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Cover art for Riky Rick's "You and I"

The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Riky Rick, Mr Eazi, Moonchild Sanelly, Burna Boy, Blinky Bill, Niniola 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.


Minz 'Skin'

After a period of silence, Minz returns to the spotlight with his latest single "Skin," a crisp and seductive afro-swing track that appreciates the beautiful skin and figure of all women. Shot and directed by Mahine Sef in Gabon, the music video is sensational and will have you transfixed while you view it. "I want everyone seeing this video to feel good about themselves. To know that they are special. The little imperfections that make us insecure about ourselves are actually what make us unique and beautiful," he writes to OkayAfrica on e-mail.

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Riky Rick 'You And I' feat. Mlindo The Vocalist

Riky Rick's new song features one of the most sought after singers in the game, Mlindo The Vocalist. The singer assists Riky in assuring the love of his life that his love for her is forever. The rapper speaks of him maturing into a better partner and human being in general. He promises to do better by his bae. "You and I" is reminiscent of the Riky who dropped a song like "Sondela" from his 2015 debut album Family Values. Riky's sincerity always works in his favor when he pens personal songs like his new one.

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Blinky Bill 'Mungu Halali'

The soulful and groovy "Mungu Halali" has definitely been one of the most popular songs from Blinky Bill's debut album, Everybody's Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales. The semi-gospel beauty features talented Kenyan singers Sage, Sara Mitaru , Wambura Mitaru and Lisa Oduor-Noah. The brand new music video for the single sparks a lot of nostalgia, opening with the words of legendary veteran Kenyan media guru, Leonard Mambo Mbotela, "Je huu ni ungwana?" The heartwarming visuals capture the essence of Nairobi—religion, art, family, hustle and more.

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Ayanda Jiya 'Falling For You' feat. A-Reece

South African singer Ayanda Jiya gifted her fans a special Valentine's Day gift in the form of "Falling For You," which features the rapper A-Reece. "Falling For You" is an old school RnB-inspired tune in which the singer details her feelings for a special somebody who stole her heart. Ayanda sounds at home over an instrumental that leads with a looped 8-bit sound reminiscent of the video game Pacman.

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Dejot 'Uhujano' EP Feat. Moonchild Sanelly, Radio 123 & More

Swiss electronic producer Dejot has a fondness for South African and its musicians. Last year, Dejot produced the rapper Robin Thirdfloor's EP Bhotela in its entirety. He has also worked with Bongeziwe Mabandla. This year, for his latest EP, Uhujano, he enlisted South Africa-based artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, Robert Machiri and the duo RADIO 123. The collaborations were curated by all-round music junkie, DJ, producer and drummer (BLK JKS) Tshepang Ramoba aka RMBO.

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 Oritse Femi x Burna Boy x Konshens 'Play Am'

Fresh off his massive collaboration with Zlatan on "Killin' Dem," Burna Boy is back with another one. The artist teams up with fellow Nigerian artist Oritse Femi and Jamaican artist Konshens for the dancehall-infused track "Play Am." The song opens with a memorable verse from Konshens before both Oritse Femi and Burna join in, making for a unique fusion of Yoruba, Patois and Pidgin over the track's vibrant, multilayered production by producer Young D.

Jovi 'God Don Kam'

Cameroonian rapper Jovi comes through with the new 14-track album, God Don Kam. The self-produced record is packed with hip-hop bangers that see Jovi blending elements from Cameroonian genres like bikutsi, makossa, and bottle dance to create a new genre he calls 'Mboko,' as he delivers hard rhymes in English, French, Pidgin, and Limbum. Grab the album here.

Niniola x Sarz 'Designer'

Niniola and producer Sarz connect for the first time since the success of "Bana" for this new single, "Designer." As the title implies, the new song sees the Nigerian singer singing about the many high-fashion brands she's drawn towards. The beat, crafted by Sarz, is readymade for the dance floor.

Read: Niniola Is the Nigerian Queen of Afro-House

DJ Kaywise x Dj Maphorisa x Mr Eazi 'Alert'

Mr Eazi shares his latest collaboration "Alert" which sees him teaming up with South Africa's DJ Maphorisa and fellow Nigerian musician DJ Kaywise. The upbeat track, gets an equally lively music video, which features the three artist in colorful streets. They're surrounded by energetic, vibrantly-dressed dancers as they perform. Later, they head to the bank to make it rain with several bills. The track is a definite party-starter, that seamlessly fuses elements of Nigerian and South African pop.

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Priddy Ugly & Bontle Modiselle 'I Want Something New'

After collaborating on the song "I Pray," one of South Africa's most loved couple Priddy Ugly and Bontle Modiselle drop a two-track EP. The duo goes by the name Rick Jade, which comes from the artists' real names Ricardo and Jade. I Want Something New is a celebration of love. The project's cover art sees illustrator M4RK reimagine the Garden of Eden with Bontle and Priddy. Sonically, I Want Something New combines RnB and Afrobeats, which plays as the perfect backdrop for documenting the highest order of emotion, love.

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Larry Gaaga 'Iworiwo' feat. 2Baba

After releasing "Baba Nla" with a stacked roster of afrobeats greats last year, music executive-turned-artist Larry Gaaga has tapped Nigerian pop music veteran 2Baba to drop 2019's Valentine's Day anthem, "Iworiwo." The track, produced by Marvio and mixed by Tee-Y Mix, is another to add to the roster of quintessential afrobeats love songs. As Konbini notes, the stars of the "Iworiwo" music video coordinated by Tilt Productiions are the partners of both 2Baba and Larry.

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DemiMa 'Sondela'

As the grand-niece of legendary South African Jazz musician Bheki Mseleku, DemiMa Mseleku is continuing the musical legacy of the renowned family. Having nurtured her artistry since childhood, she now announces herself with her debut single "Sondela," a soulful story of love, identity and belonging. These themes resonate with DemiMa; as an artist whose development occurred between London and Durban.

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Sipho The Gift & oshxku 'Good Things Come In 3s'

South African rapper Sipho The Gift just released his 3-track EP Good Things Come In 3s, which offers an interesting perspective on intimacy. It follows his debut album, 2017's Kintsugi, a deeply cathartic record made from a place of gloom. For it's part, Good Things Come in 3s is a jazzier and more colourful offering. The exquisite production is handled by the innanetwav's oshxku who's previously worked with The Big Hash. The EP comes in at just over three minutes, with each track successively bleeding into the next.

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Nubiyan Twist 'Jungle Run'

Nubiyan Twist are a 12-piece London-based collective blending a wide array styles and influences into a modern soulful sound that's been brewing out of the UK's new jazz scene. The band, who initially met at the Leeds College Of Music. is now preparing the release of Jungle Run, a 10-track album that sees them collaborate with several artists from their circle (and a few legends like Tony Allen and Mulatu Astatke) as they weave across compositions influenced by hip-hop, afrobeat, Ethio-jazz, dub, Latin music and much more.

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


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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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