Today in #TheLagosReview

Rihanna Adresses New Album On Her British Vogue Feature

Music queen, Rihanna is the latest star to grace the cover of British Vogue, the May 2020 issue, and as expected she looks absolutely amazing.

Check out a few excerpts from her interview below:

On making new music, she said:

I can’t say when I’m going to drop, but I am very aggressively working on music. I don’t want my albums to feel like themes. There are no rules. There’s no format. There’s just good music, and if I feel it, I’m putting it out.

When asked if it will be a reggae album, Rihanna replies

That is happening. I feel like I have no boundaries. I’ve done everything, I’ve done all the hits, I’ve tried every genre now I’m just, I’m wide open. I can make anything that I want.

On building a family she says:

I’m working like this now so that I don’t have to in the future. I know I will want to live differently.

When asked where she sees herself in 10 years, she says, in a distinctively Bajan tone of disbelief:

Ten years? I’ll be 42! I’ll be ancient. I’ll have kids three or four of ’em.

I feel like society makes me want to feel like, ‘Oh, you got it wrong…’ They diminish you as a mother if there’s not a dad in your kids’ lives. But the only thing that matters is happiness, that’s the only healthy relationship between a parent and a child. That’s the only thing that can raise a child truly, is love.

Podcast listenership drops amid corona virus crisis.

There’s been a certain amount of debate in the last fortnite about whether music streaming isn’t, in fact, getting a spike in usage as more people work from home. Here’s some more possible context for that: perhaps non-radio audio is what’s getting a bit of a hit.

Podcast analytics firm Podtrac has been looking at its data for podcasts, and according to news site WWD “downloads in the space overall have dropped about 10 percent since the start of March” while “total unique listeners also dropped roughly 20 percent in the same time frame”. The drop is particularly noticeable since 9 March, too. “Podtrac found that last week, the entire American audience for podcasts fell 8 percent after declining 2 percent the week prior,” reported WWD. As to why this is happening, that’s still a subject for speculation. Was a large percentage of people’s podcast listening happening on their commute, for example? Are they more likely to be watching TV or tuning in to live radio while at home? We’ll surely get some survey-based data from some of the research firms soon to shed more light on this.

Text excluding title courtesy music Ally

Apple, Spotify and Deezer Gather New Pandemic Data.

Streaming services have been talking about their latest actions and data amid the coronavirus pandemic. Apple Music has a new hub called ‘Come Together’ gathering new playlists including ‘Isolation Icebreakers’, ‘Work From Home Hustle’ and ‘Living Room Dance Party’, starting in the US and UK before rolling out globally.

Spotify has published some data on the impact social distancing and isolation is having on its listening trends: more listening to news podcasts; kids and family content; and chillout and classical music. Spotify also said that it’s seeing clear spikes in listening for artists who’ve been livestreaming concerts, citing James Blake, Ben Gibbard and Code Orange as three examples.

Deezer also has some insights into changed listening behaviour: its daily spike for listening has shifted from rush hour (around 7am) to 9am-10am, while also pinpointing a 10-day ‘shock’ stage where people’s usage declines, before recovering again. Again, mood-focused playlists are having a spike.

Deezer also started promoting a three-month free trial of its Premium, Family and HiFi subscriptions yesterday: a sign that social distancing may be a cue for a new phase in the streaming subscriptions marketing battle.

Text excluding title courtesy music Ally

Tech firms expand access to free e-books during Coronavirus lockdown

Browser provider Opera and international non-profit Worldreader are expanding access to e-books for children and students via the Opera Mini browser during the coronavirus crisis.

From last week, Worldreader has been offering a new selection of e-books to all Opera Mini users, as well as a new web app designed for children.

The new app, BookSmart from Worldreader, offers a wide variety of e-books dedicated to children, while the regular version will continue providing e-books for young adult readers.

The Worldreader app features hundreds of books in different categories, including health and careers. More than 100,000 people already use the app each month via the Opera Mini browser.

“When considering how to mitigate learning loss in a pandemic, it should be a priority to address supporting reading skills and engagement with books, bridging the gap until schools are in session again,” said Rebecca Chandler-Leege, Worldreader’s chief impact officer, in a statement.

“Through mobile technology, we are able to support the distribution of e-books and attend to the needs of millions thanks to the massive reach of the Opera Mini browser in Africa.”

According to Unesco, as of March 24, 82 per cent of the world’s learners had been shut out of traditional schooling and education programmes due to social distancing.

School closures can result in significant learning losses for students. In response to this global health crisis, Unesco is supporting the implementation of large-scale distance learning programmes and recommending open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely.

Since 2015, Opera and Worldreader have promoted literacy worldwide, with greater attention in Africa to enable millions of people to read free books.

However, according to the head of marketing and distribution at Opera, Jørgen Arnesen, there are several barriers in certain African communities to access online educational materials, especially when schools are shut down.

These include high data costs, low-tech phones and slow mobile networks.

“Throughout Africa, mobile data is very expensive and the Opera Mini browser is popular in Africa due to its ability to reduce web page sizes and save up to 90 per cent of their mobile data,” said Mr Arnesen.

“We believe that millions of children and students can benefit from our partnership with Worldreader, and access educational online content while the Covid-19 outbreak lasts.”

According to the 2019 edition of the Global Digital Report, there are more than 437 million Internet users in Africa, presenting a great opportunity to increase online reading.

“The low bandwidth required on the Opera Mini browser means that readers use less data when accessing the Worldreader app – which is vital for youth in remote communities with slow networks,” said Ms Chandler-Leege.

For children and youth, reading can support literacy skills, the acquisition of 21st-century skills, and boost work preparedness, self-help and health education, while also offering the opportunity to visit worlds beyond their own despite real-time travel being limited by social distancing requirements.

Both apps can be accessed from the Opera Mini browser after tapping on the Worldreader speed dial icon. Once accessed, users will be able to access the new BookSmart app. Worldreader currently works in 138 schools and 81 libraries, and has provided access to 1.9 million books.

Sound Sultan’s Drops New Album Titled, ‘8th Wondah’

Sound Sultan recently dropped his 8th studio album titled 8th Wondah.

The 17-track album is the follow-up to his 2016 album titled “Out of the Box” and features fellow Nigerian artists 2Baba, Wizkid, Teni, Falz, Mr Real, Olu Maintai, Peruzzi, Small Doctor and Johnny Drille.

8th Wondah starts off with a hip-hop leaning track titled “Something Like This” which then moves on to “Incase” featuring Falz. The track sounds like a fusion between hip-hop and Afrobeats with distinct synthesised sounds. Sound Sultan recruits Wizkid and 2Baba on “Ghesomo”, an Afrobeats number with a laidback and mid-tempo rhythm. The pace switches up in “Odo”, a vibrant track with just the right amount of bounce, featuring Teni, Mr Real and Olu Maintain. Johnny Drille hops onto “Area”, a romantic bop which sees the duo singing about love interests and heartbreak.

Sound Sultan features five additional bonus tracks including “Jungle”, “Tonop”, “Superwoman”, “Ghetto Love” and “Show Me Road”.

8th Wondah is the artist’s first official body of work for this year and it not only showcases his talent but documents his evolving sound and artistry.

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