Koffee. Still from YouTube.

The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Kwesi Arthur, Koffee, Tory Lanez, Priddy Ugly, Lady Donli 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.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Koffee 'Ye' (Burna Boy Cover)

Last week, budding Jamaican artist Koffee had the internet buzzing when she performed an impressive rendition of Burna Boy's 'Ye," also known as the Nigerian National Anthem, during her first ever London show. Folks online responded excitedly to the 19-year-old singer's cover—it even got a cosign from Burna himself, who shouted the artist out in an Instagram post, and hinted at a possible collaboration in the near future.

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Kwesi Arthur 'One Stone'

Ghana's Kwesi Arthur comes through with the bars in his latest music video for "One Stone." The new single and clip sees the buzzing rapper tackling an ominous beat produced by Yung D3mz as he drops some fiery lines, dubbing himself the "modern day Kwame Nkrumah" and shouting out Ghanaian rappers that have paved the way for him like Sarkodie. "I think it's time to remind people where we came from," Kwesi Arthur wrote on his Instagram page about the new song.

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Priddy Ugly 'Smokolo'

Priddy Ugly's music videos always stand out. The South African rapper's latest visuals for his 2017 song "Smokolo" from his debut album E.G.Y.P.T, are equally gripping. The video was directed by Armsdeal of CideFX Films. It follows the song's narrative, as Priddy raps about hustling (smokolo), while he can also be seen wearing a school uniform and going about his business. The other storyline in the video is of a grown up Priddy who works at a CD shop and a pizza joint to make ends meet.

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Dua Saleh 'Warm Pants'

Dua Saleh is a rising Sudanese-born, Minnesota-based artist that's caught our ear. Saleh only started recording music two years ago but already presents a full-fledged, haunting sound in their debut 5-track EP, Nür (which translates to "light" in Arabic). "Warn Pants," the standout off Nür, sees Saleh connecting with producers Psymum (who's got credits with Young Thug and Future) and SinGrinch for an entrancing track built on a stuttering bass line. The single now serves as Dua Saleh's debut music video, which follows the artist through an icy field.

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Tory Lanez 'International Fargo' 

Tory Lanez comes through with the surprise drop of his International Fargo mixtape. The 5-track mixtape includes covers of two massive Nigerian songs: Wizkid's "Soco" featuring Terri, Ceeza Milli and Spotless, and Davido's "Fall," which has become the most watched Nigerian music video on Youtube and the longest charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history. It also features covers of tracks from French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura, Jamaica's Koffee (who has her own great cover of Burna Boy) and Stylo G's "Touchdown" remix featuring Nicki Minaj and Vybz Kartel.

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Shane Eagle x Bas - Ap3x [remastered] - Official Video

Shane Eagle shared the visuals for his collaboration with Bas. "Ap3x [remastered]" is a remake of "Ap3x" from the South African rapper's latest EP Never Grow Up. There isn't much going on in the video for Ap3x [remastered]," just Bas and Shane performing their verses in the calm streets of Amsterdam and a few shots of them interacting with fans. The video was shot while the two artists were somewhere in Europe for Bas' Milky Way Tour, which Shane Eagle is a part of.

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Lady Donli 'Cash'

Lady Donli is back with her first single of the year, and it doesn't disappoint. The Nigerian artist has shared the infectious track "Cash," from her forthcoming album Enjoy Your Life. The fun, mid-tempo track, produced by Benjamin James and Kingsley 'Knote' Okorie of the Nigerian live band The Cavemen as well as the artist herself, is all about the pursuit of money. The music video is directed by Kewa Oni and Seun Opabisi.

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Ivy Sole x B4Bonah 'Taken'

Ivy Sole has been capturing a lot of people's ears for her alluring blend of hazy R&B; vocals, rhymes and influences from her past as a spoken word poet. That's all clear in the Philadelphia-based artist's 13-song debut album, Overgrown. "Taken," one of the highlights form that full-length, sees the rapper-singer connecting with Ghana's B4Bonah over an airy afro-fusion concoction as they lament a desire over someone who's already taken. The track was produced by Sole's manager Ethan Boye-Doe, who's family has roots in Ghana.

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Berita 'Ndicel'ikiss'

South Africans Afro soul singer Berita released the single "Ndicel' Iiss" in January. The song's title literally translates to "May I have a kiss?." And the music video, which was directed by Callback Dreams' Makere Thekiso, depicts affection through the video's cast and the artist herself.

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Golden Black 'Cream' feat. Zakwe

Durban hip-hop trio Golden Black's latest single "Cream" uses The Charmels' "As Long As I've Got You," the same sample as Wu Tang Clan's seminal 1993 single "C.R.E.A.M." Just like the Wu Tang classic, Golden Black's "Cream" loops the first four seconds of "As Long As I've Got You," the piano loop that defines "C.R.E.A.M." The difference is, instead of the boom bap drum pattern on the Wu Tang classic, "Cream" sits over 808s and an excessive bassline, as is usually the case on trap songs.

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Steeky 'Kolobi'

Nigeria's Steeky has a brand new addictive afro-fusion single for your nights out. "Kolobi" sees him linking up with producer Snagxy over booming synth bass and a strong groove. At under 2 minutes-long, the new track is a quick and punchy injection of energy.

"Kolobi" is available everywhere now

Nizzy 'Properly'

London-based act Nizzy rolls through with the downtempo afro-fusion jam "Properly." The new single, which was produced by Nigeria's SynX, also gets a brand new music video from Director Q. "I was just in the mood to create something special for the ladies," says Nizzy, "but I also wanted to offer something different to the usual Afrobeats sound out there right now. I mentioned to Q that I wanted to appreciate that African black beauty with this video, and I think we pulled it off."

"Properly" is available everywhere now

Joya Mooi 'Rice In Foil'

"I grew up in the Netherlands, in the aftermath of fathers exile from South Africa due to the Apartheid regime," mentions Joya Mooi about her impressive new single "Rice in Foil." "As the only kid of color in my class, I always felt like the outsider. While observing my classmates, I noticed that my lunch box was different, their concept of me and my family was different from the reality. My sister always told me to ignore people and to just believe that my life was for me, but I was and I'm still so sensitive. So this song is acknowledging this sentiment of being an outcast and giving space to a strong longing for equality from a young age, influenced by my own experiences."

"Rice in Foil" is available now

Ssue 'Twinkle Twinkle' feat. Megan & Baby G

Ghanaian artist Ssue repurposes the popular children's rhyme into a darker track made for dance floors on both sides of the Atlantic. "Twinkle Twinkle" sees Ssue linking up with Megan and Baby G for this new jam.

"Twinkle Twinkle"is available everywhere now

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


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Photos: How La Sunday Became Abidjan's Favorite Party

Faced with a lack of party options, a group of friends in Côte d'Ivoire sought to revolutionize the way their city turns up.

The opening line of DJ Arafat's hit song "Maman Sery" plays and the people on stage scream it as loudly as the crowd facing them below. Lighted phones are up in the air. Where some strangers embrace one another, others clutch their chests. The setting? A garden in Abidjan's commune of Cocody on a Sunday night.

Sundays in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire had always been reserved for beach trips and family time. All of this changed dramatically in December of 2018 when Fayçal Lazraq, Lionel Obam, Aurore Aoussi, Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, and Aziz Doumbia, better known as Bain de Foule Creative Studio created La Sunday and it took Abidan by storm.

According to Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, co-founder of La Sunday, "The idea was to create an alternative event for fun amongst friends." The differentiating factor here was these "friends" weren't just anyone; they were trendsetters at the epicenter of Abidjan's bustling creative scene. Shares from these creatives were instrumental in creating the engagement surrounding La Sunday and its subsequent expansion.

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Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

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Merry-Lynn. Photo courtesy of the artist.

You Need This Merry-Lynn EP In Your Life

Interview: Rising R&B newcomer Merry-Lynn's Petrichor EP is a breath of fresh air.

Iyere-Eke Merrylynn Ehinomen, also known as Merry-Lynn, is a rising singer and songwriter based in Abuja, Nigeria. She recently released her debut EP, Petrichor, which presents a masterful blend of reggae and R&B with a modern twist across its six tracks.

Drawing you in with its resonant bass line and alluring vocals, EP opener "Skin," is a major head-bopper. Merry-Lynn pours her heart out over the rippling guitar chords singing "When you gonna call me baby?/ Or don't you think about me lately?" Before you know it you're midway through the sultry and euphoric cut, "Temptation," and fully locked-in to this musical experience.

In "Boy Tears" the young singer, who was born in 1997, graces us with vivid lyricism and audacious delivery as she rhymes "too" and "fooled," enriching each line with subtle nuance. She also enlists Nigerian hitmaker King Perryy on the melancholic heartbreak tune "911"—a remixed version of the original track that was released earlier in the year

Merry-Lynn's decision to work exclusively with Nigerian producer Veen on the project seemingly enabled her to truly experiment and find the distinctive sound that sets her apart from the crowd. Emotionally rich and enlightened, this tape is a smooth sonic ride for any lover of good music. There's no doubt that, with Petrichor, Merry-Lynn has delivered a reliably-solid debut.

We got to know the R&B newcomer a little bit more in a recent interview below.

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Tiwa Savage "Owo Mi Da" cover.

Tiwa Savage Drops Two New Songs 'Owo Mi Da' & 'Attention'

The Nigerian star has shared two new bangers—"Owo Mi Da" and "Attention"—a day early due to leaks.

Tiwa Savage has returned with not-one-but-two new singles, "Owo Mi Da" and "Attention."

While the tracks were originally slated to drop tomorrow, Wednesday, the Nigerian superstar rushed released them due to leaks. "You guys couldn't wait na so my songs don leak o .... FUCK IT OUT NOW," Tiwa wrote on her social pages.

The addictive and upbeat "Owo Mi Da" was co-written by fellow Nigerian hitmaker Olamide and produced by Pheelz.

Video: Tiwa Savage On Female Artists Having to Work Twice As Hard

The smoother "Attention" is a song aimed at a man who isn't taking enough notice of his woman. " I guarantee all the ladies will know the lyrics to this one word for word," Tiwa wrote about the track. It was produced by Blaqjerzee.

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