Black Coffee 'Subconscious' album art detail.

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Black Coffee, Davido x Mayorkun, Mr Eazi, DJ Lag x Dj Tira, Tems, Bankulli x Not3s and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases 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.

Black Coffee 'Subconsciously' 

South African DJ, Black Coffee, has officially dropped his latest album Subconsciously. The wide-ranging album comes three years after international hit EP, Music Is King. The hotly anticipated Subconsciously features Sun-El Musician, Una Rams, Pharrell Williams, David Guetta and many more high profile artists. The album is sure to remind music fans why he is global house music icon.

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Davido 'The Best' ft. Mayorkun

DMW boss and Nigerian superstar Davido's cup doesn't seem to run dry. The star has gifted fans with an upbeat, action-packed music video to match the equally energetic "The Best," featuring Mayorkun, off of his much loved third studio album A Better Time. Directed by Dammy Twitch, the fun music video follows a storyline similar to that of childhood fan favorite flick, The Karate Kid.

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DJ Lag & DJ Tira 'Siyagroova'

DJ Lag has dropped stunning visuals for "Siyagroova" featuring DJ Tira. The highly anticipated music video comes after the single was released in the first week of December last year. "Siyagroova" is the perfect mix of gqom's uncompromising hard beats and base together with DJ Tira's irresistible kwaito hooks. The visuals provide a much needed visual escape as they showcase Durban's dance scene and city.

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Mr Eazi 'The Don'

Nigerian Afropop heavyweight Mr Eazi is out with his first single of 2021, "The Don," and an upcoming EP titled Something Else. With production credits to Killertunes and E Kelly, this latest track shows how much bigger and better the artist gets with each new release. An operatic, 'afro-trap' ballad of note, "The Don" gives fans a glimpse into Eazi's bountiful bag o' tricks and treats, as well as teasing the highly anticipated EP to come.

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Bankulli & Not3s 'Foreign'

Nigerian Afropop manager-turned-singer Bankulli is back this year with a fire track and accompanying visuals featuring Not3s, and we urge you to take note. On his second go at being center stage, Bankulli (who got a Grammy nod for his work on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift) recruited British-Nigerian Afroswing crooner Not3s to add his golden touch to the track. The latest and snappy single "Foreign" is sure to appease fans with it's stylish and catchy vibe, and equally as pleasant visuals to match.

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IKOQWE, a new project from producer Batida and rapper/activist Ikonoklasta, presents an ear-catching blend of old school hip-hop beats with traditional Angolan music. "Pele" is the first single from their upcoming debut album The Beginning, the Medium, the End and the Infinite, which will feature a mix of "vocals in Angolan slang, Umbundu, Portuguese & English, discussions about neocolonialism, iniquities & falsified history, radio sounds, utopian solutions, and much more," a press statement reads. Get into it above

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Tems 'The Key'

Nigerian songstress Tems has released the new visuals for her track "The Key" which features on her 2020 For Broken Ears EP. Directed by UAX, the music video is the artist's first visual production for this year and showcases her daring cinematic concepts.

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Wavy The Creator 'This War, This World' 

Multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist Wavy The Creator has shared her latest effort "This War, This World," a song about recent events in Nigeria and across the globe. The track comes accompanied with a visual directed by Singapore's Tell Your Children, through a global collaboration facilitated by digital platform HUH. "The song... speaks of unity, understanding, and respect for one another. The common message is finding peace and beauty through working in harmony with each other," Wavy The Creator mentions.

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El'Vee 'My Body'

Twin sister duo El'Vee come through with new single and music video about body positivity that you can dance along to. "My Body" is an uplifting, "fun, energetic, afropop record that embodies our femininity, where we're not afraid to embrace our sexuality," the British-Nigerian twins mention. Get into the groove above.

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Rouge 'Popular Remix'

South African lyricist Rouge recently released the highly anticipated remix to her single "Popular". The remix comes with verses from members of South Africa's new waveCosta Titch, Phanton Steeze, Tumi Tladi, Hanna and Blxckie. The song showcases the diverse styles of the country's new generation of hip-hop artists—from melodic to hard raps, and a variance of writing styles.

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

Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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