Featuring Fatoumata Diawara x Gorillaz, Davido, Nadia Nakai,2Baba, Niniola x Femi Kuti, 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.
Gorillaz x Fatoumata Diawara 'Désolé'
The Gorillaz enlist none other than Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for their latest single "Désolé," the second single from the hit-making British band's Song Machine installation project. "Making Désolé with Fatou was a real moment for me, you know," the band's drummer Russel Hobbs is quoted as saying in a statement via Pitchfork. Désole translates to "sorry" in French, but despite it's apologetic title, the song is a laid-back groove, elevated by vocals from lead singer Damon Albarn and Diawara, who sings in English, French and Bambara.
2Baba has just dropped his much-anticipated album titled Warriors. The album is a follow-up to the artist's last project Ascension which was released in 2014. Warriors features music heavyweights including Burna Boy, Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, AJ, Peruzzi, Syemca and HI Idibia. In his latest offering, 2Baba gives fans a little bit of everything—afrobeats, afropop and even reggae.
Tshego 'No Ties' Amapiano Remix feat. King Monada & MFR Souls
MFR Souls recently gave Tshego's hit single "No Ties" an amapiano remix. The MFR Souls duo is one of the frontrunners of the amapiano subgenre which gained mainstream popularity in South Africa last year. The remix for "No Ties" comes with the customary amapiano bassline and a selection of pads and prominent percussion. Tshego and King Monada's vocals sit as if they were originally constructed over the bouncy instrumental.
Burna Boy 'Odogwu'
Burna Boy shares his first single of the year, "Odogwu." The track is the Grammy-nominated artist's first single since "Money Play," which he released at the end of 2019. The name of the rhythmic track refers to the title given to a victorious leader, particularly a man, who is believed to have accomplished great things in Igbo culture. "When I reach Igboland, them calling me Odogwu," sings the artist on the chorus. The title seems fitting as Burna sings of his status and success atop pulsing percussion and strings by Nigerian beat-maker Kel P.
Naida Nakia '40 Bars' feat. Emtee & DJ Capital
In what's a collaboration nobody expected, Nadia Nakai and Emtee sparr over an instrumental by the rapper/producer PatricKxxLee. The bassline is gloomy and crude, creating a perfect environment for both emcees to scare you with bars. "40 Bars" was premiered by Ebro Darden on his Beats 1 show and playlist Rap Life. The two met recently during Ebro's recent trip to South Africa where he expressed his deep support and love for her work. Ebro even named Nadia on his list of most impactful artists of 2019 among the likes of Nas, Burna Boy and Stormzy and others.
Davido '1 Milli'
Davido has just dropped the visuals for "1 Milli", a track from his recent album A Good Timewhich was released towards the end of last year. The music video pays homage to the artist's impending marriage to his fiancée, Chioma Rowland.
Cameronian-Nigeiran singer Ishaku has released his debut EP, Hadari, accompanied by a music video for the standout song "Vuvuzela." You need to check this one out.
Niniola x Femi Kuti 'Fantasy'
Nigerian singer and songwriter Niniolashares her latest single "Fantasy," featuring the legendary Femi Kuti. The track is the singer's latest since the release of "Omo Rapala" last month. On "Fantasy," the singer delivers her usual crisp vocals atop a pulsating beat and smooth saxophone riffs from Kuti. It's an infectious song through and through, and the two make for a memorable duo.
Rising Afropop artist Enamel has dropped a new track titled "Gang" as well as the accompanying visuals. The new track is a follow-up to his 2019 debut single "Pokish" featuring Galaybanton and was produced by Kiddominant. "Gang" is a mid-tempo track with an admittedly infectious beat—the hallmark of any good Afropop or Afrobeats hit. The intermittent use of brass instrumentals in the background gives the song an overall laid-back feel which translates well in the music video.
Nigerian artist Zlatangets pensive on his latest track "Life." The song is a departure from the Zanku (Leg Work) singer's usual dance-worthy style. Instead, the slow-paced anthem sees him reflecting on his rise, and making it as an artist against all odds. "My life changed in one day," sings the artist on the hook. The video, directed by Hassan Al Raae, features a different setting for the artist as well, as the artist appears at a skiing resort surrounded by snow, which provides a crisp backdrop for the track's hopeful message.
Wande Coal 'Ode Lo Like'
Veteran Nigerian musician Wande Coal, returns with a new music video for his single 'Ode Lo Like,' from his upcoming EP Realms. After releasing the track back in December, the artist, who recently signed to the US record label Empire, shares a showy music video for the upbeat track that sees him performing at a hazy nightclub with a live band. The visuals have a sultry Latin feel and feature several eye-catching dancers. It was directed by Adasa Cookey.
Bantu & Dr. Chaii 'Stretch' feat. DaniLeigh
Zimbabwes' Bantu comes through with his latest track and video "Stretch," a collaboration with Dr. Chaii and artist/dancer DaniLeigh.
Rouge x AKA 'One by One'
There's just no predicting what kind of song your favorite artists will release. Especially if one of those artists is AKA. The South African hip-hop superstars can drop rap verses that will terrify his counterparts. Or he can just opt to hit high notes aided by auto-tune. The latter is the case for "One by One," the latest single from the rapper Rouge featuring AKA. "One by One" is produced by AKA's long-time producer Tweezy, and he gives the two artists a lush instrumental making for a song the radio will probably have on high rotation.
DJ Edu x Idahams 'Body Bad'
BBC's DJ Edu comes through with a scorching record featuring Idahams. Get into "Body Bad" above.
Nizzy 'Midnight' Remix feat. Big Tobz
Nizzy comes through with an addictive remix of his afrobeats tune "Midnight," featuring Big Tobz.
Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.
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