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Orchestre Poly-Rythmo in Cotonou 1974. Credit: Analog Africa/African Scream Contest 2.

The 13 Songs You Need To Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Sarkodie, Tekno, Cassper Nyovest, Tiwa Savage, DJ Tunez 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.


Sarkodie ""Ye Be Pa Wo"

Sarkodie rolls through and proves, once again, why he's at the top of the African rap game with his latest drop, ""Ye Be Pa Wo." The new track, which was produced by fellow Ghanaian producer MOG Beatz (who previously did Sark's "Gboza") is a relentless injection of pure energy and rhymes. Sarkodie goes in, delivering solid non-stop bars over the addictive, percussion-heavy beat. This track is pure fire.

Find out more.

Tekno 'Jogodo'

Tekno's singles just keep on coming, and here's the newest one. The Nigerian singer and songwriter dropped his latest single "Jogodo," which he also produced. The track has that easy but addictive beat that earned him a place among the new wave of Nigerian artists we've been seeing a lot lately. "Jogodo" is also a throwback to a more retro Nigerian sound, borrowing inspiration from Professor Linkin's 'Jogodo'.

Find out more.

Analog Africa's 'African Scream Contest 2'

For a decade now, Analog Africa has been releasing vintage and rarely-found music from across the African continent and its diaspora. One of the label's most popular releases over the years has been African Scream Contest, which featured a compilation of what the label describes as "Vodoun-inspired, psychedelic afrobeat, and heavy funk crossover" from Benin in the '60s and '70s. Analog Africa is now prepping the drop of African Scream Contest 2, which will feature 14 rare tracks along with a detailed booklet with liner notes and pictures.

Find out more.

Cassper Nyovest & Jason Derulo "Colours"

Previous World Cup host South Africa did not qualify for this year's competition, but Cassper Nyovest is making sure his country still leaves a mark. The rapper released a remix of Jason Derulo's 2018 Coco-Cola World Cup Anthem. While Derulo's original pop track will get you onto the dance floor, Nyovest's version will transport you to the streets of Soweto, surrounded by an electric ambiance and the sound of vuvuzelas.

Find out more.

Tiwa Savage & Omarion 'Get It Now Remix'

Just last month, Tiwa Savage came through with a reworking of her Sugarcane EP standout. "Get It Now Remix" saw the Nigerian star and Mavin Records first lady connect with Omarion, who added a new verse and layed down some nice duets alongside Tiwa. The new Meji Alabi-directed music video follows Tiwa and Omarion to a chicken shop and night out as they give each other the eyes while still flirting with their original partners.

Find out more.

DJ Tunez 'Afro Selections' Exclusive Playlist

DJ Tunez is one of the main connectors between New York City and the many buzzing sounds and artists coming out of Nigeria and West Africa. Since his start in a largely African community in Brooklyn, he's become Wizkid's official DJ and helped produced smash hits like "Iskaba" with Wande Coal. Listen to his exclusive "Afro Selections" playlist for OkayAfrica above.

Find out more.

Sudan's Tambour Master, Abu Obaida Hassan

Abu Obaida Hassan and the wonders of his five-string tambour remained largely a mystery. In the early 2000s, a prominent Sudanese newspaper declared him dead. Internet forums confirmed his passing. Many in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, said he had indeed died. But rumors that he was still alive persisted. What was always certain was Abu Obaida Hassan's mercurial talent.

Find out more.

Yanga Chief Feel Good Live Sessions

South African rapper Yanga Chief is the latest artist to bless fans with a performance on the popular YouTube music series Feel Good Live Sessions. The artist reinterprets his hits with a three-piece band. He kicks off his set with a rendition of AKA's "Run Jozi," a song in which he was featured. He then follows with "Tricky," "Mbali Yami," "Anytime" and his latest hit, "Mntase."

Find out more.

Joshua The I AM "Glitch"

Joburg-based rapper Johsua The I Am, who just released his new music video for the single "Glitch," is one of the guys changing up South African hip-hop videos.

Find out more.

SmartBeatz & Yemi Rush "Tell Me"

London-based producer SmartBeatz is readying the drop of his debut mixtape, Certified, which is set to feature several of the main names coming out of the UK Afrobeats wave. For his latest single, "Tell Me," he connects with singer Yemi Rush, who's been buzzing in the scene for tracks like "Kill Me" and "Do Me Right" with Moelogo.

Find out more.

Yinka Bernie 'Facades'

Onaduja Yinka popularly known as Yinka Bernie is a self-taught music producer and artist. Bernie ook a break trying to perfect his sound and his music skills and came back again with his second single, "Silhouette," which introduced most people to his music. Yinka Bernie dropped his EP titled 19 & Over which is now followed by the 3-song Facades.

Facades is available everywhere now from Okaymusic.

Olayinka Ehi's "Jeje"

Olayinka Ehi is a Nigerian-born, New York-based afro soul singer who recently dropped the 4-song Story EP. "Jeje," one of the highlights off that EP, is a solid track carried by the singer's soulful vocals and some addictive beat work. Though relatively short, it packs a serious afrobeats dance punch in its 2-minute duration. The music video, which was directed by Marcus G, features some smooth dancing from Izzy Odigie.

Find out more.

Martyn 'Google Drive of a Genius'

Martyn is a multitalented rapper, singer and songwriter from Eastern Nigeria, but born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. The young rapper began to build his professional career in music after interning at Chocolate City Entertainment, going on to release singles such as "City Lights" and Wizkid's "Ojuelegba Refix." Having musical influences such as Kanye West, MI Abaga, Drake, Wale, his music tilts heavily towards witty lyricism but retains melodic softness. Check out his latest release Google Drive of a Genius.

'Google Drive of a Genius' is available everywhere now from Okaymusic.

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




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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

Nigerian singer and producer CKay talks to OkayAfrica about the rise of his international chart-topping single "Love Nwantiti," his genre-defying sound and the reasons behind this era of afrobeats dominance.