Music
Image courtesy of the artist.

Rema.

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Rema, Adekunle Gold x Patoranking, Yaw Tog x Stormzy x Kwesi Arthur, Sun-El Musician x Msaki and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases 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.


Rema 'Bounce'

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did. The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed. Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded.

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Yaw Tog, Stormzy & Kwesi Arthur 'Sore (Remix)'

Ghana drill standout Yaw Tog comes through with a fire remix of his massive hit "Sore" and he's joined by an all-star line-up of Stormzy and Kwesi Arthur. Yaw Tog told DJ Mag, ""I didn't even imagine I'd get someone like Stormzy on the remix. He's a big one out there! What's surprising is he came to my management, like 'Yo, let's get this done'. Wow. I think God is really working." Get into it above.

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Sun-EL Musician Feat. Msaki 'Ubomi Abumanga'

Sun-El Musician has dropped the new music video for his Xhosa number with Msaki, "Ubomi Abumanga" (translates to "life doesn't stop" from Xhosa). The track was released as a single in May of last year and now features on his sophomore album, To the World & Beyond. The music video, which attempts to convey the hopeful message of the song, has already clocked close to 800 thousand views on YouTube and counting.

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Blinky Bill 'Terene' feat Kommanda Obbs

Kenya's Blinky Bill comes through with his latest single "Terene" which sees him linking up with Lesotho's Kommanda Obbs for a head-nodding concoction. The new single comes from Blinky's upcoming album We Cut Keys 2. "This is a song I recorded on the road in South Africa a while back," Blinky mentions. "Met Kommanda Obbs from Lesotho who was playing one of the showcases that I was playing at as well and we worked on this track. It's generally about a borderless Africa, and the hook talks about a train (train) that moves from Lesotho to South Africa to Nairobi with us as artists representing our countries and starting the conversations that connect us."

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Slow Burn ft Kafayé

Yungbakugo was one of the names featured in our 10 Artists to Watch from Toronto list. His musical influences are a crossbreed of the sounds he discovered growing up across places like Lagos, Accra, London and Maryland. Yungbakugo now comes through with the red-tinted music video for the aboslutely alluring track "Slow Burn." Make sure you check this one out.

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Adekunle Gold, Patoranking 'Pretty Girl'

Adekunle Gold has recently shared the visuals for his "Pretty Girl" collaboration with fellow Nigerian artist, Patoranking. The track features on his 10-track Afro Pop, Vol.1 album which dropped last year. The new music video, which was directed by Olu The Wave, is a fun and vibrant conceptualisation of the song's energy and central message about a pretty girl who's admittedly put them under a spell.

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Kae Sun 'Midnight and Other Endings'

Ghanaian-born, Montreal-based singer-songwriter Kae Sun—a longtime OkayAfrica favorite—shares his latest 5-song EP Midnight & Other Endings. Speaking on lead single "404 Eros" he mentions "says, "(though it) sounds a bit simplistic to say this but I think love, which is the ultimate creative urge, will outlive every version of the world we dream up." Listen above.

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ETANA X STONEBWOY 'PROPPA'

Jamaica and Ghana connect in the new single and music video for "Proppa," the lead track from Jamaican singer Etana's upcoming album. The addictive tune blends dancehall and afrobeats into a standout production. The track, produced by Freemind Music, features none-other-than Ghanaian star Stonebwoy. Check it out above.

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Lavaud & Reekado Banks 'Oh My'

UK-born Mauritian artist Lavaud connects with Nigerian star Reekado Banks for her latest single "Oh My," a captivating blend of afro-fusion and R&B that's sure to have you hitting replay. Check it out above.

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Valee Music 'Don't Want Your Love' feat. Ubuntu Brothers

UK afropop singer Valee Music shares her brand new single "Don't Want Your Love," a soulful amapiano song, fused with elements of afro-soul and house music. It was produced by South African production duo Ubuntu Brothers.

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


Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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