The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week
The best music of the week featuring Tekno, Muzi, Wizkid, Kojo Funds and some throwback Zamrock.
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.
1970s Zamrock From Mike Nyoni & Born Free
The Zambian band Born Free was founded in 1972 but didn't record until up to three years later, when a personnel change left Mike Nyoni in charge as vocalist and lead guitarist. Nyoni's style of music took a step away from the fuzz-rock sounds of Zamrock, opting to add wah-wah guitar pedals and overall funk elements. Now-Again Records, through their Reserve Subscription series, are now offering up My Own Thing, which they described as "some of the funkiest music issued on the African continent in the 1970s."
Muzi's album Afrovision blends electro with varied indigenous South African sounds. A great example is the opening song, "Kini," which boasts an eardrum-wracking bassline and a catchy rhythm wrapped around a recurring guitar squelch that is prevalent in mbhaqanga. The album's first single "Chocolate Dreams" (featuring Una Rams and Nigeria's Seaba) flirts with Afrobeat and West African pop, and so does "Nu Day" which features OkMalumKoolKat.
When Tekno released his self-produced single "Jogodo" last month, we were ready to "whine dem Jogodo" on the dance floor. We didn't, however, realize what a romantic track it was. That love story takes center stage in the new "Jogodo" video, released earlier today. It sees Tekno walking through the streets of Lagos, serenading a beautiful woman. As she walks through the marketplace, the singer claims that she makes "all the man dem jowaju" and dance, resulting in the story of the video.
Kojo Funds 'Stallin'
Kojo Funds is one of the leading name's coming out of London's flourishing Afro Swing movement. The buzzing artist just released the striking new music video for "Stallin'," which paints a vivid portrait of the paths young, black British people can choose to take while challenging the audience's perceptions.
Batuk 'Kasi Royalty'
Kasi Royalty by the duo Batuk references South African genres such as kwaito and SA house and blends them with electronica. If you love your dance music with melodic vocals, this is the album for you. Not to be overlooked on Kasi Royalty is the songwriting. A song like "Just To Touch" excels because of the simplicity of its lyrics, which are also relatable. Songs like "Deep Ocean Deep," "Can You Feel My Heartbeat," among others also follow the same formula. As we said, on our review of the duo's EP Move!, kwaito lives through their music's DNA, and there are plenty references on here that will have you feeling nostalgic while still managing to not sound outdated.
Wizkid x Ducan Mighty 'Fake Love'
Wizkid has been consistently churning out jam after jam since the top of the year, and he's back with yet another one. The singer has dropped the music video for his buzzed about track featuring fellow Naija singer and producer Duncan Mighty, "Fake Love." The glimmering music video, directed by frequent Wizkid collaborator, Clarence Peters, backs the melodious Killertunes-produced track, with its cool undertones and crystal-clear visuals.
Zoocci Coke Dope x Flame 'Do Not Disturb'
Two of the most promising hip-hop artists and producers Zoocci Coke Dope and Flame teamed up for a collaborative EP. Titled Do Not Disturb, the project showcases the pair's production, rapping and singing skills. Do Not Disturb is addictive. Ominous keys creep under droning bass lines and 808 kicks and snares, as the artists lace the beats with vocals that are easy on the ear without sounding cheesy.
Kahli Abdu & Ycee 'Watching You'
New York-based Nigerian artist Kahli Abdu is prepping the release of his forthcoming EP, Book of Solomon. Kahli's already shared two solid tracks off the release—"Lonely Girls Club" and "Romantic Girl"—and now shares his highly-addictive new single "Watching You." The breezy new song, which is ripe for your summer playlists, sees Kahli Abdu connect with Ycee, the man behind last year's hits "Juice" and "Link Up." The pair go in over a beat that connects afrobeats, dancehall and NYC rhythms into an total jam.
Angélique Kidjo "Once In A Lifetime"
Angélique Kidjo brought her characteristic energy and vibrancy to the Kimmel stage last night. The Beninese singer performed "Once in a Lifetime" in Los Angeles as the musical guest for the Jimmy Kimmel Show. This performance marks the beginning of Kidjo's promotion for her upcoming album, Remain in the Light. In her album, Kidjo re-imagine's the 1980 Talking Heads album by the same name, bringing its rock sound closer to the African music which inspired it.
Obie Iyoha 'Fire'
We knew Obie Iyoha was onto something when he showcased his outer-space flow on his last single "Karats," which was inspired by a trip back to his home of Nigeria. The Michigan-based rapper now proves that fact with his new drop, "Fire," which sees him team up with Detroit producer Motorcity Mello to create a sound that's meant to represent Africans living in America.
Victoria Kimani Wonka'
"Wonka" is the first official single off Victoria Kimani's upcoming new album, AFROPOLITAN. As with many of her major singles, this song is quite easy on the ears. Ahead of the album's worldwide release on May 18, the East African singer does justice to the track with a steamy new music video. We knew the Kenyan pop-star could turn up the heat but clearly we weren't ready for this!
RMBO & Morena Leraba 'Mzabalazo'
South African producer and DJ RMBO's latest song, which we are premiering here, features Lesotho's Morena Leraba, who's known for being a shepherd musician. The song, which is titled "Mzabalazo," has a huge kwaito influence with skittering drums and buzzing synths. Leraba laces the music with matching flows to give the track more personality.