Popular
Stromae photo by Stephan Vanfleteren.

The 9 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best songs of the week featuring Stromae, Davido, Seinabo Sey, Harmonize, Cassper Nyovest 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.


Cassper Nyovest "Ksazobalit"

On what is one of the most creative videos of the year, Cassper Nyovest is dressed like an Afrikaner farmer. He gyrates on a farm, and so do the dancers on the video. The rapper's tongue-in-cheek video takes inspiration from the memes and tweets about what black South Africans will do with it when land that was stolen from them by colonialists is returned.

Find out more.

Stromae "'Défiler"

Stromae's back, and his 9-minute song almost makes up for his five year hiatus. 'Défiler' is the singer's first release since his 2013 album Racine Carée. The sprawling track speaks of the journey one takes through life, calling routine and social norms into question.

Find out more.

Harmonize ft. Diamond Platnumz "Kwa Ngwaru"

WCB Wasafi continues to reign over East African music with "Kwa Ngwaru," a bouncy and infectious collaboration between Tanzania's biggest stars.

Read: The Best East African Songs of the Month

DJ Yin "Voodoo" feat. Bella Alubo & Bankyondbeatz

DJ Yin connects with Bella Alubo of Tinny Entertainment and Bankyondbeatz for a wavy new track that you're gonna have on repeat. The new single sees them comparing being in love to being under the spell of voodoo.

"Voodoo" is available everywhere now from Okaymusic.

Professor Rhythm "Professor 3"

Professor Rhythm was the production moniker of South Africa's Thami Mdluli, who made "club music with a township style," as he's mentioned. His third album Professor Rhythm 3, which came out the same year apartheid ended in South Africa (1991), is a clear reflection of what the nation's urban centers were listening to at that pivotal time. "Our music gave hope to the hopeless," Mdluli mentions about his sound, which sought to unite black South Africans.

Find out more.

Reason "Azania" feat. Swizz Beatz & Sibongile Khumalo

South African rapper Reason is working on his sixth studio album called Azania, a follow-up to last year's Love Girls. The album's first single just came out and it features legendary jazz artist Sibongile Khumalo and Swizz Beatz who also produced the song. Lyrically "Azania" is intense, which is what we've grown to expect from the lyricist. Reason talks about poverty, unemployment and all ills and how rappers choose to ignore all that.

Read our exclusive interview with Reason about "Azania"

Davido "Assurance"

Davido went viral in Nigeria when he posted a video of himself gifting his girlfriend, Chioma, a Porsche with the license plate "ASSURANCE." The plate was a nod to his latest, romantic single which is performing well since it dropped.

D'Prince, Davido & Don Jazzy's 'Gucci Gang'

Speaking of Davido, he linked up with D'Prince and Don Jazzy for this undeniably catchy new single "Gucci Gang," which will be playing at every party soon... although we didn't really need the Lil Pump reminder.

Seinabo Sey "Breathe"

Swedish-Gambian singer Seinabo Sey returns with the new single, "Breathe," an orchestral string-backed song about self-love and self-acceptance, which the Swedish-based singer wrote while on a trip to Dakar.

Read our interview with Seinabo Sey

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


Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.