Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Buju, Burna Boy, Popcaan, Simi & More.

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Sauti Sol, Burna Boy x Buju, Maphorisa x Kabza De Small, Popcaan, Simi 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.

Buju ft. Burna Boy 'Lenu Remix'

Buju recently dropped the remix of his hit single "Lenu" which was released back in 2019. The upcoming afro-fusion artist recruits Burna Boy to deliver the an alternative version to the song that has been awaited by his fans. The two make for a breezy collaboration building on the multilayered sound of the original track. Burna adds to the song by delivering a high-energy final verse. The playful music video features the two artists as they ride out together in a luxury whip, and give animated performances in a tunnel-like setting. The camaraderie between the two artists is infectious and fun to watch.

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DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small 'Once Upon a Time in Lockdown'

Once Upon a Time in Lockdown is the latest offering from DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small, the South African dance music duo known as Scorpion Kings. The 15-track album consists of songs different artists most of them up-and-coming and from South Africa. Maphorisa's frequent collaborators and some recognized names in the amapiano scene such as Busiswa, Shasha, Mark Khoza, Kamo, Buckz and Howard are joined by the likes of Shiba, Adrinne Foo (Swaziland), Les-Ego and many others.

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Popcaan 'Numbers Don't Lie'

Star Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan releases the music video for his single "Numbers Don't Lie," from his latest EP Vanquish. The song, produced by Dane "Waldane Hampton" Ray is a standout from the 10-track project, which the artist dropped in December of last year.

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Sauti Sol 'Brighter Days' ft. Soweto Gospel Choir

Kenyan Afro pop band Sauti Sol's fifth studio album Midnight Train is out June 5. As part of the album's pre-add/pre-order, comes the song "Brighter Days" which features the Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir. "Brighter Days" is uplifting in both mood and lyrical content. Sonically, the song borrows from gospel music, but the group's urban aesthetic is not lost.

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RIMON 'Out Of My Way'

RIMON is an R&B singer who we've previously stated you need to be watching. The Amsterdam-based, Eritrean-born artist recently shared her latest single "Out of My Way," a head-nodding R&B concoction about the push-and-pull of attraction, produced by Samuel Kareem. Here's the hazy house party music video for "Out of My Way," which was directed by Blue Nuit. "With this song I really wanted to channel 2000s vibes and write about a playful 'hard to get' situation," RIMON tells OkayAfrica.

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SIMI 'Duduke'

Nigerian artist Simi is back with her first official solo track of the year titled "Duduke," the latest track to be released under Simi's own record label, Studio Brat. "Duduke" is a classic mid-tempo afrobeats number with just enough bounce to get you onto the dancefloor. Produced by the talented Oscar, the mellow track is essentially an onomatopoeic play on the sound the artist's heart makes when she thinks about her love interest.

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Ike Chuks 'Igbotic'

UK-based artist Ike Chuks recently came through with a blazing new EP in the shape of Igbotic. The EP sees the Nigerian rooted rapper/singer/dancer going in over five songs that blend influences from his home of Britain with a distinct Nigerian flavor.

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Falz 'Bop Daddy' ft. Ms Banks

Falz connects with Ms Banks for a Nigeria-meets-UK head-nodder in the form of "Bop Daddy." Check out the trippy retro music video for the single above.

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Whiteboyy 'Winterlude'

Whiteboyy is a new artist/producer coming out of Coney Island, NYC. The up-and-coming act mixes West African rhythms and chants with his Brooklyn influences to create an American-leaning afrobeats sound. He's been co-signed by the likes of DJ Tunez and Dot Da Genius. The artist mentions that "Winterlude" is "a vibe and interlude to transition us from winter to summer."

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BANTU 'Disrupt The Programme'

The Lagos-based 13-piece band BANTU returns with the new single "Disrupt the Programme," a politically-charged and horn-backed Afrofunk tune. Lead singer Ade Bantu states: “the freedom of expression, the right to protest and of peaceful assembly is being threatened in Nigeria. 'Disrupt the Programme' and its video remind us that in the face of social and political injustice, we cannot afford to be silent. We must speak up and let our voices be heard. We must disrupt the programme."

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


Interview: Bizzle Osikoya Is the A&R Shaping the Voice of a New Generation

We caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of The Plug Management to talk about the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music and what it takes to break out as an artist.

The meteoric rise of Nigeria's burgeoning music industry over the last few years is definitely one for the books. From high profile collaborations that have graced international charts to appearances on American late night TV and a Grammy nomination, the Nigerian sound is sitting at the epicenter of a global conversation that the world—including Queen Bey herself —seem to scrabbling to get a piece of the action.

However, way before this global infiltration and westernized conflation of Africa's assortment of genres into one Afrobeats, Bizzle Osikoya was studying Music Business in England and plotting for a way to be a part of what he knew was inevitable. "I remember going to clubs in school and they would always play Jamaican music but rarely Nigerian songs. I knew we made good music here but I knew I couldn't sing. So I was motivated to come back, go behind the scenes, and see how we can make that crossover possible," he tells OkayAfrica.

More than a decade after making the intrepid decision to venture into A&R, helping artists find and develop their sound, Bizzle's creative genius has cascaded across different musical generations, from the piracy rife CD mix era with artists like Naeto C, Wande Coal and Dr. Sid to a streaming era populated with hits from Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage and Davido.

Following the success of his latest project, Oxlade's Oxygene, we caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of the Plug Management—a talent management company that has managed Davido, Peruzzi and DJ Obi—to talk about what it takes to break out as an artist, the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music, and how "alté" is not the same thing as alternative music.

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