The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week
Featuring Burna Boy, R2Bees, Sjava, Adekunle Gold, Fancy Gadam, 'Amapiano' 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.
Burna Boy 'Dangote'
Burna Boy released his first solo single of the year, "Dangote," late last week. The new Kel P-produced track, which is named after Nigerian business magnate and Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote, sees Burna singing in Yoruba, English and Pidgin. The single now has a striking new Clarence Peters-directed music video that sheds light on the stories of many Nigerians who are facing economic struggles and the choices that come up from living in those situations.
South African B.E.T Award-winning and Grammy nominated artist Sjava's new music video for the song "Umama" shows just how genuine the man his. Instead of following rap video clichés, Sjava decided to show his mother and place of birth some love. The video shows the artists trekking to rural KwaZulu Natal where he was born. He spends time with his mother, who burns impepho and asks the elders to keep an eye on her son.
NiiQuaye x Kirani Ayat x Akan 'Twa Wonan Ase'
NiiQuaye's latest single "Twa Wonan Ase" is an uplifting highlife-fusion track that sees the Accra-based artist and member of the Musical Lunatics connecting with buzzing Ghanaians Kirani Ayat and Akan. While the track itself is upbeat it carries a deeper message about the discrimination that the three Ghanaian artists face from police due to their looks and, in particular, their dreadlocks.
Nonso Amadi 'Emergency'
Nonso Amadi is one of the standout acts from a young wave of Nigerian musicians whose music can't quite be defined. He's now back with his first single of the year, "Emergency." The new track, which premiered on Ebro's Beats 1 show, is an addictive afro-fusion concoction that pairs pop vocals with pulsating keyboard stabs and bouncy beat work.
Amapiano Volume 4
Amapiano is the new South African house music sub-genre that's dominating clubs, shebeens and radio playlists. Started in Pitori (which you might know as Pretoria, the capital of South Africa), amapiano blends the city's musical influences. Amapiano is a sophisticated hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music. It's characterized mainly by keys, which live between synths, airy pads and wide bass lines. Amapiano Volume 4, came out last week, and features the likes of Kabza De Small, Ntokzin, MDU aka TRP, and a whole lot more.
Fancy Gadam 'Only You' ft. Kuami Eugene
Fancy Gadam drops the brand new single and music video for "Only You." The new track sees Fancy link-up with another buzzing Ghanaian act, Kuami Eugene, who was present in several of our favorite Ghanaian songs of last year. "Only You" has the two artists connect over catchy afro-fusion beat built on bouncing synths and guitar lines, produced by Stone B.
R2Bees 'Yesterday' + Site 15
Ghana's R2Bees' just dropped their brand new album, Site 15, late last week. Their third studio album sees the duo cycling through some addictive tunes with help from the likes of Wizkid, King Promise, Burna Boy, DarkoVibes, Kwesi Arthur and many others. We premiered the lighthearted game show-style music video for standout album track "Yesterday." It follows R2Bees as they're joined by DarkoVibes and Ovawise and play matchmakers.
Adekunle Gold 'Before you wake up'
Adekunle Gold has lifted our spirits by dropping his new single, "Before You Wake Up," today. The Nigerian crooner continues to flex his toasting skills, taking the straightforward Sess-produced track to sweep his love off her feet. "I know you need a holiday," he sings, opening the song. "Let's go away for 6 months—twice in a year."
Saturday, Monday x Kanyi Mavi x Le Roi Alekpehanhou
South African rapper Kanyi Mavi appears on a new song by Saturday, Monday (Swedish DJ and producer Ludvig Parment). The song was released last month, and it sees the vicious Cape Town MC lace an electronic instrumental with her poetic storytelling. The song is written from a place of anger, as she raps from the perspective of a woman who's fed up of being in an abusive relationship.
Shingai 'Coming Home'
Shingai of the Noisettes comes through with her debut solo single, "Coming Home," from her upcoming EP, Ancient Futures. In her new track, the Zimbabwean-rooted, London-raised talks about a strong desire to return home to Zimbabwe. "'Coming Home' is my klaxon call for the diaspora to reunite with those at home and build a bridge of hope," she's mentioned. "Many of us are scattered and undernourished by the environments we have found ourselves in. We are still healing."
Dr Malinga x Kwesta 'Indlela'
House music stalwart Dr Malinga's latest single "Indlela" comes with yet another stellar Kwesta verse. Who could have predicted this collaboration? "Indlela" is a mid-tempo house joint that references 80s and 90s South African pop, as is usually the case with Dr Malinga's hits. The song is produced by the ever-diverse Alie Keys, whose sound you are familiar with if you've listened to Cassper Nyovest's last two albums, Thuto and Short and Sweet.
DJ Big N x Mr Eazi 'Jowo'
Mr Eazi connects with Dj Big N for the steel drum-based new single "Jowo." We recently talked to Mr Eazi about how he independently built a music career for himself via smart business decisions and his new endeavor, emPawa.
Manu Worldstar 'Future Plan'
After releasing the hit song "Nalingi" that solidified his spot in the music game and reached a million streams, Manu WorldStar is back with what sounds like another hit. The young rapper continues to dabble in Afropop in "Future Plan", which similarly echoes the calm pace of "Nalingi," there is the continuation of the theme of being in love with a leading lady.
MC Soprano 'All of You'
The Canada-based MC Soprano shares "All of You," the first single from his upcoming EP, Diamonds & Red Roses. "All of You is your perfect romance song for whether you're stargazing or just laying on the beach," he mentions, "The song signifies that 'when you know, you know.'"