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The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Janet Jackson, Juls, Burna Boy, Busiswa, Tekno 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.



Janet Jackson "Made For Now" feat. Daddy Yankee

Ms. Jackson is back. The iconic artist returns with her first single since the release of her 2015 album Unbreakable, and it's a timely nod to the "made for now" influence of afrobeats fashion, sound and culture. On "Made For Now," which features Puerto Rican reggaeton titan Daddy Yankee, Janet Jackson does what she's done successfully so many times throughout her decades-long career: provide an infectious, party-worthy tune that's fun and undeniably easy to dance to.

Find out more.

Runtown "Unleash" feat. Fekky

Runtown is back with the new visual for his latest single "Unleash," a collaboration with UK grime act Fekky. The song, which is the Nigerian star's first single of 2018, lives in the similar downtempo sonic world of the previous hits like "Mad Over You" and "For Life." It sees Runtown linking up once again with frequent collaborator and producer Del B.

Find out more.

Burna Boy "Bark"

Burna Boy gave his own spin to Ramz' "Barking," one of the massive singles coming out of the UK this year. The Nigerian afrofusion star recently recorded an in-studio version of the hit, which he injects with a smoke-filled vibe. Throughout the edit Burna delivers dark lines that stick with you like "slice the side of man's face like a parting." He also tries on 50 Cent's "Many Men" flow for a short bit.

Find out more.

Prince Kaybee "Banomoya" feat. Busiswa & TNS

For his latest single, South African house music stalwart Prince Kaybee ropes in the indomitable Busiswaand the vocalist TNS. In the song, which leans towards deep house, Busiswa delivers her lyrics in chants, as usual, the way kwaito artists and rappers do. She speaks of women who do their own shit and leave the party on their own.

Find out more.

Juls "Normal" feat. Kojey Radical + "Saa Ara" feat. Kwesi Arthur & Akan

Juls has constantly been on rotation for years for his own hits as well as productions alongside Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Wande Coal which, as we wrote last year when he released Leap of Faith, have put him at the forefront of the afrobeats movement. The British-Ghanaian producer is now sharing two new single, "Normal," which sees him making a clear departure from the afrobeats grooves we're accustomed to hearing from him, and "Saa Ara."

Find out more.

Tekno "Choko"

Tekno's had an active year that's included the release of his hit "Jogodo," and its stunning music video, as well as his very recent collaboration with Ciara which just dropped last week. The Nigerian star is now letting go of yet another single, "Choko," an addictive new track produced by Krizbeatz, the same man behind Tekno's massive hit "Pana."

Find out more.

Michael Brun & Shirazee "Soweto"

Haitian-born artist Michael Brun links up with Beninese Afrosoul artist Shirazee for an acoustic version of their melodic house hit, "Soweto." This stripped down version was recorded in Brun's new home of Brooklyn, giving us a smooth, soulful rhythmic cut with a languid, late-afternoon vibe. "Soweto" is Shirazee's love letter to a city that he spent a lot of time in growing up—a raspy serenade to a city whose beat enchanted him.

Find out more.

Ericalandia '¡Paleta! Vol.2' Mix

Ericalandia comes through with a stellar, long-playing mix of "Turndown Naija + Afrobeats & Afropop" tracks that you'll have on repeat. Check out the full mix above and blast it at your next party.

Astryd Brown & Nadia Nakai "Lately"

South African singer Astryd Brown roped in the rapper Nadia Nakai for her latest single, "Lately," which was released in July. In the song's recently released video, the two artists spend some time in the desert on camelback and rock bikinis in a cruise ship.

Find out more.

Inxeba (The Wound) Soundtrack

João Orecchia, one third of the South African band Motèl Mari, made music inspired by the South African movie, Inxeba (The Wound), some of which made it to the film. The soundtrack is now available, and it features remixes by RMBO (BLK JKS, Motèl Mari), Motèl Mari and Magnifera. It features the vocalists Rouge and Naty Kaly.

Find out more.

Patoranking 'Heal D World'

Patoranking takes a turn towards globally-conscious, uplifting records with "Heal D World," a call for peace against society's ills. It's quite a departure from his reggae-dancehall output, what do you think?

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


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Casanova, Davido & Tory Lanez' '2AM' Will Soundtrack Your Weekend

Flatbush meets Lagos and Toronto in this addictive new single.

Brooklyn rapper Casanova rolls through with an energetic new collaboration with Davido and Tory Lanez.

"2AM" sees the rapper going in over highly-infectious afrobeats-meets-pop beat work, in the same vein as we've heard from massive hits like "Unforgettable." The song was produced by 30 Roc.

The single features the star power of Davido and Tory Lanez which gives "2AM" the increased potential to be one of those huge new jams that'll be getting constant spins this year on both sides of the Atlantic (it's already got the top slot in Spotify's African Heat playlist).

The music video kicks off in Atlanta but eventually follows Casanova to Lagos, where he connects with Davido in Shitta. The clip was directed by Nigeria's Meji Alabi, the creative force behind many of your favorite afrobeats videos.

"2AM" is the lead single from Casanova's upcoming EP, Free At Last, which is due from Roc Nation/Def Jam Recordings on February 15.

We talked to Casanova below to learn a little more about this new collaboration and sound for him.

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Dive Into TOBi's New Music Video For 'City Blues'

The Nigerian-Canadian rapper delivers a solid jam.

TOBi is a Nigerian-born, Toronto-based rapper making music inspired by his early life move to Canada and the experiences around immigration and culture shock.

You might have previously heard his track, "Hidden Fences," closing out the finale of Insecure or gotten into his 2016 debut EP, FYi.

TOBi is now sharing the new single and music for "City Blues," which sees the rapper taking cues from Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" over a beat produced by Free n Losh. It's the first taste we're hearing from his upcoming debut album due later this year.

"[City Blues is] written from one perspective within the African diaspora, pertaining to being caught between two worlds and reclaiming my ethnic identity," TOBi tells OkayAfrica. "Embracing my name has been a crucial part of my personal growth."

"I drew inspiration from the Shakespeare quote: 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.' City Blues speaks about the many roles that a human takes on at once but from my perspective," he adds.

Get into it below.

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News

Issa Rae to Star In Murder Mystery Rom-Com, 'The Lovebirds,' With Kumail Nanjiani

Issa Rae isn't playing with us in 2019!

Issa Rae has added yet another exciting project to her growing list for 2019, and we're totally here for it.

The actress and Insecure showrunner is set to star alongside comedian and Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani in the upcoming romantic comedy The Lovebirds, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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