Les Amazones d'Afrique. Photo: Karen Paulina Biswell

The 11 Songs You Need To Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Beyoncé x Fela, Wizkid, Mr Eazi, Riky Rick, 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.


Beyoncé x Fela Kuti

Unless you've been living under a wi-fi-less rock for the past few days, you've heard all the hype around #BeyChella—Beyoncé's highly-anticipated return to the stage at this year's Coachella music festival in California.

As expected, Beyoncé's set was electrifying and filled with odes to various aspects of black music, history and culture. At one point, the singer payed homage to Fela Kuti as her band ran through a pulsating rendition of the afrobeat legend's 1976 classic "Zombie." Check out the clip above.

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Shekhinah "Suited (Remix)" feat. Mr Eazi & Synx

Shekhinah's 2017 certified Platinum hit single "Suited", just like most of the singer's hits, was an amalgamation of R&B;, pop and electronic music. The track's so good it was easily one of our favorites songs of last year.

On the remix of the song, which features Nigeria's Mr Eazi, Nigerian producer SynX gives "Suited" a new life in which it leans towards Afro pop. Mr Eazi adds a new verse, which transforms the song into a great duet.

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Efya x Mr Eazi "Mame (Give Me)"

Mr Eazi was everywhere this week. We've been waiting for a followup to him and Efya's "Skintight" for two years—and it finally came. The two are back with a new single "Mame," meaning "Give Me."

The dance track, which was released on Efya's birthday, has the two artists discussing a complicated relationship. They sing to each other about having physical chemistry, but question whether or not its "true love."

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ODIE 'Analogue'

ODIE is making magical hip-hop and R&B based on his Nigerian roots. The 21-year-old's debut effort, Analogue, offers a diverse, warm, and impressive new listening experience.

The highly-immersive 10-track project features ambient alternative R&B; tracks like "Little Lies" and "North Face" whilst intersecting with more up-tempo bangers such as "Faith" and "Story." With its poignant lyricism and sensual melodies, Analogue is a fully-formed project that's perfect for your evening playlist.

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Wizkid "Lagos Vibe," "Aphrodisiac," & "Highgrade" feat. Ty Dolla $ign

These three new tracks from Wizkid are sure to set your weekend right. The afrobeats superstar released "Highgrade," a new collaboration with "Manya" producer MUT4Y featuring Ty Dolla $ign. The two crooners continue to show their musical chemistry on the track.

Wizkid stays in the pocket with "Lagos Vibes," toasting a girl, telling her he wanted to "feel her vibes" in the SpotLess produced track. "Aphrodisiac" is the Starboy's foray into R&B;—producer NorthboiBeatz slows down Ja Rule and Ashanti's "Always On Time" for the slow jam.

Listen to all 3 tracks here

Eku Fantasy "Living On The Outside"

Eku Fantasy is the new cross-continental project from UK-based Nigerian artist Olugbenga Adelekan (of Metronomy) and the South African-based Gareth Jones (better known as Jumping Back Slash).

The striking music video for "Living On The Outside," soundtracks a song that tackles themes of assimilation and alienation, as experienced by both artists who are 'transplants' in their current home countries.

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Les Amazones d'Afrique "Mansa Soyari" feat. Rokia Koné

Les Amazones d'Afrique is an all-female West African supergroup who released one of last year's most moving and socially-charged records, République Amazon.The group's roster includes the likes of Beninese pop icon Angelique Kidjo, national Malian treasure, Kandia Kouyaté, vocal legend Mamani Keita, and Mariam Doumbia (of Amadou & Mariam).

The group are now sharing a new music video for album single "Mansa Soyari," a song about female empowerment on which Malian singer Rokia Koné takes center stage.

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The Big Hash's 'Life + Times of a Teenage Influence' EP

If you are a fan of flows, just press play already. On his latest EP, the aptly titled Life + Times of a Teenage Influence, Pretoria-based rapper The Big Hash shows his off as he segues from melodic flows to conventional raps over eardrum shattering 808-based trap production.

He is ambitious, relentless and emotional (without being whiney), and he expresses it fully in just five songs. Life + Times of a Teenage Influence is one gem you can't afford to overlook if you care about the future of South African hip-hop.

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Riky Rick 'Feel Good Live Sessions'

South African rapper and producer Riky Rick kicks off the second season of the YouTube show Feel Good Live Sessions with a performance that will put a smile on your face.

Because he's a don, he does vocals and also plays some pads on an MPC, ensuring the set doesn't lose the grit from the original songs. Riky and his three-piece band have some sporadic moments of improvisation and the artist also involves the audience in his performance in a way only he can.

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Trak Joy "Soften Me"

New York-based electronic R&B band Trak Joy is the indie artist you need to listen to this month. Check out Tthe duo's new single "Soften Me" above.

Read our interview with Trak Joy

Proverb "Heaven"

ProVerb's unmatched wordplay and storytelling shines in his latest single. Titled "Heaven," the song sees the talented MC imagine what heaven looks like, as he pays respect to Winnie Mandela, Hugh Masekela and more.

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



Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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