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 The PGM Club — 4 years ago
It is always exciting to listen to a new song from Tay Iwar. This time around he has recruited Odunsi(The Engine), who is equally on the rise with his distinct voice and sound and you know what they say, when 2 or more great musical minds are gathered together, there can be only one true outcome…GOOD MUSIC.
We at thepgmclub would like you to listen to the new single from Tay called ‘WUSE II‘ and tell us what you think about it.
https://soundcloud.com/tayiwar/wuse-ii-ft-odunsi-the-enginePost Views: 623
By Victor Aderibigbe — 2 years ago
In September 2018, Chinko Ekun finally scored his long-sought hit. The Dek-Niyor rapper fielded a team of Lil Kesh and Zlatan Ibile over a scintillating Rexxie production and released ‘Able God’ to the warm embrace of the streets. Over hard-hitting percussions, the three rappers call on to God for goodwill and blessings while running slang-laced commentaries on street hustles. Its accompanying church-themed video featured a new dance routine that entailed repeated rhythmic hopping, occasionally punctuated with a faux jump kick. ‘Able God’ became an instant street hit and before long, the record found its way to the clubs, dominated the airwaves and attained mainstream dominance. Chinko Ekun had finally scored that hit.
The single which recently picked up the Street Hop award at the 2019 Headies was such an enormous success that ushered in the Zanku dance as the successor of the globetrotting shaku-shaku. For Chinko, it was the much-needed hit single that had eluded him since his YBNL days. But over time, the biggest winners of the hit record has been Zlatan and Rexxie the producer for whom the club banger served as a launchpad to stardom.
Yes, Chinko Ekun had a hit to his name, he was now included in conversations he never existed before. He also had a good run of bookings and stage performances in the last quarter of 2018. It even got him his first Headies award. But he has since struggled to replicate the success of ‘Able God’ or even present something even close. His last two singles, ‘Calling‘ and ‘Mafo‘ have been met with middling success – and that’s being generous.
But for Zlatan, ‘Able God’ was the beginning of something way more massive.
Before its release, Zlatan was a balmy indigenous rapper seeking to thrust himself into mainstream consciousness. He had had a couple of hot street tunes but nothing strong enough to propel him to stardom. But with the release of the smash, Zlatan whom many never knew existed just a year ago grew into a household name. His scene-stealing verse on the record was the first of his run of killer-features that is still on at the moment. It was on that record many of us first heard his tongue-twisting mantra, ‘kapaichumarimarichopaco’ that left us probing for its meaning till the year’s end. Along with his heralded Zanku dance being the dominant step in the country for almost a year now, Zlatan has simply moved from obscurity to stardom in the space of just a year.
It’s almost irrefutable that Zlatan is the hottest rapper right now -perhaps rivalled only by his friend and frequent collaborator, Naira Marley. Both are gradually unseating Olamide as the go-to guy for street anthems, haunting verses, candied ad-libs and pop slangs. As it stands, they both could even give Burna Boy a run for his money as the hottest Nigeria act in 2019.
And just like the YBNL general, the coloured-hair rapper has comfortably positioned himself as a staple for both the gritty corners of Agege and the wavy waters of Lekki. He has been on a spree of killer-features, laying the Midas touch to almost every single he blesses particularly with his infectious ad-libs. Even our biggest superstars — scrambling to get a slice of the Zanku pie — have continued to tap him for assists. Zlatan has now teamed up with Davido, Tekno and even Burna, in their award-winning duet ‘Killin Dem’ which is still one of Naija’s biggest songs at the moment.
The other winner is Rexxie who has now moved from a producer seeking validation to a certified hitmaker. Ever since ‘Able God‘, Rexxie has crossed some things off his bucket list, having worked with some of Nigeria’s biggest acts like Davido and Tiwa this past year. He has also been on a streak of bangers especially on his team-ups with Naira Marley. Even his bio on Twitter says it all: “Hits Only”. Now when you hear his ‘Yo Rexxie pon dis one‘ tag on any song, you know that you’re in for a treat.
The young producer has been behind smash hits like Naira Marley’s ‘Soapy‘, ‘Am I a Yahoo Boy‘ as well as the most recent DMW‘s ‘On God‘ with Dremo, Mayourkun and label boss, Davido.
‘Able God’ is more than just another hit. It was the ignition that propelled several acts into the mainstream consciousness after years of underground dominance. This doesn’t imply that it is single-handedly responsible for their present successes. No, but it gave them the visibility that Zlatan and Rexxie particularly have since leveraged upon to take their careers to the next level.Post Views: 991
By The PGM Club — 4 years ago
A Chat with Kyrian Asher by Adedayo Laketu
Presented with the opportunity, we get a rare peek into the life of a mysterious artist that we’ve all looked up to.
Honestly, I didn’t know him but it seemed every kid in Abuja that grew up within their transformation era knows this elusive figure. He’s something like Kanye before “I hate Kanye” became a thing. I don’t know if you get that but this was special.
I am pleased to write this piece. I want to explore his mind, but considering his elusive nature, he seems to know what to say, and what not to say. Yet, I craved a deeper understanding of this man who speaks of things I’d mostly dreamed of.
Yes, he’s a model for those who see beyond. A self-sustaining light; shining by virtue of his own strength, and our ears give him hope to bleed more and say more for us to be more. At least that’s how I felt when I heard his song “Ravager’s Gambit” and his new goth-trap “30,000 Ft”.
I first gave him leave to vibe as much as he could and it’s probably the most you’ll hear him say outside of a song.
“A starting point. Let me vibe as best as I can. Somewhere between my days of dreaming and years of doubt, I actually saw the Kyrian I did not want to be. It is something hollow, borrowing experiences from people who never experienced anything extraordinary themselves. A breeze of a life that does nothing but carrying dust. You know, it’s a curse to live but not be alive. Somewhere here, introspection was seeded. I’d always looked within myself, but not like this. This was rather different. For you to understand this tiny phrase clearly, we have to dial back a little. Like most children, the world revolved around me. My good and bad were there to serve me and my interests. It was all a rollercoaster that I built for myself. And then I started to dream.
Now that I think of it, it was agony, agony that made me smile. Among many things, I wanted simply to understand why people were the way they were. Why certain things were just different. I was so fixated on growing up that I forgot to learn about my own damn self. Can you imagine? I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say I wasn’t the most open person, so no one could really ask me anything worth replying. I did not learn about myself until I had nowhere else to look.
My mother probably does not remember this. I’ll be surprised if she did because she was half asleep when she said it. She said something that echoes in my head till date. “You can smell food. You want it. You’ll go far to get it. But the real question is, are you hungry?” Now, I know what she meant by that, but it triggered something else then. I think, perhaps, that it was the very first time I asked myself if I do things because I want to or I need to.
It is a very heavy thought for a child, especially for one who never understood the importance of consequences very well. Even after the introspection, I had trouble accepting structure -or prioritizing- but I knew who I didn’t want to be.
The question now was, what was I willing to sacrifice? What “wants” was I willing to turn into “needs” and vice versa? Almost everyone wants the same things really, but me, holy sh*t, I NEED to be the version of ‘me’ that I dream about. What comes next will be my lesson to learn. And I’ll proudly say I went out there and learned it, instead of sitting beside the fire and listening to other people’s stories. Now here I am with a full understanding of myself first, and it’s been a f*cking journey, I’ll tell you that.
Lol, I’m rambling, but don’t get me wrong. I love a good story. I love learning what needs to be learned. It’s all part of it, I guess. I just don’t want to be a guy who doesn’t look inside himself as much or more than he looks at what’s outside himself. My life revolves around that right now.”
After this, he asked me to direct a question his way, and thus, our interview began. Things became a bit quiet, but the spark wasn’t lost as you’d expect from him.
The PGM Club: What’s music for you as a creator and as food for the soul?
Kyrian Asher: Ah, not a very easy question to answer. For me, music is a universal gift, if you know how to use it well. I can’t give you the blood in my veins or the bones in my body, but I can give you music, humble and undemanding. As a creator, music is a cure in my case, really. At a time, it was the only way I could let some things out, and in return, because of how I honor my ability to communicate that way, I find myself feeding off the stories of others. Music can define how my day goes. It’s that powerful.
The PGM Club: What’s going on when you create a project because each one seems so intimate and pure?
Kyrian Asher: I can’t remember the last time I wrote what I didn’t feel. They seem intimate and pure because I write exactly what I’m feeling at that moment. Same thing happens with my composing unless I’m engineering for someone else. And even in that, I like to know exactly how my client is feeling, and I vibe with that. I make myself feel it like they do.
The PGM Club: People shy away from intimate and real topics but you surround your sound with it, this has somewhat given your music a slower reaction, but you go on, why?
Kyrian Asher: Because I need to. For myself; if it’s no one else’s medicine, it’s mine. I can’t write what I don’t feel. It takes a bit of weight off my shoulders.
At this point in the interview, I pressed on but I was calmed by his wind, he had his plans to share himself on his own. Basically, it felt like the end of the interview but we came back, it was “meow” and I understood his direction, readjusted mine and we went on.
An Abuja resident, he holds contrasting views to the everyday urban youth in Lagos, “A lot of Abuja artists I know go to Lagos to get work done. According to them, everything’s fast paced there and is somewhat beneficial to them. So, to me, there’s some mixing going on. Culturally though, Abuja and Lagos differ, but not as much as people think. I personally think alternative music is rooted deeper in Abuja.
The canvas is still being filled. Artistically Abuja is similar to many young things; it’s a culture that’s still somewhat unsure of itself. But the vibrancy is crazy. There’s a producer for almost everything here. EDM, Neo Soul, Trip Hop, Punk Rock, you name it. Fashion and lifestyle are witnessing their own rebirth as well. Unlike Lagos where things roll pretty fast and are out the door, Abuja is leisurely to either overhaul the craft or leave it altogether. The former happens more, but it still needs a buffer.” My mind was planted to his words, to his environment and I seemed to navigate in the tempo of his heart and that of the Abuja youth.
“Well, what I see as the music culture in Africa is a bunch of divides that are only now being bridged. A potential grid of sorts, a melting pot of tones, messages and melodies that is finally realizing what it is. Long before now, you’d hear or read about artists, activists, and/or writers speaking about African unity, but without much of that unity taking form. With modern music, allied with the Internet and the need to be respected, African culture is recognizing itself as one massive force.
And music from the New Age paves a way but it’s not just a thing to cover yourself with, it’s more of what you wear with your sound, an identity becoming an expression really. I like to believe the new age gives way for other genres to shine and find their market, instead of keeping one standard. A spider catches more flies with the web than with one silk strand, after all. As a culture, we will do a lot better with Africa infused into other genres, instead of only Pop.”
Kyrian Asher is a quotable man with a lot of heart, beating in the direction of change for his people while using his art as the tool for this private warfare.
The PGM Club: Ravager’s Gambit, can we have a minute to talk about that song. It really inspired a lot in me; your words, the delivery, the form, the education. Can we talk about it, the title, and the conception?
Kyrian Asher: of course. The title is simpler than people think. For days after I released it, people kept asking what it meant. It’s exactly what the title says. The destroyer’s scheme or stratagem. An advantage, a deal to move beyond the current station.
The conception is pretty simple too. Doubt; our worst enemy. Beings who destroy things faster than they build them tend to do the same things to themselves. That destruction comes in the form of doubt. The song points out that this can be suppressed, for the sake of one’s soul, or hope. I’m glad it inspired you. That was the intention.
The PGM Club: Who inspired your musical journey, allowing your music to morph into what it is today? Also, how would you define that influence?
Kyrian Asher: Oh, I listened to a crap load of records. Momma had stacks, and I started building my own collection not long after. Billie Holiday, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Sade, Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Howlin’ Wolf, The Everly Brothers, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Bongos Ikwue, Jay Dilla, and a lot more. Basically, I connected with the sentiment of the time and mixed it with the grittier sound that came after. I found myself enjoying the work of Common, Clipse, Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Florence + The Machine, and many others not long after.
But the definition of my music is something I haven’t settled on. It’s a harder question to answer than folks think. Lol. At a time, I was just a rapper who was lucky enough to find favor in a world full of millions like me. I was that way because that’s what the people wanted me to be. As time rolled on, I shed that approval thing, and became the Kyrian of irregular stripes, searching for his own sound.
The PGM Club: Listening to your music throughout the years, you haven’t featured a lot of artists. Surprising, as there are a lot of brilliant talents that reside in the political capital. Why haven’t you collaborated with them?
Kyrian Asher: Oh, that’s about to change. Just you wait. My issue with collaboration is finding something for the other artists to actually do apart from just sing a chorus, or just being on a song because they could. I’ve started forming bonds, so the wave is about to change.
The PGM Club: You make all the artworks for your sounds, how did that process begin?
Kyrian Asher: I was just tired of getting sh*tty deals and less-than-average work. I started practicing, but the resources that make my work what it is did not come until a little later. I used to paint, so I didn’t have a hard time picking my colors. The rest is nature and practice.
The PGM Club: Were you ever pushed to go a bit commercial?
Kyrian Asher: Pushed? I was damn near forced. But that’s a story for another day. Never let it happen again. I make my art on my terms, and that’s no joke.
Things appear balanced again so I used his words to fuel some more rage. His last words to me:
“Religion is a business. Society is cruel. Politics is a game. And here we are, under the lash of it all. What’s on my mind is resistance. First with self, then with those, I surround myself with. I came into this knowing nothing. No real plan. I just wanted to be me. It’s what I’ve always wanted. I knew, however, that no matter what I choose, the fans, those who really need my music, would find it.
To dream is to wander. To wander is to see. But to turn your dream into something tangible is to use what you see. Plant your seeds instead of simply hoping for trees.”
Lots of wisdom shared in this refreshingly insightful conversation with Kyrian Asher, a man of introspection and an artist of unparalleled depth. Minds like his signal hope for New Age Africa.
Edited By Douglas JekanPost Views: 745