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Cassper Nyovest. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Yemi Alade, Cassper Nyovest, Burna Boy, Reason, Blinky Bill, Bucie, 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.


Cassper Nyovest ‘Sponono Sam’ Featuring Shwi Nomntekhala

From Cassper Nyovest's upcoming album Sweet and Short, comes a new single titled "Sponono Sam." The song features legendary maskandi duo Shwi Nomntekhala. Nyovest and the duo croon passionately about their chosen ones over acoustic guitar and accordion squelches. "Sponono Sam" could become a pop sensation—we can see radio eating this one up.

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Yemi Alade 'Oga' and 'Open, Close'

Yemi Alade is back with two catchy new songs that are sure to get dance floors packed. "Oga" and "Open, Close" are both produced by Edgar and continue a strong year in which the Nigerian star has dropped standout singles like "Heart Robber" and "Oh My Gosh"—and, of course, headlined OkayAfrica's "Mzansi Heat and Naija Beats" concert in New York City.

Read: 7 Reasons Why Yemi Alade Is a Music Video Icon

Burna Boy 'On The Low'

Burna Boy comes through with another feel-good song and music video. After dropping the sultry hit "Gbona" back in September, the "afro-fusion" star delivers once again with "On the Low," produced by Kel P. Burna slows things down on this one, singing about his affection for a special girl in his life. The love song is a different pace than we're used to hearing from the artist, but just as enjoyable nonetheless.

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Reason 'Azania'

In April, one of South Africa's most potent lyricists, Reason, released the first single to his then-upcoming sixth album Azania. The Swizz Beatz-produced track of the same name was to set the tone for the album. In his sixth studio album, the South African lyricist does a lot of reflecting and the two themes that stand out are Reason's faith and sympathy.

Read: Reason Preaches the Gospel and Sides With the Downtrodden On 'Azania'

Blinky Bill 'Don't Worry'

Blinky Bill dropped his long-awaited debut album, Everyone's Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales, last month and it's clearly been well received by fans in Kenya and all over the world. His latest music video for the hard-hitting single "Don't Worry" was filmed in Detroit and directed by his usual collaborators Osborne Macharia, Andrew Mageto and Kevo Abbra. Blinky prances around Detroit's Heidelberg Project—an outdoor art installation created to support the surrounding area's community—lighting up the vibe of this aggressive song.

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Bucie 'Rebirth'

South African singer and songwriter Bucie has a new album. Rebirth, which the artist says is her last release, features a pan-African guest list of heavyweights including the rapper Kwesta, SA singer Thabsie, Nigerian singer Yemi Alade, Zimbabwe's Mr Kamera, house artists Black Motion, Mpumie, DJ Mshegaand Mobi Dixon. Rebirth is a great deep house album you should be partying to this festive season.

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Yanga 'Scars'

Yanga Sobetwa became the champion of the 14th season of Idols SA. The 17-year-old singer from Delft, Cape Town was the youngest contestant of the season. The artist recently released a music video for her latest single "Scars (All Over Me)." In the song, the artist croons about a lover who left her distraught from heartbreak. The video, which was filmed by the company Call Back Dreams, shows the artist dressed in all black walking in slow motion among drum majorettes who are dancing in the background.

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Wizkid & R2Bees 'Supa'

Wizkid and R2Bees have previously connected on big songs like "Tonight" and "Slow Down." The Nigerian star and Ghanaian duo recently revisited their tried and tested musical chemistry in the new single, "Supa," which was produced by Killmatic. "Supa" builds on a minimal beat work and sparse-yet-addictive melodies to deliver a solid song about love and lust. The single now has a brand new music video, directed by Babs Direction, which follows the crew to the beach.

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Falana 'Ride or Die'

Falana couldn't let the year wrap up without making a statement. The Toronto-raised Nigerian singer recently dropped the music video "Ride or Die"—her first single in 4 years—directed by Daniel Obasi. The track highlights Falana's ability to stay in the pocket with afrobeat's elements of live instrumentation and catchy melodies, all the while making is clear that she's a loyal lover.

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D'Banj and Cassper Nyovest 'Something for Something'

D'Banj and Cassper Nyovest have been teasing their collaboration for a minute. The single, titled "Something For Something," just dropped, accompanied by a video. "Something For Something" is catchy, and will sure pack dance floors in Nigeria and South Africa during the festive season.

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Tiwa Savage 'One'

Tiwa Savage has had an eventful 2018, and to round it all out, the singer has dropped her latest single "One" for our listening pleasure. The track, sung mostly in Yoruba, is a spiritual ballad that sees the singer expressing gratitude for her success and flexing her honeyed vocals atop light, slowed-down production.

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Afro B 'Melanin'

Afro B is coming off the heels of his banger "Shaku Shaku" to grace us with his last single of 2018 containing a message that should remain a constant reminder. The Ivorian-British hitmaker links up with producers Team Salut for "Melanin"—a 'pon pon' ode to black women and their beautiful skin. In the stripped-down single, you'll hear Afro B croon over his beautiful black woman and their love that can't be beat.

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Te'Amir 'Abyssinia Rise'

Te'Amir is a Los Angeles-based drummer and producer who tours and records with soul singer Aloe Blacc. In addition to that, he's played with many musicians from LA's unique hip-hop, soul and jazz scenes such as Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and others. In his latest EP, Abyssinia Rise, Te'Amir continues to explore his Ethiopian heritage. He expertly blends electronic beats with traditional Ethiopian samples to create lively soundscapes that draw you in right away.

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


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The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Adekunle Gold, EL x Joey B x Falz, Tiwa Savage, Tshegue, Afro B, 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.

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.

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Music
Cover of Mariam Makeba's album 'A Promise' and Lady Donli's 'Classic'

Sample Chief, a Go-To Platform for African Music Knowledge, Share 5 of Their Favorite Samples

From highlighting vintage Guinean records in rap songs to Nollywood references in afropop, Sample Chief wants to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level."

Samples are the foundation of just about all of our favorite songs whether we know them or not. For music lovers, discovering a rare song within a song can feel like stumbling upon a gem, leaving us to wonder what other musical treasures lie hidden in the songs we listen to regularly. Sample Chief is the digital platform dedicated to helping music nerds find these rare cuts by unearthing the African sounds at the heart of contemporary African music and other genres.

From rare Cameroonian-Nigerian samples on Tyler the Creator's Igor, to samples and interpolations of Nollywood movies in today's African pop, the primarily Instagram, Twitter and YouTube-based platform aims to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level," says Sample Chief's founder Ore Sami-Orungbe.

Sami-Orungbe, a Toronto-based student and DJ who runs Sample Chief with his business partner Sandrine Somé, decided to create the page after realizing that there were no solid outlets to go to for the discovery of samples both in and of African music. "I was on a plane listening to 'Sicker' by Niniola and thinking, 'there's a huge sample on it, (she samples "Alaye" by L.K.T) but is there a database I could go to if I feel like I've heard a song before and want to know where the sample came from? There wasn't. So I thought maybe I should fill the void." He adds that with Sample Chief, the goal is to "be a platform that brings a community of users together and opens up a space where they can share their knowledge of African music. We break down songs and highlight the influences, the samples, interpolations, and the references behind it."

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8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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