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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.


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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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