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Wizkid in "Ghetto Love"

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid, Stonebwoy x Teni, Thabsie, Sampa the Great and a classic Funána compilation.

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.



Tchota Suari & Chando Gracioso 'Nha Boi'

Ostinato Records' compilation The Funána Revolt in 1990s Cabo Verde curates eight tracks from a short period in the late '90s when cherished pioneers, who risked everything to give their proud culture a sound, were finally put in recording studios; an album in itself a revolt in favor of the music of the most marginalized and once deliberately silenced. Pour yourself a grog, the Cabo Verdean moonshine distilled from sugarcane crushed by bulls, imbibe responsibly, listen carefully, and dance recklessly.

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WizKid 'Ghetto Love'

Wizkid finally dropped his first official single, along with the music video, for this year. The artist has brought us "Ghetto Love" ahead of his upcoming album and, if you ask us, it's definitely a banger. "Ghetto Love" sees Wizkid staying true to his sound. The track, which was produced by both Killertunes and Kel P, has an incredibly infectious beat and catchy lyrics you'll be singing along to in no time.

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Stonebwoy 'Ololo' ft. Teni

Ghanaian rapper Stonebwoy enlists Nigerian artist Teni the Entertainer for his latest single 'Ololo,' his latest since dropping "Tuff Seed" earlier this summer. The duo shine as they exchange loving lyrics atop sultry, upbeat production by Prinx Pappi. Stonebwoy opens the track with a fiery verse about giving his all to a love interest, while Teni brings the her usual high-energy to the second verse as she delivers passionate lyrics directed at a lover. Their musical chemistry, making for a catchy jam-worthy track.

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Thabsie 'iLula'

Thabsie's latest single "iLula" explores unfaithfulness in relationships. The South African singer tells the story of being cheated on—the lies, the broken promises and the emptiness it makes her feel. In the hook, in which she interpolates Brenda Fassie's classic song "Istraight Lendaba," Thabsie declares that it's a no-brainer to walk away from the situation. The visuals for the single are simply stunning—from the production design to the outfits and makeup. Directed by Callback Dreams' Makere Thekiso, the visual is metaphorical in its depiction of love triangles

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Sampa the Great 'The Return'

Sampa the Great has been on the grind for some time now, dropping several impressive hits and working with the likes of Ibeyi Kendrick Lamar and more. Now the Zambian artist shares her debut album The Return. The artist gave a taste of the genre-bending elements of her debut album, when she released the funk-inspired single "Final Form" in June. The 19-track album boasts features from a range of artists including Krown, Ecca Vandal, thando and more.

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Big Zulu 'Ama Million' feat. Cassper Nyovest & Musiholiq

Big Zulu's profile stays rising. In the last few years, the Kwazulu Natal-born rapper has made the transition from a streets emcee to an artist seen on billboards across the country. A few weeks ago, he announced a collaboration with one of the country's biggest rappers Cassper Nyovest, "Ama Million," which is the album's lead single.

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Seyi Shay & Teyana Taylor 'Gimme Love Remix'

Seyi Shay comes through with the new remix of "Gimme Love" featuring none-other-than Teyana Taylor. The new remix sees the Nigerian singer linking up with the GOOD Music star for an afrobeats-inspired take on R&B, as the two artists trade romantic verses over the Sarz-produced beat. The new music video for "Gimme Love Remix," follows Seyi Shay and Teyana Taylor to Harlem, New York.

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Janto Djassi 'On Est Ensemble'

Senegalese-German artist Janto Djassi shares the beautiful new self-directed music video for his single "On Est Ensemble," a captivating electronic production. "The video was inspired by my personal experiences growing up as the son of a German mother and a Senegalese father," he mentions, "and the contemplation that entailed, a thought process and development that creates and unveils a lot of connections... It was shot in a historically charged location, a section of the river Elbe in northern Germany which... once separated neighbors, families and friends and was patrolled by boats which had order to shoot refugees who were trying to cross."

"On Est Ensemble" is available now

DJ Tira 'Ikhenani'

DJ Tira has released a new album. Ikhenani is packed with 17 songs to which we will make memories in the upcoming summer. The album title Ikhenani means Canaan. "As you know in the bible, there's Canaan, a place where you'll find gold and silver and all those good things. So, on the album, I'm leading people to a place where they're going to have a good time," DJ Tira says in the album's Apple Music liner notes.

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Ice Prince 'A Verse For Jabba'

Almost a year after HHP's death, Ice Prince releases "A Verse for Jabba," a one-verse song in which he pays tribute to the South African hip-hop legend. He raps over the instrumental to HHP's song "Thank You Note," one of the late SA rapper's most loved deep cuts from his 2007 album Acceptance Speech.

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Flame 'HOME RUN' (feat. ECCO)

Flame and Ecco's new video for their collaborative song "Home Run" shows just how deep their friendship runs. After Flame dies in a drive-by shooting and is seen ascending to the clouds, Ecco takes care of his friend's family. The video is directed by Morale Phala, popularly known as Clout Cassette. He has shot numerous visuals for Flame and his affiliates.

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Melisa Whiskey 'Ajeh' ft. Mystro

Nigerian-British artist Melisa Whiskey comes through with this addictive new single, "Ajeh," featuring Mystro. Get into it above, this one is tailor-made for the dance floor.


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



Interview
Sarz. Photo: Manny Jefferson. Courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Sarz Has Powered a Generation of Nigerian Music—and He Isn't Stopping Anytime Soon

We talk to the star producer about his role in the rising global popularity of Nigerian music, spanning his production on massive singles from the likes of Wizkid, Skepta, Drake and more.

"I think more than the music, the narrative is more important these days," says Sarz as he sits at the offices of his press agency. "So one great song with an amazing narrative can get you farther than five great songs sometimes."

When Sarz talks about music, his eyes light up. They dart with excitement as he runs through topics like sounds, production, trends, and innovation. These are all words that represent his life's work of impactful music production, which has powered a generation of music in Nigeria, and is currently playing a role in its international future. Sitting at the offices, decked in a white t-shirt, red trousers and Nike kicks, he makes a point that he rarely grants interviews. And when he does, it's in spaces like this, in rooms and studios where his business is conducted, and his work is birthed and refined for public impact.

Born Osabuohien Osaretin, the 30-year-old music producer discovered sounds by accident when his ears would automatically pick apart music and focus on the beat. Interestingly, he discovered that he could remember every beat in detail. It was the entry point to a career that took off in 2010 when he scored his first hit on Jahbless' "Joor Oh" remix—during the formative stages of the current Nigerian pop success—and has provided sounds that have shaped the culture and given it its biggest moments.

With afrobeats' global ambitions taking off, Sarz's production is playing crucial roles in celebrated cross-cultural projects. He's helmed Drake's "One Dance," unlocked the chemistry between Wizkid and Skepta on "Energy (Stay Far Away)," and added composition on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift album.

"I'm inspired by the thoughts of how far I can take music. Just thinking about where this music can take me to," Sarz says, taking swigs from a water bottle. The producer has also worked with the biggest stars in afrobeats, and a look through his catalogue has hits every year since 2007.

He talks passionately about his work, the source of inspiration, where good music originates from, and how he identifies where to direct his energies. He runs an academy that has been a vehicle for delivering new producers to the culture. Sarz converses with range, a brimming energy, and a humility that is tied to purpose and achievements. He never shies away from topics that examine his revered place in this ecosystem, admitting without bragging that he is no one's mate. Even his 2019 SINYM EP is affirmation that "Sarz Is Not Your Mate." He has seen a lot and has a lot to say.

Sarz. Photo: Manny Jefferson. Courtesy of the artist.

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Still from YouTube

Watch Yemi Alade's New Music Video for 'Shake' Featuring Duncan Mighty

The "Nigerian Queen of Music Videos" does it again.

Yemi Alade returns with the visuals for her single "Shake," one of the many infectious tracks from her latest album Woman of Steel.

In the Paul Gambit-directed music video, the singer shows off her sensual side, first posing on a bed in an elegant powder blue mesh gown, before heading into several dance sequences. As usual, the singer serves in a number of stunning, eye-catching looks.

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'54 Silhouettes' at the British Council of Nigeria's Lagos Theatre Festival. Photo: Drive Adebayo.

'54 Silhouettes' Is the One-Man Play Exploring What Happens When Other People Tell Our Stories

The play is the first from Nigeria to show at the international United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC.

Playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director Africa Ukoh's award-winning play 54 Silhouettes has made its way to New York City as part of the United Solo Festival, the annual international festival, highlighting solo theatre performances through a "variety of one-person shows."

The one-man play stars the award-winning Nigerian actor Charles Etubiebi as a struggling actor who thinks he's landed his big break when he gets a major role in an upcoming blockbuster, he becomes conflicted, however, when he learns the film is yet another stereotypical "war in Africa" production—the type of film he vowed to never do. "Caught between career ambitions and ideals of his African identity, he must decide whether to do the film or ditch it," reads an official description of the show.

"The play explores African representation in global media and asks questions about creative responsibility, with tensions of cross cultural relations at the center of it all," Ukoh tells OkayAfrica. "It explores the inherent complexities in culturally unique stories being told by people of different cultures and how this intersects with power dynamics, commerce, and artistic ideals."

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Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Sho Madjozi Accuses Organizers of 'Africans Unite' of Using Xenophobia as a 'Marketing Ploy'

The South African rapper has spoken out about why she declined to perform at the now cancelled concert.

Yesterday, the much-anticipated "Africans Unite" concert was cancelled after Burna Boy pulled out of his scheduled performances in South Africa. This comes after South African artists spoke out against Burna Boy performing following his heated Twitter exchange with rapper AKA. While some were disappointed, others felt the exact opposite. Sho Madjozi, who has weighed in on the debate before during the September xenophobic attacks, has once again spoken out. This time, the "John Cena" star has called out against the organizers of the concert, Phambili Media and Play Network Africa.

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