International afrobeats artist and award-winning Nigerian music star REEKADO BANKS has linked up with fast-rising Nigerian crooner FIREBOY DML for a massive new remix of his ‘OZUMBA MBADIWE’ hit single. Produced by Grammy Award nominated Nigerian musician P.Priime (Wizkid, Olamide, Buju), and titled after the expressway that leads to Lekki Toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria where peaceful protesters were massacred for protesting against police brutality in October 2020, the original ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ track is currently topping radio and TV charts on the continent and has shot past 12 million streams, with the exciting new remix with Fireboy set to take the record to even greater new heights. He spoke with Wonderland for an interview to talk about the remix.
For what is surely going to be the first of many collaborations between Reekado and Fireboy, their ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe (Remix)’ is a captivating afrofusion opus with infectious pop melodies and lush amapiano sensibilities that are held together by a level of reflective lyricism from both artists, not-too-often seen in today’s pop music landscape. While Reekado Banks takes time to stand in solidarity with the victims of the #EndSars protest massacre on the original song, the remix sees Fireboy DML – who is currently sitting at the top of the Official UK Singles Chart with his breakthrough song ‘Peru’ featuring Ed Sheeran – in an introspective mood as he questions his pursuit for stardom and quest for wealth.
‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ has not only birthed the monster Fireboy DML remix, but Reekado Banks has also called upon some of his artist friends from across Africa for a star-studded ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ Remix EP. Among the collaborations on the EP are Ghanaian pop start KIDI, with a rallying call for us to keep going despite our losses through the pandemic, Tanzanian singer Rayvanny, who speaks to achieve your goals regardless of opposition, award-winning Ivorian rap artist Elow’n, and South African innovator Lady Du, who offers up a warped remix of the track, unearthing its amapiano influences even further.
Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ and the remix with Fireboy, Reekado Banks says, “‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ captures a few different subject matters, but the most important is me paying homage to the victims of the #EndSars protest massacre. I was one of the protesters at Lekki Toll Gate before I had to travel, so the massacre at the Toll Gate cut deep for me, because it happened less than 48 hours after I left, and I just can’t shake that feeling. With the remix, I wanted someone that could add a different perspective to the record. Fireboy has been one of my favourite artists for a while now and he has made his love for this record public, so I thought he’ll be a good fit for a remix, and he smoked it”.
Since he burst onto the scene in 2014, Reekado Banks has fast-become revered as one of Africa’s most exciting hitmakers, with over 200 million plays under his belt, multiple awards to his name, and hit songs with the likes of Wizkid and Tiwa Savage. His debut album Spotlight charted in the top 10 on the Billboard world music album chart, and in the last two years, he has released two critically acclaimed EPs – Off The Record, which birthed the hit record ‘Rora’ that Apple Music named among their best songs of 2020, and OTR Vol. 2, led by ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’, one of the continent’s biggest songs today.
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