Audio

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Nasty C, Afro B x Wizkid, Kah-Lo, Phyno x Wale, Sjava 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 OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.


Afro B feat. Wizkid "Drogba (Joanna)" Remix

"Drogba (Joanna)," one of the biggest afrobeats tracks out right now, gets a huge remix treatment from Starboy himself. UK-based Ivorian artist Afro B keeps the infectious groove and structure of the Team Salut beat, over which Wizkid adds a new verse. Check it out above, we're told the music video is dropping soon.

Find out more about the #DrogbaChallenge here.

Nasty C 'Strings and Bling'

South African lyricist Nasty C just released his second album, Strings And Bling. The 17-track album is his first under Universal Music Group. The MC featured only three artists on the project, namely A$AP Ferg,Rowlene and Kaien Cruz. Strings And Bling is one of the most highly anticipated releases in South Africa, and now it's all yours to peruse, criticize and indulge.

Read: Nasty C, South African Hip-Hop's Boy Wonder, Talks About His New Album

Kah-Lo & Riton "Ginger"

Nigeria's Kah-Lo and British producer Riton, who were nominated for a Grammy for their previous collaboration "Rinse & Repeat," return with another absolute jam in "Ginger." The electronic track will have you moving and head-nodding for days.

Read our interview with Kah-Lo

Sjava 'Umphako’ EP

South African trap artist Sjava's 4-track EP, Umphako has arrived. Just as we've grown to expect from Sjava, the songs on the EP are personal—exploring relationships ("Confession," "Intombi"), friendship and humble beginnings ("Abangani") and motivation ("Iqhawe"), with both humor and emotion. Sjava won the Viewer's Choice Best International Act at the BET Awards last week, and earlier this year, he appeared on the Black Panther Soundtrack.

Find out more.

Phyno "N.W.A" feat. Wale

Nigerian hitmaker Phyno continues his strong form as of late with "N.W.A," a brand new single alongside none-other-than Wale. The track, which is built on an addictive bouncy beat from producer Iambeat, comes paired with a new music video directed by Patrick Elis. It follows Phyno Fino to California where him and Wale ride around in low-riders and fancy cars.

Find out more.

Falz "Next" feat. Maleek Berry & Medikal

Falz follows up the huge success of "This Is Nigeria," his Childish Gambino cover, with the more tongue-in-cheek music video for "Next," one of the standouts off his album, 27. The track, which features Maleek Berry and Medikal, goes hard.

Read: Falz tackles his country's social ills in his very own answer to Childish Gambino's "This Is America."

Asante "Run You Mad" (Prod. by Sango)

Asante is a Detroit-based, Ghanaian-rooted artist whose been circling on our radar for a minute. The artist is now preparing the release of his upcoming EP, sleek boy, due in August. The first single off that EP, "Run You Mad," which sees Asante linking up with one of our favorite producers Sango over synth arpeggios and head-nodding beat work.

Find out more.

Major Lazer & Rudimental "Let Me Live" feat. Mr Eazi and Anne-Marie

Rudimental and Major Lazer are sharing their brand new collaborative single "Let Me Live," an energetic dancehall-influenced production which sees them joined by Mr Eazi and UK vocalist Anne-Marie. It also features additional vocals from Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The track's accompanying video is something to behold, as it features some show-stealing shots of pantsula dancers and highlights the rising Gqom scene in South Africa.

Find out more.

Manthe Ribane & Okzharp 'Closer Apart'

Why settle for a genre or a medium when there's an entire world of creativity to draw from? That's a defining ethos of the collaboration between Manthe Ribane, Okzharp, and Chris Saunders. Closer Apart, their first full length album on Hyperdub Records, finds them in progressive form, with London's Okzharp on production and Ribane singing, occasionally slipping into the Sepedi language.

Read:The Multimedia World of Manthe Ribane, Okzharp & Chris Saunders

Demi Grace "Come Closer"

Nigerian musician and model Demi Grace follows up her addictive, reggae-influenced single "Why Would You Lie" (which racked up over a million plays on Souncloud) with this afropop/afrobeats uplifting track "Come Closer." You'll be pressing repeat on this one.

Read: Demi Grace's New Music Video Highlights One of the First Francophone African Films

Emtee "Thank You"

South African rapper and singer Emtee just released the video to the closing song of his sophomore album, Manando, which came out last year. The video lives up to the song's lyrics, in which the artist is expressing gratitude to those who mean a lot to him—family, friends and fans.

Find out more.

Patty Monroe "Whiskey Sours"

South African rapper Patty Monroe's music videos are always a world of their own. She always creates an alternate environment for her character. Her latest visuals, for "Whiskey Sours," are not any different. In the video, the artist gives us a tour into her hazy life.

Find out more.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.






Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Interview
Photo by Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

How a Global Pandemic Has Failed to Stop South Africa's Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Crisis

We speak to women in key positions about the state of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa during the continued national lockdown.

Recently, South African women were outraged by the horrific murder of 28-year-old Tshego Pule. She was found hanging from a tree with stab wounds to her chest after she went missing at the beginning of June. Pule was also reportedly heavily pregnant at the time of her death. And while her perpetrator, 31 year-old Mzikayise Malephane, was charged with pre-meditated murder not long afterwards, this is not the universal experience of South African women when it comes to obtaining justice.

There is no other subject, save for governmental corruption and state capture perhaps, that receives as much attention in the media as gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide in South Africa. And despite the alarming statistics which are well above the global average and frighteningly so, there is a glaring lack of political will by the ANC-led government to bring about any actual change. President Cyril Ramaphosa has made promises about perpetrators of violence against women being charged with harsher sentences. This has still not come to fruition. There is radio silence from the numerous task forces set up to develop various approaches in addressing the crisis. And still, women continue to die, the daily online hashtags demanding justice for them falling on deaf ears.

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Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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