Name: Phiona


Bio: Phiona Okumu has written for Y Magazine, Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, Elle, Straight No Chaser, Shook, Arise, etc. Her favourite Africans are Kenyans, and then Ghanaians. But she's neither. Often she can be found navigating the social media maze to engage with world-wise, afro-centred, Hip-hop predisposed peers. Follow her on

Posts by ophiona:

    Listen+Download: Temi Dollface’s New Single ‘Just Like That (Story)’

    October 29th, 2014

    Back like you never heard before, the drama soul queen Temi Dollface part raps and part sings on this Just Like That (Story) - the first single off her forth-coming EP. Listen to and download the track below she composed, arranged and and co-produced with producer Jo Pee.

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    Watch: Okmalumkoolkat’s Chris Saunders-Directed New Video

    August 27th, 2014

    The second video off Okmalumkoolkat’s 4-track Holy Oxygen I EP produced by LuckyMe signing Cid Rim and Affine labelmate The Clonious. This collaboration came to life during the Viennese producers’ South African tour with stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

    The video for Allblackblackkat was directed by Chris Saunders who will celebrate the premiere of the SA-NYC fashion/photography exhibition NOT x Chris Saunders in early September.

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    Spoek Mathambo’s Fantasma Share Track from Forthcoming ‘Eye of the Sun EP’

    August 27th, 2014

    Fantasma have shared the first song from their forthcoming Eye of the Sun EP set for release 3rd November via Soundway Records. Premiered via The Quietus, Sefty Belt features the mesmerizing vocals of guest artist JOSIAHWISE IS THE SERPENTWITHFEET.
    Fantasma, the latest project of South African innovator and creative pioneer Spoek Mathambo, is a five-man collective which weaves together electronica, hip-hop, traditional Zulu maskandi music, shangaan electro, South African house, psych-rock and punk to form a unique, original and fresh hybrid.
    The godfather of ‘Bacardi House’, producer DJ Spoko joins with former Machineri guitarist André Heldenhuys, drummer Michael Buchanan and maskandi multi-instrumentist Bhekisenzo Cele to complete the line up.
    Fused by Spoek Mathambo’s futurist vision, Fantasma pulls inspiration from all corners of South Africa: the sounds and spirits of townships and cities as well as the rural countryside.
    Fantasma’s debut album will be available early next year and a series of live European dates will be announced shortly.

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    Watch ‘Power-Ups’, The New Video From Sammus

    August 25th, 2014

    Directed by Jay Sprogell (Complex, Fader, Spin, Vibe), Power-Ups is the first video from upstate NY producer + rapper Sammus’ latest kickstarter-backed EP, Another M (June 2014). Armed with Sprogell’s characteristically stunning visuals, the video finds Sammus doing some slick space age shit talk over a self-produced soundbed of classic southern trap blended with her signature expansive 8 bit synth sound, all while stuntin’ on a stoop rocking an anything-but-typical accessory in this tribute to Metroid.


    Listen to Christian Rich’s ‘Better To’ Featuring DWNTWN

    May 19th, 2014

    It’s hard to believe it’s already been 5 years since Afripopmag first caught up with the twin sibling artist duo Christian Rich, at the time on the eve of their 2009 album The Decadence. Kehinde and Taiwo Hassan have not let up in anyway. You might have picked up their names in the credits for albums by Drake, Chris Brown, Childish Gambino, Earl Sweatshirt and Denitia and Sene among others. The focus returns entirely for the gifted duo whose charming sumery single Better To features fellow LA dwellers DWNTWN and has us fully anticipating a full-length record.

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    Patoranking Features Tiwa Savage on His “Girlie ‘O’” Remix (Listen+Download)

    May 19th, 2014

    Patoranking, the Nigerian reggae/dancehall artiste that hit us with two enormous tracks (Alubarika and Girlie ‘O’)

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    has returned with a remix to his second hit single. Girlie ‘O’ Remix features Mavin Records’ sultry first lady Tiwa Savage, is produced by WizzPro and is downloadable here. Have a listen to it below.

    1 Comment "

    Badi and Youssoupha Rep Kinshasa on ‘#234′ (Listen+Download)

    May 13th, 2014

    Badi features in this tag team I’ve wanted to see happen for some time with the mighty Youssoupha (who, by the way, makes a welcome first-time entry into MTV Base Africa lexicon as he is nominated in the Best Francophone category). In case you’ve not worked it out already, 234 is the international dialling code for Kinshasa. The song is meant for a new compilation on the way titled Talents 2 Kin. The two muse darkly about their home country Congo and Africa as a whole, sampling Congolese musical giant Franco Luambo’s classic ‘Massu’. I’m told Badi intends to pursue same direction, repurposing golden age Rumba for his forth-coming. A good look if you ask me. Meanwhile Youssoupha is in studio also working on his next, Negritude. Expect heat!

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    AfriPOP it or Drop it? Major Lazer and Wiwek Remix Davido’s ‘Skelewu’

    April 27th, 2014

    It’s very clear that Davido is single-mindedly chasing world domination. His trump card is the monster single Skelewu. I have it on good authority that some dance music heavies were called on to submit remixes for the track. Presumably this was the first result, a collaboration from Holland’s Wiwek and Major Lazer. It’s a fairly tame EDM’d version that’s

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    sure to get its notice in the places where associate Diplo gets noticed, so smart move on the part of team Omo Baba Olowo. More so as he is the likely big sweeper at this year’s MTV Base Africa (come-back) Music Awards where he’s scored four nominations. But do we love it? Enough to buy it when it’s out on May 12th? Watch the video of the original version above, then listen to the remix below and make your choice…

    1 Comment "

    Watch MNEK’s New Video ‘Every Little Word’

    April 25th, 2014

    Friday + MNEK = My

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    And The MTV Base African Music Award Nominees For 2014 Are…

    April 16th, 2014

    The biggest and brightest contemporary artists from across the African continent and beyond were nominated in 15 different categories including Best Male, Best Female, Song of the Year and Artist of the Year.  Broadening the scope of the MAMA awards franchise, achievement in non-music fields was recognised in “Personality of the Year”, and “Transform Today by Absolut”, an award designed to recognize and support young, emerging and original African creative talents who use their imagination to fuel social transformation and bring positive attention to the continent.

    Tied for first place in the nominations were South African artists Mafikizolo and Uhuru, and Nigerian artist Davido, who each scored 4 nominations while going directly head-to-head for Song of the Year, Artist of the Year and Best Collaboration.  Following closely behind with 3 nominations each were Nigerian artists P Square (Best Group, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year), South Africa’s Mi Casa (Best Group, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year), and Angolan artist Yuri Da Cunha (Song of the Year, Best Lusophone and Best Collaboration).  Hot on their heels with two nods each were Angolan star Anselmo Ralph (Best Male, Best Lusophone), Nigeria’s Wizkid (Best Male, Best Collaboration); Gabonese artist Arielle T (Best Female, Best Francophone) and Diamond from Tanzania (Best Male, Best Collaboration).

    The MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal supported by Absolut takes place in South Africa for the first time on 7 June 2014. Held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), the awards will air live across the continent at 21:00 CAT on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and MTV (DStv Channel 130).

    The MAMA nominations in full:


    Best Male:

    Anselmo Ralph (Angola)

    Davido (Nigeria)

    Diamond (Tanzania)

    Donald (South Africa)

    Wizkid (Nigeria)


    Best Female:

    Arielle T (Gabon)

    Chidinma (Nigeria)

    DJ C’ndo (South Africa)

    Efya (Ghana)

    Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)


    Best Group:

    Big Nuz (South Africa)

    Mafikizolo (South Africa)

    Mi Casa (South Africa)

    P Square (Nigeria)

    Sauti Sol (Kenya)


    Best New Act:

    Burna Boy (Nigeria)

    Heavy K (South Africa)

    Phyno (Nigeria)

    Stanley Enow (Cameroon)

    Uhuru (South Africa)


    Best Live Act:

    2face (Nigeria)

    Fally Ipupa (DRC)

    Flavour (Nigeria)

    Dr Malinga (South Africa)

    Zakes Bantwini (South Africa)


    Best Collaboration:

    Amani ft Radio and Weasel – ‘Kiboko Changu’ (Kenya/Uganda)

    Diamond feat Davido – ‘Number One’ (Remix) (Tanzania/Nigeria)

    Mafikizolo feat May D – ‘Happiness’ (South Africa/Nigeria)

    R2bees feat Wizkid – ‘Slow Down’ (Ghana/Nigeria)

    Uhuru feat DJ Buckz, Oskido, Professor, Yuri Da Cunha – ‘Y-tjukutja’ (South Africa/Angola)


    Artist of the Year:

    Davido (Nigeria)

    Mafikizolo (South Africa)

    Mi Casa (South Africa)

    P Square (Nigeria)

    Uhuru (South Africa)


    Song of the Year:

    Davido- ‘Skelewu’ (Nigeria)

    DJ Clock feat Beatenberg – ‘Pluto’ (Remember Me) (South Africa)

    DJ Ganyani feat FB – ‘Xigubu’ (South Africa)

    DJ Kent feat The Arrows –‘Spin My World Around’ (South Africa)

    Dr Sid feat Don Jazzy – ‘Surulere’ (Nigeria)

    KCee – ‘Limpopo’ (Nigeria)

    Mafikizolo feat Uhuru ‘Khona’ (South Africa)

    Mi Casa- ‘Jika’ (South Africa)

    P Square – ‘Personally’ (Nigeria)

    Yuri Da Cunha -‘Atchu Tchu Tcha’ (Angola)


    Best Hip Hop:

    AKA (South Africa)

    Ice Prince (Nigeria)

    Khuli Chana (South Africa)

    Olamide (Nigeria)

    Sarkodie (Ghana)


    Best Pop:

    Danny K (South Africa)

    Fuse ODG (Ghana)

    Goldfish (South Africa)

    LCNVL (South Africa)

    Mathew Mole (South Africa)


    Best Alternative:

    Gangs of Ballet (South Africa)

    Michael Loman (South Africa)

    Nakhane Toure (South Africa)

    Parlotones (South Africa)

    Shortstraw (South Africa)


    Best Francophone:

    Arielle T (Gabon)

    Espoir 2000 (Ivory Coast)

    Ferre Gola (DRC)

    Toofan (Togo)

    Youssoupha (Congo)


    Best Lusophone:

    Anselmo Ralph (Angola)

    JD (Angola)

    Lizha James (Mozambique)

    Nelson Freitas (Cape Verde)

    Yuri Da Cunha (Angola)



    Personality of the Year:

    Chimamanda Adiche – Writer (Nigeria)

    Omotola Jalade Ekeinde – Actress (Nigeria)

    Trevor Noah- Comedian (South Africa)

    Lupita Nyong’o - Actress (Kenya)

    Yaya Toure – Soccer Player (Cote d’Ivoire)


    Transform Today by Absolut

    Anisa Mpungwe (Tanzania)

    Clarence Peters (Nigeria)

    Leti Arts (Ghana)

    Rasty (South Africa)

    Voting for the MTV Africa Music Awards is open at from 16 April 2014 until midnight on 4 June 2014.

    Excerpted from MTV Base official press release

    Image credit: Nairobi Wire



    Watch ‘Lagos Lullabye’, Siji’s New Video

    April 16th, 2014

    Lagos Lullabye is Siji’s first single off his album Homegrown. I just got word from him that the video is out. In his own words:

    I’d always loved Scorsese’s Taxi Driver particularly the scene in which the protagonist, Travis Bickle drives his cab around the mean and seedy streets of New York city’s Times Square.

    Taking a cue from this timeless classic, I sought to take in and showcase the grittier side of Lagos in line with the songs candid lyrics. My kinsman and co-producer, Ade Bantu was on hand to capture me singing my heart away in the cramped backseat of our gypsy cab as it snaked its way past police check points, busy market streets, grinding traffic, admiring fans and petty traders, all of which make up this colorful and manic metropolis.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Las Gidi (Lagos) in all it’s rugged and funky technicolor glory. Kindly enjoy and remember to share this with all your friends globally.

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    Watch Culoe De Song’s ‘No Contest/Lovin Marvin’ Video

    April 15th, 2014

    I once got into a conversation with Culoe De Song who has one of the most philosophical minds I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting into. We touched on everything from Cape Town hipsters to religion and culture. When it came to the topic of his latest album Exodus, the South African house music stalwart at 23 was resolute about its objective of mainstream domination. Exodus, it turns out, is a movement, and Culoe, its Moses leading the masses to a musical promised land. So far the journey has yielded some of his most radio-friendly hits to date. No Contest is a known burner with true-blue Afro-house fans, which now along with a personal favourite Lovin Marvin featuring vocalist Happy gets this dance-off video treatment.

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    Listen to Kwabs’ New Single ‘Something Right’ Produced by SOHN

    April 13th, 2014

    By this account from the Guardian, the world is ready to receive Kwabs on stage, after being repeatedly bowled over by the mixtape, EP and songs we’ve heard, mostly produced by Venice-based producer SOHN, his usual partner in soulful devastation. Their latest pairing makes one feel like apocalypse is at hand and the only refuge is Kwabs’ towering baritone as a fortress. Save us!

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    Listen to MNEK’s ‘Every Little Word’

    April 12th, 2014

    Loyal as ever to the golden era that shaped him, my fave MNEK hovers around the 90s on this almost-single with production inspired by Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins. He wrote it while on tour with Rudimental, and premiered it on BBC 1Xtra on Mista Jam’s show. It’s another assured stride enroute to the album from the Virgin/EMI signee on whose every word I have been hanging since his early teen start in music.

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    Watch Nneka’s New Video ‘Sleep’ Featuring Ms Dynamite

    April 12th, 2014

    I can’t think of a better match than these two. I have to say, when Ms Dynamite and Shy FX’s single Cloud 9 surfaced last October life got exciting again and a full new album can’t come soon enough.

    Also has it really been 13 years since Booo! My gosh, it has!

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