Avril is known in Kenya as the queen of collabos. She’s done several featuring Kenyan artistes like Maria, Mustafa, King Kaka and Tanzanian rapper AY.
M.I on the other hand has been up to a lot since the last time he was on the show. He’s now the Chairman of Nigeria’s top music label: Chocolate City. He says: “Avril is such a sweetheart and focused. She is quick to listen, you don’t get to this level of success without being sure of yourself but to be sure to take directions – something I am learning from her. Cobhams is simply a legend – he symbolizes the creativity of Nigerian music. Shout out to the whole crew from season one – everybody has done a great job again.”
To bring to life this season’s new mash up format, Africa’s most futuristic producers have worked on the show. Cobhams is among the few producers who is also a singer/songwriter. He expresses: “I am excited to be here and I’ve had an amazing time working with these artistes. Coke Studio Africa is about collaborations and indeed some of the best collaborations to come out of Africa have been born on this stage. Working with Avril and M.I was an East Meets West challenging yet fun endeavour – having to take songs that come from very far divides to create one unique material presented me with the opportunity to work with people who outside of this setting, I’d still love to work with. What we did is nothing short of my best!”
Behind the scenes isn’t only blood, sweat and tears but a lot of fun too, as Avril reveals: “M.I is fantastic to work with, he’s a very funny guy and hilarious! His energy and passion for the music industry is phenomenal,” adding, “Zwai Bala the music director also helped a lot. I am listening to my music a little better than I did when I was writing it because of how Cobhams found components to re-do my music. Before this I was feeling a little bit bored but now I have found a different creative space to tap into.”
In addition to mash up performances, the new season of Coke Studio Africa has two-minute long solo artiste showcases, cyphers and radio mixes that will be available on mixcloud.
“Music has the power to tear down the walls that Africa has over generations built around ourselves. All of a sudden our music is coming out irrespective of borders, bringing us closer. It’s amazing to see the culture travelling. Coke Studio Africa is a big step in bringing Africa together through music,” concludes M.I.