For those curious about contemporary pop culture in Africa but aren't sure where to start, the folks at OkayAfrica have made it easy for you. Updating daily to bring readers the newest in fashion, art, music, design (and pretty much everything else), OKA has become one of our favorite resources for staying up to date on the continent's art scene. Below we've culled a few of our favorite music videos from the site, with performers ranging from from homesick ex-pats to female electro dance icons.
Check it out below:
Oddisee (see photo above)
If your eyes need a visual vacation, you can take a much needed sabbatical with the latest from Sudanese/ American artist Oddisee. The first single off The Beauty In It All, "After Thoughts" provides a literal kaleidoscope of eye candy, with trippy experimental images only enhancing the rhythmic calm of the beats. Check out the video below, along with a few stills from the short. The Beauty In It All drops 10/1 via Mello Music Group.
One of the greatest creative artistic themes of all time is the return home. Capturing the excitement, frenzy, and even alienation of this journey on his latest "Silver Pixie, Iyawo Mi" (released by Studio Africa), London-based Olugbenga returned to his native Lagos, Nigeria to shoot this emotion-filled video. Having left as a teenager, we as the viewer get to experience Lagos with the same fresh eyes as Olugbenga, in a track as dancy as it is thought provoking. Shot by Andy Amadi Okoroafor, you can check out some of the darkly atmospheric stills below.
Coming from Durban, South Africa's second largest city and a little-known hub for experimental music and design, Muzi has been taking the electronic underground by storm with his newest video "Symbols." Shot entirely on his cell phone, the song features "mutant trap, hyper bass and African socca," hyper-edited with images of Muzi taking part in his daily rituals: making music, skateboarding (Durban has an expansive but off-the-beaten-path skate culture), meeting friends, and just generally enjoying life. If you're interested, you can stream the entire Muzi EP Bundu FX on OkayAfrica.
A little poppier than our other selections (think Destiny's Child mixed with Rihanna's early producers), Vanessa Mdee's Closer is a fun watch for anyone interested in current African mainstream dance beats. Dealing with topics like gender, social media, and nightlife in her native Dar es Salaam, for those working in an office today (and not on a gorgeous East African beach) this video is pure escapism.
You can also check out Vanessa's guide to her home up on the OkayAfrica website.
All images courtesy of OkayAfrica.