Video

Video: Michael Kiwanuka’s “Tell Me a Tale” resurrects ‘60’s Soul

Listen to "Tell Me a Tale" by British singer/songwriter Michael Kiwanuka.

If it weren't for the fact that he's still alive, I'd swear that Bill Withers died, and his spirit is currently possessing a British singer by the name of Michael Kiwanuka. Since that clearly isn't the case, I'm at a loss to explain why this guy is so astonishingly talented. His voice has a smoky resonance that leads one to think he came out of the womb singing soul music. It's rhythm and blues in the classic sense of the term, every word is robust and every strum of the guitar is weighty and dense. I'd go on with the superlatives, but I'm afraid that after a certain point it would become downright sycophantic, and no one wants to see that. Instead I'll recommend that you follow my lead and seek out every song this guy has ever made.


LISTEN: Michael Kiwanuka Drops Highly-Anticipated New Album 'KIWANUKA'

Kiwanuka's new EP, Tell Me A Tale, is due out June 7th (or 13th - the details are bit unclear after some internet research), but if you're like me and you can't wait all of two weeks, a few of the sessions from the EP are already available on Itunes.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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