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Captain Planet & Alsarah's "Ghazal"

The 7 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Beyoncé x Shatta Wale, Major League DJz, Alsarah, Skales, 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 playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer 'ALREADY'

Beyoncé's highly-anticipated visual album, Black Is King dropped last week. With it, came stunning music videos for some of the collaborative tracks from her 2019 Lion King: The Gift album, which the star artist described as her "love letter to Africa" upon its release. Arguably one of the best songs on the album was "Already" featuring Ghanaian artist Shatta Wale and Major Lazer. The official music video, which dropped today, doesn't disappoint. The video emphasizes vibrant dance and choreography, featuring dancers like Nigeria's Papi Ojo. The video features Beyoncé in a number of incredibly striking looks, including a stunning shorts and blazer combo by Ivorian-American designer Loza Maléombho.

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Major League DJz & Abidoza 'Pianochella!'

South African twin deejays Major League DJz have dropped a new album titled Pianochella! alongside Pretoria-based deejay and producer Abidoza. The title of the project is a play on Coachella and the popular South African subgenre amapiano. Pianochella! is a 31-track project featuring collaborations with both familiar names and up-and-coming artists. The likes of Cassper Nyovest, Amanda Black, Riky Rick, Senzo Afrika, Holly Rey , Kamo Mphela Mpho Sebina, and Shana all make appearances on the album alongside countless other artists.

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Captain Planet & Alsarah كاپتن پلانت & الساره - Ghazal غزل 

Captain Planet and Sudanese singer Alsarah connect for an alluring ode to love. Their new single "lyrically draws from the Persian canon of love poetry devoted to a beloved (Ghazal), and melodically draws from folk love songs from Southern Egypt (such as n3na3 elginayna)," a press statement reads. Get into the hypnotizing video, directed by Maryam Parwana, above. The song is featured on Captain Planet's latest album, NO VISA.

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Skales 'Badman Love'

Nigerian artist Skales shares his latest music video for single Badman Love. The light-hearted track, fresh off of his June 2020 Healing Process EP release, portrays the typical love story of love at first sight. The Kezzi produced record is sure to get fans up and dancing on their feet with the afrobeat producers' magic touch.

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Subculture 'The River Bend' ft. Rachel Chinouriri

UK-based producer Subculture links with Zimbabwean/British neo-soul artist Rachel Chinouriri for "The River Bend," a head-nodding and haunting new track. The song pairs beats and saxophones bursts, along with Chinouriri's singing, to convey the idea of "how racial prejudice and the misunderstanding of other people's cultures can warp someone into feeling deeply emotionally, psychologically, and physically threatened by the harmless presence of others," a press statement explains. Get into it above.

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Sam Smith x Burna Boy 'My Oasis'

Nigerian singer Burna Boy has teamed up with British pop star Sam Smith on their new single "My Oasis." This new release comes hot off of Burna Boy's recent celebration of his latest album African Giant getting over a billion streams. The new single "My Oasis," out today, comes after Smith's decision to postpone their latest album release. The singer said in a now deleted Instagram post that they felt that the timing was off, but promised that they are, "still going to bring out some new music over the next few months."

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M-Josh - Stories Of Africa (Wake Up)

M-Josh pays tribute to legend Fela Kuti for his "contributions to protest, rebel, and resistance music." The artist dropped "Stories of Africa (Wake Up)" on the anniversary of Fela's passing, August 2.

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


Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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