Introducing White Man Periwinkle, a 22-year-old Nigerian singer who lives in a community in Lagos called Akoko, which is seven miles away from Ojuelegba, which Wizkid made famous internationally. Born Omotore Adebayo 22 years ago, White Man's day job is catching periwinkles: small black snails that live in river by his house which are used to make cement for Nigerian roads. We discovered him last year through his manager Sunday Are, who also works with Wizkid, while shooting together for an episode of 'NOISEY' on VICELAND.
"It's not easy for me at the moment because I don't have a record label yet," he told me down the phone yesterday from Lagos. "A lot of people are interested in me but I really need a record label to reach out that can invest in me. Some money is coming in because clubs want White Man to host the party because they know when I'm there I really cheer these clubs up. I've got about 20 songs recorded but we need somebody to support us."
One person who is supporting White Man is Walshy Fire from Major Lazer who was impressed by the footage we shot of White Man in Lagos. Now there's a song and a video shot by Wizkid's videographer Jassy Generation for the song "Ghetto." It's a great example of how great music is pouring out of even the poorest parts of Lagos, thanks to cheapening technology and internet that is actually beginning to work these days. I talked to Walshy Fire about his relationship with White Man.
Noisey: What made you reach out to White Man Periwinkle?
Walshy Fire: I just saw your footage and I loved his energy, his look, and his voice. I could picture him on stage. I think people are gonna enjoy watching him perform because of his energy. One of my partners Kubiyashi made a rhythm album called "Chicken and Dumplin'" and we sent it to White Man and he came back with this track "Ghetto." There's so much good music coming out of Africa now.
The whole Afro Caribbean world is really making amazing things right now. Like, Major Lazer's last EP Know No Better is a very Afro-centric sound. The vibe of this White Man thing is like a 90s dancehall thing, riding around in a car with 15-inch speakers. And you are collecting a bunch of artists like this together for a release, right?
I'm getting a lot of music together for an Africa meets the Caribbean album right now. It's gonna be called "Abeng," which is a bullhorn, which is how African people used to communicate with each other from long distances. It's finished and we're gonna submit to the Grammys in a few weeks. The culture is continuing to grow and it's a blessing. Things like the documentary you did and other things like Drake always supporting is helping shed light on this great movement.
Andy Capper is the director of 'Noisey' and the executive producer of 'The Therapist,' both on VICELAND. Follow him on Twitter.