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Princess Okoh Talks Life, Music, And #WomanEP + Visuals

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In preparation for her new EP, I caught up with Princess Okoh—the 19-year old singer who officially debuted in 2015 with the soulful hit “Heartless” and then launched her well received EP Dear Cupid—to get to know more about the person behind the music, the girl behind the words, the woman behind the voice. We spoke about a variety of topics, ranging from the deeply personal, to the somewhat irrelevant.

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Princess Onyinye Okoh. I am a 19 year old Nigerian singer and writer  from Delta State but I grew up in Lagos. I am a law student at the University of Nottingham in my final year.

 

Who is your life inspiration?

My mother.

 

How would you describe the relationship of your parents with your music?

My dad was extremely supportive of my music and I’m sure he’d have been so proud of what I’m doing now. My mum has always been a bit reluctant because she didn’t want me to be distracted or lose focus, but she’s slowly catching on.

 

Who is your music inspiration?

I have SO many, like the list is endless. But I’d say Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Omawumi, Luther Vandross, Alicia Keys, Banky W, and Emeli Sande.

 

Your last compilation was Dear Cupid, tell us a bit about that.

Dear Cupid was a collaborative EP with Moyo Fuga. It was made up of 3 songs which were about different things relating to love and relationships, hence the title. We literally recorded the whole thing in a weekend, it was absolutely amazing to create and I really enjoyed working with Moyo. Even though the reception wasn’t like what I had hoped, I was really happy that people enjoyed it.

 

In what ways have you grown since then?

I’ve grown immensely since then, in terms of my sound and lyrics. I’ve become very experimental with the music I make and I’m really excited for you guys to hear it!

 

Tell us about the forthcoming project, and how this growth ties in.

“Woman” is my first solo EP and I’ve been working on it for about two years. It’s been the most wonderful, stressful, exhausting and hands down hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but I’m certain it’ll be worth it. Woman has been a personal stretch for me, I’ve had to explore genres and speak on issues I usually wouldn’t but it’s been an enjoyable process and I’m very sure the listeners will appreciate the growth and the effort put into it.

 

What do you aim to achieve with this project, both musically and commercially?

Really and truly, at the very top of my list, I aim to inspire someone. Putting out “Woman” is such a bold step for me, it’s almost like giving people a preview to my life and my experiences, so I really want people to be able to relate to the songs and feel what I was feeling when I created it. I also hope that the EP will bring my highest number of plays, but as long as people are inspired, I’m fulfilled.

 

What are your thoughts on the new age of Nigerian creatives? How do you think we can rise from a catchphrase to the main event?

I’m a huge supporter of the “New Age” movement. Although I feel the phrase is used a bit too much and mostly out of place, but I’m 100% here for supporting creatives of all sort. To be honest, nothing comes easy and overnight, creatives just need to keep doing what they do, one day it’ll be their turn to be in the limelight.

 

You have the power to change one thing about the music industry, to make it better, what change would you consider the most effective to make?

The pressure put on artistes by labels and fans to release music ever so often. I really hate that and it’s one of my biggest fears for when I “blow”. I know how inconsistent my creative process and how hard it’ll be for me to put out “quality” music ever so often, and the truth is, a lot of the big artistes out there are just like me.

 

Now for the big question, did you like Daddy Yo? and bigger still, Davido or Wizkid?

Daddy Yo didn’t really catch on me at first, but after a few listens – Issa JAM!. Wizkid all the way, I’m offended you’d even compare.

 

50 years from now, you look back at your life, what’s your greatest achievement?

50 years, wow. I want to be a living legend. I want to be one of the biggest people in the entertainment industry, reaping the fruits of my labour and receiving lifetime accomplishment awards.

 

What’s been your greatest achievement so far?

I actually haven’t thought about this, probably having my song starred on the Nigerian series “My Best Friend’s Wedding”.

 

What’s been your lowest moment?

I’ve had many, but losing my dad was probably the lowest one.

 

On those bad days where the strength to carry on making music is almost nonexistent? How do you get through it.

Days like that are horrible. I always get through it by reminding myself why I started and how therapeutic it is for me to express myself through my music. Talking to friends and supporters of my music also helps me.

 

If your life was a movie, which would it be?

I actually can’t say. I’m not really a movie person.

 

In high school, where did you fit in?

I had different stages to be honest. Most of junior secondary school, I was just loud and bitter, so I wasn’t really part of the “popular” people. But moving schools towards the end of my senior year, I began to care less about being ‘popular’ or ‘cool’ and I started to really discover myself and, ironically, that’s when I started getting popular.

 

If there was no applause, no criticism, no fear of poverty, who would you be?

Honestly, I would just keep being who I am and doing the things I do.

 

I’m looking forward to the Woman EP which drops soon.

Below are visuals which give a little more insight on what to expect from Princess’ EP, please check it out:

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Interview with JazzZ Atta

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JazzZ is an upcoming singer/songwriter who hails from Kogi State, Nigeria. She was born in Warri and raised in Lagos. JazzZ discovered her love for music in her teenage years when she ran into a Sam Cooke album from her mother’s music library, and she’s been hooked ever since. Her musical style is best described as “urban” with Jazz, Soul and R&B and Hip Hop influences.

She released her first work; a Marvin’s room cover which she titled “Somebody” in 2014 and followed up with “Aboki” and “Body&Soul” in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

JazzZ plays the acoustic guitar and is a lovely live performer. She has been building her buzz by regularly performing weekly at Bogobiri. She is currently working on an EP which will be released this year. In this interview, JazzZ talks more about her life and growth as an artiste, as well as her upcoming EP.

  • You are quite diverse with the different genres of music you tap into. ‘One night’ and ‘Higher’ have a very acoustic feel. Sonically they sound different from a more trap inspired vibe on a song like ‘Woo’. Should your fans expect this type of versatility on your forthcoming project?

J: Yes, they should expect that. The project will be versatile in terms of sound. I got some soulful ballad, some cloud/trap, jazz and just experimental stuff. As the name of the EP implies, this is just practice so I am really trying different things in the journey of discovering my own sound.

  • You have a unique voice. Who are your musical inspirations and how do you learn from them? How do these inspirations shape your sound?

J: My musical inspirations are: Amy Winehouse, Fela, Sam Cooke, Sade, Nneka, and Ella Fitzgerald. I studied a lot about them, their stories, uniqueness, and I soaked in a lot of their music. That basically helped me in my formative years to be able to create something unique for myself which is the sound that I am still trying to perfect because I know I am not there yet, and also a lot of practice, no pun intended, lol.

  • Are there any features on the EP?

J:  Yes, I featured two rappers on the EP, Boogey and Idris King.

  • What are your dream collaborations and why?

J: SZA, because she embodies that progressive new age mindset.

  • How involved are you in the production and song writing process behind the music on your forth coming project?

J: I wrote all the songs on the project myself. On the production side, I was also very much involved, I will hit up producers and explain to them the type of sound I wanted and they would send me stuff and I would pick the ones I vibed with. So yeah, I was pretty much very involved in all of that.

  • How long have you been working on the project for?

J: I have been working on this project since the beginning of the year.

  • What was the most challenging and enjoyable part about creating your EP?

J: The most challenging part about creating the EP was the fact that I did not have a preconceived theme for the EP. I was just going to the studio everyday writing and recording, not knowing what the final product would sound like and if I would love it. The most enjoyable part is finishing the EP and seeing the growth that I have gained from the process.

  • What is your greatest fear about putting your content out there? What kind of feelings come with the realisation that anyone has access to judge and critique something you’ve worked so hard on?

J: I really do not have any fear about putting my music or any of my creative content out. I think it’s beautiful to create art and share it with the world, regardless of people’s opinion or criticism. Criticism can help you grow, it’s good. The question I often ask myself is – how can I keep improving?. So long as you have done your best, enjoying and learning from the process is the most important thing.

  • With the growing number of young artists like yourself pushing the creative envelope, the Nigerian music scene is evolving and becoming a lot better. What impact do you think your music can have on the progressive climate that the industry is experiencing at the moment?

J: I am just playing my own part to add to the progressive culture and it’s a wonderful thing that people are supporting and paying attention to the people trying to do something different. It’s a collective effort and we all have to support each other and keep pushing.

  • When did you start playing the guitar and has playing an instrument impacted the quality of your music?

J: I started playing the guitar in 2014 and it has helped me in my songwriting. I mostly use the Guitar to write and practice. I am more of a vocalist, I really don’t consider myself a guitarist, so I just use it mostly to write and practice.

  • On your Instagram you said your song ‘fragile,’ was inspired by ‘hangovers and a lot of heartbreak.’ Will many of the songs on your EP be inspired by similar themes?

J: Yes, most of the songs on the EP are inspired by similar themes, real events and some fiction/fantasy.

  • Do you think you have to have some sort of emotional volatility in your life to be productive as an artist and create meaningful content that your fans can resonate with?

J: Of course, it helps us to connect with fans, being able to turn pain into art, using that avenue to let people into your world to show them that you go through the same things they go through, that’s real.

 

You can check out more of her music below:

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FOR POP CULTURE MONTH: JINMI ABDULS

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From ripples to tidal waves, Jinmi Abduls is making major moves that leave him as one of this generation’s fast-rising alternative acts. I got to sit for about an hour in his warm Lekki home, where he lives with his mother and siblings and interview the mind behind the sound. Not surprisingly, it felt like less of a Q&A session and more like two friends chatting as he gave me insights into his life, all the while answering every question with a smile.

I’d say I’m unique because no matter what, I’d never change nor manipulate my sound for any reason or any amount.  

Can we meet Jinmi Abduls; the person behind the name?

I was born Oluwafeyijinmi  Folarin Abdul-Azeez Abdulsalami on August 27th, 1997 and I am currently an International Law student at Babcock University. An alumnus of Whitesands School, Lekki, and the second to the last child from a family of five. I grew up surrounded by a lot of musical influences and instruments.

What inspired your career in music?

At age 10, I won a radio telephone on the Moments with Mo show which was basically my companion throughout the summer of that year and this exposed me to a wider range and genre of music from all over the world; listening to 2Face, D’banj, Asa and other artistes strengthened my decision to make music.

Musical influences?

I’d say my music is self-influenced, but my favorite artistes include Asa, Timi Dakolo, Davido, Adekunle Gold and I aspire to earn their maturity.

So, does Jinmi Abduls have any hobbies?

I like gaining knowledge a lot; so when I’m not making music, I’m reading or watching documentaries. And yes, these hobbies influence my creative process by widening my exposure and building my vocabulary.

Trends come and go in this industry and it is very easy for artistes in this generation to veer towards whatever is popping at the moment.

Do you think your sound has evolved since you started making music?

Definitely. It’s been about 9 years since I recorded my first song in 2008  and the first 6-7 years of this period were spent developing my sound; maturing, creating and building an image of what Jinmi Abduls should be and the message he should pass on and so on. Through being a “studio rat” in many studios and listening to advice from many artistes, reading a lot of interviews and watching tutorials, I put in the deliberate effort, time and work needed to not only grow as an artiste, but also as a person. This is the finer and wiser version of Jinmi Abduls. So yes, my sound has definitely evolved for the better.

Favorite color?

Black. It represents what I represent – simplicity.

Do you play any musical instruments?

Yes, I play a wide range of instruments to different levels of perfection, except the drum. My favorite instrument is the mouth organ which won me the radio phone when I was 10. Let’s just say I have a bit of experience and knowledge of everything (again, apart from the drum).

What inspires your songwriting process?

Let’s just say the city of Lagos and the activities around me. I like to write about the lifestyle and culture of the people of Lagos – the way they dress, the way they party, the evolution of their fashion and highlife music, how every Saturday is dedicated to one Owambe or the other, how Lagos girls behave and what they say they expect from guys and vice versa, which is contradictory in itself because it’s all a big show of shakara. I basically make my mission my music and as “Jinmi of Lagos”, I want to share with the world the atmosphere and glamorous lifestyle that is so unique to this city.

Are your parents in support of this path you’ve chosen?

My dad is late, passed away in 2015 but was very much in support of my career. So is my mom. Before he passed, we had an agreement to keep school and music different from each other; I could only focus on music during the holidays because his basic concern was if I could handle both at the same time and create a balance. Till today, my mom and I still have that pact although it’s a bit more flexible now. As long as I can balance both well, it’s fine.

(At this point, he’s the one who asks if there’s any question that’ll showcase his selling point)

So, what is your selling point?

My selling points are my dimples; one is deep and the other is long.

Favorite food?

Beans and Plantain. Isn’t it obvious?

Is Jinmi Abduls single or cuffed?

I’m single (but selective).

Do you see yourself taking a break from making music anytime soon?

 

Neh. The kinds of breaks I take are inward breaks. For example, I spend a particular period writing and recording songs and another period making videos and promoting my music, another period handling performances and so on. It rotates. I have over 450 songs recorded so I can actually put my career on auto-pilot for a while and no one will notice because there’ll be no break in transmission. Moreover, record and produce my songs so music is only a few steps away from me wherever I go.

 

Do you ever feel the pressure to fall within the status quo and if so,  how do you cope with that? 

Someone recently shared a joke with me that I like making old music, and I understand that because my songs are infused with a lot of sounds from the 60s and 70s. I have a ton of unreleased music that are stilted together after the highlife sounds that these eras saw. These sounds are strategically manipulated with Afro-beat to form my own sound. Sometimes, they are also manipulated with other genres like Trap in order to grab the attention of a particular crowd as the case may seem. I play around with genres a lot but the goal is to make good music. That’s what I’m all about.

What do you think makes you and your music different from what’s out there?

Trends come and go in this industry and it is very easy for artistes in this generation to veer towards whatever is popping at the moment. There was a time when heavy party Nigerian music reigned and everyone got with the flow, “Sister this, Aunty that”, and right now, everyone is into the Westernized sound. This is how artistes lose themselves in the crowd. I would say I’m unique because no matter what, I’ll never change nor manipulate my sound for any reason or any amount. I’m really not bothered because the music is more important to me (I wouldn’t mind them increasing the price though, so we’ll see how it goes).

What is a major challenge you face as an artiste?

Being an unsigned artiste, a major problem is funds. When a song that you’re sure can break barriers and go global is recorded and there isn’t enough mass to push the song to the level it deserves, it’s very painful because that is the only barrier keeping you from expanding the size of your audience. That’s one major challenge I face but hopefully, that’s about to change.

 

Hopefully, that status is about to change. With his E.P ‘Jinmi of Lagos’ dropping tonight, Jinmi Abduls is about to reinforce his stand as a rising force in case anyone might’ve had their doubts. We can’t wait to hear Lagos-born slangs and highlife beats in the new vibes he has cooked up especially for us this time around. With a beautiful voice and an even more beautiful personality (and smile), this is Jinmi Abduls for Pop Culture Month.

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Open Up with Muyiwà Akhigbe

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If you’ve ever met a man describe himself as having many sides, all unique ingredients that makes all sides of him unique is what drives him towards whatever he believes in. A man who believes in the power of passion, and it’s consuming force, a fuel that keeps burning in him, you’ll never undermine this man, rather never undermine him and his passion.
You’ll never forget he is Muyiwà Akhigbe.
Muyiwà calls himself a man of Passion, a secret ingredient behind every his  endeavors from being a singer/songwriter/composer to being an art director and designer. That’s a lot but he seems to balance it well, a new wave that’s become a normal phenomenon in our generation, the ability to balance more than one act, dream, talent , or idea. Africans seem to thrive when they act on being more, it’s more of an evolution we’ve had to work with cause we’re a third world society and  we’ve always had to do it all on our own so it’s only natural we evolve on this.
It’s sometimes hard but Muyiwà says it’s not so difficult placing both feet firmly within these areas, mostly because all these areas are constituents that make up the embodiment called art. He used to practice photography and that exposed him to a lot of concepts and ideologies as far as art is concerned. Music is a gift which Muyiwà is very grateful to God for and graphic art as well, but he says that came as a result of necessity. He won’t say much about the details leading to that but he says it was a series of events that led to his decision to take that up art which he’s thankful for. He enjoys designing as well as I enjoy making music, a balance between both of them. Finding minds who can understand there’s a balance between making art and creating art, those are the special fillers I live for.
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Muyiwà has his soul in this and I could feel it as our conversation went forward, his answers were very direct and thought of, he knew what he wanted and he really goes for it with a pride of someone who knows he’s gonna achieve it all and nothing can hold him back.
The music started about 3 going to 4 years ago. For him, one of many things he’d noticed was that the more he indulged in it, the more revelation he was exposed to. He’s never played any musical instrument, “maybe apart from Shekere so I can’t say many of my eureka moments were when I was playing I could come up with a tune at the oddest periods, sometimes in a bus on my way to work or even while playing football, yeah I do that also.” With creative processes that come naturally, most of his records take time to develop with each proceeding from songwriting, to creating the sound emit a natural flow that reveals its self to him at every step.
When he designs in terms of how he relates with it, unlike music he does a little bit of brainstorming to grasp the ideas and create ways of implementing them in whatever project he’s working on. “As much as I would love to take my time and maybe go with the flow, it’s necessary to work with time and that makes it even more tasking.”

He brings all this together calling it a “big picture”, all are interconnected somewhat speaking together “Like I said earlier, these areas are all part of something bigger, surely you must have noticed how quite a number of people who are in the music industry don’t find it hard to make a mark in the movie scene. It’s a mystery, we might not know how it works but we feel the beautiful effect of it. Take the Ecosystem for example, different animals with different habitats, they all coexist, interrelate and still obey the laws of the food chain. The water cycle too. We can see the effect of the mysteries, same as art and how the major disciplines within it blend. It’s such a beautiful mystery!”
When he goes into burst like this I watch him as an audience let him take stage for the world to see what lies in his beautiful mystery of a mind, there I was asking questions letting the revelations come to me this time.
“Passion can be generated by anybody, it is one of the things that was freely given to us as human beings. So powerful yet, if it’s not nurtured properly, it’ll make one’s effort prove futile.”, it’s not defined by the young creative narrative, the passion is as much as a drive a the tools of living as a conscious mind with a goal. Skills are very important in nurturing ones passion, he says. He gives an example of his passion for graphic design, knowing he couldn’t nurture that passion without acquiring certain skills and also being able to work with the necessary tools he needed to indulge in graphic design. He got a laptop, he got Adobe Photoshop, got someone to put him through on the basics and then allowed his passion/drive to take over which made him practice day and night consistently until he became confident of his work and people began making good comments.
If he stopped there won’t be growth, if we stop trying to change Africa mid way Africa would never change. We need to keep on focusing on the vision without giving up, I picked that up. “So as young creatives with passion for different sectors, we should give ourselves into the rigors of skill acquisition and tool management in order to nurture our passion properly so it can yield.”
With a dream to touch as many lives positively with the works of his hand, Olma Records seems to be the path he’s take to do this sonically at least.
Olma Records, “my baby” he calls it. His legacy project, one he says will speak for him even when he’s no more. “My pride and joy!” Olma Records is explained as an advancement strategy, as he calls it, one that’ll stand for the reigns of good music starting from and within our country Nigeria to the external world. Olma Records is an army of dedicated and artistic minds that’ll set the standard for other to follow and exceed as far as music is concerned, Olma Records is something we only dreamed of for the future of Nigerian Music scene. “If we wanna change how people from other continents perceive our music, then we must make the change from within. In Olma Records, we do not take for granted the African elements, the bedrock and identity of our cause. Whatever we do, whatever music we put out be in Jazz inclined or soul inclined, the African element has to be evident. In terms of songwriting, we go beyond the surface. You’d find our records drilling dip into the core of your heart as you listen. This is what sets us apart, the fact that we take our content with high level sensitivity.”
They have a goal is to make timeless music. That’s what we’ve always lacked, the will to make sounds that go beyond he 4 hours you spend at the night club, or for your regular vibes, music to Muyiwà should be created to outlive our generation as well as the next.
Olma seems to be a burning desire by Muyiwà to take a stand to improve the cause and the reigns of heartfelt music in Nigeria. African induced soul music and African induced Jazz as our core genres are a primary goals they’ve established with their line up so far, with minds like Joyce Olong, and her single “Shekels”, or Muyiwà own personal catalogue of good music. We came to a detour when the topic of “New Age” came to question, “The culture lies within its message. We do our best to ensure that all our content are made with intent to pass across a message. That’s the culture we’ve imbibed as a company and also for me as a creative whether it’s art or music. Whenever I hear new age, I’m always excited cause never has there been a conscious movement welling from the young creatives towards the advancement of the Africa as a whole. I find it therapeutic to be alive in this age and time. This just shows that there’s power in the cause and with numbers, there’ll be changes. It’s great, very great.” I was happy we both grasped something that seems to bring everyone in the “new age” together, a common understanding of what we have ahead as one continent trying to reshape the future of our broken past.
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Life man, life in Africa is so different and I feel the entire generation can feel this new form in the air, their souls are calling for the change we’re all uniformed and involved in, the different things happening from both the creative , innovative, tech or culture is affecting us all in one way or the other. Muyiwà is someone who thinks deeply about this, with his own words he explains this, “Life is an unending phenomenon, and it’s relative to each person who’s alive. It is everything. How we are able to do everything as human beings is life. The expressions we make, the emotions we feel. That’s life. My music portrays life as I know it. I sing about the good, the bad, the happy and the sad, young and the old, and also stories untold. My music stands for life as a whole. As a creative person, I feel quite a number of young creatives place a limit on themselves, maybe because of the status quo or the things they’ve heard. We all need to be more daring when it comes to our art and craft. The “norm” is just a series of like events, but that’s it. It is subject to change. This is a major challenge in the industry today. I tell people, if you’re true to your music, I mean genuinely true to it, you won’t fight for acceptance.
Like I said, we create some of these challenges for ourselves but I know things are getting better now. From the look of things, acceptance isn’t monopolized anymore as long as your music is good.”
Before we ended, he spoke to me about PGM and his role as artist who scores music.
For PGM, “The PGM initiative was originally a pet project of mine, it stands for Push Good Music. It is a platform for Nigerian artistes who are still on their way to make the big scene in the industry to express themselves. The aim is to push good music so that is the utmost criterion during the selecting process of records to be used. We started working on the first edition in 2015 and we released it early this year. We hope to make it a yearly ritual though.
It’ll be nice to have people look forward to the subsequent editions as time goes on.”
While scoring moves was a bit to the left,
“Film scoring is one of the most captivating aspects of filming in the sense that the emotional responsibility of every scene rests on it. Every symphony that makes up an entire movie score has within them elements that’ll cause a reaction that eventually stirs up emotions in the hearts of the viewers so it demands all the senses when composing with respect to the scenery.”
Muyiwa worked in scoring the film  The Happyness Limited, a wonderful movie by Imoh Umoren. He won’t take full credit for the score cause it wasn’t a solo effort. In the nearest future, I’d be going public with my first film scoring which is probably “Spectrum”, a combination of three symphonies (but one track), with well selected instruments and chords to he plans to get you in an emotional state. And being the nice people we are at Lucid Lemons we got entitled to a preview.Muyiwa-Design
Muyiwà is a fighter, he’s a soulful being who wants to impact the world from Africa with his music and art, he clings to change and a new form of thinking.
There’s a general fear across dreamers in Africa but his new age mind seems to conquer this, “My dreams will come true irrespective of the geographical location. I’m more of a “thermostat” kinda person who would change his environment to what he chooses rather than be a “thermometer” kinda person who is affected by the temperature of his environment. I’ve got what it takes coupled with the help of God so I know I’m gonna be alright.”

 

 

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Beautiful Revolution For Dasidy

There’s a dynamic change in what it means to be a creative from Africa, the world is feeding on our culture as they’ve always done only this time it’s so prominent and we’re ready the ones at the forefront actually controlling this. We’re way more expressive than we’ve ever been, we can’t be held back or limited. We’ve learned to take our own beauty and revolve a new age across all forms through tools, but mostly our aesthetic view as African which has been suppressed and stolen from us for years. We’re rebellious against anything that will keep conforming our way of showing the world through our arts, craft, and ideas.

I’m a fan of the arts myself cause it’s always been man’s first way of showing expression, music, art, fashion, visuals, all these creative functions are major social tools that help generation after generation of humanity to expose how the feel and navigate their world.
It’s really important they exist in every society and era, the new age of Africa is being bold and holding this tools captive by taking these times and projecting their own surrounding and thoughts. This is giving us the confidence to be us, It’s giving the world more understanding of what we are, no one will shut us out from being proud of what Africa can become. To showcase this in our art is the first way of setting us free and leading the revolution of new age Africa.

Meeting minds dabbling in any form of artistic content is always magical cause they are the kids helping explore narratives, educating fellow Africans and the world on issues putting more consciences into our minds.

Inspiration is all around them, they seek it out and feed us, “Primarily what inspires me is the streets. The streets tell a different story every time, I feel that unconsciously, I was drawn to its storytelling, the way people hide their true intentions, how colors and people create an intoxicating expression is really exciting. I wanted to tell a story. One of a personal nature, expressive, often ignored but it’s the truth. Telling this story through fashion and photography is more of necessity, it’s a definite medium. I have been blessed with a great imagination so when ideas come to me fashion and art is my way of bringing it to life.”
Daniel Obasi said about his inspiration, Daniel Obasi is one of the creative I speak of leading this new future using his art of photography, fashion content and short films as his flame through the darkness that has covered Africa. These forms have become his way of speaking to the culture being formed, of having striking thought-provoking conversations about issues we won’t let out which is a brilliant way to share the light.

The New Age is Africa becoming a source of hope to dreams, it’s still dim amongst the hearts of some souls, the arts are more important than ever but are we participating, is it real enough to actually call our growth in African something to push on,
“To be honest I don’t think any new age really exists in Nigeria. Fine, there are new talents doing more interesting works doesn’t make any of it new cause unless any of these new works are having an actual impact on the real society then it’s all virtual talk. In Africa you hear of people whose works act in form of aggressive activism to cause actual change within their communities, you can’t say I want to change this or that because it’s a new age and all you do is tweet or post on Instagram. It’s like you looking for some form of gratification were people who you know nothing of how they live are cheering you. Now there is nothing wrong with sharing beautiful works especially in a digitalized era, but I won’t be a part of a new age that isn’t ready to put in actual work. The pioneers of the fashion and art industry did a lot to get us here, their works caused remarkable changes if you want to pioneer a new age. Then we should be humble and learn.”
Words from Daniel which emphasize the fact that we should let our actions speak, take our art from small talk in our minds to reality, making these interactions with our world by creating into that sphere will help shape our growth more profoundly, making the new age vision real and I couldn’t agree more. We can’t change anything if we don’t act on the reality we plan on inspiring, a big wake up call as the young minds in Africa advance.
Our first way of reaching out to the world was not only via our brilliant content but the internet which helped connect us to humanity’s core but so much can be done digitally, Daniel saying
“It’s all personal, to be honest, we need to become more persistent especially for change, let our works reflect the kind of society we live in, we need to highlight the corruptions, we need to let go of self-induced ego and come together, get involved in community development, educate our fellow youth on how they can actual cause a change, speak up against certain vices within the society. Let’s use our platforms better to engage the world on things that we want to see changed. It’s a lot of work.” puts this at its roots.

Africa as a continent has somewhat always downplayed how important and influential the art is when paid attention to well enough the cracks leak out wisdom,
“If you have been following my works closely you will notice a sort of gender conflict. There are things we are often told in the society that shouldn’t be. For me, it’s a gradual and more of a mental play the images are seductive with a certain kind of rebellious ideology behind it. That’s the ideology I want people who come in contact with my work to feel. You can question anything, the law, even existence. Am not making art just for the fun of it. No! I want things to change and I think that’s what the ‘new age’ should actual be about art that really causes a change.”
Daniel’s enthusiasm is invigorating, to say the least and we should all hang on to this, pushing people to come out of their shell and knowing that this art forms and it’s different concepts shape lives especially in young new age minds finding themselves as Africans, the youths face a lot and they need to be projected,
“Personally I feel issues that relate to the youth and often stereotyped perceptions of what African imagery should look like – basically trying to draw conversation on sensitive topics like sexuality, gender, masculinity and inspiring more nonfiction narratives about Africa.”

Fashion, the loudest way of showing oneself.
It’s a big way of broadcasting an entire subject on how one feels, is currently reacting to his environment, it’s a way of showing art raw on the skin. I’m very happy Africa is growing in its art culture, we’re finding what we are by wearing it on our skin. The new age is approaching how they garb themselves differently, creating pieces that live in the moment but show what our generation and new age will mean for a lifetime, Daniel shared his view on the new fashion scene saying, “I happen to be a huge fan of the creators of the project, individually they all have different aesthetics that when pulled together to create something of that magnitude, was bound to be jaw dropping, fashion has transcended glam and artificial beauty but is leaning towards actual depth, and expressing honesty and reality. How you as a viewer chooses to see it is entirely up to you. As an artist I don’t think we owe any explanation to anyone for what we choose to represent, I applaud the team for taking such risk to visual represent a country as judgemental as Nigeria, unable to challenge ourselves to look beyond the surface and question certain things within our society. One of the best parts about working with emerging brands is the uncertainties there is no laid down procedure, it’s all often an experiment especially for me, the Nigerian fashion scene has a long way to go we have accomplished a lot in terms of attracting international press, and creating a community, but now for us to continue and for us to grow… We need a structure! a structure that works, one that lets you grow through the ranks. we need to look beyond sole ownership and start planning for the future of these existing brands and how to sustain them. We don’t want to have brands that end with just their pioneers. For that to happen more people need to take the business of fashion seriously.”
To see such growth was inspiring, we should be ready to follow up on the new market we’re creating for ourselves by doing more in our art and other crafts.
Daniel pitched into this to and said “I feel as young creatives we need to careful how we use words and how we perceive things, the truth remains we don’t have as much experience within the industry. More than ever before we seem to be having more of an export rather than an import of fashion goods and talents, publicity is a precious part of fashion because what we need are buyers and investors ready to invest within the growing market here. Whether the intention is to take over our market, it’s quite irrelevant as long as the economy grows, and our fashion houses are strengthened on a global stage. I have heard people call this a phase, or a temporary interest, I don’t think that matters, if you haven’t noticed there is a movement that has Africans at the forefront, we need to key into that and allow ourselves to grow.”

We need to take advantage of what we represent and what we’ve created.
Nothing can stop the new age seeing fruition but it needs us to keep working hard and giving our all in creating more ideas of artistic, cultural, social, and innovative foundations.

“The fact that we are adventurous and slightly too competitive. I expect we would have to raise the continent higher through amazing accomplishments and not need western validations.”
Daniel ended it perfectly.

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Beans & Bread with Abasido Michael Akpan

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I’m sorta kicking ass with this series, lol. If I do say so myself, well I’m so happy everyone. Having the chance to showcase these incredible artists is mindblowing, the incredible visuals these minds are creating, right here in Nigeria. Young souls reshaping the art scene of new age Africa. Being a mind with the opportunity to have a piece of their thoughts to share is amazing.
Comics are the topic of today, and he’s the founder of a company making one.
I was so excited finding a mind doing this, I lost it. Comics, we’ve all loved them as kids also we’ve had a few of our own in Africa but none never really lasted and was able to gain the kind of influence brand like Marvel, Archie has you know?
But we didn’t give up, the new age is up to the revive it again, Abasido Michael Akpan. co-founder of Akbar inc and co-creator of Captain Calabar. I’m an artist, illustrator, and 2d-animator is on a trail to be a source of comic joy.

AL: Does art help fight pain?

Abasido Michael: Absolutely. It’s a safe release. Some people battle pain with drugs, alcohol, or other substances. These are temporary numbs. I find that emotion must be channeled into art unless your piece is soulless. Art is an expression. It demands to be felt.
Art is a man emptying himself onfavoritecanvas, a beat, or any media, and giving you a piece of him. I find, that creating is independent of your mood. Sadness, anger, joy, anything must be expressed. You need to channel emotion or risk implosion. My pain or joy can be seen in any piece I create. Likewise, any piece I’m creating reflects on my face – If I’m drawing a violent scene, you would see me frowning till the piece is complete.

Cudder

AL: Moods being reflected in the art are brilliant, it reminds me of Van Gogh portraits and how he reflects his moods, how do these moods affect your own art and creative process?

Abasido Michael: If I’m creating a piece, it has to come from somewhere. I have to feel something in order to pick up a pen and begin expressing it. If I just randomly pick up a brush and start dabbing, a few minutes in I’d have decided which direction I’m going – but it must have a direction unless I always end up discarding it. Art must have a soul.
When working on portraits or caricatures, if the character is smiling, I have to be too. When he’s gloomy, so am I. And it works vice versa. When I’m angry, if I pick up a brush, pen, or stylus, all my strokes would be violent. You would probably frown while looking at it.

AL: What’s the soul of your art? Why do you create?

Abasido Michael: I’m sometimes laughed at as the artist that doesn’t draw. I won’t create if I’m not inspired. I refuse to treat art as a job. It must be a passion. If I’m listening to music and I hear a phrase that brings ideas, I find something to sketch on. I create because ideas, moods, feelings, stories, etc. demand to be expressed. This is the only medium I know how to. I consider myself more an art enthusiast than an artist. I love anything artsy, whether paintings, music, movies, etc. I see no creative as competition. I look at other creatives and try to reason the inner workings of their minds. We all have some ideas, but not all have found their medium to express it.
I recently fell in love with comic art and a universe I want to create for African children to grow up to. I dream of showcasing the artsy sceneries of Nigeria globally. This dream spurs me on. This is why I’m currently creating. I have a story to tell.

AL: What drew you to become an artist?

Abasido Michael: Drew me? Bars…well, I started drawing since I was maybe 4 or 5. Couldn’t even write letters ‘E’ and ‘W’ right when I completed my first model drawing. I can’t vouch for its beauty, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Art fascinates me – there’s nothing else I’d rather do every day I wake up.
As an art enthusiast, I see a painting and I observe. I try to understand the composition and then the colors. My art teacher in secondary school always pushed me to draw, paint, or sculpt. Can’t tell if he saw something, but he definitely ignited something. I fell in love with Picasso, and more recently the expression of Vincent Castiglia… I think life thought me to rate happiness over money. I left behind all fears about “how to make money through arts” and decided, “I’ll take the risk. I’ll do what makes me happy. If money comes, it’s a big plus!”

Seductress

AL: Art was never a real job, not having the credit and funding it deserves but that is changing now with more art galleries, creatives, and value for the culture. What do you feel about all this?

Abasido Michael: It’s absolutely terrific. Nothing beats doing what you love and getting paid to do it. I studied architecture because it was seen as the compromise between my art and a professional job. Asked what I want to be as a child, I said an artist, and I was made to believe all artists in Africa are poor.
Some children are still being raised with this mindset, but growing up, choices will be made. Some later than others. Everyone can see for themselves the growing art culture in Africa especially. The age has come. Africa to the world! They want to see what we have to offer. Our relevance is noticeable in every field of art there is, and now we’re charging for dominance. Art is something to be taken very seriously. Art imitates life.

AL: You’re channeling your art into creating comics, why comics?

Abasido Michael: Comic art is something I’m relatively new to. I knew the heroes favorite growing up def. We loved them. We had our favorite heroes growing up. These fictional characters are a part of our lives. But… there’s a fundamental problem. We do not truly understand these heroes. These characters were tailor-made for another culture. I’m trying to create something relevant to our culture. A plot every Nigerian would read and immediately relate to. A comic universe that all Africans would find application in. A collection of black heroes we can paste on our walls proudly. And we want to start by showcasing Nigeria to the world!

AL: How has being a creating in Africa shaped how you create?

Abasido Michael: As an African child in a comfortable enough home, you’re exposed to a whole lot of western culture- whether it be via television, school, or directly, the white man’s culture was brought on to you. However, to create, I find that applying what I don’t know fully leaves blanks. Picasso once said as an artist, you paint not what you see, but what you know is there. If you grew up in Africa, what you know is Africa. The western culture you know is not enough to create a masterpiece from. Master your surroundings to make a masterpiece.

AL: How would you define the culture of African art being created by new age Africa ?

Abasido Michael: I see the new age Africa as a force of nature. This is not a revolution that was planned. This is a new generation demanding to express things on their own terms. We don’t follow their rules anymore, we seek to create our own.
There’s a generation of hungry creatives looking to make their mark on the scope of African pop-culture. They take any forms, use any media, disregard all established rules. They want to create. The rules have been reviewed and revamped. This is not a culture that should be defined. Nothing should be anymore.

Red Paint

AL: How would you explain your art? Your art and creative process?

Abasido Michael: I see my art as expressive. It is who I am. My pieces are resultant of my moods, and yearn to communicate with another. How one would write a poem or sing some lyrics and establish a connection with their audience, so my art pleads visual interpretation.
My process heavily involves music. music directly influences anything I’m creating. While Kid Cudi will make me focus on entering my zone while creating, The Platters would add a jolly touch to all my pieces. Every piece needs a direction – The shuffle button is not my friend during creation.

AL: What impact do you want your art to have on the kids, and how does the comics you’d create help push your vision into the world?

Abasido Michael: I want to inspire the kids to show their inner spark to the world. Speak. Write. Dance. Draw. Show something to the world. Let’s hear you through any medium you’re happiest with. My comics are intended to spread the artsy workings of Nigeria to the world. The comics are laden with satirical undertones so it’s beyond just kids now. We’re delivering graphic stories with messages relevant to our generation and daily lives. Africa to the world

AL: What’s the beauty and exception you see in Nigeria/Africa’s new age that you always hope to project in your art?

Abasido Michael: The African new age is really daring when it comes to pushing boundaries. The expression of colors is unique. No matter how dark a scene is, it remains vibrant. The patterns and all things tribal are in our favor. We hold more chips when it comes to anything tribal- our cultural heritage gave us that. These are great features, however, the one thing I’ll always infuse has to be the skin. I’m black (chocolate actually, with just a little caramel). My pieces are black. Most of the pieces I see are black promoting black. If others won’t promote us, we have to promote ourselves how best we know. No matter how abstract a piece is, if you had to guess a race, it would be African. Consciously or unconsciously, the new age always projects this. That’s my favorite feature of the new age art.
We have created our vibe.

AL: What’s the idea for your art for the article?

Abasido Michael: I recreated an old sculpture synonymous to the fading Nsibidi script.

AL: Does the third world we live in limit creativity?

Abasido Michael: It threatens to but channeled right, it only enhances it. I can’t sit on the side of the road and paint. I can’t even sit on the side of the road too long. For figure studies, we were given textbooks (weak ones really) to learn about the body because painting nude models are taboo. Our cultural background sees creatives as different, and not in a good way. But the thing is, when you get faced with challenges, the real show of creativity is figuring a way around them. I was forced to drop Fine Arts for Geography to discourage me from drawing so I could focus on reading. Making a man hide to draw only increased his speed and ability to draw in tougher conditions. If there’s a will, there’s a way!

Face Tribe

AL: What future do you see for the new age arts going global?

Abasido Michael: There’s a revolution coming. In a few years, I feel we will be the leading relevant content producers globally. We are everywhere- One foot in, the other holding the door open for more. We are all the future.

AL: Our art has been stolen it from us for years, now that we’re gaining prominence how can we hold own and reflect our culture and the new age as our own?

Abasido Michael: We have to hold our own. No more selling out. Indie over corporate overlords. No more settling. We have our ideas, let’s push it. Let’s push each other.
The resistance takes us back to the question: Passion or profession? If a majority ticked the Passion box, then we have no worries. Our culture is our identity, no one else’s. We have learned theirs growing up. We have been exposed to how they live. Now it’s time to expose them to ours.

AL: Anything you’d like to share?

Abasido Michael: No matter how good, bad, or average you are, you can always get better. Always challenge yourself. You are your main competition.

AL: How do you feel?

Abasido Michael: Hungry. Need beans and bread.

Let’s get inspired by this.
It’s that simple.
Let the art move us.
Feel the growth, make it an escape.
We can do more now, let’s begin.

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The Escape with Ose Adeniyi

Ose for #GraphicLemons

I’m really blessed to be doing what I’m doing.
I doubted if my articles or interviews were enough or if they mattered but something can’t be explained they just need you to act.
I’ve been around the culture and I’ll always praise it cause Africa is changing and we’re the ones making it happen. This is God’s dream, we’re becoming better than we’ve ever, we all have to keep the faith.
These articles are about exposing minds, some friends of mine, some random people I’ve met on social media or around me cause they are proof that we are gradually becoming our own nation with our own culture.

The arts document change, that’s what they were created for, to artistically express what we are, how we’re reacting, what’s in our mind. Artists bring them demons and angles into reality, they paint a heaven or hell. We’ve taken them up a notch and they’ve become “graphic designers”, digital age Picassos creating from tools provided by the internet. They are bringing their piece together using manipulation, skill, creativity and maximum expression.
They are so many of them in the new age, they need to be free to show what they see and art was created for just that.

The GraphicLemons series means a lot to me, it’s something that’s needed to show more beauty through our new artists creating for our time. This edition was with Ose Adeniyi, a young chap I met in college who’s become a close friend. He’s the C/O of Creative & Innovative Hub/Foundation, Codelo and he’s a product designer at the conglomerate “Baroque Age”. Being one of the most distinct minds I’ve met, he creates with a view of broken distinctions.
He’s taking whatever and making them show meaning. A need he feels to bring things together to become perfect in their destruction, a feeling we can relate to creating in Africa. We push the limits in the new age with our own will, faith, hard work and exposure from the internet, maybe Ose’s art is that. A rendition of something not really understood but yet you feel it make sense. Our discussion was brief as Ose hit the guns hard with his words as usual, disjointed but articulate. It’s incredible having this job, taking us on each journey through the arts of different minds. We see reflections of ourselves in their words and craft, it draws us nearer to the history we’re creating for ourselves.

AL: Explain art in your perspective and why you create?

Ose Adeniyi: Art in my perspective is everything, the embodiment of an idea/skill. A channeling of the universe to create another universe if you will. “A viewpoint; whether yours, one you’d like to have, how you see another person’s viewpoint, and other infinite combinations of viewpoints; taking that and expressing it”. I create cause it’s the only thing I can do, the only thing I know how to do; no matter what I’m doing, I’m creating, constantly. And because I want to create other things, and get inspired while creating; I just keep going, guess I forgot where the brakes are.

AL: Your art is quite abstract and has layers to it with a lot of forms, is that your world? Break down your art view to us.

Ose Adeniyi: Tough to explain, but let’s just say I tend to get lost in it, in the message, the details; I’m very particular about detail. I fuck with a lot of geometry cause that’s the basis of everything visual, there are shapes in everything with physical form, even “formless” things. And a lot of times, those basic shapes and lines really stand out when I’m looking at stuff. And colors too, I don’t use a lot most times cause too many colors tend to be distracting for me, especially when they’re conflicting. Like how light and bright things make my eyes hurt after a while; I prefer working with darker palettes.

Song Art for Tonero

AL: What would you say is an element of your art that surrounds what you see in the world?

Ose Adeniyi: Geometry and Colors.

AL: How do the lines and geometry help give your art a narrative?

Ose Adeniyi: That’s a result of my viewpoint, how I see it, is how I can tell it; that’s how we as humans know to communicate; how we perceive it from our viewpoint, the same viewpoints are what our interpretations operate on and what we then express from that. The art I produce is just a function of that.

AL: What impact do you think art has had on the new age of Africa?
And how do you reflect this in your art?

Ose Adeniyi: Art has always been a driving force, inspiration, communication across the earth, it’s just time for another era, a better one we’d like to build and everyone that wants that better world is using whatever medium they can, art is one out of many. I think that things can always be better, even in the best case possible, I think that better state is what we should all work to achieve; that what I put into a lot of the art I put out.

AL: What stands unique to the African art scene which is growing and gaining more recognition?

Ose Adeniyi: Well, truly I don’t believe in borders, we’ve always been speaking, they’re just listening to us more now cause we have the internet now, infinity.

AL: You’re the creative director of a brand called Codelo, tell us about that?

Ose Adeniyi: For someone who wants to create through multiple mediums and an architectural firm doesn’t cut it, you want to direct camera angles on videos too, all while developing new technology and writing songs; a place for undefined fields, I think of everyone as a creative director and working together is how we can achieve things. We have to keep building a better existence. That’s what Codelo is about.

Codelo.

AL: You’re centered a lot around freedom to express, to create without borders.
Coming from Nigeria which limits such freedom, how important is it for structures like Codelo, Bantu and others to help change this narrative?

Ose Adeniyi: Everyplace has its limits, you know, I just happen to be in Nigeria. But I’d like to show people those limits aren’t there, you set your own limits.

AL: How do you wanna show this?

Ose Adeniyi: Belief is the first step of making something happen. Then working towards this belief, and we don’t always get to work and get the results we want, not every time. Sometimes, we get different results, those ones we can use to keep working at the result we want. I think to believe in the example and the only things that last are ideas, and the best way to describe an idea most times is by example.

AL: Will this be enough for a change?

Ose Adeniyi: Change always has to happen, it’s inevitable, but the pace and direction we can affect. If I want things to change and I’m not doing anything about it or waiting on someone else who isn’t ready, or I want to change someone’s viewpoint and I’m not showing them how to change or that change even exists; then I’m wasting time and energy.

AL: Does art bring understanding?

Ose Adeniyi: Not necessarily, communication does, at a level the audience can relate/understand. And that’s the difficulty most times, different levels of communication.

AL: So different layers of art bring different forms of conversation?

Ose Adeniyi: Not so, I could use different layers to illustrate the same point.

AL: A few words to the kids creating out there?

Ose Adeniyi: I’ve come to learn more about art through life actually than the other way.
If you’re creating, don’t stop and if you’re not, please start; in any way, you can. And not just copy and paste. A lot of times we have to remember to create to solve problems in our time. We can’t always create the best things on our own, even the best things can be better; that’s why collaborations are important, most people don’t get that, I wouldn’t say especially Nigerians although that’s what I have in mind but that’s stereotyping, I hate that. But I see nothing wrong in 2/3 filmmakers or directors coming together; but ego is a big problem we all still have, no matter how small.

It was a lovely conversation, seemed brief but a lot can be learned in the mind of an artist. I’ve noticed the seem to express less, they’d rather show you but sometimes they explore words too and we capture their pain more precisely, this was a little of that.
It’s magical cause I learned some new things, that’s what these interviews are to me.
A way to help share more of our hearts through a conversion.
The new age can’t stop believing there’s something incredible happening, cause there is. This will be a big showcase, it will be the greatest shift in humanity.
Africa is on a journey going forward.

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#GraphicLemons with Alabi Mayowa

Lucid-Lemns-art
I’m sorry for not finding him earlier, that’s on me but as soon as I did I was dragged in by the way he showcased his work through a dark but vibrant vibe that possesses me.
I was drawn to the last piece he did, a very alluring artwork for Tonero’s Missed Calls.
It’s all a trance with his visuals.
We had a chat, and he gave me more into his passion, heart and future.
AL: Tell us about your art? What inspires your style?
Alabi Mayowa: My art has been a lot of different things over the years. At first, it was an obsession, I just drew any and everywhere with no real intention or purpose, I just wanted to draw. Then it became a medium of expression for other peoples thoughts, ideas and dreams. Through graphic design, I discovered I had the ability to make the ideas people had in their heads visually appealing. It was fulfilling at first then I got a job and it became monotonous and tiring.
Nowadays, I’ve thrown myself into the equation and I make art in a bid to regain my childhood obsession of just drawing or creating something new as often as I can. Basically, right now, my art is a visual expression of my experiences as a creative in Lagos.
As far inspiration goes, I’m inspired by a lot of things. First would be Lagos, I love the city. Sometimes I feel I can basically see the beauty in everything. For example, I see the way touts(agberos) interact with everyone else and in that moment I have like a million ideas bubbling in my head. I see a comedy skit, a great picture, a minimalist artwork, a movie, a sitcom, ANYTHING! It’s just beautiful, the city and people of Lagos inspire me
My childhood experiences. Every now and then I get hit with a little nostalgia and next thing I know I’m 15 years again running around the neighbourhood with my best friend. I didn’t really notice how heavily my childhood experiences impacted on the ‘artist’ I’ve become today, but now I look back and it just rushes in. A good example is a music, I hated any form of music growing up, but now I can’t get in my zone without a tune and throwback tune from my childhood just puts me in a whole different kind of mood. Other creatives, my Pablo Picasso’s have always been people that I can physically see do awesome stuff. You could show me a Picasso masterpiece and I won’t flinch, but show me something from a someone just like me and I’ll probably never stop staring at his work
 
AL: As a creative in Lagos, what’s that like?
Alabi Mayowa: As a creative in Lagos. Man, it’s as challenging and exciting as it gets. I already talked about how much I love the city, but I’m not sure the city loves me back. I’m continuously restricted by the laws and madness of Lagos. As much as I’d love to just go around and take pictures or draw anywhere I like, I know I can’t. Although things are slightly better, there’s still no appreciation for art, in fact, I think creatives are seen as a nuisance, but the kind of nuisance you can tolerate or at least accommodate
I hate that I have to think about my safety or who I’m going to call if I get arrested anytime I need to take inspiration from the city and create.
AL: Why was art your way of expressing your views in the world?
Alabi Mayowa: I’m a very (very, very) private person. Apart from literally a handful of people who know me, I think I come across as numb to anything happening everywhere. It’s the opposite actually, I care deeply about how everything around me works and why there’s so much happening, but I have learnt that people hold their opinions dear and anything that isn’t in line with their views is ‘wrong’. My art is me basically saying, ‘hey, this is not my reality, I don’t think your world is the same as I mine. I won’t exchange words with you though, I’m just going explain my world with brush strokes and colours.
AL: What do you want to show the world? How does your creative process as an artist help and this?
Alabi Mayowa: So far my experiences have been limited to just Lagos. I hope to visit as many countries as possible, tap into their culture and then interpret it to the world in my words
I don’t exactly have a creative process, but I do tend to get inspiration from creatives across different countries. Say I saw a Nike ad shot in New York, the first thing that comes to my mind how we’d this play out in Nigeria or some other African country?! I want to be able to absorb as many styles and cultures as possible and then give them my own interpretation.
AL: What do you want to show the world with your art?
Alabi Mayowa: I want the world to see my experiences and reality first, and then see the beauty I see. I want people to be able to relate to what I do and connect with it and bring out their own experiences.
AL: The art scene in Africa is shaping and gaining more recognition globally, how are you reacting to this?
Alabi Mayowa: I’m feeling the wave yooo… It’s been a long time coming and people are finally appreciating Africa a lot more, and it’s wonderful. The recognition African artists are getting is letting a lot of people express themselves a lot more. I mean there’s an African influence in almost any hit track, video, artwork even tech today. We are everywhere! Africa is coming for the world, and the world knows it. The African artists I know have inspired me to share what I have with the world and I’m happy to do my best and pass on that influence to the next person.
AL: What do you think about the new age Africa, the growth across all the scenes?
Alabi Mayowa: It. Is. Inspiring. The fact that we don’t have to look across the world to find inspiration for yourself is a big step forward for us all. Everyone is working hard, everyone is pushing and creating new limits for Africa and Africans. How can you not want to change something or grow? No matter what you want to do there’s an African doing it and showing you how it can be done.
It might not be entirely visible yet, but I think we’re slowly and finally breaking out of the stereotype created for Africans. we’re moving and everyone is starting to notice.
AL: As a young creative, what blocks you from truly creating your heart living in an environment like Lagos and how do you overcome?
Alabi Mayowa: Man, there’s a whole lot. But I think safety and time have the most negative effect on my art. As far as safety goes, I basically have to take a huge risk anytime I step out especially when I’m with a camera. I have to employ manoeuvres to quickly take pictures and then hide my camera. I have been harassed by thugs and I have been held up by the Police as well. It doesn’t deter me though, but I never do what I have to do with peace of mind
Then as far as time goes, I don’t have a lot of it. I juggle a lot of things and finding time for myself requires a lot of sacrifices I’m not willing to make sometimes. Time and work have become intertwined I don’t think I can go for any social gathering and feel at ease without a camera, laptop or a pen and paper at the very least (except an art exhibition of course).
AL: In a general context what else do you feel affects other creatives which you’ve noticed and feel can be improved on?
Alabi Mayowa: I think creatives in Nigeria are undervalued and unappreciated. It takes a whole lot of time and patience to master the tools and applications we use to create and our efforts are never well compensated. The effect of this is that creatives then tend to undervalue themselves and their work. A creative could create and decide to charge what he feels is due for his work, but the client can easily just decide to shut the project down and find another alternative because there are over 90 creatives that’ll do the same thing for a cheaper price. It’s sad.
AL: You dabble in visual art and graphic art, what sides and shades do they both help you reflect and how do you see the world through them individually?
Alabi Mayowa: Graphic art has a lot of constraint and limitations, so it helps with discipline. I start a graphic project and I know the exact dimensions, I know what fits in and what doesn’t; what colour works and what colour sucks. I know my limits with graphic art, visual art is a bit my unorthodox and flexible. Everything happens in a moment and you only have one shot to make it count (2 if you’re lucky). Hence I’m quite the hyper daredevil when it comes to visual art. Everything goes, everything counts. you can’t choose the colours or fonts to work with, you take what you get and you make it work. Ultimately, they are both an escape from each other. I hate doing one thing continuously, so it’s good to know I have that flexibility and switch anytime I want. Graphic art is unlimited creativity with borders. It says, “Yo, I’ll let you choose your limit and colours to use but hey, I’ve got rules’. Visual art, on the other hand, is just wild and untamed. It helps me appreciate how important every moment is.. You always have to make it count. Mix these two dynamics with my workflow, graphic or visual projects.. create without limits, but know your limits.
AL: What’s your view going forward with your art? How would you like to help shape the culture?
Alabi Mayowa: Man I want my art to let everyone out there know that don’t have to follow the rules.
They don’t have to get one job and stick and with, creativity isn’t limited to one medium of expression. Explore every alternative, I was an art student and I didn’t know about graphic design and digital art until Uni (by then it was too late) I thought being an artist in Nigeria meant the highest point you could reach was getting someone to notice your artwork after years of displaying by the roadside (no disrespect). I was uninformed about how diverse art was and I’d like help to shape the culture by letting kids out there know the law isn’t the most lucrative choice for artists, there’s a lot more. I dream about a future where when you ask people what they want to be they aren’t stuck with only the options lawyer, engineer and banker.
I want more people aspiring to be digital artists, photographers, video directors etc.
AL: Art is one of the most important social tools of humanity, do you ever use your art as a narrative to talk about issues and perspectives you hold dear?
Alabi Mayowa: I try too, but I’ve always found it difficult to create something I have a personal connection with. A recent example is what’s happening at Otodo Gbame, I’ve made two attempts to illustrate something I can auction, sell and then donate to the homeless people. Nothing seems to work out
Problem is I think I try to make it perfect and I always end up ruining it sadly. It has always been like this for me.
AL: What is perfection as an art form to you? Can you over perfection, can you share your mind behind perfection?
Alabi Mayowa: I can’t explain it exactly, but it’s when it comes easy you know, every stroke and colour just blend in perfectly. If I’m working on a piece and I’m not lost in the process then it never comes out right. And it happens a lot, I give it some time and then I try again with a different concept, it always clicks at the right moment. I can tell from the first stroke I make.
AL: What inspired your art for #GraphicLemons?
Alabi Mayowa: I call it L.O.T.N.S, leaders of the new school.
It’s inspired by the rebel like tendencies of creatives. I got the idea from a picture of two kids skating, but I just twisted to create what I wanted.

It’s a boy and a girl wearing uniforms with lemon prints on them (new school), the bandanas around their faces represents their rebel attributes; the skateboards signify how they have employed an unconventional yet amazing approach to moving forward and solving their problem

AL: What’s the word for the kids hoping to change the world?

Alabi Mayowa: Create your own kind of art, and if the world isn’t feeling it just yet Just keep doing your thing while the world plays catch up.
AL: Tell us a random story from your life you find Artistic?
Alabi Mayowa: So I’ve been drawing since I was little, but it didn’t start off like that.. I didn’t like drawing particularly. I could only know how to draw stick figures. Then I met this kid who lived right above me and I saw him draw, how he drew wasn’t so special, but it was different from the usual stick figures. His characters were always side viewed and they had muscles and hair. I was star struck, he became my Picasso in that moment. I started hanging out with him and jacked off how he drew his characters, Introduced the new style of drawing to my classmates and nothing was the same. This kid and I would spend hours watching Rambo movies and then drawing each scene afterwards, it felt so good and addictive.
Fast forward, I met another who drew similarly to the kid I first met, but his characters were slightly different. They had thinner hair and he made comics, he also became my Picasso and I jacked his style.
Those two little kids are the foundations of my art and everything I do presently is largely inspired by how they drew
There’s this form artists do where they do a rough sketch first then proceed to add details and bring their art to life. I don’t do that (I’ve tried and it never works for me). I still draw the same way those kids taught me, diving in head first and draw everything at once. If it doesn’t work out, tear another piece of paper and draw something else.
That’s how I mixed up with art and that’s how it has always been.
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#GraphicLemons: Good Reflection with Niyi Okeowo.

MrColour3

My articles are sometimes really close to me cause it’s also a mirror to who I am as I interact with these minds, I can find myself completely lost in their words. It’s euphoric meeting all these vibrant souls, you can’t find anything better than young black Africans rising to prominence. I always talk about the importance of getting more people involved in conversing, educating and recording the things going on around us by giving the pioneers a space to express themselves. First with their art, then their voice.

“Personally think art is a powerful form of expression, Visual or audio. As a social tool, it’s really powerful and deeper than surface level.” Niyi first few statements to an enlightening discussion. Art is a tool I find very raw and important in terms of reaching a large audience, the new age picked up on that.
“We’ve seen art used in different forms, From protests to campaigns and just as a way of improving society as a whole. In terms of being a social tool, Artists like Shepard Fairey and JR have mastered the art of using art as a social tool. A lot of ideas would be lost without art or it’s visual advantages. Art for me is expressing yourself, it has to come from a genuine place. That’s why people can almost feel the same feeling you felt when you were creating art.” Niyi couldn’t have said it better, tapping into this form could be the first state of setting us open and feeding them our perspectives liberation.

We can’t be caged and limited, “being a multidisciplinary creative comes easy because of it is one big ecosystem. Graphic arts, photography, 3D & animation all fall under the same umbrella and most of the projects I work on involve the first 3 mentioned, so it’s pretty easy for me, graphic arts are just stylized images (photography) and animations are just moving images (photography ). I’ve always loved the imagery, I can hardly read books without images.”
Finding the passion of others can be a great revelation for those fighting with the morals of society, sometimes the past of other generations hold our skin ransom, still as Niyi says “I look up to a lot of rebels, the people steve jobs spoke about, the ones that didn’t / don’t care about the status quo. I really don’t pay attention to anyone who tells me that I can’t do something because it’s foreign or hasn’t been done or because they can’t do it. It sounds cliche, but do what makes you happy, life is so short. I’m not about to spend my time on earth, worrying about external voices trying to drown me or kill my mojo. Most times, it’s hard for parents to understand why their kids will opt for the creative route instead of getting a SAFE job.” With those words, he shows a quality backed up in his work, his view in self-expressing without conforming to any rule, a direction we should all embrace in our craft as the new age is shaped up. The best way to interpret art is when you let it turn directly from within and Niyi seems to have this on lockdown. We have to solve our problems and find ourselves by doing us.


“Being a creative saved my life, I didn’t do well in school. I wasn’t dull, I just didn’t understand what I was studying. I passed courses that had to do with creativity and all but overall I didn’t understand why I was studying mass communication. Accidentally started using photoshop in year 2, and it was this new world to me, the endless possibilities. I’d spend day and night in the library and elect building in Covenant University, trying to wrap my mind around this software. It felt really alien at the time, but I was determined to see it through. Minutes before exams I’d be in the library researching new tutorial. Back then there was this site, it still exists anyways, “Abduzeedo” it was my holy grail, my bible in school. I’d go on the site every day and just learn all the tutorials I could learn, by 300level I was ready to drop out, but lord bless my parents and loving family with them I saw it through and it’s been magic since then. Don’t really care about the views of others, I’m the ‘if it works for me, I’ll do it’ type of person. I rarely suffer from peer pressure or the voices of others, 80% of the time I follow my intuition. I don’t know where I’m at now, but I know my intuition has rarely failed me. There are jobs, career paths and other opportunities I’ve turned down because of my intuition. Besides I hardly surround myself with people who either, don’t get the vision / or people who just want to bring down my mood/vibe.” Words from Niyi giving us a peek into what he was as an artist, the feelings he has, feelings of being connected to something greater than him. To be called for a purpose as we all feel in a new age.
Niyi’s words come from a man who’s honestly happy about the growth he’s always pushed for, “everything I create is a reflection of my life, observation, and mood. FUTURA was based on my depression and anxiety and me wanting to kill myself and becoming a recluse. When I take pictures and distort colors, it usually comes from a place of wanting to be in some wonderland type scenarios. I am not a fan of ‘basic colors’ not to discredit God’s amazing use of colors on the planet but I like ramped up colors that’s why movies with a lot of colors always make me happy, regardless of bad acting. the new ‘Thor’ trailer gets me in terms of colors, Big Sean’s Bounce back is another example of the colors I like, everything I work on is a reflection of my mood/observation of the world unless it’s a project where I had little or no creative control but when it comes to personal projects, I go all the way out with colors.” His words definitely color the mind too.

Futura-Niyi-Okeowo
Futura

More is happing in the art scene for Africa, Nigeria, there’s a lot more curiosity in the will of expression, we want to know who we are and why we are creating, and art being the most explosive form of creativity is growing to really give us a voice. Just recently AfriKultur by A&I concept curated through the beautiful minds Isabella Agbaje and Ayo Lawson was a showcase of New Age/Millennial minds was done by A&I concepts and it touched my fucking soul
Not only are we expressing more we are bringing ourselves together to feel this greatness, to explore it within a space and you’re damn right Niyi showcased, his work FUTURA. “the idea came last year in May, I think, originally it was supposed to be one artwork but I became heavily invested in it emotionally, I didn’t want it to end. So I made it into a collection of images. Draws a lot of inspiration from isolation and depression and discovery. The music of Youth Lagoon, MGMT, Frank Ocean and Ratatat inspired it, movies like a Space Odyssey and The Martian and the colors takes a lot of influence from retro space movies and the work of James Turrell. At the time I was reading articles about famous and notorious recluses like, Bobby Fischer – famous chess player who disappeared to Iceland. J.D Salinger, the author of ‘Catcher in the Rye’ who disappeared from the public eye. Howard Hughes and Bob Dylan, I’d talk more about it, but I’ll be giving away the plot of MAJORA EXPLORA..” and he didn’t anymore instead he told me a story of how he met Joke Silvia gazing at his work “Nkem Mere called me and said, ‘this woman is in front of your artwork, she has been staring at it for like 5 minutes or something’, I was like, “word, for real?” Anyways I introduce myself, and she tells me to talk about it. Mind you, I didn’t know it was Joke Silva. So we spoke about the work, and how Christian imperialism inspired it, how the white man used Christianity to rob Africa of her resources and traditions, just full on having a convo about religion and the piece, she tells me it’s really nice and that I should keep up the good work. I’m like ‘thank you ma’, as soon as she leaves I’m thinking about how that woman looked familiar. I found out it was Joke Silva minutes later, I almost peed myself cause you know JOKE SILVA is like NOLLYWOOD ROYALTY. I had a convo with Joke Silva and didn’t even know it was Joke Silva. Afrikultur was amazing, surreal experience. The first exhibition, don’t really like putting myself out there but it was amazing. It was packed! Shoutout Isabella Agbaje and Ayo Lawson amazing women who brought a bunch of people together and created a mad vibe. Number 5 in my ‘Top moments in my life’, number 4 being having a convo with Joke Silva about art and religion.”

Niyi emits so much excitement like a kid who finally got a new console, he was genuinely happy about what the new age art scene is becoming as a mind I feel was one of our generation’s pioneers.

“The new age is LIKE FUCKING AMAZING. One thing I’m a big fan of, if you are genuinely expressing yourself then I fuck with you. Well in a positive way though, it has to be a positive self-expression, it brings competition, it brings collaboration and just space for people to keep adding to the creative ecosystem. The freedom of self-expression, not even trying to act like I’m in my 30’s but look at the crop of people creating stuff, from TSE to Odunsi to Santi and DJ feMo lets not even talk about Bobby Trauma or Yadi or these other dudes creating a movement. You have UAX with his videos, you have Idris with 90’s baby you have Mubarak with GARMSPOT, Seyi of DA Design Studio, what Isabella Agbaje and Ayo Lawson did with Afrikultur, Jimi Agboola, Kitan and Chuka and every other creative out there, Lubee and even [you] guys at Baroque Age. I really don’t get when people say, ‘everybody is a photographer, DJ, MUA’. It’s expression and its dope, at the end of the day, everybody has their target market.”

 


As excited as Niyi is about the creative scene he also knows how powerful art is to the ones who perceive it, his work is a way he passes narratives of his own ranging across issues he feels plague the world, highlighting one particular is his fight against depression.

“It comes from a personal place, I get depressed a lot. I’ve always maintained, it is your duty as someone who creates to use your craft to speak on social issues, doesn’t have to be every time but speak on issues you are genuinely passionate about. Me, talking about depression and mental health is a win-win situation. I feel talking about it helps others who go through the same thing. This project ‘Hand’s That Speak‘, I tried to talk about social issues from consumerism to suicide. I look up to guys like JR, Shepard Fairey and a whole bunch of artists out there. People actually using their work to comment on social issues, and its deeper than just creating stuff. This year, I have plans to use photography to raise funds for a whole bunch of issues, from mental health to rape. If I can’t use my work to give back or help a cause then there is a question mark on my work as a creative or whatever. It’s really important to push narratives like this as a creative, not trying to come off as a savior of mankind but it’s that important. It’s like becoming a billionaire and giving back, nothing is too small. People consume information in different ways, lets take Stormzy for instance, opening up about his battles with depression or Cudi opening up about his battles with suicide that gave his fans hope or people going through that especially Stormzy, we both know grime artists have this ‘nobody can touch me persona’ to see someone like Stormzy open up about depression, it gives you this sense of ‘it can happen to anyone’ most people know this, but until they see it happen to someone they really look up to or respect they won’t really understand how important it is to talk about issues like these or when Sheifunmi opened about his experience with bipolar disorder. It’s important, super important, we have to keep talking about these issues, the moment we stop, the messages dies little by little and everyone forgets.

 


Niyi, the man of mystery and a lot of thoughts going through his head which he lays in a “Minimalist/psychedelic” as art. I wondered towards it, ending the journey he’s taking me on with what he currently thought,

“Death, been thinking about death a lot, the concept of people growing old and dying. Mortality is an interesting concept to me. Mental health, because of its super important, we need to make sure the kids of tomorrow don’t feel weird talking about their emotions. We need to make sure we prepare the next generation, if schools, hospitals, churches, mosques and every other influential place can talk about it, then we’d be helping the future generation, if not this one.
Space, because I’m prepping for MAJORA EXPLORA, plus I’m a big fan of space, just the idea of leaving this planet and discovering other planets (ARRIVAL really fucked my mind up). Drugs, mostly psychedelic drugs, I am a big fan of trying new things… would like to go on a trip one of these days and see what it feels like. Suicide, sometimes I get overwhelmed with life and think of pushing the off button but you know, music gets me through, especially the music of Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi and Youth Lagoon. Exhibitions, I really want to have a Futura themed exhibition, where space feels like a James Turrell room, the skies illuminated with the frames of the artwork all glow in the dark, the room dark and off course play music curated by possibly NKVBI and me.”

Going forward “I love what I do and ready to put my life on the line for it, I enjoy it. I’m going to stop using the name NIYIOKEOWO, starting something with someone, a digital agency to be honest. It’s already started, and we have a healthy number of clients, most people don’t know it’s me and someone else so that’s good. It’s been a wonderful journey, I’m still kinda young though.”

A man for the kids, a man for the new age art scene, a man for himself.
Niyi ends with words from one his best artist “Frank Ocean’s letter to the Grammys, everybody should read it, a snippet:

‘WINNING A TV AWARD DOESN’T CHRISTEN ME SUCCESSFUL. IT TOOK ME SOME TIME TO LEARN THAT. I BOUGHT ALL MY MASTERS BACK LAST YEAR IN THE PRIME OF MY CAREER, THAT’S SUCCESSFUL. BLONDE SOLD A MILLION PLUS WITHOUT A LABEL, THAT’S SUCCESSFUL. I AM YOUNG, BLACK, GIFTED AND INDEPENDENT. THAT’S MY TRIBUTE’.

(http://frankocean.tumblr.com/post/157125310721/ok-ken-and-david-as-much-as-i-hate-to-make-you)

I go back to that letter every time.”

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Graphic Lemons Interview with RO

RO For Graphic Lemons
AL: Tell us about RO?
RO: Basically RO is my kid self-trying to create art differently from when I started.
Well, as kids we make little paintings, drawings and all. Somewhere along the line of the secondary school, I was kind of hindered from making are in most forms (I still secretly made in school by the way ). I went through different fazes of creation and branding (some worse than others), RO was my final step as an artist.
RO was my artistic rebirth by discovering myself as who I am and who I was born to be.
I’m constantly working on expanding my art forms but the real target is to establish my own unique style and visual presence.
AL: Why is art your forte?
RO: Honestly it’s the only expression I have. I write some times, just things from the heart but I don’t feel happy about it. I feel shy about it. Art is the only way I show what I’m feeling when I’m feeling it.
Visual art was the one thing I felt connected to. Writing just feels cliché when I do it, but designing a simple peace about that same write-up/letter makes me feel complete.
I guess what I’m trying to say is visual art is part of me. It is a part of my being and it picked me and me it.
AL: What does art mean to you as a social force for change?
RO: Art is an expression. To me, that expression in different forms can change the way people look at things. For every idea or project I create my art, I allow people see my perception of living and that goes for every other artist. We can use that ability we have to change how things are seen and done and in that, it is a major social force and tool.
AL: How do you balance your life and art as a young African in the new age?
RO: It’s all about pacing. At this point in my life everything is almost about getting through school and when I’m not on that, over summers, I’m working. So I pace myself. Some days I dedicate to just school and some I dedicate to art only.
There’s no perfect balance but one has to try and maintain even the slightest form of a balance.
AL: What do you think about the new age arts scene and how do you identify as “RO” the brand within it?
RO: The new age art scene is actually the only art scene I’ve ever known. When I just started, the only artists I knew were Duks Arts and later on, Duro arts. Right now, the art scene is on fire and it’s just beautiful. There’s no competition just artists being the best they can be, supporting each other. Duks still has one of the heaviest influences in the art scene and it’s really just great.
This New Age art scene is going to be the best ever. We’re really all doing the most. All the styles are different, from illustrators to Digital artists to designers. They’re all amazing. We’re all amazing.
With the likes of Niyi Okeowo, Gabriel Esu, Taiwo Ayodeji, TSE, Kechie The Photographer, Ose, Bensodo, SDQ. I mean the list goes on and on and on!
Honestly, I’m shocked we haven’t all been displayed around the world together, we’re amazing.
The art scene right now is history and the future.
_________________
As RO, I always use this tag “The Visualist”. I see the brand as a plug. An art and idea plug. A factory of creations. The brand is a brain child of art driven ideas. Nothing but that.
AL: How would you describe your art style?
RO: Honestly, between you and me, I don’t know. I don’t even believe I have a specific style that can easily be identified. I’ve been told I have a unique style but I don’t know if I believe it. My most recent projects make use of minimalism and glitch art. Also trying to use colours/gradients.
So my art style right now is pretty colourful, wavy(glitchy) and minimal.
AL: How much influence do you feel art has on pushing narratives and cultures forward in our generation?
RO: I’d say it almost influences the most. Narratives are presented perceptions. Art portrays that perception and displays it in the clearest form possible. Today, the culture isn’t about history, it’s about who the people are now and the one true way to move that forward is through the art.
Art is open to interpretation but is also idea driven. The ideas of the people of the culture through their art, move us forward, move the culture forward and move the idea of us as Africans/Nigerians forward because nobody can tell us how to be. We tell the world how we are and it’s through our art.
AL: What impact would you want your art to have in this new age?
RO: Inspiration. Purely inspiration. I want to be to the new age what other artists are to me. I’m inspired by a lot of creators of different creative fields and I want to be to every creator of this new age what they are to me. I want to inspire people to create to the best of their ability. I want my art to speak to my fellow artists and non-artists. RO visual art should encourage, inspire and excite people. Forever. That’s the impact I want my art to have.
AL: What dreams do you have for your craft moving forward?
RO: Growth. I want someday to have a larger set of ideas, much larger spectator/viewer base, larger network. I dream of growing beyond the graphic design & photography discipline and into architecture, but including all of them to create art. I dream of releasing projects in the future that will entail enjoying an experience like galleries and museums. Kind of like virtual reality. I dream of being more than I am now. People change, dreams evolve, directions become different. But right now, that’s my dream, Growth.
AL: is art love?
RO: Not to me, Art is soul and mind in my opinion. Capable of showing love but not love in itself.
AL: How do you navigate your world with the constant challenge of being a creative in a third world nation?
RO: Well, first things first, I don’t even believe I’m in a third world nation because that implies we’re under developed which we really aren’t. I mean, there’s a lot going on and a lot of terrible things happening but after going to different countries you realise that as bad as things are for us, we make a lot of it work. I work my mind to see the positives or the solutions in situations and in thought, I’ve realised that we are in a “Work in Progress” type of state. We have a lot of facilities and means that most nations simply don’t and we also lack a lot of structures and facilities that others do. So, to navigate I tell my self only one truth, I belong to a blessed country with a lot of problems. Problems with solutions. As a creator, I might be able to help solve some of those. How can I help?, by looking for what problems I can solve with my art. It may be selling art and investing in the country with anything I can, it’s something I’ll eventually think about. But, my navigation dictates that I see the positives and build on them.
AL: Anyway way you plan on helping to make sure your art endorses this positive you see?
RO: Yes, but I can’t go into to much detail because it is in the planning faze and I don’t want to spoil it. But I’ve noticed that a lot of the young ones right now are eager to work. Not just for the money but a lot of them/us have the passion. I say us because well, I’m not even in my 20s yet so I’m one of them. Right now, a lot of teens are making music, art, a lot even have a passion for science as little as 10 and want to be doctors and inventors. I mean I wasn’t even that sure of what I wanted at 10. Point is, they’re the ones that will change things. We’re just here to spark the flame. I want to channel their passion. For those in the field I’m studying now that’s computer interested kids. I want to change how they’re taught computer in school. I believe it’s just not right. So aside from being an artist, I want to use the money I make out of it to change their ways of learning computer and from there expand to helping those interested in art stay in tune with their passion for visuals. I really just want to make things better for the ones coming.  They’re the positives. They’re energetic and enthusiastic and they don’t see all the bad things happening around us.
AL: Kindly explain your idea and angle for the poster you’d be making for Lucid Lemons?
RO: I’m happy you asked. I completed the idea this morning and I’ll be creating in very soon.
It’s called “within”.
It’s going to be two blending silhouettes of a child in an adult’s body. It portrays myself and how I believe every person is, an inner child making creations in their adult body.
AL: Last words of expression to every dreamer?
RO: No matter how long it takes, no matter who doesn’t believe in you. You can do it.
Raymond Ohikhuare Okhidievbie From Lagos, Nigeria. The Visualist of the New Age shares his views.
Inquiries: okhidievbie.raymond@gmail.com
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