The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week
The best music of the week featuring
The best music of the week featuring Mr Eazi, Fatoumata Diawara, DJ Maphorisa, Davido 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.
Adekunle Gold 'About 30'
Adekunle Gold's much-anticipated sophomore album, About 30, has arrived. The 14-track album boasts features from Seun Kuti, Flavor and British-Nigerian soul singer Jacob Banks, who appears on a remix to the popular lead single "Ire." The album sees the artist flexing immense versatility and range as he delivers emotional ballads, folk-Inspired cuts sung in Yoruba, and a few highlife-tinged summer jams.
Sudan Archives 'Sink'
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, producer and violinist Sudan Archives released her second solo EP, Sink, last Friday on Stones Throw, a dynamic collection of psychedelic songs that sway toward the minimal and experimental. Her awe-inspiring, one-woman setup involves looping live strings over electronic beats and a songwriting style that pairs together Sudanese folk and fiddle music with '90s R&B.
Falz 'This Is Nigeria'
Nigerian rapper, Falz has been known to use his sharp brand of humor to address social ills in his country. He takes it a step further with the release of "This is Nigeria." The outcome is an audacious, decidedly necessary critique of Nigerian society inspired by Childish Gambino's viral video "This is America."
Falz tackles everything from the government's sluggish response to the missing Chibok Girls, the drug epidemic affecting Nigerian youth, widespread consumerism, the country's infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), internet fraud, crooked pastors, Fulani herdsmen and even Big Brother Nigeria.
Bombino 'Deran Deran Alkheir'
Bombino capitalizes on his ability to paint vivid pictures in the mind with striking lyrics and beautiful guitar strums by bringing us a music video for his new track, "Deran Deran Alkheir." After listening to his full album, we've been wondering when we'd see a music video and we've been finally blessed with the first one. The music video features a bride and groom expressing their love through interpretive-style dance.
The Big Hash feat. Riky Rick 'Dark Horse'
Riky Rick keeps highlighting young rappers that move him. At this year's Back To The City, Riky brought out the 17-year-old rapper The Big Hash to perform during his set. Riky now joins the young rapper on his latest single, "Dark Horse." Just like most of The Big Hash's song, the bass and kicks thump hard while he devours the instrumental with high-precision flows and an unmatched conviction.
AYLØ 'wys?' feat. Santi
Here's the waviest of wavy joints from one of the (many) highlight artists coming out of the new school of afrobeats, AYLØ, and Santi, the man whose genre-bending is pushing a new Naija sound. Get into "wys?" above.
DELLA$IE 'Chop Life!
Ghana's own DELLA$IE will help you kick off your Friday with her new music video, "Chop Life." In the stripped down, percussion-heavy track, DELLA$IE gives us a reminder we all need through a popular pidgin phrase to live life to the fullest. "'Chop Life' is a West African pidgin term which essentially means 'to live life and enjoy yourself.' The 'Chop Life' visual includes themes of love and afro-futurism. I was really inspired by the 'Black Panther' film and there are some subtle references to it in the visual," DELLA$IE says.
Efya & Mr Eazi's 'Mamee'
We've been waiting for a follow-up to Mr Eazi and Efya's "Skintight" for two years—and it's finally here. The two are back with a new single "Mamee," meaning "Give Me." The dance track, which was originally teased on Efya's birthday back in April, has the two artists discussing a complicated relationship. They sing to each other about having physical chemistry, but question whether or not its "true love."
Flex Rabanyan 'The Born Free'
Flex Rabanyan won the popular rap competition The Hustle on Vuzu TV last year. About a year later, his debut album, The Born Free, arrives. On the album, Flex tells his personal story with the skills of a virtuoso rapper, and by so doing gives you a glimpse of what it's like to be young, black and gifted in South Africa. The concept of South African kids who are born after 1994, being called "born free" is one of the biggest ironies of our young democracy.
Tomi Agape 'In the Night' feat. Nonso Amadi
Tomi Agape draws inspiration from her African roots for the dancehall-leaning cut "In The NIght," a collaboration with Nonso Amadi. The standout single now gets a hazy music video courtesy of director UAX.
Mr Eazi 'London Town' feat. Giggs
Last week Mr Eazi dropped two new singles, the afrobeats banger "Overload" and the grime-inspired "London Town" featuring Giggs—today the artist comes through with a vibrant music video for the standout track, directed by Meji Alabi. The majority of the video takes place in what looks like an empty, smoke-filled underground tube, where Giggs and Mr Eazi perform their verses before hazy, colorful backdrops. It doesn't steer too far from the typical afrobeats music video equation, but the uniqueness of the Da Beatfreakz-produced track makes up for it.