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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.






Image courtesy of Desange Kuenihira

Desange Kuenihira Is Living Life on Her Own Terms

We spoke with the 22-year-old CEO, author, and recent graduate on finding meaning in a world determined to silence you.

For much of her life, Desange Kuenihira’s closest companion was fear. Fear and hatred accompanied the now 22-year-old author and CEO as she escaped civil war in her home country, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and entered a Ugandan refugee camp at the age of two. Fear continued to tug at her sleeves as she battled the ignorance that comes with xenophobic ideologies. Having survived abuse — to her body and character — and multiple instances of sexual assault, Kuenihira prevails. Now, the founder and CEO of the Nonprofit organization UnDefeatedhas made that fear her power, as she pushes to empower those around her. Her autobiography Undefeated Woman,released in 2022, tells the story of a little girl who clawed her way out of the black hole life tried to bind her to.

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Image courtesy of the artist.

2023 Is the Year of Black Sherif

Here's why we believe the young Ghanaian superstar is going to dominate this year.

Black Sherif was undoubtedly Ghana’s biggest breakout star last year. The 21-year old rapper, singer, songwriter, and performer from Konongo, Ghana first made his debut in 2020 and went on to have two years of meteoric stature. From dropping singles that birthed viral TikTok challenges to securing a Burna Boy feature, Black Sherif’s career has already seen moments that rival the likes of artists many years more established.

Black Sherif came onto the radar with his debut single “Cry For Me” in 2020. The single aired the honest sentiments of a young hustler trying his best to make it in the face of highly unfavorable odds. This was Blacko’s—as he's also called by fans—narrative, and he owned it more and more with each new release. The Ghanaian artist then proceeded to drop a string of further singles, and each one did increasingly better than the last. Black Sherif gained impressive traction on streaming services, such as the local favorite Boomplay Music.

Then came “First Sermon.” With its release, people began to really pay attention to the newcomer. At this point videos began to make the rounds on social media of the young rapper performing in his animated, impassioned delivery, which became his identifying signature. With the release of “Second Sermon” in July 2021, his first breakthrough arrived. The sequel outdid its first iteration by miles, became a smash hit single, and caught the eye and ear of Nigerian afrobeats star Burna Boy who ended up jumping on the official remix of the song just a few months later.

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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

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