Life & Culture

Homecoming, the Lagos Festival Bringing African Talent to the World Stage

Captured by cult publication Places+Faces, Homecoming is the Lagos-based festival mixing international stars with rising African talent, alongside an inaugural football tournament

This Friday, Places+Faces will release the fourth volume of its eponymous magazine, a visual diary of musicians, artists, actors and general trendsetters from around the globe. Founded by Imran Ciesay and Solomon Boyede (aka Ciesay and Soulz) in 2013 – it began with the pair photographing artists at gigs, and posting on Tumblr – Ciesay now defines Places+Faces simply as a “lifestyle”. From the outside, it is one which appears highly desirable; on Places+Faces’ Instagram, merch campaigns and Boiler Room announcements mingle with 35mm portraits of the world’s most famous rap and hip-hop artists (past issues of the magazine have featured Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti and countless others).

The new issue sees globetrotter Ciesay travel to Paris, London, Los Angeles, Atlanta and finally Lagos, where he attended the Homecoming 2019 festival in Lagos, a three-day cultural exchange spanning fashion, music, and sport. Founded in April 2018 by Grace Ladoja MBE (self-styled “Cultural Curator, Community Consultant”), Homecoming harnesses the influence of international stars as a gateway for African creative talent to break through onto the world stage. Described as a “cultural exchange between Africa and the world”, the festival has quickly become one of Nigeria’s most popular events, with limited-edition fashion collaborations and streetwear pop-ups, an inaugural football tournament, and headline performances from Octavian and previous Another Man cover star Skepta alongside a variety of African artists. 

“It was a sick experience, especially being able to see all the new talent coming out from there now,” says Ciesay, mentioning up and coming Nigerian musicians Santi and Rema. It’s not difficult to see why these artists are finally getting their global due; the woozy amalgamations of Afrobeat, dancehall and hip-hop in their sound is altering preconceptions of what African music can be. 

An assortment of more familiar faces also appeared at the festival; Skepta in his signature MAINS bucket hat (worn even while on the football pitch), Alton Mason, the dancer who stole the show at the A/W19 Louis Vuitton menswear show as he backflipped in a purple two-piece, and finally, British poet James Massiah in a pair of raver shades. 

When questioned about the significance of shooting on film, Ciesay replies, “I like the way pictures come out on film, and [there’s] less shit for me to carry as opposed to carrying a digital camera. I just always liked the idea of having objects in physical form.” So what’s next for Places+Faces? “The world, and everything in it.” 

Volume 4 of the Places+Faces Magazine is available through their online shop at on July 12, 2019 at 7pm GMT.