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.

Find out more

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



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Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

Freddie Harrel Is Building Conscious Beauty For and With the African Diaspora

Formerly known as "Big Hair Don't Care", creator Freddie Harrel and her team have released 3 new wig shapes called the "RadShapes" available now.


Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


The normalising of Black and brown women in wigs of various styles has certainly been welcomed by the community, as it has opened up so many creative avenues for Black women to take on leadership roles and make room for themselves in the industry.

Radswan (formerly known as Big Hair Don't Care), is a lifestyle brand "bringing a new perspective on Blackness through hair, by disrupting the synthetic market with innovative and sustainable products." Through their rebrand, Radswan aims to, "upscale the direct-to-consumer experience holistically, by having connected conversations around culture and identity, in order to remove the roots of stigma."

The latest from French-Cameroonian founder and creator Freddie Harrel - who was featured on our list of 100 women of 2020 - has built her career in digital marketing and reputation as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment. On top of her business ventures, the 2018 'Cosmopolitan Influencer of the Year' uses her platform to advocate for women's empowerment with 'SHE Unleashed,' a workshop series where women of all ages come together to discuss the issues that impact the female experience, including the feeling of otherness, identity politics, unconscious bias, racism and sexism.

And hair is clearly one of her many passions, as Freddie says, "Hair embodies my freest and earliest form of self expression, and as a shapeshifter, I'm never done. I get to forever reintroduce my various angles, tell all my stories to this world that often feels constrained and biased."

Armed with a committee of Black women, Freddie has cultivated Radswan and the aesthetic that comes with the synthetic but luxurious wigs. The wigs are designed to look like as though the hair is growing out of her own head, with matching lace that compliments your own skin colour.

By being the first brand to use recycled fibres, Radswan is truly here to change the game. The team has somehow figured out how to make their products look and feel like the real thing, while using 0% human hair and not negotiating on the price, quality or persona.

In 2019, the company secured £1.5m of investment led by BBG Ventures with Female Founders Fund and Pritzker Private Capital participating, along with angelic contributions from Hannah Bronfman, Nashilu Mouen Makoua, and Sonja Perkins.

On the importance of representation and telling Black stories through the products we create, Freddie says, "Hair to me is Sundays kneeling between your mothers or aunties legs, it's your cousin or newly made friend combing lovingly through your hair, whilst you detangle your life out loud. Our constant shapeshifting teaches us to see ourselves in each other, the hands braiding always intimately touching our head more often than not laying someone's lap."

"Big Hair No Care took off in ways we couldn't keep up with," she continues, "RadSwan is our comeback.It's a lifestyle brand, it's the hair game getting an upgrade, becoming fairer and cleaner. It's the platform that recognises and celebrates your identity as a shapeshifter, your individuality and your right to be black like you."


Check out your next hairstyle from Radswan here.

Radswan's RadShape 01Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 02Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 03Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

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