Featuring M.anifest, Kwesta, Little Simz, Brian Eno and more.
Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.
Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.
M.anifest 'We no dey hear' ft. Kelvyn Boy & Kel-P
M.anifest has just dropped his latest single "We No Dey Hear" as well as the accompanying visuals for the laid-back track. The Ghanaian rapper recruits fellow artist Kelvyn Boy and the inimitable Nigerian producer Kel-P on the track which speaks to human resilience and triumphing against all odds.
Little Simz 'Drop 6'
British-Nigerian rapper Little Simz shares her new EP, Drop 6, which she wrote and recorded within the last month of being on lockdown. The project sees the artist delivering witty, self-assured lyrics on tracks like "might bang, might not," "one life, might live" and retrospective lines on "you should call your mum." It features production from TDE's Kal Banx, OTG, Kadz and more, while singer Alewya features on the closing track "where's my lighter."
Kwesta '2 Skeif'
For his first two songs of the year, Kwesta returns to an aesthetic he applied in his biggest hits such as "Ngud'," "Spirit" and "Vur Vai." Just like the songs mentioned above, sonically and stylistically, "Njandini" references 90s kwaito while Kwesta's baritone tells tales from the skreets. You may pick up a subtle Magesh reference in the beginning of the second verse (we won't spoil it for you). "The Finesse" leans more towards hip-hop, but not without twists—the customary crude bassline that defines modern hip-hop carries Kwesta's sing-songy raps, reminiscent of songs like "Nomayini." Riky Rick appears with a short but effective verse that balances egomania with sprinkles of social commentary.
Synapson 'Yise' feat. Bongeziwe Mabandla
South Africa's Bongeziwe Mabandla lends his voice to French electronic duo Synapson for an undulating guitar arppegios-meet-beats track in the shape of "Yise." The single comes from Synapson's latest project, which will see them collaborating with artist from across the world. "The idea is to discover new sounds and produce world fusion music... we want to go back to our first love. Have musical encounters and offer a new destination to listeners with each of our pieces," the duo mention.
Kiienka 'L.A. Girl'
Kiienka is a rising new rapper and producer coming out of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He recently dropped his sophomore mixtape, Spaceman 2.0, a largely self-produced affair that sees him delivering quick-paced melodic lines and rhymas over a mix of trap and R&B beats. Get into standout track "L.A. Girl" above.
Back in 1981, a debut record from a young Ghanaian eight-piece group called Edikanfo began turning heads. People were drawn to The Pace Setters album for its infectious blend of highlife and afro-funk, but also due to the record's producer: Brian Eno. Hear the captivating blend of highlife and afro-funk from Glitterbeat Records' reissue of Edikanfo's The Pace Setters.
Nana Adjoa 'She's Stronger'
Nana Adjoa is a Ghanaian-Dutch classically-trained jazz musician putting forward an intoxicating blend of soul, folk and jazz influences through a modern pop lens. Her latest offering, "She's Stronger," is about a woman who both inspires and intimidates the Adjoa with her fortitude. The song's new music video is "about creating your own little empire where thoughts can come and go, and anything is allowed to happen. That place can be a place in your mind, where you can sneak out to when you feel like you need a second to breathe. It reminds me of me making up stories in my head when I was younger. Forgetting about time and space, being somewhere else. I see putting up the flag as symbolism for that," music video director Nandisa Ludidi mentions.
Tomi Agape 'London' (Prod by Juls)
British-Nigerian Alté singer Tomi Agape recently dropped her latest single titled "London". The smooth and mellow track is the second track set to appear on her upcoming EP due for release later this month. "London" follows the release of "This Way" which dropped earlier this year in March. British-Ghanaian producer Juls works closely with Tomi Agape on "London" to create a feel-good and laidback jam. The measured use of percussive instrumentals adds to the easy feel of the track which pays homage to the British city that has greatly shaped the artist's experience of music.
Emtee's latest single "Johustleburg" is an ode to Joburg, the city in which he grew up and currently resides. In the song, the South African artist speaks fondly of the City of Gold, stating it raised him right and touching on the dangers people live with. "Johustleburg" was produced by Ruff, Emtee's long-time producer who is behind most of his hits and projects. The song is calm in nature, which is ironic considering its subjects is one of the busiest places on the continent and, as Emtee sings, one needs to watch themselves while there.
Morien, real name Christoper Chike Ajah, is a fast-rising Afro-pop artist from Enugu, Nigeria. Currently signed to Etins Record, Morien's latest self-titled EP is a stunning Afrobeats offering from a new-wave artist who's easily set to follow in the footsteps of music heavyweights such as Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy and many others.
Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.
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