Featuring Makwa x Maraza x AKA, Joeboy, Zlatan, Nadia Nakia, TOBi x The Game, Yilian Canizares, Aewon Wolf 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.
Makwa 'Ayipheli' feat. Maraza & AKA
Makwa's hit "Ayipheli" has just been treated to visuals. The song, which was released last year, features a hook from MarazA and a verse from AKA. "Ayipheli" is a song that was tailored for the summer—it's celebratory in nature and light-hearted in mood. The music video shows the three artists' performance scenes in an open field crowded with fans. The colorful outfits and free movement from the people present plays to the idea of summer. You'll spot cameos from Kwesta, Yanga Chief and a few others.
Joeboy 'All For You'
Rising artist Joeboy shares his new song and video "All For You," one of the standout tracks from his debut EP Love & Light. The song follows the release of the artist's breakout singles "Baby" and "Beginning," and sees the artist dealing with a love interest who's facing an abusive partner. "The song is basically about a girl in a relationship plagued by domestic violence," says Joeboy of the song and video. "The girl ends up falling in love with someone else who actually treats her right and therefore she ends up breaking up with her boyfriend because of him. It's a twisted love story between a girl and two guys."
Yilian Canizares 'Noyé' feat. Paul Beaubrun
Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie. The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we premiered. "Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."
Aewon Wolf 'The Return'
Aewon Wolf has always preferred to sprinkle some pop in his hip-hop, as can be heard in his previous releases. His latest project, The Return, his first in two years, boasts some pop-leaning songs like "Thando Lwami," "Something Special," "Cool Kids" and others are all glazed in the customary top 40 chart sheen through the use of glossy synths and pads alongside other contraptions.
Angolan-Portuguese singer and rapper Pongo comes through with the music video for her uplifting and addictive single "Canto." The lyrics of "Canto" are delivered in Portunol, a blend of Portuguese with elements of Spanish, a press statement mentions. The track sees Pongo going in over mambo-influenced beat work. "This song describes the happiness I feel while making music," she says, "I'm trying to use latin rhythms and their particular ambience. I love mixing and discovering."
A-Reece '$elfi$h [EXP 2]'
A-Reece has released another song via SoundCloud. "Selfish" is a minimalist song with its beat consisting mostly of gnarled guitar strings and a pulsating bongo drum. The rapper speaks to a woman in his life who's giving him a bit of a tough time. It makes sense why he's on the phone on the song's artwork. "Selfish [EXP 2]" is the second song from the popular Pretoria lyricist in 2020. Last week, he released a song titled "In Hi$ Image [EXP 1]."
Jonah Mutono 'Circulation'
Jonah Mutono heads to his home country of Uganda for the striking black-and-white music video for the Lil Silva and Al Carlson-produced "Circulation." The new video, which was directed by Isaac Eastgate, showcases political and social tensions the country is currently under, a press statement reads. "The piece is about tension—physical and emotional—and in this particular case, political," Mutono mentions. "There is little kindness and space given to queer stories in that corner of the world. It was astounding that we got to be there and capture this. All I can really draw from is my own experience and this is a big part of that story for me.
Art Melody 'Zoe Wogdog' feat. Daitman Paweto
Burkina Faso-bred rapper Art Melody comes through with the new music video for "Zoe Wogdog," one of the hilghlights from his recent album Zoodo. The Redrum-produced track perfectly showcases Art Melody's intriguing blend of his inspirations—from '70s Afro-soul to late '90s New York rap—with his own unique, baritone vocal delivery. Check it out above and make sure to give Zoodo a listen.
South African hip-hop artist uSanele's recently released project is titled uMvelase. "This project," says the artist, "is in honor of my father and family, abakwa Mthembu; all my siblings, extended family and my roots in the heart of KZN, kwaNongoma. It is a calling—if you will—a completion of my journey and all things coming full circle." He adds that the project is "a message to self (from higher self or spirit) to return home—'Buyela ekhaya,' as the last track title suggests, or rather to remember who we are and where we come from."
TOBi 'City Blues (Remix)' feat. The Game
Nigerian-born, Toronto-based rapper TOBi makes music inspired by his early life move to Canada and the experiences around immigration and culture shock. His single "City Blues," saw the rapper taking cues from Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" over a beat produced by Free n Losh. The song now has a new remix featuring none-other-than The Game. Get into it above.
The buzzing Nigerian artist Zlatan had a huge year with the release of his Zanku album, as well as his collaborations with the likes of Burna Boy and more. He now shares his first single of 2020 with "Quilox," which comes accompanied by a new video that was shot and directed by Naya Effectz.
Nadia Nakai 'More Drugs' feat. Tshego
Nadia Nakai's latest music video is reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino movie. From the vintage film color scheme and grading to the gory scenes—in one scene, Nadia is literally taking a bloodbath. In the clip, which was directed by Studio Space Pictures' Alessio Bettocchi and Jiten Ramlal, the South African rapper pulls up in a vintage car which we later find out has a dead body in the boot which she has tasked herself with disposing of. In the song, Nadia and her collaborator—singer and rapper Tshego—speak of a relationship that went wrong.
Yung L 'Tropicana Baby'
Nigeria's Yung L shares the music video for "Topicana Baby," the lead single from his new project Juice & Zimm. The dancehall-influenced track is tailor-made for the dance floor.
Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.
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