Presented by M&M’S®.
In 2015, Jidenna revived the dandy aesthetic and debuted a unique sound with the hit single, Classic Man. While his personal style has morphed over the years, his fashionable sensibilities have not waned, as is evidenced by his eclectic ranch estate in Los Angeles. The entertainer gave EBONY, in collaboration with M&M’S®, an exclusive look at his East-African inspired refuge, which includes a studio and farm, for Beautiful Black Homes.
“The entire house was co-designed by Azza Gallab,” he tells EBONY. “I told her I wanted to combine the Afro Arab villa kind of feel that I felt when I holiday in East Africa and North Africa and bring that to the hippie vibe that we have in California.” To achieve Jidenna’s desired aesthetic his team focused on integrating classic artwork, like Le Faux Cube, a painting by Jean Giraud (Moebius), commissioning original artwork and home décor, and sourcing Moroccan-inspired statement pieces.
The result is an experience the entertainer describes as a “world of coziness”. Jidenna’s oasis was crafted with purpose and collaboration with other artists. In fact, his living room prominently displays a dynamic custom multimedia piece created by his assistant, Brooklyn Prewett.
His home includes a mixture of special spaces, like his prayer room, where “I read here, I pray and think about how am I going to tackle the day? It hosts the altar that I’ve had for years,” he says. His property also includes a studio, which is filled with light to fuel his creative energy and, perhaps the most intentional spaces in his home, gathering spots. “Movement and evolution are such a natural thing for me and that’s what I want to offer people when they come in this space,” says Jidenna, who has two dedicated dining areas for hosting guests.
The holiday season is a special time for the Los Angeles transplant, who frequently hosts gatherings, including an annual Friendsgiving. “I’ve always looked at California as this place where you can dream,” he tells EBONY. “Joy is most intense when it’s shared, so hosting is the way to go.” Food is one way Jidenna pays homage to his homeland of Nigeria and he often collaborates with one of his country’s culinary stars, Chef Tolu Eros.
This year, Jidenna is celebrating Friendsgiving with Nigerian fare that is reminiscent of family get-togethers, including suya turkey, akara fritters and Efo Riro collard greens for the main course, and puff puff and lemongrass cake infused with M&M’S®. “When I was young, I really loved the peanut M&M’S®, that was my thing, so to have to have M&M’S® in this dish is a through line in my life,” he shares. “The holiday season is a time for reflection, and success for me now is how content somebody is with where they are at.”
For Jidenna, his home is a major part of that contentment. “When someone enters the ranch, I want them to feel a euphoric high,” he says. “I want to feel like that day they might try something they’ve never tried before. They may taste and feel something that they’ve never felt before. I want people to feel freer than they do in any part of L.A.” That’s a truly classic home experience.
Find out more about Chef Eros’ amazing recipes. Learn more about other holiday recipes with M&M’S®.