For the latest entry in our Conversations With interview series, HYPEBEAST linked up with Jidenna to talk about his new album 85 to Africa, the future of African music, his evolution as an artist and more.
In 2015 Jidenna broke out in the music industry with his “Classic Man,” his hit single that peaked at No. 22 on the Hot 100. The song, along with Jidenna debonair style was all over the music scene, turning him from the unknown Nigerian protégé of Janelle Monáe to a potential superstar. However, following the release of The Chief, his major-label debut in 2017. Jidenna spent the next two years, out of the limelight and in Africa, where he would not only make his next project but grow as a person.
“I was still figuring out how to show myself as a multidimensional person. I made ["Classic Man"] in a basement in East Flatbush, New York. And I made it because of the plumbers, the custodians, all the people in the neighborhood, I wanted to give them a sense of pride. What I wanted to do with this project was to easily and effortlessly show myself with the different shades of a man, the different shades of an artist.”
85 To Africa, which dropped last month, is an 11-track album that includes features from GoldLink, Mr. Eazi, Mereba and more plus previously released tracks such as “Sufi Woman” and “Tribe.”