Nigerian versatile artist, Blaqbonez has released his much-anticipated album “Sex Over Love”. The album is Blaqbonez’s truth, he explores different genres and presents himself with different personas making a statement that as an artist versatility is key.
When it comes to listening to an album or a song, as more often than not before you press play and enjoy the song, the first thing to catch your attention, is the accompanying cover art.
Aside having a competitive style of rap, Blaqbonez also pays attention to his art direction. I spoke to Nigerian artist Anthony Azekwoh about the creative process behind “Sex Over Love” and it’s details. Anthony also gave us insight into how he got to work with Blaqbonez.
Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. His has gathered worldwide attention for his art and writing and has worked with Show Dem Camp, Masego, Adekunle Gold, BlaqBonez and many more international clients. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya. He also has a series on Brittle Paper, Africa’s largest online literary magazine.
Before anything tell us about your art and how your passion for art was born.
I actually wasn’t very interested in visual art when I was younger. Art is a fairly recent skill that I acquired about four-five years ago. I feel like the potential it has to really captivate people in less than a second is something that is really interesting. Since then I’ve been thinking about or practicing art every single day I can.
Tell us the Story on how you got to work with Blaqbonez after the Tweet.
Oh, I’d been interested in Blaqbonez’s work for a while. His use of social media and honesty is something you don’t see much in the music scene. I was in this Clubhouse room where he was speaking and he talked about his album and how it would show the different phases of himself—Immediately, I knew I had to work on it, somehow. So, I put out the tweet the next day, and thankfully, the individuals on my TL are plugged enough to help me reach him and his manager.
How important are cover arts when it comes to music projects. The role it plays in drawing the attention of the audience to the music project.
Cover art is the audience’s first impression of your body of work and so, it’s really important to make it stand out. There are lots of songs or albums that I’ve listened to solely because of the artwork.
What was the creative process behind the artwork of “Sex Over Love”.
Oh, it was crazy and normal at the same time. I had to work with my friend to pose as a model for Blaqbonez since I wasn’t in Lagos at the time, and I worked with loads of images of him online. We were on a call for maybe an hour or two, talking about the concepts on Zoom while I drew. After that, we worked from sketch after sketch, improving our ideas time and time again. Then, I painted in black and white, getting the lighting right and then I added colour.
Can you give us the breakdown of the cover art? From Color choice, to the texture and the story.
So, the album Sex Over Love to Blaq represented how silly love was in the life he lived, I guess. The story was of this guy who brings roses for a date, gets all dressed up, but she never shows. His heart is broken then and it’s that moment we wanted to capture. That moment of heartbreak, of pain.
We actually have about five drafts of the same painting. So, the final painting you saw is maybe the sixth painting in the pipeline. The colors shifted gradually over time, to a more natural look that he wanted.
Aside Blaqbonez, you have worked with Show Dem Camp, Adekunle Gold, among Others. How has working with these artists defined your work and should we look forward to more cover art from you.
It’s made me a better artist for sure, dealing in these environments, and it’s definitely been cool to work with people whose work ethic I admire. For the future, I have crazier stuff in store. I love to outdo myself and I’ll keep doing that for a long time.
Explore more of Anthony Azekwoh’s work here.
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