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Yemi Alade.

7 Reasons Why Yemi Alade Is A Music Video Icon

Here are the reasons why Yemi Alade is the Nigerian queen of music videos.

Never less than impressive, Yemi Alade's videos are frequently a visual feast of enviably agile dancing, burlesqued acting, inventive costuming and full-on pizazz. The Nigerian singer has a magnetic presence, seen video after video, and rivaled by few in a very competitive afropop sphere.

Here are seven reasons that prove that the self titled Mama Africa is the most iconic video artist, yet.


1. The Numbers

Released in March 2014, the video for "Johnny" (Dir. Clarence Peters) is approaching 90 million views on Youtube, the highest yet by any Nigerian artist and only trailed by "Personally" by P-Square (85 million views, at the time of going to print).

2. The Costumes

Costumed dancers are de rigueur in music videos affording them an eye-pleasing uniformity even when in uninspired attires. The choice of clothing in Alade's videos are frequently impressive, as are many afropop videos frankly, but specific items and combinations bring distinct glamour to her videos which you don't find in many others.

The coral-coloured evening dress she wears in "Heart Robber" (Dir. Clarence Peters) is delightfully regal, but more interesting is the band of men and women in white turbans and print-heavy trousers & waistcoats which offers an Arab-African vision that makes one seriously consider an alternate reality of cultural cohesion, beyond the already fantasised world of music videos.

3. The Choreography

Tightly sequenced choreography is by now a given in a Yemi Alade video, each one just as flawlessly nimble as the next. As if with more than enough dance moves to spare, "Pose " (Dir. Paul Gambit) with R2Bees comes in a pair, one of which (with Mugeez) has a dizzying array of moves, each one describing a lyric or emphasizing a word and beat loop on the song. "Kofi Annan" (Paul Gambit) is a most arresting parade of in-trend dance sequences, largely of Ghanaian origins. It starts with Alade's purposeful sashay into a warehouse after which she throws off her shirt and joins a ready-team of dancers for a tour de force of fly moves that brim with zest and the contagious joy of dancing, making time for a dab and an apt Michael Jackson reference.


4. The Theatricality

"Ferrari" (Dir. Clarence Peters) is coherent assembly of over the top acting, beautifully agile dance sequences, efficient storytelling—an improvement on the rustic romance of "Johnny", helped by ace highlife production by DJ Coublon, whose use of live instrumentation is Alade's strongest suit, even when she sings well enough in different traditions.


5. The Cultural Blends

Yemi Alade has been very astute in siphoning from other dominant afropop markets, most convincingly with the release of Mama Afrique (2017), largely a reworking of hit songs from her third album Mama Africa (2017), this time in French and Portuguese, two of the continent's other dominant lingua franca. On "Kissing" with Marvin (Dir. Ovie), she damn near out sings the French-Ivorian singer, while "Na Gode" has confident versions in Portuguese and Swahili, as well as French. She goes a step further on "Kofi Annan" which she sings in a faux-Ghanaian accent and even includes a Sarkodie reference that by all rights should be corny or desperate, but is in fact apt.

6. The Badassery

This quality can be vague or specific, imposing or fleeting. It is evident in how spryly she gyrates in most of her videos despite, most notably in "Sugar"(Dir. Paul Gambit) in which she's paired with a furiously athletic dancer. It is also in the menacing manner she holds a bat in "Kofi Annan," the sexually charged way she mimics stirring soup in "Ferrari," the glamour and grandeur of the mock live performance in "Heart Robber," and is right there in the mere eye-twinkle in the beginning of "Pose."

7. The (Upstaging of) Collaborators

Even the ever ebullient Flavour is subdued by Alade's effervescence in the video for "Kom Kom" (Dir. Clarence Peters), as is Phyno in "Taking Over You" (Dir. Taiye Aliyu & Justin Campos). Both Flavour and Phyno, more than her other collaborators, have distinct screen personalities. Other male models fare worse, unable to match her in stature or pizazz, often looking like boy toys or kept men, rather than worthy spouses, with two exceptions in the unflappable Falz and Alex Ekubo—the Nollywood actor and model who, since "Johnny," has featured in "Tangerine" and "Marry Me."







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(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

John Boyega Set to Star In Upcoming Netflix Sci-Fi Movie 'They Cloned Tyrone'

The film is being described as "Friday-meets-Get Out."

Fresh off his performance as Finn in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker John Boyega is set to take on another leading role, this time in the Netflix's upcoming sci-fi comedy They Cloned Tyrone. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news.

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AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Samthing Soweto and Others are on the SXSW 2020 Line-Up

9 African artists have been confirmed for next year's SXSW.

Nine artists from the continent, six of which are from South Africa, are among the first wave of Showcasing Artists on the SXSW 2020 line-up. AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Amanda Black, Samthing Soweto, Nadia Nakai and Moonchild Sanelly will be representing South Africa in the festival which takes place in Austin, Texas annually. Nigeria's Simi and Lady Donli and Lesotho's Morena Leraba are also on the line-up of showcasing artists, which consists of artists from 51 countries.

James Minor, Head of Music Festival at SXSW said:

"This season's first artist reveal is a compelling and diverse list of artists from all corners of the globe. In the continued spirit of discovery, we're pleased to give the world a glimpse of what it can expect to see next March; a genre-spanning and defying lineup of artists you'll undoubtedly be hearing about in the future."

The first wave of African artists is a great mixture of mainstream and niche artists, and it's highly likely to get even better with more artists being added in the near future before the festival takes place.

SXSW is taking place in Austin, TX between March 16 and 22.

View the current line-up here.

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

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In a move that absolutely no one saw coming, Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce a live-action Barney movie in conjunction with Mattel Films. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.

Kaluuya will co-produce the film as part of his 59% production banner, which signed a first-look deal with Paramount back in May. Speaking on his involvement with the project and the impact of Barney & Friends, Kaluuya had this to say: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

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