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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.

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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.

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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.


Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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