bad Influence," Omah Lay shared the Get Layd EP on May 22. Including just three new songs might have posed a gamble and not defined his sound well enough, but the musician shattered those judgements. Omah Lay is a gifted artist and has the uncanny ability to exist in his space, even when circling around the afro-fusion tag that has seen a recent rise in adaptability.

Below, Omah Lay speaks to OkayAfrica about his Get Layd EP, coming to Lagos, and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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