DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : VANESSA WRUBLE OF OKAYAFRICA

Okayafrica editor Vanessa Wruble co-hosts a night of live music from the heart of Africa in the Amigo Room Saturday April 21 for Desert Gold. Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 present Chief Boima from Sierra Leone and Sinkane from Sudan, with Afro-futurist visuals by Just A Band from Kenya. See the full schedule and get a room.

Put some Okayafrica in your life long after the fires have cooled in the Amigo Room — check out their sick mixtape series, Africa in Your Earbuds, and tune into their video series, The Roots of…, where they trace artists’ DNA back to their real ancestral roots in Africa. So far, they’ve explored where ?uestlove, Q-Tip and Black Thought have come from on the continent. You can also catch them at The Roots Picnic in Philly in early June.

For now, take a little road trip with Vanessa. And we’ll see you Saturday night through the haze.

What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you?

The Okayafrica team hasn’t traveled soooo much in the good ole US of A recently, but we’ve been wowed by plenty of roadside attractions on our various travels to the Bright Continent.

Some of these include: a gorilla orphanage and a metal church built by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame) in Gabon, some unexpected child-manned checkpoints and roads covered by smashed mangoes during mango season in Sierra Leone, a hidden island full of magic and mermaids in Corisco, Equatorial Guinea, jungle-grown airplanes in Principé, flower farms in Sao Tome, and, one of our all-time faves, the Hot Sweet & Jumpy Relaxation House (a “ramping shop” – google it!).

Also don’t want to forget our favorite ride –- a “poda-poda” called “Destiny Is Unknown.” Holler.

If there was a highway named after you, where would it begin and end? Points between?

It would go from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to Brooklyn, NY –- an overpass (longest bridge in the world?). How cool would that be???? Maybe we’d name it after our hot ride: “Destiny Is Unknown Overpass.”

Who is your ideal road trip mate, living or dead?

Fela Kuti –- riding around in his speedos, smokin’ spliffs and raging against the machine –- what could be better? This is how we picture him…

Favorite song or band to listen to on a road trip? Do you have any songs you search the dials for? Be honest.

The FOKN BOIS make us feel good n’ dirty, Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew gets us hyped, Just a Band puts us in an electro groove, and Fela Kuti gets our “yansh” shakin’. You can find alla them here.

Best unexpectedly amazing thing you’ve seen on a road trip.

A double rainbow. Kidding. Kind of.


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