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Sarkodie, Donae'o, Idris Elba "Party and Bullshit" music video.

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Nadia Nakai, Zlatan x Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, Sarkodie x Idris Elba x Donae'o, 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.



Zlatan 'Gbeku' ft. Burna Boy

Nigerian artists Zlatan and Burna Boy link up for another standout collaboration "Gbeku," from the former's upcoming album Zanku: The Album. On "Gbeku," Burna Boy shines one the chorus, singing rhythmically in Yoruba while Zlatan delivers animated verses in his raspy vocals throughout. They prove once again that they make for a stellar musical duo.

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Nadia Nakai 'Amai'

For her debut album, titled Nadia Naked, Nadia Nakai gives her listener more than just bravado in the form of chest-punching raps. In some songs, the South African/Zimbabwean rapper tells the story of the person behind the feisty and intimidating character that is Nadia Nakai as we all know her. One such song is "Amai." In the song, the rapper lets the listener in on how her mother has always been there for her, rapping: "The machine I cannot live without/ She pick me up when I break down/ Now I'm up, I bow down." In the song's music video, Nadia can be seen getting draped in mold in the process of making a bust of the rapper.

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Sarkodie, Donae'O & Idris Elba 'Party & Bulls#!t'

Award-winning Ghanian rapper Sarkodie connects with none other than Idris Elba and singer and producer Donae'o for a memorable music video for their new collaboration "Party & Bullshit." As the title implies, the song is all about letting loose, celebrating life and having a good time. The track opens with Sarkodie delivering a rapid-fire verse. His impressive flow shines through as he raps completely in Twi. Elba joins in with an energetic second verse that humorously references fufu, while Donae'o provides the song's catchy, anthemic chorus.

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Davido 'Risky' ft. Popcaan

Davido has just released his brand new single, "Risky," a taste from his upcoming album A Good Time, which is set to drop on November 22, 2019. The new single sees the Nigerian heavyweight connecting with Jamaican star Popcaan as they both go in over afrofusion-meets-dancehall beat work. It was produced by DMW's in-house beatmaker Speroach Beatz. The track notably features Davido doing a cheeky flip of his own freestyle he did on Shade 45 earlier this year, which was made fun of across social media. "What you all laughed at !! You will dance to !! " Davido posted on Twitter.

New Music: Listen to Davido's New Album 'A Good Time'

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Amanda Black 'Power'

Three years since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Amazulu, Amanda Black returns with her second full-length project. The 18-track album is titled Power, and kicks off with a fitting spoken word piece by Kush Mahleka. The music on Power is big, as it provides both electronic sounds and actual instruments. It will sound even bigger when interpreted by a band live. Power sounds both mature and youthful, and Amanda's voice still fills up your headphones, and her songwriting is sharper and even more personal than on Amazulu.

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Cina Soul 'Killi Mi'

23-year-old Ghanaian singer Cina Soul has delivered a powerful track that addresses gender based violence and the various abuses women face. The track, called "Killi Mi," is generating a lot of responses and love on Twitter, with many in awe of the emotion they feel from the 2019 Ghanaian female vocalist of the year nominee.

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Yemi Alade 'Vibe'

Yemi Alade, the Nigerian video queen, returns with a new visual for "Vibe." "It is the fifth track on her latest album, Woman of Steel, and, like the rest of the album, it presents a more liberated, more confident, no-holds-barred Alade. The album, she's said, "is all about drawing the inner strength that you have in you and being the superhero that you've always needed." In "Vibe" we hear the artist speaking on sexual liberation and coming to terms with the" vibe" of love she wants.

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Mafikizolo 'Ngeke Balunge'

Beloved music duo Mafikizolo is back with another Afro-soul anthem that will tug at your heartstrings. Their new single "Ngeke Balunge" is a beautiful love song that sees them returning to the sound that first catapulted them to mainstream success in the early 2000s. Singing "Ngeke balunge, Ngeke bas'qede" the duo describe how those around them will never succeed in coming between their love for one another because they will always find their way back to each other—just as with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

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Femi Kuti x Stromae x Coldplay 'Arabesque'

In a sentence we never thought we'd type, both Femi Kuti and Stromae appear on a new song from Coldplay. Both the Nigerian legend and Belgian pop star are featured on "Arabesque," a newly released Coldplay track from their upcoming "more experimental" album Everyday Life (due November 22 via Parlophone/Atlantic). "Arabesque" is an expansive composition built on what sounds like North African-inspired guitars and rhythms, which call to mind the likes of Bombino and Tinariwen. The song sees Stromae delivering a verse in French.

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Zlatan 'Yeye Boyfriend'

Nigerian artist Zlatan drops a new single ahead of the release of his upcoming debut album Zanku: The Album. On "Yeye Boyfriend" the popular "Zanku (Leg Work)" singer reasons for breaking up with time-wasting boyfriends (yeye is a humorous Yoruba term often used to describe someone as "useless" or "senseless"). The song is a change of pace for the artist, as it features him singing lightheartedly rather than delivering the grittier rap sound he's known for. The comedic video sees the artist playing the role of a therapist to several failing couples. He calls his practice "Yeye Family Therapy." The video was shot by Visionary Pictures.

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Larry Gaaga & Davido 'Work (Living in Bondage)'

Nigerian music exec turned radio superstar Larry Gaaga has once again teamed up with fellow Naija hotshot Davido for his latest single, "Work (Living in Bondage)." The track features Davido's vocals crooning a sensual love song. His voice sits atop an uplifting but slow beat from Gaaga that has crisp percussion hits keeping the tempo moving.

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


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Photo: Tjeerd Braat. Courtesy of Marieme.

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Bas, Ycee, Major League, Moonchild Sanelly, Niniola, Indigo Stella, Fireboy DML, Marieme 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 playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Still from YouTube

Watch Fireboy DML's New Music Video for 'Need You'

The buzzing Nigerian artist shares the video for the standout single from his debut album "Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps."

Buzzing Nigerian artist Fireboy DML has shared the music video for his latest single "Need You," one of the standouts from his warmly received debut album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps.Laughter.

The track is an emotive love ballad, that sees the artist singing about the strong feelings he has for his partner over mellow guitar riffs. The song was produced by Pheelz.

The music video, directed by Clarence Peters, shows the artist and a love interest as they try and escape together, and later get caught up with the bad guy that's out to separate them. The events lead to a tragic ending for the couple. It's the fourth music video offering from Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps. "Of course, it's a tale of love—of finding it again, of learning that time is fickle and you have to treasure what you hold dear while you still can," wrote Fireboy about the song on Twitter.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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