popular
Sauti Sol and Tiwa Savage: Photo: Facebook / Sauti Sol.

The 9 Best East African Songs of the Month

Here's the best tracks to come out of East African this month.

After an impressive year of music in 2017, artists from the East side of the continent kept up the momentum with a string of great releases in January.

From our biggest stars to some of our favorite rising acts in the region, here are the best songs of the month.


Safi Madiba "Fine" feat. Rayvanny

After ceremoniously leaving Rwanda's biggest music group, Urban Boyz, Safi Madiba is now proving himself as a solo artist with hits like "Got it" and more recently, "Kimye Kimye." His latest single "Fine" is quite easy on the ears. The smooth afro-pop track features Tanzanian sensation Rayvanny who is currently on a roll of success with songs like "Makulusa" and "Siri." Despite all the speculation regarding his solo career, Safi Madiba is letting all the doubters know that he's here to stay.

Sauti Sol "Girl Next Door" feat. Tiwa Savage

Kenya's most popular band Sauti Sol followed up the massive success of "Melanin" with the more laid-back, Maleek Berry-produced single "Girl Next Door." The song features Nigerian afro-pop queen Tiwa Savage and has a cool reggae style beat. Fans are already anticipating the band's next release from their forthcoming Afrikan Sauce album which will feature collaborations with artists from different parts of the continent. So far so good, Sauti Sol!

Mr Blue "Mbwa Koko"

As you can see from our article on 14 Bongo Flava Classics You Need In Your LIfe, Mr. Blue has been around for a long time. We knew he could rap but his new banger "Mbwa Koko" is a testament to his lyrical mastery. The song has definitely gotten his long- time fans buzzing but with its contemporary beat and his legendary status it easily cuts through to a younger generation.

Otile Brown "Tamu Sana" feat. Shetta

Kenyan rising star Otile Brown started the year on a good note with a sizzling single "Tamu Sana," which features Tanzanian rapper Shetta. The song's infectious beat and catchy lyrics will get you nodding your head regardless of whether you understand the words or not. A wonderful fusion of bongo flava and afro-pop, this song is set to be a regular in the club circuit for the next few months.

Fik Fameica "Mafia"

Fik Fameica is the popular Ugandan urban rap star who's been riding the wave of success from his hit single "Kutama" which was released in 2017. He kicked off the new year with "Mafia," a full-toned trap single that is quickly rising to the top of the Ugandan charts. The young rapper has previously been criticized for sounding too similar to many Western rap artists. Nevertheless, he's already gained a large fan base in the country who seem to really enjoy his Ugandan twist on trap music.

Aar Maanta "Halaalee Dhaanto"

Veteran British-Somali musician Aar Maanta continues to keep Somali music alive with his latest release "Halaalee Dhanto," a captivating and modern take on the traditional Somali folk style music called Dhaanto.

Lava Lava "Kiilio"

WCB Wasafi's catalogue includes artists like Harmonize, Rich Mavoko, Diamond Platnumz and Rayvanny who, in recent times, have dominated the East African music scene. Their new signee Lava Lava has already experienced his fair share of success but it seems he wants to take it up a notch in 2018. His song "Kiilio" is about a poor man who has lost his girlfriend to a richer man who can shower her with material things. In a time when many Tanzanian artists are choosing to make afro-pop, "Kiilio" is a classic bongo flava tune.

Awate "Brutalism"

Camden-based Eritrean rapper Awate dropped the visuals for his song "Brutalism," a tasty appetizer for what's to come in his forthcoming album Happiness, which is due February 16. The song is a powerful piece of storytelling as the rapper paints a picture of his experiences growing up in London. The video is collaboration between award-winning filmmaker Penny Woolcock and designers Block9, filmed at the Utopia installation at The Roundhouse.

Aslay x Nandy "Subalkheri Mpenzi"

After the split of Tanzania's beloved Yamoto Band, Aslay won the hearts of fans as a solo artist with "Hauna" in 2017. He continues to win our favor in the new year with his brand new song "Subalkheri Mpenzi," featuring Tanzania's fastest rising female artist, Nandy. With the duo's beautiful Taarab-influenced vocals and the traditional bongo instrumentals, this is the perfect love song to get you warmed up for Valentines Day.

popular

Black Twitter's Reactions to the Royal Wedding are Priceless

"When you're about to throw some seasoning on the proceedings."

The Royal Wedding happened this morning at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle solidified their union with a grand ceremony surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Around 600 guests were in attendance for the affair, including Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba and Serena Williams just to name a few.

Markle is now the first melanin-possessing person to become part of the British royal family, as her official title is now Duchess of Sussex.

The entire event was streamed live on Twitter, and of course the internet had quite a lot to say about it.

Folks have been sharing their commentary all morning, with many on Twitter highlighting some of the ceremony's "blackest" moments, and sharing funny quips about pretending not to care about the wedding, but watching anyway.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of Jo Griffin

This Tanzanian Girls' Football Team Came Second in Moscow but Feel Triumphant

Meet the highflying Tanzanian girls' football team, stars of this week's Street Child World Cup.

With a huge smile and surrounded by some of her new friends from 20 different countries at the Sapsan Arena in Moscow, Asteria Robert, the 14-year-old captain of the Tanzanian girls' football team, takes in the atmosphere following the final of the Street Child World Cup.

"When we left we couldn't believe we could reach this level and we're so glad we got this far in the tournament," says Asteria, after leading her team on to the podium to receive medals and a trophy for coming in second place.

The Street Child World Cup is a football tournament for children all over the world who have experienced homelessness or are considered at risk of living on the streets. It takes place before the FIFA World Cup.

After a high-octane performance with many chances at goal, the Tanzanian girls were defeated 1-0 by a team from Rio de Janeiro at the stadium—a stone's throw from Lokomotiv, home of the newly-crowned Russian Premier League champions. Some of the girls slumped on the floor at the final whistle but soon gathered themselves to show sportsmanship and congratulate the winners from Brazil

The final game was live-streamed by Goal and seen by more than 130,000 people. In the stadium the team were cheered on by teenagers from across the world, banging drums and waving the Tanzanian flag.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Supplied.

Swaziland’s Rendition Croons About Love & The Hustle On His Debut EP ‘Art.Love.Magic’

Listen to Rendition's debut EP.

Rendition is a producer from Swaziland, whose debut EP we are premiering here. Rendition has produced for a handful of artists such as uSanele, Una Rams, Just Robyn, 80 Script, among others.

On the EP, which is titled Art. Love. Magic, and was recorded at Red Bull Studios in Cape Town, Rendition croons about relationships ("On My Way," "Need Some More," "Crazy Love") and the hustle ("Overtime"), with the aid of autotune.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.