Centre Stage: Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simi Badiru

Centre Stage: Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simi Badiru

In todays’ version of Centre Stage, I share components of my conversations with Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simisola Badiru. Feyikemi and Simisola – fondly nicknamed “F&S” by secondary classmates years in the past – have been latest grantees of Spotify’s Africa Podcast Fund which was introduced in October 2022.

On each episode of “F&S Uncensored”, Feyikemi and Simisola focus on popular culture, Nigerian music, and share private experiences like several finest pal duo would in actual life. 

F&S Uncensored

I’m bringing F&S to the Centre Stage as a result of their podcast—which covers every thing from Nigerian popular culture, their private lives, new music they’re listening to, and rather more—is a bridge that connects many Nigerians within the diaspora to a house they miss and love. 

F&S Uncensored meets the Africa Podcast Fund

Feyikemi Akin-Bankole: We knew Spotify had plans to announce the grantees that day, however we didn’t know what time the announcement would go dwell on social media. We simply randomly opened our Twitter and noticed ‘congratulatory’ messages in our mentions. 

Simisola Badiru: It was really your tweet that broke the information; once I noticed my mentions blowing up, I assumed I used to be in hassle or one thing. 

Badiru and Akin-Bankole have been two out of 13 burgeoning African creators who have been chosen to be part of the Africa Podcast Fund initiative. Different grantees embrace Joseph Nti, host of Easy Accra, a well-loved Ghanaian podcast (Ghana); Joan, Kibz, Nyamita, and Owen, co-hosts of The Sandwich Podcast (Kenya); and Gugulethu Nyatsuma, host of After College is After College with Sis G.U (South Africa). 

FAB: We felt like we deserved to be on the listing. We’ve been working “F&S Uncensored” for 4 years now and being part of the Africa Fund is a win for us. 

SB: Additionally after a number of years of working a podcast, you might be sure to expertise some stagnancy and monotony; however we made a promise to ourselves to be as disciplined as attainable with “F&S Uncensored”. For instance, we report our episodes each Sunday. No excuses. 

And their self-discipline paid off as a result of “F&S Uncensored” has a 4.9-star score and 100+ optimistic evaluations on Spotify. However earlier than Akin-Bankole and Badiru launched their podcast, they fashioned a sustainable friendship over their shared love of Nigerian music and conversational gist.

Feyikemi Akin-Bankole

F&S Uncensored: Friendship, music, and preserving issues genuine

SB: Feyikemi and I met on the primary day at secondary faculty. She was speaking to my youthful brother and form of invited me to affix the dialog. However I wasn’t having it as a result of I actually didn’t wish to go to that faculty; my coronary heart was set on Greensprings. I positively had a foul perspective at first.

FAB: Sure, you probably did. 

SB: However we ended up in the identical class and over time fashioned a friendship.

FAB: We found that there was a mutual love for Nigerian music and Wizkid

SB: And again then, individuals in our social circles didn’t actually price Nigerian music like that. However Feyikemi and I have been obsessive about the Naija sound and have been actually plugged into the {industry}. 

Lengthy earlier than Ayodeji “Wizkid” Balogun grew to become a worldwide music phenomenon, his debut studio album, ‘Celebrity’, was filled with tracks which have stood the check of time. Songs like Pakurumo, Scatter the Flooring, and Love My Child are basic songs cherished by individuals of all ages and pedigrees. 

In 2021, Flutterwave introduced Wizkid as its global brand ambassador and face of its remittances answer, Ship. Flutterwave isn’t the primary African fintech model to carry a Nigerian superstar on board as a model ambassador; Chipper Money launched its companies in the US with some help from Damini “Burna Boy” Ogulu

With a number of awards below Wizkid’s belt, together with 1 GRAMMY, 2 BETs, and an Apple Music “Artist of the Yr (Africa) Award, it’s secure to imagine that Akin-Bankole and Badiru noticed a future celebrity lengthy earlier than everybody else caught on. 

FAB: We have been early followers of Wizkid even when lots of our mates didn’t perceive why we cherished him a lot. 

SB: However have a look at Wizkid now, proper? Everybody loves Wizkid, together with non-Nigerians. This was not the case again in 2011/2012.

Not solely did Akin-Bankole and Badiru bond over their love for music, additionally they shared mutual pursuits in media and attending dwell music live shows and festivals in Lagos, even at a younger age. 

SB: One thing about seeing crimson carpets and tables at live shows made me realise I needed to work in media in my lifetime.

FAB: And since we at all times went to those occasions collectively and overtly talked about our experiences at school, individuals nicknamed us, “F&S”.

SB: We even had a joint thirteenth birthday celebration as “F&S”. So once we determined to begin this podcast 4 years in the past, we didn’t have a tough time arising with a reputation. 

FAB: We added “uncensored” to the title as a method to encourage us to speak about something and every thing with out censorship. 

SB: We began off by specializing in our love and keenness for music after which over time, we lined every thing from college life to quitting jobs to transferring again to Nigeria and even going by NYSC 

FAB: And though I don’t presently dwell in Nigeria, I nonetheless know what’s happening again dwelling due to the conversations I’ve with Simi on the podcast. “F&S Uncensored” represents Nigerians who dwell all over the world; we join them to dwelling though they’re away from dwelling. 

Simisola Badiru

F&S Uncensored: Work/life steadiness, favorite artists, and Spotify playlists

Although Akin-Bankole and Badiru are verified residents of Technology Z, they’ve spectacular profession milestones below their belt with a transparent potential for explosive development. Badiru, for instance, curated music for Apple, supplied editorial companies for Tradition Custodian and till lately, was an account govt at LSFPR, a Nigerian-owned PR company. 

SB: I’ve at all times labored with inventive organisations so discovering a steadiness between my 9-5 job and private tasks hasn’t been troublesome for me. I presently work for TRACE as Head of Artist Providers & Relationships and my function gives lots of flexibility which has allowed me to nurture my inventive facet. 

Akin-Bankole’s desk job is in Human Sources, however her work expertise is refreshingly various and industry-agnostic. Like her co-host and finest pal, Akin-Bankole curated music playlists for a media firm – Bounce Networks – and did editorial work for Tradition Custodian

FAB: I’m a extra disciplined particular person due to my 9-5 job and I apply that self-discipline once I’m doing my inventive work. I give my time to my company job however after the workday ends, my inventive facet involves life; I hearken to music, ship new songs to Simi, and work on the podcast. I really feel like I’ve a work-life steadiness, however I deliberately put money into my inventive profession. 

After the dialog wrapped up, I requested Simi and Feyikemi to share new artists, playlists, and songs that they presently have on rotation. All their suggestions might be discovered on Spotify.

Simisola Badiru’s listening listing

F&S Rotations
  • About Time – Sudxn ft. Fadi
  • SOS – 9t9
  • Africa Warmth

Feyikemi Akin-Bankole’s listening listing

RADAR Africa
  • SGawd
  • Mafeni
  • Jorda Rae
  • Gone Overseas
  • Ginger Me

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