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Moonchild Sanelly x Dejot in "Newton Chips"

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Adekunle Gold, Moonchild Sanelly, Kwesi Arthur, Davido, Shane Eagle 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.


Adekunle Gold 'Young Love'

After recently announcing that he'd be dropping Afro Pop, his third studio album, soon, Adekunle Gold released a new music video for this single, "Young Love," and true to form, it's a definite banger. "I know this is young love, feels like a lifetime. Although this is young love, don't ever leave my side," the Nigerian artist sings as he describes a new romance he's stumbled into with a beautiful woman. The catchy and up-tempo beat was produced by Okan, an upcoming beatsmith in the UK who has worked with the likes of Mr Eazi.

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Moonchild Sanelly x Dejot 'Newtown Chips'

Dejot released the EP Uhujano in February. The Swiss producer enlisted South African artists such as Moonchild Sanelly, RADIO 123 and Waterlillyrose, among others. The producer recently shared the music video for a single from Uhujano. Titled "Newtown Chips," the song features Moonchild Sanelly. In the song, the singer muses about relationships and privacy in the digital era. The song took shape from a piece of advice Moonchild shared with a friend about the sharing of nudes, how, if you share them with another person, they will highly likely end up being seen by more eyes than intended.

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Kwesi Arthur 'Thoughts Of King Arthur 5 (Dior Pop Smoke )'

Ghanaian rapper Kwesi Arthur comes through with some serious bars and heat in his latest drop, "Thoughts Of King Arthur 5 (Dior Pop Smoke)." You'll be nodding your heard to this one for days, as Kwesi shows why he's "Ghana's king of the youth" and taking GH hip-hop global.

Read our interview with Kwesi Arthur

Andy S 'Mi-Temps'

Get ready for a rapid-fire delivery from Andy S, a 22-year-old rapper from Abidjan, Ivory Coast who personifies "spit fire." The rapper debuted a new track last week, called "Mi-Temps," a heavy hitting French rap that has quickened lyrics spilling over a looped chant echoing in the background. The passion and cadence with which she spits the chorus evokes trap vibes—perfect for jumping up and down, and shaking your hair in rhythmic defiance. "Mi-Temps" was produced by Ugandan/South African producer Mark Akol and mixed by Sipho the Gift.

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Shane Eagle 'BLACK'

Shane Eagle announced a new mixtape earlier this week. Titled Dark Moon Flower, the project features the likes of Nasty C, Santi, Bas, Lute, Kota The Friend, PatricKxxLee, J-Tek, Resarn, Caleborate and TheMind. Today, the young South Africa released the mixtape's opening song "BLACK." Shane Eagle talks his ish over a mean bassline and 808s. He tells you he prefers to pray at the crib instead of church. In the video, as usual, Shane Eagle is on his own. The video is as ominous as the song—it's shot in black and white, and is made friendlier to the eye with slight visual effects.

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Sarahmée 'Bun Dem'

Sarahmée is a new rapper from Senegal, based in Montreal, who just released her album, Irréversible. Her new music video for "Bun Dem" took her back to her home. "Bun Dem is a tribute to women around the world and to all those who fight in the face of adversity. Caraz and I wanted to work together for two years now, and the timing surrounding this project, the stories and filming in Senegal, are very meaningful to me. I hope that with this video, people will see another face of Africa and women,"explains Sarahmée.

Fabolous 'Choosy' ft. Jeremih & Davido

Fabolous drops his latest single and music video for "Choosy," a new song that sees him linking up with Nigerian star Davido and Jeremih. The new track, which was produced by Hitmaka and Swiff D, is built on light guitars and afrobeats-inspired beatwork. Davido comes in around the 3-minute mark of the video to deliver a romance-filled verse that interpolates his much-played opening line from "If." The music video for "Choosy" follows Fabo, Davido and Jeremih in and around Cape Verde. It features several beautiful, sun-filled shots of Praia and its people. The clip was directed by Gerard Victor.

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Antoinette Konan 

Prepare your ears and ready the dance floor for the return of the "Queen of the Ahoka." Awesome Tapes from Africa (ATFA) is reissuing the queen Antoinette Konan's eponymous 1986 album in the coming weeks. For music aficionados, crate diggers and those new to Konan's music alike—this is excellent news. This album burst across the international scene in the late '80s as what the label calls "a veritable UFO of instrumental force and contemporary pop sensibility landing in a boiling pot of diverse, creative characters inhabiting Abidjan, Ivory Coast."

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25K & Doobie Man 'Netflix'

25K's single "Netflix" recently got treated to visuals. Just like most of 25K's music, "Netflix" makes reference to a lot of activities that occur in the streets over trap production. Which you would expect from a rapper whose epithet is "The Plug" and another called Doobie Man. The song is produced by Mega Beats who 25K has worked with extensively on many songs, including the rapper's viral hit "Culture Vulture," which recently saw Emtee and AKA jump on its remix. In the video, directed by Untamed Pictures' Ayanda Mayo Sedibe, the rappers and their goons can be seen making illegal deals, exchanging cash for a mysterious backpack.

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Eli Fola 'Living On The Edge' ft. Dzidzor

Nigerian-born, NYC-based artists Eli Fola continues his hypnotic 'Yoruba Tech Soul' experimentations with this latest single and music video for "Living on the Edge" featuring Dzidzor. Check out the beautiful Maria Nova-directed video above.

Follow Eli Fola here

Mo Laudi 'Dance inside of you' ft. Ines (Rocky)

Producer and DJ Mo Laudi comes through with the futuristic music video for his head-nodding single "Dance Inside of You" featuring Ines (Rocky). "Set in 2199, this music video stages an unrequited love affair between two beings," a press statement reveals. "'Dance Inside of You' is Afrofuturist in tone. It was filmed in the eastern and western extremities of Paris: in a stunning partly derelict housing estate in Bagnolet and in the affluent business district of La Défense."

"Dance Inside of You" is available now

TNS 'Umona' ft. Mpumi

TNS drops another banger with "Umona." The latest single and music video from his latest album, Madlokovu King of African House, sees the Durban-born producer going in over some deep house vibes.

Madlokovu King of African House is available now

Focalistic 'Klippa' feat. Emtee

Earlier last week, Focalistic shared a snippet of a song in which he collaborated with Emtee. It was well received, and fans wanted the whole song out, so the Pitori-based rapper shared the full song. On "Klippa," Emtee and Focalistic drop a verse each, with the latter handling the hook over a trap instrumental. Emtee has been consistently dropping great verses this year, fresh off his label woes and media attention.

Find out more


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


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Collage by Ta'Ron Joyner

I Would Rather Breathe Than Think Outside the Box

South African artists were already working for little to no pay, but the pandemic has unleashed a flood of exploitative work requests right when we need money the most.

This essay is part of OkayAfrica's SA Reframed series, featuring personal writing from some of South Africa's best young writers edited by Verashni Pillay.

On the radio the other day, I heard a small business owner of a costume design company being interviewed and asked how they have managed to:

a. Reinvent themselves during this period, and

b. Think outside the box while doing so.

Their conversation made me think about how I have not managed to wrap my head around any sort of future, or reinvention outside any kind of box—beyond the one that wraps itself around my immediate reality. When the lockdown was announced, three friends and I withdrew to a remote area where internet access was dubious and, most times, simply not available. I would need to walk a bit of a distance to locate a spot under a tree or up a mountain to be connected for thirty minutes, or so.

Then I would do a basic comb through my emails and respond to work or requests that were already underway pre-lockdown. I only responded to new requests that either afforded me the opportunity to earn an income or those that allowed me to be productive on my own terms.

I was tired, lowkey grateful for the global pause, and no longer interested in the overly productive, overloaded nature of my previous normal. Something about the forced halt made me realise that I was on the edge of everything—myself included. I turned down anything that required me to join the endless online festivals, zoom panel discussions, Instagram takeovers and live readings. I refused all opportunities that needed me to grapple with any sort of forced normalcy. The ones that offered data or airtime or solidarity as compensation or assumed that I had gone pro bono. I needed a moment. I needed the space and time to re-bargain with the point of it all.

The pause was both useful and scary. It brought to the surface fears and revelations about the shortfalls of our industry and how creatives are positioned within the productivity machinery and economy of South Africa, or rather all the ways we fall outside of it.

As Minister of employment and labour Thulas Nxesi mentioned in a briefing two months ago, "On the issue of freelance workers—unfortunately with the current legislation they fall outside. Maybe what we are going to do is that after this we will have to re-look at it in terms of our legislative amendments and start a debate about that." Why are there laws that have gone unchallenged? Who should be challenging them? Why are artists hearing, out loud for the first time, of convenient loopholes that render us outside of an economy that taxes us like everyone else, and consumes us and our work. Yet, in times of crisis, this same economy engages with our art and our productivity and our products, but still deems us on the margin, outside, and non-essential. If we are not assisted financially, how can we be productive, how can we acquire the resources to produce? How can we apply our minds to anything else outside of survival and scrambling to stay afloat.

Pandemics do not mean that artists have gone pro bono

When you approach an artist with the assumption that they have gone pro bono during this time, when you draft an email to request a collaboration, a commission, a participation, a productivity of any kind, please bear in mind that artists are up against an unconcerned and corrupt government that has failed to provide aid and assistance to their sector during this time.

Theatre critic Sara Holdren says "Art is hard and most of it fails—either in small ways or catastrophic ones." In South Africa, the process of making art is hard, sure, but more than that, the conditions and the context in which we make work fails us in catastrophic ways that will require more than a debate and amended legislation. It will need, for starters, a minister who cares about the arts and understands its soul and mechanisms. This pause has brought about more questions and concerns for me than inspiration to reinvent or think outside the box. I have questions about the box itself and why I feel asphyxiated and trapped by its design.

I would rather breathe than think outside of the box

This pandemic has made me question what my career, livelihood and stability have been built on; what has been propping them up all this time, and what has been allowing me to appear valued and valuable in this economy? What does and will the spectrum of value look like in a normal that has been disrupted and now sits in a near distant future that may or may not be near?

Then I find myself vacillating between hope and concern. My hope is that when the pandemic is no longer with us, artists can have a come-to-jesus conversation about what has contributed and exacerbated this attitude and disrespect toward our practice and industry, I hope we can challenge the legislations that we have been dared to challenge, I hope we can be productive in ways that serve us and make sense for our well-being, that we will be paid our worth and that our society will realize that without the artist producing, there will be no art, or music, or films, or books and things that have kept people entertained and creatively nourished during this time.

My concern is that the "free"content artists are currently creating and the free access to art or performances, will not make this realisation possible, and that this kind of access, that was already undervalued and exploited, will be irreversible. The exploitation dialogue is tiring. Being treated as non-essential is tiring and terrifying too, and while most of the world can slowly start going back to work, most artists will probably have to hang tight until 2021, maybe even 2022.

While artists deal with a hoax of an arts and culture department that is dead to us and a minister who tweets more than he does his job, in an ideal world, I wish that artists could afford to indulge uncertainty, and fear, and pause, in ways that allow them to heed the call made by Nicholas Berger in his piece The Forgotten Art of Assembly [Or, Why Theatre Makers Should Stop Making] "We must lean into this pain. We must feel the grief. We must mourn. Mourn the loss of work, the loss of jobs, the loss of money, the loss of life. Mourn the temporary loss of an art form that demands assembly. Lean into the grief. Lean in. Lean in. Lean in. We must remind ourselves that mourning is a human act, not a digital one."

Koleka Putuma is an award-winning poet, playwright and theatre director. Her bestselling debut collection of poems Collective Amnesia is in its 10th print run and her play No Easter Sunday for Queers Sunday for Queers won several awards.

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Interview: Omah Lay Is Nigeria's New Young Act to W​atch

We sit down with the rising Port Harcourt-born musician to talk about his latest EP, Get Layd.