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Photo: JM Films.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Tiwa Savage, Black Coffee x Usher, Reekado Banks, Bas, Burna Boy 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.



Tiwa Savage '49-99'

Tiwa Savage shares her latest song and video "49-99." The pulsating track sees the artist referencing Fela Kuti's famous "49 sitting, 99 standing" line from his 1978 song "Shuffering and Shmiling." Throughout the track, the Nigerian artist sings about the pursuit of money in her home country, offering commentary on widespread poverty.

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Black Coffee 'LaLaLa' feat. Usher

Black Coffee's latest song "LaLaLa" features R&B superstar Usher. The song provides the soulful vocals of Usher with Black Coffee's spacious house beats. "LaLaLa" is a dance song that hints at the upcoming summer in South Africa. Just like with most of Black Coffee's productions, the song boasts sultry sophistication with a selection of en vogue electronic sounds. Usher promises an intimate dance off, as he sounds at home over Black Coffee's production.

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Reekado Banks 'Rora'

Reekado Banks is back after a quiet period with "Rora," his first single of 2019 and the lead track from his upcoming album. "Rora" (translated from Yoruba as 'Take It Easy') is a highly-addictive production built on mid-tempo beatwork, highlife influences, and playful lyrics aimed at a love interest. "The new single 'Rora' was produced by Tuzi and Altims," Reekado tells OkayAfrica. "Tuzi produced [previous single] 'Sensima,' and Altims is one of my favorite producers from way back. He's signed to Mavin Records, my former label. We linked up again and made this one which feels really special to me."

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Bas 'Jollof Rice' feat. EarthGang

Paris-born, New York-raised, Sudanese rapper, Bas shares the music video for "Jollof Rice" a standout from his latest project Spilled Milk Volume 1, featuring Atlanta duo and fellow Dreamville members, EarthGang. On the infectious song, produced by DZL the rappers spit boisterous lyrics and talk about their many desires: one of them being having their crush cook them jollof rice. Bas told Beats 1 Radio last month that the song and others on the project, were inspired by a recent trip he took to Lagos with label head, J. Cole.

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Burna Boy 'Gum Body' feat. Jorja Smith

Burna Boy continues his victory lap around African Giant with the release of his new music video for "Gum Body," featuring Jorja Smith. The new Meji Alabi-directed video follows the Nigerian star and Jorja Smith as they play out a courtship, of sorts, in a dark apartment with plenty of Hennessy. The two buzzing acts have been collaborating a bit together, as Burna Boy recently joined Jorja for her single "Be Honest."

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pH Raw X 'Ibeballinho' feat. Sho Madjozi

In July, pH Raw X and Sho Madjozi released a promising single titled "Ibeballinho." On the song, the two rappers share a catchy trap beat with a quaking bass line, which they lace with fitting raps. The recently released visuals for the song complement it well. pH and Sho Madjozi look on the video as happy as they sound on the song, especially the latter, who's known for her lively and light-hearted raps.

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BLK JKS 'Harare' feat. Morena Leraba

BLK JKS are back! Ten years after their much-hyped debut album came out, the South African outfit have announced that they will be releasing a new record, tentatively titled Before Humans. BLK JKS are sharing the upcoming album's lead single "Harare," a song of migration featuring Lesotho vocalist Morena Leraba. ""It's always been about reaching deeper into roots, as nothing has a more significant impact on our collective presents and futures," the band mentions. Get into it above.

"Harare" is available now

Yemi Alade 'Home' 

Following the release of her album, Woman of Steel last week, Yemi Alade has released a music videoand now a short film for her lead single "Home." The emotional short follows a tortured love story between Yemi, who plays Nneka in the film and her lover Austine (played by Frankincense Eche-Ben). She has to escape an abusive grandmother and a mundane life in rural Nigeria in order to be reunited with him, in the hopes that they can run away together and live a better life.

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K.O x Nandi Madida 'Say U Will'

K.O and Nandi Madida just shared the visuals for their collaborative single "Say U Will" which was released last month. Just like the visuals for their previous collaboration, "Skhanda Love," the new video has a storyline that intercuts performance scenes. The video, which was shot in Braamfontein, shows the two main characters' relationship going through a rough patch and, after, reconciling—the stuff of fairytales.

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Ghetto Boy x B4bonah 'Je'

Rising Ghanaian/Cameroonian act Ghetto Boy comes through with his new addictive single "Je," a collaboration with the buzzing B4bonah. The new single is tailor-made for the weekend dance floor and can be found on his forthcoming EP Me Vs You.

Robin Thirdfloor 'Gibela'

In the music video for "Gibela," Robin Thirdfloor finds himself in a psychedelic world of neon lights and a mysterious character. The visuals are directed by Matthew Cuthbert and co-directed by Helet Anne Van Staden. "Gibela" is trademark Robin Thirdfloor—the song takes inspiration from kwaito and EDM, and Robin raps in staccato lines that are easy to memorize. Production on the song is handled by Sebastxn, who Robin has worked with many times before.

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TLT 'MaiZuzu' ft. Thabsie

TLT and Thabsie's heartwarming love song tells the story of a couple that finds themselves apart because of life's commitments. "MaiZuzu" is highly inspired by Afro pop, and carries on a long streak of hip-hop artists in SA making music that references the country's vast music heritage. The song is produced by Gobi Beast, who's worked closely with artists signed under Rap Lyf, the same label to which TLT is signed.

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Golden Shovel and Tongogara 'KEEP IT LIT'

Veteran South African rappers Golden Shovel and Battlekat (real name Tongogara) recently released a new song titled "Keep it Lit." The song, which is produced by Battlekat, is nostalgic boom bap decorated with a prominent electric guitar. Golden Shovel, in his verse, raps with the presence and clarity he is known for.

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



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Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

Freddie Harrel Is Building Conscious Beauty For and With the African Diaspora

Formerly known as "Big Hair Don't Care", creator Freddie Harrel and her team have released 3 new wig shapes called the "RadShapes" available now.


Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


The normalising of Black and brown women in wigs of various styles has certainly been welcomed by the community, as it has opened up so many creative avenues for Black women to take on leadership roles and make room for themselves in the industry.

Radswan (formerly known as Big Hair Don't Care), is a lifestyle brand "bringing a new perspective on Blackness through hair, by disrupting the synthetic market with innovative and sustainable products." Through their rebrand, Radswan aims to, "upscale the direct-to-consumer experience holistically, by having connected conversations around culture and identity, in order to remove the roots of stigma."

The latest from French-Cameroonian founder and creator Freddie Harrel - who was featured on our list of 100 women of 2020 - has built her career in digital marketing and reputation as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment. On top of her business ventures, the 2018 'Cosmopolitan Influencer of the Year' uses her platform to advocate for women's empowerment with 'SHE Unleashed,' a workshop series where women of all ages come together to discuss the issues that impact the female experience, including the feeling of otherness, identity politics, unconscious bias, racism and sexism.

And hair is clearly one of her many passions, as Freddie says, "Hair embodies my freest and earliest form of self expression, and as a shapeshifter, I'm never done. I get to forever reintroduce my various angles, tell all my stories to this world that often feels constrained and biased."

Armed with a committee of Black women, Freddie has cultivated Radswan and the aesthetic that comes with the synthetic but luxurious wigs. The wigs are designed to look like as though the hair is growing out of her own head, with matching lace that compliments your own skin colour.

By being the first brand to use recycled fibres, Radswan is truly here to change the game. The team has somehow figured out how to make their products look and feel like the real thing, while using 0% human hair and not negotiating on the price, quality or persona.

In 2019, the company secured £1.5m of investment led by BBG Ventures with Female Founders Fund and Pritzker Private Capital participating, along with angelic contributions from Hannah Bronfman, Nashilu Mouen Makoua, and Sonja Perkins.

On the importance of representation and telling Black stories through the products we create, Freddie says, "Hair to me is Sundays kneeling between your mothers or aunties legs, it's your cousin or newly made friend combing lovingly through your hair, whilst you detangle your life out loud. Our constant shapeshifting teaches us to see ourselves in each other, the hands braiding always intimately touching our head more often than not laying someone's lap."

"Big Hair No Care took off in ways we couldn't keep up with," she continues, "RadSwan is our comeback.It's a lifestyle brand, it's the hair game getting an upgrade, becoming fairer and cleaner. It's the platform that recognises and celebrates your identity as a shapeshifter, your individuality and your right to be black like you."


Check out your next hairstyle from Radswan here.

Radswan's RadShape 01Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 02Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 03Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

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