Music

The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best songs that we came across this week, featuring Sarkodie & Runtown, The.Wav, Legendury Beatz, Sinkane and more.

At the end of every week, we highlight the creme of the crop in music and round up the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks throughout the last few days.


Check out the "Songs You Need to Hear This Week" in our new Apple Music curator playlist and read about the individual selections ahead.

Sarkodie and Runtown's "Pain Killer"

Fewer collabos could excite like one by Sarkodie and Runtown. Individually they command A-star ratings for quality and consistency and, as a tag-team, the result could only be magical.

“Pain Killer” is produced by T Spize, Runtown’s longterm collaborator, who made his first hit “Gallardo” as well as Davido‘s “Aye.” His beat for this banger is recognisably Ghanaian in how the percussion is syncopated and, even more pronounced, in the looped and slightly-pitched flute notes on the chorus. —Sabo Kpade.

Read our full review of "Pain Killer."

Afro-Trap collective The.Wav x Masterkraft

Afro-trap group The.Wav have a knack for writing songs that will soundtrack your weekends.

The L.A.-based collective links up with Nigerian producer Masterkraftwho's crafted hits for Flavour, Banky W and many others—for their new single "Proposition."

The new track, which we're premiering here today, blends elements of dancehall, afrobeats, and hip-hop into The.Wav's self-described "Afro-trap" sound.

Check it out "Proposition" below and grab it on Apple Music.

Check out the best songs of the week in our Apple Music playlist, updated every Friday:

Sinkane's Life & Livin' It

Life & Livin' It album cover photo by Shervin Lainez.

Sinkane's new album, Life & Livin' It, is out today. It's a much-needed dose of optimism.

‘Kulu shi tamaam’ is an Arabic phrase meaning ‘Everything is great!,” Gallab mentions. “Times are tough. Struggles have always existed in our lives. But hope, love and the power of positivity help us stay alive. It is what inspires me to wake up in the morning, make music, and, ultimately, connect with people.”

You should definitely check out and grab this album.

Legendury Beatz connect with Mr Eazi

Nigerian production duo Legendury Beatz, who've written hits for Wizkid, Wale, Tinie Tempah and many others, are readying the release of their star-studded Afropop 101 mixtape.

The tape will feature contributions from the likes of Wizkid, Timaya, Vanessa Mdee and Maleek Berry. "Hearbeat," the lead single from Afropop 101, sees the beat makers linking up with Mr Eazi for a head-nodding dancehall progression.

Check out the full track list for Legendury Beatz' new mixtape below, which is up for pre-order now.

Oumou Sangaré meets Tony Allen

Grammy Award-winning Malian singer Oumou Sangaré connects with afrobeat royalty and drumming legend Tony Allen for her new single "Yere Faga."

"Yere Faga" is the lead single from her upcoming album, Mogoya, which will be the singer's first material in 8 years.

“My music has never had this kind of arrangement and sound before. I’ve been totally in the tradition for years now so to get out of that and have a look around elsewhere was a total pleasure,” Oumou Sangaré mentions.

Stanley Enow's #PrayForMe

Cameroonian rapper Stanley Enow was inspired by the loss of his sister, Sylvie Enow, to write the bittersweet single "Pray For Me," a prelude to his second album which is due later this year.

The song's music video was filmed in Johannesburg, South Africa. Watch above to hear this "soulful trap tune," as Enow describes it.

Two new joints from Phyno, one with P-Square

Phyno dropped two new music videos for singles from his latest album Playmaker.

The first one, "Financial Woman," sees him joining forces with P-Square for a Clarence Peters-directed clip. The second single follows the difficulties of relationships and the bad decisions that can be made in "Mistakes."

Burna Boy's "Hallelujah"

And, finally, Burna Boy gives thanks for his blessings, his family, and for other artists like Shatta Wale and R2bees in his latest single "Hallelujah."

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(From left to right) Stéphane Bak and Marc Zinga in 'The Mercy of the Jungle.' Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Congolese Actor Stéphane Bak on His Intense Experience Shooting 'The Mercy of the Jungle' In Uganda

We catch up with the actor after the film made its North American premiere at TIFF.

When actor Stéphane Bak first got the script for The Mercy of the Jungle (La Miséricorde de la Jungle), he knew there was one person he had to consult: his father. "My dad did school me about this," he says. While Bak was born and raised in France, his parents had emigrated from what was then Zaire in the 1980s—before the events of the movie, and not exactly in the same area, but close enough to be able to pass on firsthand knowledge of the simmering ethnic tensions that underpin the action.

The story takes place in 1998, just after the outbreak of the Second Congo War—which came hot on the heels of the First Congo War. Two Rwandan soldiers find themselves separated from their company and have to make a harrowing trek through the jungle to link back up with their regiment. Bak plays Private Faustin, the young recruit hunting Hutu rebels to avenge his murdered family, a foil to Marc Zinga's seasoned Sergeant Xavier. As a Congolese militia swarms the area, and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell enemies from friends, the two are forced off the road and into the thick vegetation.

Their journey is physically difficult, but the jungle also nurtures them, providing food, water, and shelter. "The title is very explicit in a way," says Bak. It is the human beings they encounter, from rival soldiers and militiamen to the hostile security forces guarding illegal gold mining operations, who bring sudden danger and violence. The challenges are conveyed as much through the actors' physicality as through the minimal dialogue. As for the strain on his face, Bak says it was all real. "To be honest, it was very difficult," he says of the shoot, which took him 25 days. "I had to learn my accent in two weeks." Prior to commencing, there was training with the Ugandan army for realism. Due to the ongoing conflicts in the DRC, the movie itself was shot in Uganda.

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Brazil Has Made Yoruba an Official Language

The language will also be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum in the country, says the Minister of Culture.

Yoruba history and culture has an undeniably strong presence in Brazilian society, due of course, to the Transatlantic slave trade which brought millions of enslaved West Africans to the Americas. Despite the inhumanity they faced, many managed to keep their ancestral culture and traditions alive.

Centuries have passed, and Yoruba influences still continue to thrive in various regions of the country, as many Brazilians maintain a strong relationship with the language and religion. Its influence can be seen through the music, food and spiritual practices of various communities. Last month the Ooni of Ife—the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people—visited the country, where he was met by crowds of Black Brazilians who turned up to pay their respects.

This connection will likely remain strong for future generations, as the language has now become an official foreign language in the country.

WATCH: How Ilê Aiyê Brought Blackness Back to Carnival

Brazil's Minister of Culture, Dr. Sérgio Sá Leitão, has said that the language will now be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum, reports the Nigerian Voice.

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This EP Blends the Afro-Brazilian Rhythms of Bahia With Bass Music

Get into Telefunksoul and Felipe Pomar's Ré_Con Ba$$ EP.

Brazilian producers Felipe Pomar (of TrapFunk & Alivio) and Telefunksoul come through with a dizzyingly energetic EP in the form of Ré_Con Ba$$.

Telefunksoul, who happens to be one of the main promoters of Bahia Bass music, came up with the concept of exploring the rhythms coming out of Recôncavo of Bahia and showing how they can fit into bass music.

Through the 7-track Ré_Con Ba$$ EP, him and Pomar mold and transform the diverse music of Bahia, fusing its rhythms with afrobeat, future house, deep house and much more.

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