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Shekhinah. Image courtesy of the artist.

The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring K.O, Olamide, Phyno, AKA, Shekhinah, Burna Boy 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.


Amaarae "Fluid"

Born in New York and raised across Accra, Atlanta and New Jersey, Ama Serwah Genfi, also known as Amaarae, is a 23-year-old singer, songwriter and producer with an atmospheric sound that's characterized by her alluring lyricism and vulnerable melodies.

Find out more.

Pongo "Kuzola"

Pongo continues her narrative following the popular prelude origin story presented in "Tambulaya." Her latest single, "Kuzola," is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story told through music. The Lisbon-based artist expands on the captivating tracks of her latest EP, Baia, with this music video, giving us a painful visual to the lyrics she soulfully sings.

Find out more.

Olamide & Phyno "Road 2 Russia (Dem Go Hear Am)"

The World Cup is quickly coming up this week and, with just a few days before the first kick-off, we get this new Nigerian anthem from Olamide and Phyno. "Road 2 Russia (Dem Go Hear Am)," which is being promoted as the official Super Eagles song, sees both artists big-upping their team and its star players—Victor Moses, A lex Iwobi, and Mikel Obi, all get shout outs—over a mid-tempo beat from Pheelz.

Read: How Will African Teams Perform in the World Cup?

K.O 'Two Piece' feat. AKA & Cassper Nyovest

South African superstar rapper K.O. just released a two-track EP, Two Piece, featuring two of South Africa's top MCs, AKA and Cassper Nyovest. The EP is a moment in that AKA and Cassper Nyovest have an ongoing feud that dates back to 2014. If you recall, at the height of the beef, Nyovest once tweeted that he would like to do a song with both K.O. and AKA, a tweet AKA brushed off using a K.O. lyric.

Find out more.

Shekhinah "Different"

South African singer Shekhinah just released the video for "Different," one of the strongest songs in her brilliant debut album, Rose Gold. The song features the seasoned singer Mariechan, formerly from the group Jamali, and responsible for the banging instrumental is the producer Mae N. Major (get familiar).

Find out more.

Lily Allen & Burna Boy "Your Choice"

Burna Boy and Lily Allen make a pretty stellar musical duo. We learned this earlier this year upon the release of their first collaboration "Heaven's Gate," from Burna Boy's acclaimed album Outside. Now, the two have teamed up for yet another catchy collaboration, this time from Allen's latest album No Shame, which dropped today.

Find out more.

Korede Bello, Gyptian, DJ Tunez & Young D "Stamina"

Jamaica and Nigeria collide in this new remix of Korede Bello's "Stamina," featuring Jamaican star Gyptian, DJ Tunez and producer Young D. We can see this one blasting across parties this summer. Grab it below via Bodega World Music.

Grab "Stamina" here.

L-Tore "Ke Mekeche" feat. Kommanda Obbs

Two of Lesotho's finest on the mic, L-Tore and Kommanda Obbs, connect on this new banger. Titled "Ke Mekeche," the song sees the two rappers share impressive verses over a trap instrumental that boasts an eardrum-wracking bass line.

Find out more.

The Grey Series, Volume 1

The Grey Series, Volume 1 is a true gift for the fan of lyrical rap. Accomplished South African lyricists such as Ginger Trill, Captain (The Assembly ZA), Mawe2, Zubz, Blaklez, Mothipa, Gigi Lamayne, Rouge, N'Veigh, among others each drop fire flame emojis over beats by a variance of producers including Hipe, Mananz, Cam Bluff, Becoming Phill and Monexus. It's just beats and rhymes for a whole half an hour, and no other additives and preservatives.

Find out more.

Mx Blouse

Mx Blouse raps, but they prefer to not box their music as hip-hop. Which makes sense. While on their debut EP, Believe The Bloom (2017), they favored boom bap-inspired production with touches of electronic, their latest single "Is'phukuphuku," fuses kwaito, electro and, of course, hip-hop.

Read our interview with Mx Blouse.

Lulu James aka 3rdCultureKid "Mto"

Lulu James is back, and she's dawned a new moniker: #3rdCultureKid. "Mto" is the perfect tease for Lulu's upcoming album, which will be a thorough gaze into her background and transition as an artist. Prior to the production of her latest album, Lulu traveled back to her hometown in Tanzania, a trip which restored her of her Tanzanian roots, familial history, and musical upbringing that inspired her sound. That epiphanic trip birthed "Mto."

Find out more.

Big Shaq "Man Don't Dance"

Michael Dapaah, better known as his grime rapper alter-ego, Big Shaq dropped "Man Don't Dance," the highly-anticipated follow-up to his viral hit "Man's Not Hot" last month, and today he shares the video for the new single. Big Shaq shows real growth in the music video by finally taking off his jacket—despite his earlier claims that "mans can never be hot." He also gets married to Biritsh radio DJ Snoochie Shy.

Find out more.

Nosizwe "The Drill"

Norway-based South African soul singer Nosizwe is always hard at work. She recently released a new single titled "The Drill." The song's music video, which we premiered, is a counter to the song's heavy subject matter, as it has touches of humor—on the video, you can see Nosizwe being herself, gyrating in different serene locations all showing Norwegian symbolism.

Find out more.

AKA "Fully In"

The hype for AKA's upcoming album Touch My Blood, which is out this Friday, is at an all-time high. And he's not helping things by releasing more songs ahead of the album's release. Two weeks ago, he released two new songs, "Beyoncé" and "Amen," which are both on the album. This morning, the rapper let loose another banger off off TMB titled "Fully In." He once teased the song on social media, and fans went on a frenzy.

Find out more.


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


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The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Adekunle Gold, EL x Joey B x Falz, Tiwa Savage, Tshegue, Afro B, Davido 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 our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Cover of Mariam Makeba's album 'A Promise' and Lady Donli's 'Classic'

Sample Chief, a Go-To Platform for African Music Knowledge, Share 5 of Their Favorite Samples

From highlighting vintage Guinean records in rap songs to Nollywood references in afropop, Sample Chief wants to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level."

Samples are the foundation of just about all of our favorite songs whether we know them or not. For music lovers, discovering a rare song within a song can feel like stumbling upon a gem, leaving us to wonder what other musical treasures lie hidden in the songs we listen to regularly. Sample Chief is the digital platform dedicated to helping music nerds find these rare cuts by unearthing the African sounds at the heart of contemporary African music and other genres.

From rare Cameroonian-Nigerian samples on Tyler the Creator's Igor, to samples and interpolations of Nollywood movies in today's African pop, the primarily Instagram, Twitter and YouTube-based platform aims to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level," says Sample Chief's founder Ore Sami-Orungbe.

Sami-Orungbe, a Toronto-based student and DJ who runs Sample Chief with his business partner Sandrine Somé, decided to create the page after realizing that there were no solid outlets to go to for the discovery of samples both in and of African music. "I was on a plane listening to 'Sicker' by Niniola and thinking, 'there's a huge sample on it, (she samples "Alaye" by L.K.T) but is there a database I could go to if I feel like I've heard a song before and want to know where the sample came from? There wasn't. So I thought maybe I should fill the void." He adds that with Sample Chief, the goal is to "be a platform that brings a community of users together and opens up a space where they can share their knowledge of African music. We break down songs and highlight the influences, the samples, interpolations, and the references behind it."

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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