Ashley Okoli is a 22 year old Nigerian Model, YouTuber, Influencer and the CEO of Sillet by Ash. Her clothing line Sillet is a favourite across the altè crowd. She has styled several artists and is credited as a stylist and creative director for Santi‘s “Raw Dinner,” Nonso Amadi‘s “Comfortable,” Lady Donli’s “Corner” video among several others.
She describes her childhood as free with her never having to hide her expressive self. Once studying Chemistry in the University, she dropped out to start her brand. She lived in her car for a bit while finding her feet. Being a victim of bullying for her distinct style, she credits her self awareness as her shield to accept her difference and uniqueness.
Her style is free and edgy and encourages people to follow their own paths no matter how least trodden it is. Okoli uses her style and trends in fashion to reach her target audience, by prompting her followers to engage with the positivity of her brand and style. She has developed a strong community for herself to push her brand and other brands affiliated with her.
Okoli doesn’t just push her brands, she also runs a vlog where she shares her opinions on various subject matters. She advocates for the inclusion of women in everyday social and economic activities and encourages girls to follow their dreams.
With this article, we come to the end of our Women’s series for Women’s History Month. We hope you enjoyed this series as much as we did.
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By Victor Aderibigbe — 2 years ago
Alongside Blaqbonez, one of the big winners in the ‘Best Rapper In Africa‘ conversation is Payper Corleone. His blunt and brutal response to Blaq’s audacious claims on ‘Everybody Dies‘ featuring Raezy Winston, and his knockout-punch, ‘Sacrificial Lamb‘, placed him on the radar of many as a rapper to look out for. And though many were just introduced to his talents these past few weeks, the wordsmith has been around for a minute and he has badges to show for it.
Since his debut mixtape, “BARS 1” released in 2014, Payper has been relentless with his releases, particularly since “Bars 2: Guilty as Charged” released in 2017. In the last three years, the rapper has dropped five stellar projects, the latest of which is his highly collaborative EP titled “Fly Gangsta From The 90s” released in May this year. This project houses ‘Sacrifices’, a standout cut which just had its gloomy video released just two days ago.
The quality of the project earned him a spot in Pulse NG‘s top 10 hottest rappers of 2019 (so far) list, describing the rapper as “one of the fast-rising under lords of street rap in Nigeria.” Ten tracks long, the EP features appearances from some of the most gisted rappers rising through the ranks including Alpha Ojini, Erigga, Paybac, Boogey, Abstraktt, Phlowetry and Eniggy.
Check out the stellar project above and let us know what you think.Post Views: 1,995
By Victor Aderibigbe — 2 years ago
“Only real music is gonna last, all the other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” – Jimmy Smith (Drake’s ‘Pound Cake’ Intro)
Today, we have a defiant breed of young creatives in Nigeria and across Africa challenging the status quo. Despite industry pressures, these acts seem focused on crafting their stories, ideas, feelings and experiences into melodies that a lot of their peers can relate with. Not the extravagant wealth splashes and materialist bluster that characterises the majority of our pop records today, but baring their soul, fears, aspirations, concerns, insecurities on records. Even when they make ‘feel-good’ or dance music, it is creatively packaged and executed that it sounds so lively and fresh. When they sing about love, they view the banal theme from varying lenses, expressing it in such a way that it doesn’t feel bland and bloated.
It’s quite amazing that most of these guys are unsigned and independent yet they still put out so much music. Labels understandably care more about the financial returns than the purity of the art because these labels are businesses, with aims to make profits. And many have not found viable ways to market and monetize these sounds so they simply focus on the pop cash-cows.
In comparison to their colleagues and counterparts in the pop world, many view this breed of artistes as fools. Why make good or healthy music when you can just give the people what they want. People want to escape their present realities and just have a good time.
Some might even say, “Why spend so much time and energy creating songs that might not even sell in this market, when you can easily hop on the latest dance trend, get a banging beat and just spill out whatever comes to your mind. It’s not like these people listen anyway. They just want to dance and have a good time, that’s all.”
A sad truth about this set of artists is that they might not record mainstream commercial success throughout their careers. They might remain opening acts for the bigger pop stars and scramble for the feeds that fall off the table of these stars.
The quest for survival has made some dabble into pop music for relevance; seeking ways to create pop records that people can easily dance to all while still staying through to their art. Another survival tactic for some is to collaborate with the pop stars and meet them halfway sonically so they can tap into each other’s audiences. However, some want to make pop records but they just can’t. They are simply not just wired that way.
A number have also managed to successfully shuffle between day jobs and their music careers, thereby making enough to survive and fund their passion while doing what they love on the side.
But one thing is certain: good music never truly dies. They are often re-lived even generations after through samples, interpolations, and mixes. Sometimes, young artists turn to the sounds of the past for inspiration. For instance, Odunsi‘s beautiful “rare.” was hugely inspired by 80’s music. Falz‘s critically acclaimed “Moral Instruction” was also heavily influenced by Fela‘s music. Many other Nigerians from Wizkid to Burna Boy have constantly talked about how much Fela helped to shape their music.
Even the African pop sound is named after Fela’s Afrobeat. News and videos have also surfaced of American artists such as Diddy, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Common, Joe Budden vibing to Fela’s music. His music has also been sampled by Kendrick Lamar and J Cole, two of the biggest rappers in the game at the moment.
But Fela wasn’t always seen as the hero he is today. While he was alive, many brushed his music asides as grating and unmelodious with his lyrics poor in poetry. Others felt he was too preachy and saw him as a noisemaker with utopian ideals. Some were also displeased with the length of his songs and their extended solos. Many just couldn’t comprehend what Fela was building.
This was a new sound with radical energy powering it and maybe the people just weren’t ready for such. Regardless, Fela stayed true to his art, continued to experiment and explore new musical complexities. With his music, he fearlessly stood as the voice of the people against the military governments at the time. He also used his art to teach the people of his Afrocentric ideals.
No, Fela was not perfect in any way but his energy, as well as his music, was raw and genuine. And lifetimes after, we are still feeding on Fela’s music. Occasionally going back to it for inspiration and references.
These young guys today are trying to create something different. They are steady pushing the limits and experimenting with new sounds. In fact, and are now redefining what we refer to as Nigerian or African music. These guys have been persecuted and mocked because they are aesthetically different. But we can’t deny their genuine energy and efforts.
These artists need support. And the least we can do as listeners and consumers of the art is to consume their music through appropriate channels, purchase their projects, attend their shows, engage with them, provide positive feedback, and let them do what artists do best – create.Post Views: 1,181
By Eseosa BeloOsagie — 3 years ago
On Independence Day, Wizkid dropped two hit songs Master Groove and Fever amid all the recent drama. They were the Pop star’s first official releases this year as teasers off his upcoming album Made In Lagos.
The singer has been in the headlines a lot this final quarter of the year for both good and bad reasons, most recently defending his Best Male West Africa title and winning the Video of The Year (for Soco) award at the recently concluded AFRIMMA. The singer had also recently been called out on social media by the mother of his first child for being a “social media dad” and the just-released Meji Alabi-directed video for his single Fever is sure to stir up more controversy. The video for the up-tempo Afro-Pop track is colorful and stars Tiwa Savage as Star Boy’s love interest (sparking up more interest in their relationship: a PR stunt, a statement or both?) creating a very sexy vibe. Since its release this morning, the video has received a myriad of reactions with most fans trolling Wizkid (with his less-than-stellar fatherhood) and Tiwa’s ex-husband Teebillz (for his relationships with Wiz and Tiwa) and others comparing the video to Davido’s Assurance.
Tiwa’s appearance in this particular video at this time was definitely intentional; Wizkid and Tiwa have been attacked a lot on social media this year for an alleged love affair (particularly since Wiz posted pictures of Tiwa on his Instagram page on her birthday in February). Her appearance may just be a publicity stunt – which fans will find hard to believe because the pheromones literally jump at you as you watch the video – but it definitely makes a bold statement akin to throwing the middle finger. The video is very sexy and in this writer’s opinion is in no way a ripoff of Assurance (with or without the controversy surrounding it), as it is a less stiff interpretation of when money enter, love is sweeter.
With Fever, Wizkid and Meji Alabi masterfully pulled a Kardashian and created a hit video with just enough controversy to keep tongues wagging. You should see it.Post Views: 1,741