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The 7 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring J.Derobie, Harmonize, Burna Boy, Shane Eagle x Nasty C 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.



Harmonize 'Afro East'

Harmonize recently dropped his latest offering, an 18-track album titled Afro East, which is the follow-up to his 2018 EP Afro Bongo. The album, which is the Tanzanian artist's first project since leaving Diamond Platnumz's record label, features Burna Boy, Phyno, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Falz, Skales and several others. Afro East is another of Harmonize's projects that showcases his ability to seamlessly fuse Afropop with Singeli and Bongo.

Find out more

J.Derobie 'Back It'

Ghana's J.Derobie turned heads last year when he arrived in a big way with his hit single "Poverty." The track, released through Mr Eazi's emPawa, was one of. our top picks for the Best Ghanaian Songs of 2019. J.Derobie is now returning with the brand new music video for his latest Uche B-produced dancehall banger, "Back It," which we're premiering here today. The new Accra-shot music video was directed by Babs Direction. "The idea was to create a song to show resiliency, to show courage, to show that you are not weak, and you can handle challenges that come your way," J.Derobie tells OkayAfrica. "To prove that yeah, you are a man."

Burna Boy 'Odogwu'

Burna Boy has released the music video for this first official single of 2020 "Odogwu." The new video, directed by TG Omori, follows Burna Boy and a crew through a number of striking scenes—from a supermarket to the waterside. As we've previously written, "The name of the rhythmic track ("Odogwu") refers to the title given to a victorious leader, particularly a man, who is believed to have accomplished great things in Igbo culture... the title seems fitting as Burna sings of his status and success atop pulsing percussion and strings by Nigerian beat-maker Kel P."

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Masterpiece 'Amanumber k'phela' feat. Vigro Deep

In "Amanumber K'phela," a new single by Vigro Deep and Masterpiece, the latter's vocals take inspiration from the late kwaito star Makhendlas' classic "Emenwe" released in 1998. Masterpiece appropriates the classic's hook and embellishes it with his own lines and a modern-day swagger. Vigro Deep adds reverb to most of the layers of his production, which gives the song an overall spacious feel—even the customary amapiano keys are drenched in reverb.

RAFIYA 'Po na yo'

Congolese singer RAFIYA rolls through with the new music video for "Po Na Yo," a song that explores the crazy things love can make us do. The track is built on Congolese guitar, an afrobeats-infused beat and lyrics sung in both French and Lingala. Get into it above.

Available now

Shane Eagle 'PARIS' ft. Nasty C

Shane Eagle enlisted the scrupulous eye of Imraan Christian. The Cape Town filmmaker and photographer has positioned himself as a conceptual storyteller who depicts black people (especially Coloured people) with the care they deserve, but are usually denied in most mainstream media. Shane Eagle has never been one to half-step when it comes to his music videos. He has constantly worked with like-minded director Armsdeal for his visuals which to expand on the stories he tells in his music. A great example is the audio visual project "YellowVerse."

Find out more

Maya Amolo 'I Know'

Upcoming R&B/Soul singer Maya Amolo has just dropped her latest track titled "I Know." While the New York-based Kenyan singer's first official release for this year, "I Know" is a track that showcases the artist's diverse vocal ability. The soft and raspy tones of Amolo's sound coupled with structured melodies, allows her to delve into the complexities of self-love and love for the other in a unique way. The track, as is the case with a lot of Amolo's music, dissects the duality of love as both beautiful and ugly, healing and hurtful.

Find out more

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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