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Olamide in "Green Light."

The 7 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Olamide, Jorja Smith x Popcaan, YoungstaCPT, Niniola, Mdou Moctar 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.


Olamide 'Green Light'

Olamide is back! The Nigerian heavyweight artist returned this week with his new 12-track album, Carpe Diem. "The project is a reflection of my mind, and also the current sound brewing underground in Nigeria," Olamide mentions. "It's a combination of a lot of traditional elements and also a sound from Nigeria called galala, which has a little bit of reggae/dancehall. It's also a fusion of something we call Celestial, which is when you are playing secular music in church. It's like taking pop to the church." Get into the highly-addictive "Green Light" above and keep an eye out for our interview with the Nigerian star.

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Jorja Smith 'Come Over' feat. Popcaan

Jorja Smith connects with Popcaan for this head-nodder "Come Over." The single was recorded during a (pre-COVID) trip to Port Antonio, Jamaica. Smith mentions that the new single is inspired by "that unsure feeling when you're talking to someone and you can't tell how much they're into you and you're chasing them when—really—it can be straight up and no one should be playing games."

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YoungstaCPT '1000 Mistakes'

YoungstaCPT has released the stunning scenic visuals for "1000 Mistakes" which features on his 2019 solo debut album 3T (Things Take Time). In this latest music video, YoungstaCPT adds home brewed elements with a cameo from his grandfather in the accompanying visuals. The Cape Townian rapper is coming back for it all with this music video despite the numerous difficulties faced while shooting because of COVID-19 restrictions. The result is a crisp and delectable visual story.

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Mdou Moctar 'Chismiten'

Mdou Moctar announced his signing to Matador Records with the release of a brand new single and music video for "Chismiten." The track features the pulsating rhythms and mesmerizing guitar riffs we're used to hearing from the acclaimed Tuareg guitarist/songwriter. "The song is about how people in a relationship lose their sense of self, they become jealous and envious of others," mentions Mdou. "It is not about one specific person, but about all people in the world. I turn to Allah for guidance not to be that person."

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Wande Coal & Wale 'Again' (Remix)

Nigerian afropop heavyweight Wande Coal has teamed up with famed American rapper Wale for a remix of his hit track "Again," off of his newly released EP, Realms. While "Again" has been around for a minute, there's nothing like dope visuals to get the fire burning again. As is typical and unfortunate in our new world of socially distancing, the two weren't able to join forces and wardrobes for an epic collaborative video. Instead, Director Adasa Cookey's brilliance manifested itself into a short film.

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NINIOLA 'LOOK LIKE ME'

Niniola's new album, Colours and Sounds, opens with an invitation: to dance night and day. The Nigerian singer offers plenty of opportunity to do so throughout the album, but this first track on her sophomore release makes sure that the Niniola fans have come to know and love is still very much here amongst the success that's followed since her debut 2017 album, This Is Me. "It's still Niniola," she tells OkayAfrica. "My originality is still there, but definitely, you'll see growth in everything, from the first album to the second one."

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Don Design ft. AKA & Moozlie 'Python'

Don Design has released visuals for hit debut single "Python" featuring Supa Mega himself, AKA and Moozlie. The hip-hop newcomer comes with guns blazing in this visual spectacle directed by YangaChief. AKA does not disappoint in "Python" and the visuals are a must see.

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


Interview
Image supplied.

Interview: Focalistic’s Blend of Hip-Hop and Amapiano Is Working

South African rapper Focalistic doesn't fixate on genre. He wants you to know his music "is for South Africans, by South Africans that sound South African."

A few weeks before Focalistic's hit single "Ke Star" is announced to have gone gold (it has since gone platinum), a large group of school kids gather around the driver seat of the rapper's sporty BMW. "I realised that people really love him during the shoot of the 'Ke Star' music video," a passer-by says. "It was wild."

Just like today. The same group, which has now grown bigger, waits outside the spot where Focalistic will sit down for an interview. They each want a picture with one of the country's most promising rappers. They have to wait until he's done answering our questions. Asked if he enjoys being mobbed by fans, he says, "It's not like I like it. But it's something you get used to and you understand it. It's love, it's never to irritate."

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