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DJ Spoko. Image: Fantasma.

The 9 Songs You Need To Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring DJ Spoko, Tekno, Muthoni Drummer Queen, Tiwa Savage x Omarion 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.


R.I.P. DJ Spoko

South African producer Marvin Ramalepe, better known as DJ Spoko, has passed away. Spoko was the pioneer behind Bacardi House, a kwaito-influenced style that pairs jolting military drums with pitched-up melodies.

He also collaborated with several artists like DJ Mujava, who he helped craft the percussion pattern behind the massive hit "Township Funk." We'll be loudly blasting his incredible tracks today. 🙏🏾 🙏🏾 🙏🏾

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Muthoni Drummer Queen 'She'

Muthoni Drummer Queen's new album, She, is a spirited celebration of womanhood. The multi-talented Kenyan artist and entrepreneur's new concept album is a true Afro-feminist record and a victory for herself and Kenyan music in general.

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Tiwa Savage x Omarion

Tiwa Savage's solid Sugarcane EP, which dropped last year, is still getting plays over here and now, she's come through with a reworking of one of its standout tracks. "Get It Now (Remix)" sees the Nigerian star and Mavin Records first lady connect with Omarion, who adds a new verse and lays down some nice duets alongside Tiwa in this reworking.

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E.L 'Ayeyi' feat. Dope Nation

Last December, E.L declared himself the best African rapper with his latest mixtape BAR 4, and we're tempted to believe him. The Ghanaian rapper showcases his effortless flow and mic dynamics throughout that mixtape, which are both on clear display in this new music video for "Ayeyi," alongside fellow Ghanaians Dope Nation.

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Yemi Alade "Bum Bum"

Yemi Alade drops the music video for "Bum Bum," the dancehall-influenced track off her recent album, Black Magic. We recently rounded up 7 Reasons Why Yemi Alade Is A Music Video Icon, which you should check out if you like this one above.

Guiss Guiss Bou Bess "Jigueenu Africa"

Guiss Guiss Bou Bess is comprised of Mara Seck & Stéphane Costantini, a duo that blends electronic music with traditional Sabar percussion and Mbalax, Senegal's popular dance genre. Their first music video for "Jigueenu Africa" "highlights Senegalese women and the magic they have when it comes to dancing Sabar," the band writes in a statement.

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Fatoumata Diawara "Nterini"

Malian singer/songwriter/guitarist Fatoumata Diawara comes through with "Nterini," which she calls "a subtle, affecting reminder of the global migration crisis." The music video was directed by Ethiopian photographer and contemporary artist Aïda Muluneh.

Tekno "Yur Luv"

Nigerian hitmaker Tekno is back with another jam that's ripe for taking over the charts. Check out his latest single, "Yur Luv," above.

Flappy "Coded Level" feat. Ramos

Flappy and Ramos are back with another banger, "Coded Level," produced by one of Nigeria's Jerrywine. Check out the track's new black-and-white music video above.

"Coded Level" is available everywhere now from Okaymusic.

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


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The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Adekunle Gold, EL x Joey B x Falz, Tiwa Savage, Tshegue, Afro B, Davido 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.

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Music
Cover of Mariam Makeba's album 'A Promise' and Lady Donli's 'Classic'

Sample Chief, a Go-To Platform for African Music Knowledge, Share 5 of Their Favorite Samples

From highlighting vintage Guinean records in rap songs to Nollywood references in afropop, Sample Chief wants to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level."

Samples are the foundation of just about all of our favorite songs whether we know them or not. For music lovers, discovering a rare song within a song can feel like stumbling upon a gem, leaving us to wonder what other musical treasures lie hidden in the songs we listen to regularly. Sample Chief is the digital platform dedicated to helping music nerds find these rare cuts by unearthing the African sounds at the heart of contemporary African music and other genres.

From rare Cameroonian-Nigerian samples on Tyler the Creator's Igor, to samples and interpolations of Nollywood movies in today's African pop, the primarily Instagram, Twitter and YouTube-based platform aims to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level," says Sample Chief's founder Ore Sami-Orungbe.

Sami-Orungbe, a Toronto-based student and DJ who runs Sample Chief with his business partner Sandrine Somé, decided to create the page after realizing that there were no solid outlets to go to for the discovery of samples both in and of African music. "I was on a plane listening to 'Sicker' by Niniola and thinking, 'there's a huge sample on it, (she samples "Alaye" by L.K.T) but is there a database I could go to if I feel like I've heard a song before and want to know where the sample came from? There wasn't. So I thought maybe I should fill the void." He adds that with Sample Chief, the goal is to "be a platform that brings a community of users together and opens up a space where they can share their knowledge of African music. We break down songs and highlight the influences, the samples, interpolations, and the references behind it."

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Audio

8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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