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.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Here Are The African Artists That Made Barack Obama's End of Year Lists

In a tradition that has now become annual, former U.S. President Barack Obama shared a list of his favorite books, movies, and songs this year. The list features several prominent African artists.

Former United States President Barack Obama recently shared his lists of favorite music, books, and movies. The list features several celebrated African artists who have increasingly gained recognition for their excellence in their respective fields. In the first tweet he shared, Obama wrote: “I always look forward to sharing my lists of favorite books, movies, and music with all of you,” before sharing his favorite books of 2022.

Namwali Serpell's critically acclaimed The Furrows made the former POTUS's list. The book explores themes of loss, grief, and mourning in a way that is both poignant and vivid. Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah was also featured on the list for Afterlives (Riverhead), a novel that won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature. The book examines life in East Africa in the 20th century and at the height of German colonialism.

In the music category, Burna Boy got a nod for his international anthem "Last Last," a song that instantly became a worldwide hit in the summer. Ayra Starr was also added to the list for her riveting single "Rush," a record whose eclectic lyrics and music video captivated many music lovers. Starr's label mate Rema also got featured on the list for "Calm Down," a record that garnered added international attention after he featured Selena Gomez on the remix.

African-centered movies that made the list include TheWoman King and Descendent. The Woman King is a historical epic starring Viola Davis, centered around the West African Kingdom of the Dahomey and their all-female warriors, also known as the Agojie. Obama's list also featured Descendent , a story that chronicles the story of survivors who travelled on the Clotilda, which was the last known slave ship to arrive in the United States.


Here's Our Top African TikToks From This Year

Twenty Twenty-Two was a year of many laughs and trends, let's take a look at who kept the continent part of the conversation.

AfroTok continues to steadily rise in popularity as the platform has given creator's on the continent a platform to share their unique talents and authority within the entertainment space. This year was no exception. Nigerian internet queen Taaooma continued to carve out space for African humor while dancing sensation TrophyBwoy kept the people moving all year long, connecting with the world around him through movement. As society confronts the new normal, it's nice to know that there are some who will always keep us entertained.

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Photo: Dorcas Sheffy Bello

Dorcas Sheffy Bello on Finding Stories in Unlikely Places

The Nigerian director is among the filmmakers tapped for the second season of Al Jazeera's acclaimed Africa Direct series.

Africa Direct, a series of immersive first-person short documentaries commissioned by Al Jazeera to showcase everyday living on the continent, returns for a second season this month. Like the first season, 14 projects have been selected from filmmakers across the continent. Each one focuses on interesting individual characters within the filmmakers’ respective communities doing something compelling or shaping the world around them.

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