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The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Niniola x Femi Kuti, Darkovibes, Dope Saint Jude, Tony Allen x Hugh Masekela, Rema 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 playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Niniola feat. Femi Kuti 'Fantasy'

Niniola has released the music video for her infectious single "Fantasy," featuring Afrobeat icon Femi Kuti. The track, produced by Kel-P, is a sultry banger, featuring mellifluous vocals from Niniola, and groovy saxophone riffs and horn arrangements from Kuti. It's one of the best collaborations we've heard so far this year (and we've had it on repeat as we quarantine). The music video, directed by Sesan, takes place at New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, Nigeria and features colorful scenes and energetic dancers, wearing looks inspired by the late Fela Kuti's all-female dance crew, the Kalakuta Queens.

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Darkovibes 'Inna Song (Gin & Lime)' ft. King Promise

Ghanaian afrobeats artist Darkovibes shares his latest music video "Inna Song (Gin & Lime)," featuring fellow Ghanaian musician King Promise. The bubbly love song, gets a vibrant music video directed by Yaw Skyface. It takes place mostly in a lively bar, where Darkovibes and King Promise are "winning over an enthusiastic crowd," reads a press release. The video "stylistically infuses elements of both the past as well as Afrofuturism."

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Dope Saint Jude 'Go High Go Low' Prod. Fakear, Pouvoir Magique, Einki

Dope Saint Jude's latest music video takes the viewer on a hypnotic journey into the Cape Flats. Activities that are almost synonymous to the Flats—car spinning, street dance, brass bands—are showcased through the eyes of director Feti. It's activities that are close to the artist's heart. The visuals are pleasing to the eye, and they accompany a jolly song built over electronic production with thumping bass and loud synths and claps—a production style that the rapper experimented with in her 2018 EP, Resilient. The multilayered "Go High Go Low" was produced by Fakear, Pouvior Magique and Einki.

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Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela 'Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)'

Nigerian afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen and South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela recorded together back in 2010, when they tracked the the "kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew" that will make up their upcoming album, Rejoice. Though they'd known each other since the 1970s, through their friendship & work with Fela, it took forty years—and a coinciding tour schedule that saw them both in the UK at the same time—for Allen and Masekela to make it to a London studio together. It was there that, along with producer Nick Gold.

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Naira Marley 'Aye'

Naira Marley has just dropped his much-anticipated new single titled "Aye." The Rexxie-produced number explores the meaning of life and encourages the listener to keep pushing even in the midst of challenges. "Aye"—the Yoruba translation for "life"—makes use of number of instrumentals to give the track an overall bounce. While fairly mid-tempo, the rhythm and lyrics work together to convey Naira Marley's contemplativeness as he navigates what he feels is the meaning of life.

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Manny Norté, 6LACK, Rema, Tion Wayne '4AM' ft. Love Renaissance

Manny Norté has just dropped his new collaboration titled "4 AM" as well as the accompanying visuals for the track. The multi-hyphenate talent recruits Rema, 6LACK and Love Renaissance in this vibrant new number. It's all about instrumentals and an infectious beat in "4 AM". A fusion of Afrobeats and pop music, in addition to some great hooks, it's a bouncy and effervescent track you can really get down to and use to lighten the mood.

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Mike Song 'Temptaion'

Mike Song's story is a compelling one. At 17, he was living homeless in Dar Es Salaam, when he saw an ad for a music production workshop in Zanzibar. Mike managed to borrow enough money to make his way over and it was at that workshop that he met Beating Heart Project production team Saronde. "Temptation" was born during those days at the workshop, as "Mike stepped up to the mic and proceeded to enchant the room with the sweetness and sincerity of his voice," Beating Heart mentions.

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Tom X Wolfe 'Attention' ft. LuvaboyTJ, Chino & MickyR

Gabonese-Canadian producer and artist Tom X Wolfe comes through with the new head-nodder "Attention," featuring LuvaboyTJ, Chino and MickyR. Check out the lyric video for the addictive track above, "Attention" is available now.

Mvroe 'Fly Away'

Here's the official music video for "Fly Away" from Kenyan artist Mvroe's debut album Gvrls. Directed by Thea Gourdon. Get into it above.

Angel 'Blessings' Remix ft. French Montana, Davido

Buzzing UK-based artist Angel has been making waves with the remix to his single "Blessings," which features the added star power of Davido and French Montana. "Blessings," which is built on addictive beat work and smooth guitar melodies, gets new life as the Nigerian star and NY rapper inject it with their own distinct musical flavors. Davido kicks things off in this new remix with his solid melodies, while French brings it home halfway through the remix.

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Costa Titch 'Phezulu'

Costa Titch is currently enjoying the attention his hit single "Nkalakatha" earned him last year. After a string of remixes for the viral song, the rapper from Mpumalanga is back with two new singles he had been teasing on his Instagram page for several days. For those whose introduction to Costa Titch was "Nkalakatha," the two new singles make convincing cases for Costa Titch's ability to make infectiously catchy songs. Both "Thembi" and "Phezulu" have potential to become new wave anthems.

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Oxlade 'Away'

Buzzing Nigerian afro-fusion artist Oxlade shares his new single "Away," the first release from his upcoming six-track EP Oxygene. On the Spax-produced track, the artist fuses elements of afropop, highlife, R&B, and more to deliver a catchy and melodic sound. The track's many sonic elements are a reflection of Oxlade's own musical influences, which range from Afrobeat to hip-hop and country.

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Ecool 'Banga'

DJ Ecool comes through with the new EP, NewSide, featuring the rising single "Banga."


Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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