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Davido' and Lil Baby in 'So Crazy'

The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Davido, Simmy, Ballaké Sissoko, Olamide 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 playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Davido 'A Better Time'

Nigerian superstar Davido has released his much-anticipated album, A Better Time. This comes after he released the track list for the album just two days ago via social media. The 17-track album is the artist's fourth studio album and is the official follow-up project to his record-breaking album, A Good Time, which he released towards the end of last year. A Better Time features a number of music heavyweights including American rap goddess Nicki Minaj, the inimitable Nas, fellow Nigerian superstars Tiwa Savage and Mayorkun, South African rapper Sho Madjozi and several others.

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Vis-A-Vis 'Obi Agye Me Dofo'

Here's a Ghanaian highlife reissue that you need to listen to. Obi Agye Mi Dofo is the 1977 album by revered highlife band Vis-A-Vis. "As both a popular live act and in-demand studio musicians, Vis-A-Vis released 13 albums between 1975 and 1982, of which Obi Agye Me Dofo remains the most sought after," explains Canadian label We Are Busy Bodies, who is reissuing the record. "Led by vocalist Isaac 'Superstar' Yeboah and featuring Sammy Cropper on guitar, Slim Manu on bass and Gybson 'Shaolin Kung-Fu' Papra on drums, Vis-A-Vis helped propel K. Frimpong to fame as one of Ghana's most popular stars of the 1970s. On some of Frimpong's albums, they also overlapped as part of his other recording band, the Cubano Fiestas."

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Simmy 'Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars)'

South African vocalist Simmy has released the second installment of her Tugela Fairy album series, Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars). The 16-track album includes the previously released singles, "Ngihamba Nawe" and "Emakhaya." For her sophomore, Simmy taps guests outside her El World Music labelmates, enlisting the likes of Afro-soul songstress Ami Faku, Afro-house producers/deejays Black Motion, Da Capo and maskandi heavy weight Khuzani.

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Ballaké Sissoko ft. Oxmo Puccino 'Frotter Les Mains'

Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko is readying his upcoming 11th album, Djourou, due out February via Parisian label Nø Førmat!. For now get entranced by the single "Frotter Les Mains," featuring French rapper Oxmo Puccino, which features an intriguing blend of the kora and spoken word.

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KillaBeatMaker 'Bambú' feat. Papá Kumbé

Here comes one from Medellin, Colombia via producer KillaBeatMaker, who creates infectious beats out of Afro-Colombian influences and deep bass. Get into "Bambú" featuring Papá Kumbé above.

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Olamide 'Infinity' ft. Omah Lay

Nigeria's Olamide comes through with the new visuals for "Infinity," featuring Omah Lay. His latest album, Carpe Diem. gives fans a taste of how wide his reach and influence on the Nigerian music scene has truly been. Appearances from friends, proteges and comrades on the album like Fireboy DML, Bella Shumrda, Omah Lay, Peruzzi, Phyno and Bad Boy Timz, further highlight and emphasize his well deserved label as one of the best to do it.

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


Interview
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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