The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Jidenna, Gemini Major, Nasty C, Kirani AYAT, AYLØ, M.I Abaga, Ethiopian Records 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.


A Beat-tape Tribute to Johnny Clegg

South African hip-hop producers such as Beat Mochini, Arsenic, Lebzotic and a few others have come together to pay homage to legendary South African musician Johnny Clegg, who died last month. The project, which is simply titled A Beat-tape Tribute to Johnny, sees each producer flip a Johnny Clegg or Juluka sample to make a new instrumental. It's a versatile project that showcases beats of different textures, ranging from the 808-laden flip of "Scatterlings of Africa" by Juluka to the percussion-heavy boom bap of Beatmochini on "Bafazane."

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Jidenna 'Tribe'

Jidenna's new music video for "Tribe" follows him and his crew through an epic house party. "Tribe" is definitely a hip-hop number where Jidenna speaks about camaraderie and the friends in his life who have literally become his family. He also emphasizes how even those who isolate themselves still need to be a part of a tribe or collective at the end of the day. It's definitely a banger and something that gets you wanting to move along with it.

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AYLØ 'dnt'dlt'

AYLØ is a rising rapper, singer & producer coming out of the same innovative Nigerian musical circles as the likes of Santi and Odunsi. He shared his new mixtape dnt'dlt, a hazy and alluring ride through the artist's wide array of influences—from hip-hop to soul to jazz and more—all presented in his own new wave lens. The 10-track project features up-and-comers like Fasina, PscyhoYP, Myquale, Mojo, Sugabana, and Cheso. Dnt'dlt includes the previously released single "Paris!," which was co-produced by Le Mav and Odunsi The Engine.

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Gemini Major ft. Nasty C & Tellaman 'Right Now'

Gemini Major just released the music video for "Right Now," his latest single, featuring Nasty C and Tellaman. "Right Now" is a certified street banger, built around an ice cold bassline that's as big as the three artists lacing it. The video, just like the song, isn't anything conceptual. It consists mostly of performance scenes, most of them filmed in an abandoned building. Visual effects add color to an already colorful video—there's always color wherever Tellaman is.

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Kirani AYAT 'Shugah 2x'

Buzzing Ghanaian act Kirani AYAT comes through with this brand new single and video for "Shugah 2x." The new track is a bit of a departure from his signature Hausa-rap style, as he decides to tackle more electronic-leaning production. "Shugah 2x is an experiment I did on my last EP Her Vibe Is Right," Kirani AYAT tells OkayAfrica. "I wanted to do something new from what I'm known for and that was the result, a blend between SA house, Ghana highlife and afrobeat."

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Beast feat. Sjava 'Hello'

Beast's latest single "Hello" is doing well, getting airplay on most South African major radio stations. This is obviously thanks to the radio-friendly nature of the song, especially the hook from Sjava and its Afro pop feel. "Hello" is optimistic, with the rapper encouraging his listeners by telling them, no matter how difficult life currently is, things eventually get better.

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Nova 'S.T.A.Y (Still Think About You)'

Nova is back with his new EP, S.T.A.Y (Still Think About You). Throughout its seven songs, the EP draws you into Nova's hazy Toronto world with sounds ranging from hip-hop to RnB, soul, and influences from his background across Nigeria and Ghana. "S.T.A.Y is a universe of dark melancholy and Afrocentric vibrations" the artist and his team explain. The EP features production from collaborators Doozybeatz, Goldkeyz, and Kabizzy. It was executive produced by longtime collaborator BankyOnDBeatz.

S.T.A.Y (Still Think About You) is available everywhere now.

Ethiopian Records DJ Mag Mix

Addis Ababa-based producer Ethiopian Records comes through with this new hour-long mix for DJ Mag's On Cue series. The mix, titled Joyful Rebellion, is "a pan-African call of unity and [accompanies] a release I did in a pan-African compilation with the record label Python Syndicate," he tells us. Check it out above.

M.I Abaga x Nonso Amadi 'Playlist'

M.I Abaga drops this new music video for this highlight from last year's Rendezvous: A Playlist, featuring Nonso Amadi. The song is described by his team as "the calm balance between the clever wordplay, double entendres of M.I, andthe romantic pursuit of his desired woman of interest." The new music video was directed by Seyi Akinlade in Lagos, Nigeria.

A Mix of SA Hip-Hop Songs Produced by Buks

BETR Gang member Buks is one of South African hip-hop's key producers. He was introduced to fans in the late 2000s, as part of the super producer trio The I.V. League aka I.V League aka I.V League Papa, alongside AKA and Kamza. Recently, fellow BETR Gang member and producer Al Da 3rd released an hour-long mix of songs produced by Buks. He manages to go through close to 40 songs that bear Buks' credits, since his I.V League days to present day.

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


Music

Listen to Solo’s New Single ‘Promises’ Featuring Kwesta

Solo and Kwesta connect on 'Promises.'

Solo and Kwesta share a bouncy kwaito beat on "Promises." Kwesta's at home over an instrumental of this kind. It's, however, a shift on Solo's side, who hasn't been known for new age kwaito. The rapper adapts his delivery accordingly, using fewer words than you'd normally expect in his verse.

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News
"85 to Africa" album art.

Listen to Jidenna's New Album, '85 to Africa'

Plus watch the music video for his latest single "Worth the Weight" featuring Seun Kuti.

It's been two years since Jidenna dropped his debut album, The Chief, today, the artist shares his latest studio album 85 to Africa.

In the lead-up to the album's release, the artist dropped the singles "Tribe," "Sufi Woman" "Sou Sou," and "Zodi" featuring fellow Nigerian artist Mr Eazi. He also held several listening parties across the US ahead of its release, and from what we can tell from videos that have been circulating on social media—they've been a really great time for both Jidenna and his fans.

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Audio

Mr Eazi & Simi Drop the New Single and Video For 'Doyin'

A head-nodding Afro-R&B track produced by Killertunes.

Mr Eazi seems to be in unstoppable work mode right now as he's been popping up in big singles and collaborations all over the place this summer, as well as continuing his emPawa Africa initiative.

For his latest single, "Doyin," Eazi connects with Nigerian singer Simi for a head-nodding Afro-RnB track. The new song, which is built on woozy synthesizers and mid-tempo beat work, was produced by Killertunes. Eazi and Simi trade verses in the addictive single, which comes paired with a new music video directed by Manuel Concha.

Read: The Music Business of Mr Eazi

"Doyin" is the first song released through emPawa Distribution, a digital music aggregator focused solely on distributing African music, which Eazi announced after the success of emPawa Africa. Speaking of the initiative, emPawa Africa is now reopened to submissions that will help fund the music videos of 30 up-and-coming artists and offer mentorship from big name artists.

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Music

Listen to Rick Jade (Bontle Modiselle and Priddy Ugly)’s Album ‘D.N.A (Da New Africa)’

Rick Jade release their debut album.

Bontle Modiselle and Priddy Ugly, collectively known as Rick Jade, aren't half-stepping. Today, the couple released their debut album D.N.A (Da New Africa).

D.N.A consists of 10 songs that dabble in pop, trap and even kwaito. Guest features on D.N.A include Forcalistic, KLY and some members of the collective Frsh Citizen, which Bontle and Priddy are part of.

In his previous projects, Priddy Ugly had some moments of showing emotion and sharing intimate details of his life. But on D.N.A, he explores that side of himself further.

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