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.
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.
Darkovibes 'Inna Song (Gin & Lime)' ft. King Promise
Ghanaian afrobeats artist Darkovibesshares 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."
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.
Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela 'Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)'
Nigerian afrobeat pioneer Tony Allenand South African jazz legend Hugh Masekelarecorded 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.
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.
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 andLove 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.
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.
Tom X Wolfe 'Attention' ft. LuvaboyTJ, Chino & MickyR
Gabonese-Canadian producer and artist Tom X Wolfecomes 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.
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.
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.
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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