Video

Y'akoto 'Perfect Timing'

Ghanaian-German afro-folk vocalist Y'akoto drops the video for 'Perfect Timing' off her forthcoming studio album 'Moody Blues'


German-Ghanaian afro-folk singer Y'akoto has a deeply soulful voice tinged with echoes of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse that shines through on her latest offering "Perfect Timing." Serving as the lead single off her forthcoming album Moody Blues, "Perfect Timing" is a bittersweet admission of lost love and missed opportunities. The track's accompanying video casts the 26-year old vocalist as the Pied Piper of Accra as she rides through the city assembling a motley crew to join the ranks of her bike gang (comprised of none other than the crazy talented Flat Land Boys, a local BMX crew that previously showed off their skills in Blitz The Ambassador's "Make You No Forget" video). The impromptu vibe of the visuals helmed by South African director Lukas Kuhne also highlights Y'Akoto's vision behind the track: "I wrote 'Perfect Timing' for all the folks who believe in being and living in the moment. I missed the perfect timing a lot of times in my life but I chose to let go and enjoy the sweetness of being here." Watch the video below and pre-order Moody Blues available August 22nd on iTunes.

 

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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