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HOT SEAT : NQOBILÈ

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Joining us in the Hot Seat today is the beautiful South African born, UK based international Dancer Nqobilé.

Inspired by dance and the New School era of Afrobeats, Nqobilé brings a truly unique and eclectic vibe to the Afropop scene. 

We had a chance to talk about her latest release ‘Look at Her’, her decision to tap into her passion for music, who’s on her playlist and much more.

 

SK: “Look at Her” is your first official single as an artist, at what point did you realise music was something you wanted to take seriously?
NQ: YES! Omg I still can’t believe my 1st single is actually out, finally. It’s all exciting. 2014  is actually when I proper made the decision to tap back into my other passion : MUSIC. After I wrapped up the CEO Dancers North America tour I got into the studio and started playing around with sounds.

SK: Talk us through the song, what is the message behind it?
NQ: With Look At Her I was in such a good space in life and was surrounded by great energy in the studio. When it came to creating and executing the song, I wanted to create a sexy, ballsy, feel good song. Essentially a feel good anthem highlighting and celebrating THE FEMALE. As much as it’s a easygoing dance song, it has under ones of female empowerment which I’m all about.

SK: How has your culture and surroundings shaped your sound and creativity, and in what way(s)? 
NQ: Being Southern African I’m super in touch  with my culture in every way. From the music I listen to, the food, language, fashion and dance. When I started embracing my culture a lot more I feel it opened a lot more unique doors for me, from literally me being myself. Everything about my culture is inspiring. And then having been in the Afrobeats industry for over 8 years I’m very influenced by the West African culture as well. I mix both cultures in music and performance for sure. 

SK: How have you managed to transition from the dance space to the music scene?
NQ: It’s actually been an organic transition for me. I feel music and dance go hand in hand. In my music you can hear and feel that dance energy, so I’ve made sure those two remain well connected and that way I also remain true to myself as an all round performer. 

SK: How do you think women can support each other more in our industry?
NQ: I’d love to see more women dominating spaces, being respected and celebrated  equally. Not just the women on the forefront either, I’m also talking about the women behind the scenes that make things happen but aren’t celebrated enough. It’s no secret that behind every successful artist/performer especially in my industry there’s an amazing talented woman connecting the dots, making it all happen. This needs to be highlighted more. 

SK: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
NQ: Production wise Diplo and Pharrell Williams are a dream. DJ Maphorisa is super amazing as well, that collab would definitely be for the culture. There are so many amazing artists I’d love to collaborate with for sure. For now I can so hear a #LAH Remix with myself, Zlatan, Sho Madjozi and an East African artist produced by DJ Maphorisa. Oh gosh, I can so hear it. The dancefloor deserves that remix. Haha.  

SK: What other genres of music asides pop do you think you would be willing to explore?
NQ:  I’m not really tied down to a particular genre. I’ve been developing and perfecting my own sound and I’m definitely now confident with that infusing elements of my Southern African background, dance culture and a bit of the Vogue Ball dance scene as well. I’d love to play around with the Latin or Brazilian Funk sound actually. I find that genre super sexy and energetic. 

SK: What top 5 African artists are on your playlist currently?
NQ: Busiswa, Adekunle Gold, Kabza De Small, Prince Kaygee and DJ Maphorisa.

SK: What’s next for you?
NQ: I’m super excited to release MORE MUSIC. I’m definitely looking at a feel good EP.

 

Be sure to stream and listen to ‘Look At Her’ from Nqobilé on all digital platforms here.
Follow Nqobilé on her social media pages for all news and music updates (@nqobile_danseur)

Interviews

HOT SEAT : TMXO

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In today’s Hot Seat we are joined by Timi Aladeloba, popularly known as TMXO a Nigerian artist, Grammy nominated music producer and executive.

 

Q: How did you start making music?

A: Curiosity. someone handed me a CD with FL studio, never looked back and here we are.

Q: How would you describe your individual sound?

A: Lots of soul and heavy groove someone recently called it Afro-Butter, apt if you ask me.

Q: Who are your main inspirations?

A: Environment, art and everyone who did it before me

Q: How does Nigeria inspire your creativity?

A: Being Nigerian is an added advantage creatively we get to consume art from all over the world and still have the Nigerian advantage when interpreting, I think the best music producers in the world are from Nigeria.

Q: What was your first studio like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?

A: Funny how my set up has shrinked over the years from the first set of equipments my parents got me  to just my laptop, headphones and my hard drives I think the more you know the less you do or need(?) Loool. And technology has changed over time so I don’t really need much I guess.

Q: Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?

A: If we can spend time together being random then that’s the first step, it can take any form really

Q: Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that’s particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?

A: I usually start by gathering my references and forming a Pallete, like a mood board sort of and the spirit leads from there and the things that fascinate me the most at the time are very relevant and affect the outcome of whatever I’m working on but the technicality remains the same, I just find new ways to do the same things.

Q: Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?

A: There’s nothing new in music it’s a cycle and every thing resurfaces and takes a new form every other complete cycle, but it’s all about the feeling, finding different ways to make people feel different things.

Q: Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention

A: Alpha P and Omahlay

Q: What is next for TMXO? What do you want your supporters to know about you?

A: This is just the beginning, more Fayah!! Lool brap!

 

Connect with TMXO – Instagram @tmx0

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Interviews

60 SECONDS WITH GRACIOUS K

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Meet Gracious K British artist popularly known for his hit single ‘Migraine Skank’, which is still a solid banger after 10 years. He talks Ghanaian Heritage, first dates and what the music scene is like now.

SK: How would you describe and rate the music scene in London right now?
GK: Very exciting. There’s a lot of opportunity right now and I feel as though we have many genres within genres. It’s a great time

SK: How does your Ghanian heritage influenced your work?
GK: Initially I didn’t really tap into it, I grew up listening to Hip life and Hi life music, but being a Grime baby I never thought to infuse my Ghanaian roots into music. After travelling back home a few times it gave me perspective and added a different melody to my style.

SK: In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
GK: You can tell that I’ve grown up. It has the same feel but an updated version if that makes sense.

SK: Your style is so unique. What or who inspires your looks in your videos and when you are performing?
GK: I really look at people like Pharell and Kanye. I’ve always liked trying to stand out and in a time where soo many people look the same it’s imperative.

SK: What are you bringing to this space that you feel is missing?
GK: Hmm, energy, good vibes. I’ve realised that I have a natural ability to make music that makes you dance so I am trying to bring more joy to people through song.

SK: How do you deal with female attention in the industry?
GK: I just smile and face front lol

SK: If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play?
GK: Probably some Jodeci, H Town or some Silk in the background. Chilled RnB music always does the job

SK: What would be your idea of a perfect first date?
GK: I don’t know if there is a perfect first day, but I do know that I would like to do something that allows me to get to you know. Cinema you’re silent and food she’s tryna look cute. Maybe an intimate drinks settings and then hit a game type settings to lighten the mood

SK: Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram?
GK: Erm Lil Boosie 😂

Follow Gracious K – Instagram

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Interviews

UP CLOSE WITH PSYCHOYP

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Pioneer Nigerian Trap Artiste,  PsychoYP releases his second body of work, YPSZN2.

With the success of his 2018 debut mixtape, “YPSZN” and the birth of his Apex village collective, the rapper has navigated his sound into the mainstream, making him one of the more prominent names in informed conversations about Nigerian rap in the past 18 months. With SZN 2, YP proves he can go bar for bar with anyone as he seeks to create music of a relatable variation for his generation. We had a chance to get up close and personal with the man of the moment.

 

SK: How has growing up in Nigerian music culture shaped you?

YP: It’s played a big role in my creative process but I don’t think it has shaped me at all. If you listen to my music you should know where I’m coming from with that. 

 

SK: What are some of the main influences or artists you look up to?

YP: From big names like Travis, Drake, Tyga, Wizkid etc, to people I have a lot of respect for like Ycee, Dremo, Blaqbonez, AV, Skales, Ladipoe, Starboy Terri etc. 

SK: So how did you first get started?

YP: Me and Kuddi hit the Stu in about 2014 and it started popping off from there. 

 

SK: What is your creative process like when making new music?

YP: I genuinely let the music lead. From the first note on the beat I let the music tell me what to do. 

 

SK: How would you describe the music scene in Nigeria? How does it compare to the other parts of the world?

YP: I personally think it’s a whole lot of creatives making the most of it and enjoying themselves while they do what they do. It’s not packed with billions like the music industry in other places so it’s not saturated by a lot of business, which is a good and bad thing lol. 

 

SK: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

YP: The standards. 

 

SK: In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?

YP: I know I’ve found my voice now so I’m just getting started with you guys  

 

SK: What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?

YP: Personal experiences. Whether it be something I’ve witnessed, lived, seen on tv or heard from someone, It’s been processed by “Psycho” and is being told the only way he knows. 

 

SK: What is one experience in life that, without it, Psycho YP would not be the artist you are today?

YP: An early eye opener to how cruel the industry can be and that it waits for no one. Won’t elaborate on that though 😂 

 

SK: Do you have anyone that you consider your mentor? How has their help or advice shaped you?

YP: I made up my mind that if anyone’s putting anything but my career first then there’s no way they can be of greater help to me than myself. Haven’t really been in a position where there’s constantly someone to look up to and learn from when it comes to the music I make right now. 

Most helpful people are the ones at home so all that advice from family is a given. Music or not I’d get it so it’s all love there. 

 

SK: Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

YP: Y’all need to listen to Marv OTM & Zilla Oaks a lot more and if you don’t already then you need to get with it !

 

SK: What is next for Psycho YP? What do you want your supporters to know about you?

YP: SZN2!!!!!  I want my supporters to know and believe me when I say I made the best trap project out of Nigeria in 2019. 

 

SK: What do you feel is the best song you have released and why?

YP: i&u 

This song is a huge step for me musically and I am so proud of it. The beat just spoke to me and I did the best I could to lay out what was playing in my head. As a rapper and singer in hip-hop, I normally don’t even get to that vocal range but for some reason I just did.  

The Fresh Prince of Nigerian Rap is here to stay and SZN 2 proves it.
Buy/Stream SZN 2 Now –  https://geni.us/9rsqLh
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/psychoyp/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PsychoYP
Youtube: PsychoYP

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