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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 lyricistNasty 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 Phynocontinues 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.






The Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Ali Farka Touré, Ezra Collective x Fela Kuti, Dur-Dur Band Int. x Xabiib Sharaabi and DJ Black Low.

Every Friday, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column, Songs You Need to Hear. Here's our round-up of the best new tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music.

Keep reading...Show less
Featured
Photo Credit: Stephen Aikins

Nadia Adongo Musah is Orchestrating Ghana’s Reinvention

OkayAfrica spoke with Nadia Adongo Musah at Jubilee House (Ghana’s presidential palace) last month to find out more about Ghana's rise over the last couple of years.

If you’ve been seeing Ghana in the headlines as a thriving celebrity hotspot and music festival mecca, you might want to thank the demure and self-assured Nadia Adongo Musah. She is Ghana’s Deputy Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, and she’s largely responsible for laying down the groundwork and executing the expansive strategy for Ghana’s impressive emergence on the global stage.

It all started in December of 2019 with the Year of Return, a year-long slate of activities marking the 400th anniversary of the first recorded enslaved Africans to reach the United States. The occasion was a success, but, alas, Covid-19 poked its ugly head and put the whole word at a standstill. It is now 2022 and the world is open for business again. And Ghana is proving its dominance on the African continent, with festivals Afro Nation, Afro Chella, and Vic Mensa and Chance’s Black Star Line. Add that to the slew of celebrity cameos—from Dave Chapelle to Erykah Badu to Burna Boy—and it’s definitely been one of the most exciting holiday seasons ever in Ghana.

OkayAfrica spoke with Musah at Jubilee House (Ghana’s presidential palace) last month to find out more about Ghana's rise over the last couple of years.

In the last few years, we have seen a rise of international attention in Ghana. What would you contribute this to?

It’s a direct result of work and activities curated by the Diaspora Affairs Office of the President... matched with the burgeoning desire of the diaspora across the Americas and the world to connect with Africa and the motherland. Some of the activities and achievements by the Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President include: Supporting and encouraging the use of fintech platforms with credible financial backgrounds, which allows remittances to be made easier for the Diaspora; curating the Full Circle Festival with Hollywood A-listers such as Boris Kudjoe, Bozoma St John, and other Diaspora influencers; and spearheading the Year of Return committee which ultimately saw record numbers of Diaspora tap into Ghana and Ghanaian culture. [There was] record levels of remittances, record levels of social media impressions, record levels of mainstream media spotlight, record levels of tourist engagements and more, altogether positively impact Ghana crossing over $1.8 billion dollars into the local economy.

Nadia Adongo MusahPhoto Credit: Stephen Aikins

Can you speak more on how your office has made it easier for individuals in the diaspora to migrate to Ghana?

Until recently, Ghana had no National Migration Policy. However, the combined diaspora offices and partnering agencies with the leadership of our Diaspora Affairs Office are leading the development of a Diaspora Engagement Policy to support the global diaspora’s role in the development of Ghana. The diaspora engagement policy provides a clear systematic roadmap with policies like the Homeland Return Act; simplified processes around Dual Citizenship; social security and pension payments from host nations; diaspora reintegration; voting rights; investment benefits; mobilizing remittances; and more. All of these initiatives have helped drive significant interest and passion by the collective diaspora, and they know and realize that Ghana is one of the few nations actively creating pathways for residency, repatriation, and reintegration.

We are seeing an influx of African Americans moving to Africa. Are there any special initiatives tailored for them specifically?

For members of the diaspora in the Americas, one benefit is a pathway to residency, and for those passionate about a permanent move to Ghana, there are potential steps towards citizenship. This has been made available only to this group because of the works by the President to better engage descendants of Africans taken from our shores over 400 years ago. There are also many communities for the diaspora to collaborate with to help in the settling process. In addition to the events, programs, and festivities. Some of the key benefits include the ability to open a bank account, get a Ghana card, and even learn about the process of purchasing a home or setting up a business here in Ghana.

Nadia Adongo MusahPhoto Credit: Stephen Aikins

Lastly, 2022 was the first year post-Covid after The Year of Return. What can we expect to see from Ghana for this year and beyond?

The numbers looking to return to Ghana have already surpassed the numbers from the original Year of Return; so we expect the engagement to exceed those levels. Most organizers and programs hosted during the year of return have showcased strong tenure by being consistent each year and continuing to develop exciting and phenomenal events.

In addition to recurring events, there are many new incumbents bringing in new ideas, new projects, and new engagement platforms. An example of this is Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa launching the Black Star Line Festival at Independence Square. This is an example of the growing engagement where bigger venues are being curated to host record breaking numbers. During the Year of Return, the Black Star Independence Square was not used as a festival location but now it is host to some of the biggest concerts and festivals globally, such as the Global Citizen Festival. Even programs like Afrochella, Afro Nation, Little Havana, Taste of Ghana, and more are all taking place this year. What we can also expect are programs that go beyond the celebration and tourism; we can expect educational based initiatives as well such as the Diaspora Real Estate Summit around real estate and impact, Garden High Tea to commune people together around greenery and gardening, and the Presidential Diaspora Awards.

Nadia Adongo MusahPhoto Credit: Stephen Aikins

For more information on the Ghana’s Office of Diaspora Affairs, visit www.diasporaaffairs.gov.gh

Featured
Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

The Powerhouse Behind Nigeria’s Biggest Streetwear Event

Street Souk has become Nigeria's most popular streetwear event. OkayAfrica spent time with the founder, Iretidayo “Ireti” Zaccheaus, while she prepared for the event.

On an unremarkable Saturday in mid-December, the Habour Point events centre—a large, prominent events arena tucked away in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria’s highbrow area of Victoria Island—felt calm. On the following day, Sunday, December 18th, thousands of young Nigerians will flock to this arena to attend Nigeria’s biggest streetwear event, Street Souk. But in the meantime, a wedding is ongoing. In one of the four tents set up close to each other and inside the three unoccupied tents handymen are hard at work, setting up stalls, nailing up wood, spraying on polish, raising up signs, and getting ready for the events of the next day. There was a sense of quiet anticipation in the air, one that a wedding, or a series of constructions—no matter how loud—was unable to disrupt.

Since it launched five years ago, Street Souk has had upwards of four thousand young Nigerians in attendance. Over 100 stalls set up shop to sell homemade Nigerian streetwear products. The event has doubled as a gathering space for young, creative Nigerians to connect and network. Founded in 2018 by 23-year-old creative Iretidayo “Ireti” Zaccheaus, Street Souk has become one of the country’s most anticipated end-of-year events. And to pull off an event of such scale, there are a lot of moving parts, operating at lightning speed.

women at Street SoukPhoto By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

When Ireti arrives at Habour Point on the day before the main event, it is already evening and she barely has time to chat. She had spent the afternoon shooting promotional photos for the partnerships she developed this year with select, homegrown brands. Each year, Ireti develops this sort of partnership in a move she considers crucial to the ethos of Street Souk’s mission—to provide a solid ecosystem for Nigerian streetwear culture to thrive. Her hair is in long, thin blonde braids and she is spotting her signature baseball cap and dark-shade sunglasses. She is wearing an armless shirt with the late Virgil Abloh’s face on the back—a tribute to the now-deceased creative powerhouse who endorsed Street Souk’s missions in its very early days—and baggy knee-length shorts. Her fingers spot a variety of rings and her teeth glint from her signature gold grills. What is, perhaps, more impressive than her sense of style is the fact that Nigerian streetwear brands make up almost everything she is wearing. This is at once a testament to the incredible work Street Souk has done in legitimizing and integrating Nigerian streetwear brands, a market previously reserved only for second-hand or imported streetwear products, into mainstream fashion circles.

Ireti has cited her brother Teezee, the renowned Nigerian rapper, as one of the earliest inspirations for her love for streetwear; a love that would lead her to discover and become a part of online streetwear hubs like Hypebeast and Facebook forums. “In year 7, my friends Alex, Ore, and I started a streetwear blog called Rejuvenation of Swag. From then on I was researching and learning about A$AP Rocky, Pharrell, Virgil [during his] Pyrex era, and Odd Future," she told OkayAfrica. "Those were my earliest memory of falling in love with streetwear.”

Iretidayo \u201cIreti\u201d Zaccheaus holding hatPhoto By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

This love would follow her for most of her life and would inspire her to set up a streetwear brand after returning from her mother’s annual fashion souk in the bustling city of Lagos (which she also calls home.) Her experience at her mother’s street souk exposed a generational gap she knew Street Souk could accurately fill. Her mother’s fashion souk catered to an older audience, and hers would capture the attention of the younger generation.

Ireti spends Saturday killing multiple fires. Delivery is running late, someone has parked at a prime spot where Street Souk paraphernalia is set to be mounted, and an artist who was set to design and create a Street Souk statue bailed at the last minute. Amidst all of this, though, Ireti maintains a firm sense of zen. This is perhaps because she now has more people on her team: a Project manager, a publicist and a personal assistant for instance. “These were things I typically had to do myself in the early days,” says Ireti. “With age you know that you need to learn to delegate.”

colorful statue Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

On the day of the event, Habour Points starts filling up by midday. The road leading up to the events arena is quickly choked full of cars dropping off event goers and cabs trying to make their way out of the narrow street. Young Nigerians—those who have flown in for the holidays sometimes planning their entire trip around Street Souk and others from within the country—mill about the hundreds of stalls set up inside three large tents. The chance to shop from this many Nigerian streetwear brands is rare and only possible at Street Souk, adding to the coveted status of this event.

“Seeing so many cool young people in the same place, having fun, brands selling, the streetwear community coming together and even having my nephew Zacai—who wasn’t born when I first started Street Souk—walking around was amazing for me,” says Ireti of this year’s event.

Iretidayo \u201cIreti\u201d Zaccheaus with friends Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Nigeria’s streetwear community seems primed for the ecosystem Street Souk has established and, with over 70% of its population under 30,,the creative industry continues to see an explosion of original creative exploits.

“I’ve started planning 2023,” says Ireti. “I love this, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else, [Street Souk] is the most me thing I could have ever done.”

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