What I May Destroy You’s Weruche Opia Is Listening to Right Now

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The actress who performs Terry on the highly effective HBO present chats about J. Cole, WizKid, and extra

Weruche Opia
Photo by Aham Ibeleme, graphic by Drew Litowitz

In one other life, Weruche Opia would’ve been a rapper. “If I could sing and rap, I would be hitting all the areas like Drake,” the 32-year-old emphasizes from an area in her bed room particularly reserved for Zoom calls. This will not be that life, although her present path is fairly good, too: She’s a co-star on BBC One and HBO’s I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s sprawling and suspenseful tv sequence a few girl and her group of mates and the consequences of intercourse and consent on their lives. It’s among the best TV exhibits of the yr. Opia has been a breakout star as Terry, the struggling-actress greatest pal of Michaela Coel’s Arabella.

I May Destroy You stands out in so some ways—from Michaela Coel and Sam Miller’s course to Coel’s scripts—however the present’s soundtrack has been a revelation. Every tune selection seems like a pure a part of the characters’ lives. In the sixth episode, a sequence of flashback scenes centered on teenage variations of Arabella and Terry are soundtracked completely by UK storage. It’s an expertise Opia can relate to, as a youngster who had moved to the UK from Nigeria, making an attempt to slot in at under-18 golf equipment by sipping on non-alcoholic sugar drinks and listening to storage music.

But Opia’s actual love was for the American hip-hop and R&B rising within the early ’00s. She blushes when she displays on the Bow Wow and B2K CDs she purchased. In current years, her style has developed to incorporate the rising Nigerian pop scene, the place a few of her favourite music is at the moment being made. This mixture has shaped her well-rounded and culturally various style, befitting of somebody with Drake-like aspirations.


J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only

Weruche Opia: It was arduous to choose between this and Forest Hills Drive, however I actually have a reminiscence hooked up to each tune on this one. It was 2016, a lot was occurring in my life: my niece was born, I traveled loads although I had no cash, and was working as a instructor’s assistant. It was a very sluggish yr, just like the appearing wasn’t actually occurring, however I bear in mind utilizing this album to push by way of. Like “Folding Clothes,” my favourite tune on the album, takes me again to my days operating round my neighborhood making an attempt to get my health collectively. I’d at all times run previous this college and have my arms on my hips, however I’d be encouraging myself to maintain going. I’ve a relationship like that to music, the place I consider little moments. It’s good however can be dangerous, particularly if it was one thing I used to be listening to throughout a tragic interval in my life.

J. Cole is my favourite rapper, interval. I bear in mind I acquired to see him dwell after I occurred to be in Lagos round when KOD got here out. It was so electrical and he tore up the stage! He had actually simply launched the album days earlier than and the entire crowd knew the phrases—he barely knew them himself. It was magical, like a life purpose of mine coming true.


Ladipoe: “Know You” [ft. Simi]

The solely TikTok video I ever made was to this tune. It was the one one as a result of I didn’t understand how a lot work it was to make one. After, I used to be like “I’m not getting paid for this.” Ladipoe, I’d liken him to the Kendrick of Nigeria; he has highly effective phrases that make you assume. This one is completely different although, it’s a type of cute songs. It makes you concentrate on your crushes—I remorse to say I nonetheless have crushes.

I really went to elementary college again in Nigeria with Ladipoe. I despatched him a DM on Instagram telling him how a lot I really like the tune and he gave me the concept to make a TikTok video for it. He informed me to make a type of duet movies, and I actually went and made an account, however didn’t know to do a duet so simply made a standard one. I didn’t do it as a result of he requested, I simply love the tune a lot and wished to participate.


WizKid: “Smile” [ft. H.E.R.]

Sometimes when completely different genres cross over it goes flawed, however this one makes me so pleased, I’m digging it. I do know the tune is actually model new—I’m not normally a type of folks listening to music as quickly because it comes out, however that is the exception. I really like H.E.R.’s voice and WizKid is the pioneer. It’s loopy to say it as a result of he’s younger, however he’s already a legend, he’s helped Afrobeats attain the entire world. When I noticed these two got here collectively I used to be like, “Oh my God!” My favourite folks collectively. I’m consuming it up.

 

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