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The 17 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Santi, Amaarae, Rema, DJ Tunez x Wizkid, Nadia Nakai, Walshy Fire x Runtown 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 new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Santi 'Mandy & The Jungle'

As we all know by now, Nigeria's own Santi has been one to watch. The alté maestro dropped his highly-anticipated album, Mandy & The Jungle Friday—a vibe-filled project featuring the likes of DRAM, GoldLink (who recently collaborated with Maleek Berry), Tay Iwar, Amaarae, Nonso Amadi and more. "Over the past two years, I learnt more about expressing myself and translating that feeling into sound and visuals," Santi explains. Mandy & The Jungle warrants repeated listening, as Santi tells multifaceted tales of friendship, complex love to subsequent heartbreak.

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Amaarae 'Spend Some Time' feat. Wande Coal

Amaarae comes through with her brand new single and music video for "Spend Some Time," featuring Nigerian heavyweight Wande Coal. The Ghanaian artist, who dropped one of our favorite tracks last year with "Fluid," now comes back with another highly-addictive new tune. "Spend Some Time" pairs Amaarae's hazy vocal delivery with light synth hits and sparse beat work produced by ØBED and Rvdical The Kid.

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Seba Kaapstad 'Thina'

South African jazz and neo soul group Seba Kaapstad signed to Mello Music Group earlier this year. You can stream Thina, their first album under the popular indie label, which is home to the likes of Oddissee, Apollo Brown, Quelle Chris, Kool Keith and a lot more. Thina is, as expected, a diverse album that meshes the crew's influences—jazz, R&B;, electronic, neo soul and hip-hop. The themes explored lyrically are just as diverse as the music. Included in the album are the two video singles "Africa" and "Don't."

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Rema 'Dumebi'

It's no question that Rema's "Dumebi" is the standout track from his self-titled EP. The 18-year-old recent signee to Mavin Records has released the music video for the track, where we see the Benin City native crushing on a taken beauty, attempting to vie for her attention on a road trip—with her boyfriend present. Cute but sad, abi? We've all been there before. Styled in bright colors and Lagos cool (even in Nigerian streetwear brands like WAFFLESNCREAM), the music video for "Dumebi" is yet another example of how Nigerian youth are slowly making their own space for fresh, creative and quality sounds and visuals.

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Anatii 'Wena'

South African artist and producer Anatii's latest music video is directed by himself and Lindo Langa, like most of his recent videos. The video for "WENA" shows different couples celebrating each other and their love. People of different ages, genders, race and sexual orientation can all be seen flourishing in each other's company in the stunning visuals. The video opens with a voiceover by legendary South African news anchor Noxolo Grootboom, who ends her piece with her trademark signature "Ndinithanda nonke emakhaya."

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DJ Tunez 'Gbese' ft. Wizkid & Blaqjerzee

Following their memorable 2018 collaboration "Turn Up," which also featured Reekado Banks. Frequent collaborators DJ Tunez and Wizkid link up for their latest "Gbese" featuring Blaqjerzee, and we must say it's one of our favorites. "Gbese" is a breezy banger that sees Wizkid flexing his vocals throughout the mellow track. The song boasts an old-school smooth jazz feel and samples Tic Tac and Tony Tetuila's "Fefe N'efe", as noted in Konbini. To top it all off, the just over 5-minute track ends with a standout saxophone riff.

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Walshy Fire, Runtown & Alkaline 'No Negative Vibes'

Nigerian artist Runtown links with Major Lazer's Walshy Fire and Jamaican dancehall artist Alkaline for the made-for-summer banger "No Negative Vibes." The track, produced by Walshy Fire, is all about maintaining positive energy and living life to the fullest, as Runtown sings on the chorus an opening verse. Alkaline joins in with a melodic verse echoing the same sentiments sung in Patois.

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Dremo 'Touchdown'

Dremo drops his latest track "Touchdown," a banging tune that sees the Nigerian artist flexing his rap skills. The new single sees Dremo going in over a head-nodder beat as he raps about touching down across Atlanta and other cities to work on his upcoming EP, Codename Vol. 2, and do his thing at clubs. He also mentions that he'll be coming back to Nigeria once he finishes recording and that "Volume 2 bout to be a madness."

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Nonso Amadi & Kwesi Arthur 'Comfortable'

Nonso Amadi is one of the standout acts from a young wave of Nigerian musicians blending afro-fusion with RnB and much more. He's now dropping the brand new single "Comfortable," an addictive self-produced track that sees him linking up with bubbling Ghanaian act Kwesi Arthur. "Comfortable" is built on woozy synth keys and sparse beat work, all spearheaded by Nonso Amadi's vocals about wanting freedom in a relationship.

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Nadia Nakai 'Imma Boss'

Nadia Nakai is currently one of the most confident rappers in South Africa. The Zimbabwe-born rapper is relentless on the mic, rapping with a conviction that is sure to intimidate her competitions in every song. Nadia is unapologetic about her success; after all, just a few years ago, she was an underdog undergoing scrutiny, and the verdict didn't always favor her. In her latest single "Imma Boss," she rubs all that success in your face with her customary conviction. She spits quotable after another, equipping you with new captions for your Instagram posts. For instance, she raps in one of the verses.

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Young Paris 'Blood Diamond'

Young Paris is back with his third studio album, Blood Diamond. The new record sees the New York-based Congolese artist and Roc Nation signee cycling through nine tracks that are made for summer nights and dance floors. Blood Diamond is spearheaded by lead single "Juicy," a lively track that includes a verse from Nigerian heavyweight Olamide. Additional features across the album come from Mizzle, Breana Marin, and producer Nyceman.

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J-Smash Ft. Emtee 'Never Fall'

"Never Fall," the lead single to J-Smash's Rise of a King EP, finally has a video. In the visual, which was directed by Motion Billy, Emtee opens up to J-Smash who is playing a shrink of some sort. Emtee is assuring the man that he will never fall, he's here for the long run. "Never Fall" is one of the strongest songs on Rise of a King, an EP which has serious heaters.

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Gigi Lamayne 'Fufa'

Gigi Lamayne's raps and melodies find a new home over a high-tempo gqom beat on her latest single "Fufa." The song features house sensation King Monada, who usually owns the summer in South Africa with his infectious hits. Last year, his hit "Malwedhe" had the whole continent doing the hilarious idibala dance.

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Praiz 'Hustle' Ft. Stonebwoy

The music video for Praiz' latest single, "Hustle," is here. The Nigerian crooner's collaboration with Ghana's own Stonebwoy is a reggae-infused tune that inspires and uplifts those who grind day in and day out to make a better life for themselves. Directed by Adasa Cookey, Konbini reports, the music video for "Hustle" follows hardworking Lagosians in their various hustles while the powerhouse vocalists talk about their own respective stories on their journey to continued success.

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Gemini Major 'Issa Vibe' feat. Tellaman

Gemini Major's new single "Issa Vibe" is, well, a vibe. The song references 80s' dance music and is guaranteed to make you get down. The video shows Gemini Major and his collaborator Tellaman living carefree with a bunch of friends. Sticking to the 80s aesthetic, the video is colorful and there is a lot of dancing.

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FIKI 'No Good'

American-Nigerian singer/ songwriter FIKI comes through with her latest drop "No Good," which she calls 'an Afropop sexy fierce summer single." Check it out above.

DJ Maphorisa x Kabza De Small  'Scorpion Kings' feat. Kaybee Sax

DJ Maphorisa is a serial collaborator—having worked with most of your faves from Wizkid, Drake, Mlindo The Vocalist and a lot more. His latest collaborative single is the song "Scorpion Kings," in which he works with prominent amapiano producer Kabza De Small. The hypnotic song features Kaybee Sax, who laces the gloomy instrumental with mysterious dilatory vocals. Some eerie ululations contribute to the song's mystery.

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


News Brief
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Nigerian Filmmaker Dafe Oboro Tells the Lagos Hustle Story in His Vivid Fashion Film for Vlisco&co

"A Beautiful Struggle" is Vlisco&co's latest collaboration where Dafe Oboro shows us the beauty of the grind in his home city.

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With their latest collaboration, the brand tapped Nigerian filmmaker Dafe Oboro—the mind behind the fashion film A Beautiful Struggle featuring designs by Papa Oyeyemi and Abiola Olusola.

The film is a portrait showing what the Lagos hustle looks like and the beauty in the midst of it all from Oboro's perspective. We follow Smart Song—an aspiring musician hailing from a small-town—who lands in a psychadelic Lagos to follow his passion of music and being a star by any means necessary.

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Nonso Amadi Is Making His Unique Blend of Afro-Fusion

We speak with the Toronto-based Nigerian artist about his new self-produced EP, Free, which includes features from Mr Eazi and Simi.

Nonso Amadi is a Toronto-based musician cooking up his own blend of afro-fusion by mixing influences from his Nigerian background with elements of RnB, soul, pop and much more.

His releases and production over recent years have made Nonso one of the standout acts from a new wave of young Nigerian artists experimenting and pushing boundaries on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 23-year-old artist just dropped his latest release, Free, a 6-song EP which features appearances from Mr Eazi on lead single "Go Outside" and Simi, who provides vocals on "Better." The EP was entirely produced by Nonso himself, with a little help from British-Ghanaian producer Juls and AoD.

We spoke with Nonso Amadi during a visit to NYC about his genre-bending EP below.

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Fuse ODG Launches #SelfieCypherChallenge With New Video Featuring Olamide, Joey B, Kwamz & Flava

The artist enlists some of West Africa's finest MCs for a one-of-a-kind music video.

Popular Ghanaian MC artist Fuse ODG is back with a new music video for his collaborative record "Cool Down."

The track features several rappers including Olamide, Flava, Joey B and Kwamz—who all take turns to deliver their own freestyles atop the song's salsa-inspired production. "You ain't on my level, so boo cool down," rhymes the artist on the catchy chorus.

For the music video, the artist took a creative approach, launching the #SelfieCypherChallenge, using vertical, self-recorded clips of each artist living their best lives as they perform their verses. The artists record themselves everywhere from fitting rooms, to the middle of the street the pyramids.

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Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

This Stunning Photo Series Re-imagines What Cities Could Look Like in the Future

As Accra undergoes massive urbanization, buildings 'in limbo' are providing an alternative space for creatives and the youth.

Unfinished buildings are commonplace in Accra, Ghana, a city whose landscape is changing every single day. High-rise structures and concrete worlds are overtaking traditional neighborhoods and leaving urban spaces in a state of "limbo"⁠—the future of the city fossilized within the fragments of its past. One of these many unfinished buildings is an estate in the neighborhood of East Legon, and is now the site of a provocative art exhibition, the first of many that will be showcased in unfinished properties across Accra.

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