Audio

Audio + Video: Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol. 1


Chris Kirkley originally posted the track list for Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol. 1 in October 2010 at his final frontier blog, Sahel Sounds.  Later the audio for Vol. 2 was released via download and what you can find on these compilations is ground breaking work from bedroom producers from Abidjan to Bamako using synthesizers and autotune to make songs you would not hear otherwise.

This compilation is a must have, and we are not sure if it's because of the sheer depth of the music, or that it was compiled when Chris took memory cards found in cell phones of the Sahara in order to discover new music. Why cell phones? As it turns out, cell phones are actually used more as mp3 players than phones, as well as a common p2p method for swapping files using Bluetooth wireless transfers.

Fast forward about a year and the project takes another giant DIY step- a vinyl release!  On October 4th Chris's Kickstarter project will officially be abundantly funded and Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol. 1 will commence production on 2000 limited edition vinyls. If you are one of the lucky contributors to the project then you are about to receive a bunch of rad gifts ranging from the vinyl to personal mix of unreleased tracks and even a live DJ set from the man himself.

If you havent yet, there is still time to get a piece of history!  Check out the video above and keep your ears peeled more trailblazing.

DOWNLOAD: Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol. 1

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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