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William Onyeabor Talks With The BBC In His First Ever Radio Interview

Nigerian funk/synth musician William Onyeabor sits down with the BBC's Lauren Laverne for his first ever radio interview.


Just a few months after David Byrne's record label Luaka Bop presented Atomic Bomb! Who is William Onyeabor at Central Park and subsequently released Nigerian funk/synth melder Onyeabor's entire discography, the man himself sits down with the BBC's Lauren Laverne for his first ever radio interview. Proceeding in installments each day this week, the talk covers his affection for music, his reasons for leaving it, and his artistic heroes, amongst other subjects. In this first excerpt, the musician-turned-industrialist tells Laverne of his musical origins, as well as the genesis of his equipment-decked recording studio. Speaking by phone from his home in Enugu, Nigeria, Onyeabor mentions his "humble" beginnings in which he "was fighting to survive" and says that he eventually made his way to Stockholm, Sweden where he learned "record manufacturing techniques" and discovered that he wanted to make music that "will help the world, the way it counts." Listen to this bit of Laverne's extended interview with Onyeabor below in which he also mentions plans to play again and new music that he's making. Keep posted for more coverage of it as it airs throughout the week.

>>>Stream William Onyeabor's First Radio Interview via BBC

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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