Image courtesy of Youtube

Nigerian singer Simi will perform live on Youtube this Saturday as part of the "Stay Home... #With Me" festival.

YouTube's Online African Music Festival, 'Stay Home... #WithMe,' Resumes This Weekend

Watch M.anifest, Simi, Manu WorldStar and other African artists perform live this weekend as part of YouTube's online music festival, 'Stay Home #WithMe'.

The second weekend of Youtube's"#Stay Home... #WithMe" online African music festival takes place this weekend, Saturday April 4th and Sunday April 5th with performers like M.anifest, Simi and Manu WorldStar on the schedule alongside many more. Keep reading for the full lineup.

Last week, the free online festival hosted livestream performances from several South African, Nigerian and Ghanaian artists including Reekado Banks, Gigi Lamayne, Asa, Skales, Nadia Nakai and many others. Some chose to bring in backing instruments, most went solo to go with the theme while others had technical difficulties and were pushed back.

While the world reels from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, artists in particular have been hard hit by social distancing measures. OkayAfrica caught up with several artists to speak about the personal impact of the outbreak on their scheduled performances, studio time and most importantly, their pockets.

At least 46 African countries have confirmed cases of coronavirus. The total number of coronavirus cases on the continent now stands at over 2400 with at least 60 reported deaths. As a result, many governments have put in place strict travel restrictions, border closures as well as lockdowns of varying severity. Read our updated coverage of coronavirus presence in Africa here.

The music industry also suffered a mighty blow last week with the passing of Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango. Dibango died in a hospital just outside of Paris, France after having tested positive for the coronavirus.

And so with millions of people having to spend an indefinite amount of time indoors, YouTube's "Stay Home #WithMe" festival is the perfect way for fans to reconnect with their favourite artists while providing a much-needed moment of relief to keep the inevitable blues away.

View the full list of artists who are set to perform and their set times below.

The "Stay Home... #WithMe" Festival Schedule April 3-4 edition


Last year we said that the ubiquitous Nigerian super-producer Sarz "has powered a generation of Nigerian music." It's still true. He's also become the in-demand guy for international artists trying and capture some of the Naija flavour in their music. We wrote on OkayAfrica:

"With Afrobeats' global ambitions taking off, Sarz's production is playing crucial roles in celebrated cross-cultural projects. He's helmed Drake's "One Dance," unlocked the chemistry between Wizkid and Skepta on "Energy (Stay Far Away)," and added composition on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Giftalbum."

Sarz also did an exclusive artist playlist for us. Some of the picks might surprise you. This Saturday you have the chance to seam him live.


Watch Sarz perform live on his Youtube channel.


Saturday April 4, 2020

9:00 AM WAT


In 2019 we wrote on OkayAfrica:

"Over a decade strong in the industry, the West African artist, who began his career in the United States, wields a discography that could go toe-to-toe with some of the brightest MCs in the world. Arguably the most creative rapper in the Ghanaian music space, M.anifest has never pulled any punches when it comes to his art, steadily delivering music filled with relevant and conscious themes—whether he's playing the lover-boy role or boasting about his mic skills he's always thorough, technical, and deliberate with his craft."

M.anifest tells us that for his performance this weekend fans can expect "Refreshing renditions of some fan favorites in my catalogue. A stripped down jam session to uplift us in these uncertain times."


Watch M.anifest perform live on his Youtube channel.


Saturday April 4, 2020

4:30 PM WAT

Seyi Shay

In 2017 Shay told OkayAfrica that her preferred approach to songwriting is to go with "feel" first: "The melodies that you freestyle come from the soul, much more than when you think about the lyrics." Since then she's put out a lot of positive vibes into the world in the forms of feel-good Afrobeats songs and a lot of collaborations with artists from all over including this favorite with Teyana Taylor.


Watch Seyi Shay perform live on her Youtube channel.


Saturday April 4, 2020

5:00 pm WAT


In 2018 Simi made OkayAfrica's 100 Women list honoring exceptional African women. We wrote about her:

"Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye, or simply Simi, knows sound. The Nigeria-born singer and songwriter is also a self-taught sound engineer who has mixed and mastered her own music. Simi's self-sufficiency got her ahead of the curve and into a class by herself. But her artistry was never typical; she has always been thoughtful about developing her style. That experimentation can be heard on her first album, 2008's gospel driven independent release Ogaju. The mixture of hip-hop, R&B and African inflections was one not heard before, but she continued to strive for the sound she has today."


Watch Simi perform live on her Youtube channel


Saturday April 4, 2020

7:00 PM WAT

Manu WorldStar




1:00 PM WAT

Bongeziwe Mabandla

The South African singer-songwriter is one of our favourites. Mabandla's voice is both resonant and quivering—just as capable holding your attention acapella, accompanied by folk guitar or mixing it up with electronic sounds. Singing mostly in Xhosa, he's a treat to see live.




Sunday April 5, 2020


Prince Kaybee

South African house music stalwart Prince Kaybee. If you're looking for what to expect, look no further than this dream collaboration he recently released alongside fellow SA heavyweights Shimza and Black Motion.


Prince Kaybee will be performing on his Youtube channel here.



TY Bello




Sunday April 5, 2020

7:00 PM WAT

The "Stay Home... #WithMe" Festival Schedule March 28-29 edition

Alpha P

Watch the live show on Alpha P's Youtube channel

In his King of Wolves EP, the 17 year-old singer and songwriter from Benin City, Nigeria born Princewill Emmanuel mixes many of the current sounds in Nigerian music—mid-tempo Afrobeats bangers reminiscent of Wizkid and Burna Boy—with trap-influences. The track "More" sounds like it could fit in a playlist of SoundCloud rappers.


Watch the live show on Oluwadamilola's Youtube channel

The Nigerian newcomer Oluwadamilola Tella was the winner of the first Talent HQ—a talent showcase for musicians and comedians in Lagos. She's released music two videos; Hello and Sunny Day produced by OluMix.

Jeff Akoh

Watch the livestream show on Jeff Akoh's Youtube channel

The Abuja-born singer Jeff Akoh makes romantic music with videos to match. His big break came in 2015 during season 8 of Project Fame West Africa which he won at the age of 18. In 2018 he released the EP "I Do." Its lead single, also "I Do" has more than 2 million views on Youtube. Although we're kind of hoping he plays his 2017 "Maroon 5-esque" hit Shokolokobangoshe.

Official Broda Shaggi

Watch official Official Broda Shaggi livestream performance on his Youtube channel

Animashaun Samuel is a Nigerian comedian, actor and singer who has become wildly popular online for the hilarious characters he plays in his social media skits. The most popular character, Official Broda Shaggi, Nigeria's number 1 fine boy also has a music career. Check out this song from February with DJ Neptune: Yo-Yo


Watch Skales perform live on his Youtube channel

Skales is a Nigerian music industry veteran and star with a roster of hits and collaborations with Banky W and Davido. An OkayAfrica favorite, he'll be playing the third to last Saturday slot of the "Stay Home #WithMe Festival."

Reekado Banks

Watch the livestream of the show on Reekado Banks' Youtube page

The music of Reekado Banks is a regular addition to OkayAfrica's Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists. The Nigerian singer, born Ayoleyi Hanniel Solomon, is one of Nigeria's biggest stars.

Cina Soul

Watch Cina Soul's livestream performance on her Youtube page

One of the only Ghanaians on the festival schedule, Cina Soul has a throwback sound but a huge presence. OkayAfrica called her one of our Ghanaian artists to watch for 2019 and called her song 'Killi Mi'—about the scourge of domestic violence—"a soul-stirring song that is making many stop and think."

Gigi La Mayne

Watch Gigi LaMayne perform live on her Youtube channel

In 2016 OkayAfrica interviewed Gigi La Mayne about Fees Must Fall. Since then, she might be the artist we've covered the most—putting her down as one of the reasons "2018 Was the Year Women Won In (South African) Hip-Hop." Watch one of the most dynamic voices in South African hip hop perform this Sunday.

Nadia Nakai

Watch Nadia Nakai perform live on her Youtube channel

Nadia Nakai won the AFRIMA award last year for Best Female Artist—Southern Africa Region but as far as South African rappers go she's one of South Africa's best, period. Last year we wrote:

"For her debut album, titled Nadia Naked, Nadia Nakai gives her listener more than just bravado in the form of chest-punching raps. In some songs, the South African/Zimbabwean rapper tells the story of the person behind the feisty and intimidating character that is Nadia Nakai as we all know her."

Timi Dakolo

Checkout Timi Dakolo's Youtube channel here

Part 2

With his deep texture voice, Nigeria's "King of Soul" won Idols West Africa in 2007 and has been a favorite for songs like "The Vow" and "Iyawo Mi" ever since.

Bez Idakula

Watch the livestream of Bez Idakula's performance on his Youtube channel

Bez Idakula's song "Far Away" made our list of best Nigerian songs of August 2019. We wrote:

"The song's connecting tissue of American soul and afropop is captured in its lyric: "hope say I dey make a little bit of sense," as in the seamless combination of genres which blends an electric guitar with heaving conga drums and back-up vocals typical on Fela's Afrobeat."


Watch the livestream of Asa's show live on her Youtube channel

Five years after her releasing her last album, "Bed of Stone," Asa came out last year with a new album, "Lucid," to rave reviews. Upon premiering her video "The Beginning" a year ago Okayplayer wrote:

"Whether its borders or genres, Asa's music knows no bounds. The Paris-born, Lagos-bred Nigerian singer-songwriter and multi-platinum selling recording artist fuses indie pop, jazz, and soft-soul, incorporating inspirations from Sade, Fela Kuti, Billie Holliday, Miriam Makeba, King Sunny Adé, The Beatles, and Lenny Kravitz.


The Best Afrobeats Songs Right Now

Featuring tracks from Joeboy, Stonebwoy, Olamide, Ckay, Fatoumata Diawara, Nomfundo Moh and more.

Afrobeats is one of the biggest cultural movements in the world. Influencing everything from fashion to sports, the music acts as the adhesive, catching on to listeners of all demographics and shaping the scene in Africa with great potential. With the growing number of new Afrobeats releases every month, it becomes necessary to round up the best of the bunch. From singles to new music videos, the continent’s vast expanse will be covered in our "Best Afrobeats Songs Out Right Now" column. Get started below.

Keep reading...Show less
Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Swizz Beatz Gets Checked for Claims to Afrobeats Success in America

The American musician made the bold statement during a conversation on Prime Music's Hip-Hop focused "Rotation Roundtable" show.

In a move sure to make Christopher Columbus proud, American record producer Swizz Beatz is making bombastic claims to have introduced Nigerian musicians Wizkid and Burna Boy to America -- and social media is having none of it.

Keep reading...Show less
Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Moncler.

Tiwa Savage to Perform at King Charles III's Coronation Concert

Tiwa Savage is scheduled to perform at the upcoming coronation of King Charles III at Windsor Castle on May 7.

Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage has confirmed that she will be performing at Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7 in honor of King Charles’ coronation. The coronation concert will take place on the grounds of Windsor Castle and will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, as well as BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

The “Somebody’s Son” singer will join a lineup of other entertainers including Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Winwood, Paloma Faith, and Olly Murs, among others. The production will also feature other stars like Tom Cruise, Dame Joan Collins, and Sir Tom Jones, who will appear via video message.

Following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last year, King Charles III is set to officially be crowned the King on Saturday, May 6, at Westminster Abbey. The coronation concert — where Tiwa Savage will be performing — and Big Lunch will happen the following day on Sunday, May 7.

In a comment to BBC, Tiwa said:

“It’s truly an honor to be representing Africa and the Commonwealth at such an historic event. I look forward to joining the celebrations and bringing Afrobeats to Windsor Castle for the first time!”

Tiwa Savage — born Tiwatope Savage-Balogun — is a prominent Nigerian singer and actress, who has been dubbed the "Queen of Afrobeats" in recent years. Although she was born in Lagos, Nigeria, Tiwa moved to London at the age of 11 where she settled, and began to build her music career.

In 2009, Tiwa Savage inked a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing after completing her studies at Berklee College of Music and participating in the U.K. edition of The X Factor. Fueled by the growth and opportunities in the Nigerian music industry, Savage relocated back to Nigeria in 2012 and signed with Mavin Records.

Her signature sound is a rhythmic and soulful fusion of Afrobeats, R&B, and pop. Over the years, Tiwa has won numerous awards for her art, becoming one of Africa's most recognized and prominent voices in the Afrobeats genre.

So far, the news of Tiwa performing at the coronation concert has drawn mixed reactions from critics and fans online.

The royal family’s complicated history with colonialism in many African countries has always been a polarizing bone of contention for many people. After the queen’s death, many people also had mixed reactions to the news.

Photo by Steve Gripp

Spotlight: Model Meron Mamo is Putting Ethiopian Clothing on the Map

We spoke with the model and fashion designer Meron Mamo about symbolizing and communicating Ethiopian vitality to the world.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists, and more who are producing vibrant, original work.

In our latest piece, we spotlight Ethiopian model and fashion designer Meron Mamo and her brand Adey Abeba. On the runway, International model Mamo spent years wearing fine garments from global brands, only to crave the fabrics and styles she grew up with. Noticing the gap in Ethiopia’s representation in the fashion industry, Mamo launched Adey Abeba in 2020. Named after Ethiopia’s indigenous “New Year” flower, the heart of Adey Abeba lies in celebrating Africa’s heritage, domestic textiles, and the potential to create sustainable fashion houses on the continent. Made for the free-spirited and adventurous woman, the brand makes use of traditional textile techniques of hand-weaving and shemane to create unique and vibrant iterations of the Ethiopian styles Mamo longed to see. Each garment is made from pure Ethiopian cotton sourced from home, allowing luxury and sustainability to exist equally. Mamo works directly with local artisans, keeping a close relationship with community and her culture, as she is based in New York City.

We spoke with founder and creative director about promoting and celebrating African heritage on a global fashion stage.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

What was your first creation and how much have you grown since?

My initial creation for Adey Abeba was the Abyssinian dress—a geometric pattern dress that is commonly seen in Ethiopian traditional arts and symbolizes everlasting life. The Black Abyssinian dress is ankle-length with detailing splits on the side, perfect for a casual everyday look. It was a modest beginning, but since then, Adey Abeba has experienced remarkable growth. We have expanded our product line to include a diverse range of clothing and accessories, and have established a strong presence in both local and international markets. Our team has grown, and we have been able to create sustainable employment opportunities for local artisans. It has been an incredible journey of growth and learning.

What are the central themes in your work?

The core themes in my work revolve around celebrating African heritage and promoting sustainability. I draw inspiration from Ethiopia's rich cultural heritage and strive to incorporate traditional Ethiopian textiles, techniques, and motifs into modern, contemporary designs. Additionally, I am deeply committed to sustainability and ethical fashion, using locally sourced materials, supporting local artisans, and minimizing our environmental impact.

What would you do differently if you could start over, and why?

Looking back, I would have focused more on sharing my story with the press. While we prioritized building a strong customer community, we didn't emphasize press coverage as much. Press is crucial for building community and gaining exposure, so I would have included it in our strategy from the beginning. It's not about doing things differently, but rather adding more focus on press coverage.

What do you believe sets African designers apart from the rest of the world?

African designers bring a unique perspective to the fashion industry, drawing inspiration from our rich cultural heritage and diverse traditions. Our creations often feature vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and unique textures, setting us apart from the rest of the world. Additionally, African designers often prioritize sustainability, ethical fashion, and community empowerment, adding a distinctive social and environmental consciousness to our work.

Can you talk about your relationship with colors and accessories?

Colors and accessories play a significant role in my designs for Adey Abeba. I am inspired by the bold and vibrant colors that are often found in African textiles and traditional attire, and I strive to incorporate these colors into my designs in unique and creative ways. Accessories also hold importance in my designs, often integrating the design of accessories into the clothing itself. In the near future, we are excited to be adding more accessories to our line.

Where do you seek inspiration and how does it find you?

I seek inspiration from my Ethiopian heritage, the rich cultural traditions of Ethiopia, and the natural beauty of the country. I am constantly inspired by the diversity of African textiles, the craftsmanship of local artisans, and the stories behind traditional Ethiopian clothing. Inspiration often finds me through my travels within Ethiopia and around the world, interactions with local communities, and through research and exploration of traditional textiles and techniques. I also draw inspiration from global fashion trends, contemporary art, and nature, which I infuse into my designs to create a unique and modern aesthetic for Adey Abeba.

man on beach holding monkey

Photo by Shamayim

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