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The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Falz, Samthing Soweto, Blaqbonez, Major League DJz, Lous & The Yakuza 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.


Samthing Soweto 'Isphithiphithi' LP

One of the most anticipated albums of the year, Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto is finally here. The South African artist's project consists of 12 songs and features Makhafula Vilakazi, Shasha, Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa and Mlindo The Vocalist. Isiphithiphithi is not as chaotic as the name states. Most of the project consists of soulful songs that are still danceable. The artist's effortless vocals float over rich production that flirts with dance music and Afro pop.

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Lous and The Yakuza 'Dilemme'

Artist Lous and the Yakuza debuts an edgy and effortlessly cool video for "Dilemme," the first single from her upcoming debut album, Gore. Both the track, produced by El Guincho, and video are perfect for the late September vibe–chilled out but pulsing with quiet energy. "Dilemme" is smooth trap with melodic and sombre lyrics that make you both bop and think. The video, directed by Wendy Morgan, is somewhat biographical of 23-year-old Lous' life. In the video, Lous is literally wearing multiple identities, each complete with their own environment.

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Blaqbonez 'Shut Up'

Nigerian rapper Blaqbonez—whose debut album, Bad Boy Blaq, we dubbed one of last year's most accomplished releases—comes through with his new single, "Shut Up." The new single is a strong dose of braggadocious rhymes from the 100 Crowns and Chocolate City rapper, all laid over a head-nodding beat by Tempoe that straddles dancehall and afro-fusion influences. The single's video, directed by TG Omori, features some eye-catching scenes of the rapper performing on top of a moving car and of his crew riding motorcycles in dresses.

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MAJOR LEAGUE DJZ x FOCALISTIC 'OVERLOAD'

Major League DJz's latest single is "Overload," which the DJ and producer duo just highlighted with visuals. The song features Focalistic, who's affiliated with the duo. Focalistic raps about spending time with the flyest girls. In the one-liner hook, he chants "overload," which is a reference to a woman's big derrière, as can be seen in the video. A woman in red pants turns heads as she parades her "overloaded" behind in a taxi rank.

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Muzi 'Good Vibes Only' feat. Espacio Dios

Muzi announced his third studio album today. The 12-track project will be titled Zeno, and will feature Samthing Soweto, Bad Self, Blackrose, BCUC and Espcaio Dios. The latter appears on the album's first single titled "Good Vibes Only." The song is yours when you pre-order or pre-save Zeno. "Good Vibes Only," as the title suggests, is a feel-good tune. It features vocals from both Muzi and his guest. It's electronic music decorated with Afrocentric percussion and guitar.

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Falz 'Loving'

Falz returns with his latest single "Loving." As the song's title implies, the song is all about the Nigerian rapper professing his love to a woman. "If you need some loving, I'll be at your door," he sings over light juju-inspired production. The lighthearted love songs sees the artist taking a break from heavier, political tone of much of his more recent tracks, including last year's viral hit "This Is Nigeria."

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Nüfrika 'Sahel' EP

Nüfrika is a new project from rising producers Pekodjinn & Rolv.K, who take influences from their respective backgrounds in Tunisia & Sierra Leone and blend them with a broad range of electronic styles from their home of Geneva and the rest of Europe. Their new 6-song EP, Sahel, is a perfect introduction to their self-coined "African & Maghreb club music," which is sure to get your feet on the dance floor. Check out the standout EP track, "Bye Bye, Viens," above.

Sahel EP is available now

DJ Sydney Love 'Ma Jo' feat. SoFresh

NYC-based Nigerian DJ Sydney Love comes through with a hugely-addictive new jam alongside SoFresh. "Ma Jo," with its head-nodding afro-fusion beat work, is tailor made for your parties—and you can here it live at Sydney Love's monthly Naira Party or this weekend at our own An OkayAfrica Party at Lot45.

"Ma Jo" is available now

'Clan Beats' EP

DJ Maphorisa recently teamed up with the beer brand Castle Milk Stout to release an EP. The project, which is titled Clan Beats, pairs up contemporary with veteran South African musicians on four songs that explore identity. There are four South African ethnic groups represented in the project; Xhosa (Thandiswa Mazwai, Zolani Mkiva), Tswana (KB, Stoan), Zulu (Sjava, Madala Kunene), Tsonga (Sho Madjozi, Dr Sithole).

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Notche 

Here's a collection of eight tracks that you need to hear from producer Notche, who expertly blends influences from afro-fusion, hip-hop, R&B and much more in his new self-titled project. Notche, who's used to being behind the recording console, is now stepping out from behind the scenes and into his own with this new release. Get into it above.

Notche is available



Jah Cure 'Royal Soldier'

Jamaican star Jah Cure traveled to Kenya to film his recent music video for "Royal Soldier," the title track from his latest album which includes features from the likes of Popcaan, Damien Marley, Tory Lanez, and more. Watch the Nairobi-shot video above.

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


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Photos: How La Sunday Became Abidjan's Favorite Party

Faced with a lack of party options, a group of friends in Côte d'Ivoire sought to revolutionize the way their city turns up.

The opening line of DJ Arafat's hit song "Maman Sery" plays and the people on stage scream it as loudly as the crowd facing them below. Lighted phones are up in the air. Where some strangers embrace one another, others clutch their chests. The setting? A garden in Abidjan's commune of Cocody on a Sunday night.

Sundays in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire had always been reserved for beach trips and family time. All of this changed dramatically in December of 2018 when Fayçal Lazraq, Lionel Obam, Aurore Aoussi, Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, and Aziz Doumbia, better known as Bain de Foule Creative Studio created La Sunday and it took Abidan by storm.

According to Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, co-founder of La Sunday, "The idea was to create an alternative event for fun amongst friends." The differentiating factor here was these "friends" weren't just anyone; they were trendsetters at the epicenter of Abidjan's bustling creative scene. Shares from these creatives were instrumental in creating the engagement surrounding La Sunday and its subsequent expansion.

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Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

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Interview
Merry-Lynn. Photo courtesy of the artist.

You Need This Merry-Lynn EP In Your Life

Interview: Rising R&B newcomer Merry-Lynn's Petrichor EP is a breath of fresh air.

Iyere-Eke Merrylynn Ehinomen, also known as Merry-Lynn, is a rising singer and songwriter based in Abuja, Nigeria. She recently released her debut EP, Petrichor, which presents a masterful blend of reggae and R&B with a modern twist across its six tracks.

Drawing you in with its resonant bass line and alluring vocals, EP opener "Skin," is a major head-bopper. Merry-Lynn pours her heart out over the rippling guitar chords singing "When you gonna call me baby?/ Or don't you think about me lately?" Before you know it you're midway through the sultry and euphoric cut, "Temptation," and fully locked-in to this musical experience.

In "Boy Tears" the young singer, who was born in 1997, graces us with vivid lyricism and audacious delivery as she rhymes "too" and "fooled," enriching each line with subtle nuance. She also enlists Nigerian hitmaker King Perryy on the melancholic heartbreak tune "911"—a remixed version of the original track that was released earlier in the year

Merry-Lynn's decision to work exclusively with Nigerian producer Veen on the project seemingly enabled her to truly experiment and find the distinctive sound that sets her apart from the crowd. Emotionally rich and enlightened, this tape is a smooth sonic ride for any lover of good music. There's no doubt that, with Petrichor, Merry-Lynn has delivered a reliably-solid debut.

We got to know the R&B newcomer a little bit more in a recent interview below.

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Tiwa Savage "Owo Mi Da" cover.

Tiwa Savage Drops Two New Songs 'Owo Mi Da' & 'Attention'

The Nigerian star has shared two new bangers—"Owo Mi Da" and "Attention"—a day early due to leaks.

Tiwa Savage has returned with not-one-but-two new singles, "Owo Mi Da" and "Attention."

While the tracks were originally slated to drop tomorrow, Wednesday, the Nigerian superstar rushed released them due to leaks. "You guys couldn't wait na so my songs don leak o .... FUCK IT OUT NOW," Tiwa wrote on her social pages.

The addictive and upbeat "Owo Mi Da" was co-written by fellow Nigerian hitmaker Olamide and produced by Pheelz.

Video: Tiwa Savage On Female Artists Having to Work Twice As Hard

The smoother "Attention" is a song aimed at a man who isn't taking enough notice of his woman. " I guarantee all the ladies will know the lyrics to this one word for word," Tiwa wrote about the track. It was produced by Blaqjerzee.

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