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Stonebwoy in "African Party"

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Stonebwoy, Focalistic x Cassper Nyovest, Muthoni Drummer Queen, Joojo Addison x Amaarae, Mr Eazi, Hailu Mergia 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.


Joojo Addison 'Ba Jo' feat. Amaarae

Joojo Addison and Amaarae comes through with a highly-addictive new track, "Ba Jo." The new single from the Ghanaian artists is built on a highlife-style guitar riff and afro-fusion beat work. It sees Joojo Addison taking the lead with a solid verse and hook-filled chorus. Amaarae comes in with her sultry vocals to bring the track home, as she interpolates Aqua's "Barbie Girl" in a clever way.

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Focalistic 'Never Know' feat. Cassper Nyovest

Focalistic releases the video for "Never Know," which featured South African rap superstar Cassper Nyovest. In the song, the rapper is wondering out loud about a woman who loves him; he can't seem to figure out why she's in love with him. Sonically, "Never Know" channels old school kwaito, a sound both rappers have proven to be fond of in their previous works. The visuals show mostly performance scenes by the rappers in different locations. The music video was directed by Clout Cassette, one of the most sought-after directors among the new generation of South African hip-hop artists.

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Muthoni Drummer Queen 'Power'

Kenya's Muthoni Drummer Queen returns in a strong way with "Power," a track produced with Swiss beatmaker duo GR! and Hook that blends hip-hop, retro-soul and future R&B. The new music video is " story committed to the many symbols that are hijacked, be they political, historical or biblical. A true ode to Kenyan women fighting oppression and breaking prejudice," mentions her team.

Stonebwoy 'African Party'

Ghanaian star Stonebwoy has dropped his latest single for "African Party." The hype-up track, produced by Streetbeatz, comes accompanied by a striking and festive music video. ''African Party was inspired by the year of return we had in Ghana last year," says Stonebwoy. :"People were really celebrating the continent and everyone boasted of having a good time... African Party was made for everyone that came back to the Motherland in December for the year of the return. Full of vibes and positive energy."

Hailu Mergia 'Yene Mircha'

Ethiopia's Hailu Mergia is set to release his new album, Yene Mircha, following the success of his comeback
album Lala Bela. The new collection of songs, coming out on Awesome Tapes From Africa, will feature an expanded band and new original compositions. For now, you can dig into the title track "Yene Mircha" above.

DJ Neptune x Joeboy x Mr Eazi 'Nobody'

DJ Neptune has dropped his latest single titled "Nobody" which sees him recruiting Nigerian superstar Mr Eazi and his prodigy JoeBoy. The track is the second single to be released from his upcoming project The Greatness II [Sounds of Neptune] following the successful debut single "Tomorrow" featuring Victor AD.

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Terry Apala 'Lock Up' feat. Niniola

Rising Nigerian artist Terry Apala has recently dropped a new single titled "Lock Up", his first official release for this year. He recruits Niniola, the undisputed Nigerian queen of Afrohouse, in this smooth banger which is a follow-up to his 2019 singles "Apala WiFi" and "Jangolova." Produced by Zaki Magic, "Lock Up" is a mid-tempo number that merges both Afrobeats and Afro-House to create a smooth and laidback bop. While Terry Apala offers up some pretty strong verses throughout the track, Niniola contrasts his effort by slowing things down in terms of pace and softening the overall feel of the song.

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Loyiso 'Intliziyo' feat. Langa Mavuso

South African soul singers Loyiso Gijana and Langa Mavuso connect on the single "Intliziyo," a song about betrayal, admission and regret among other things. The writing on the song, which was released in October 2019, stands out as much as the vocal performance. "Intliziyo" is littered with striking lines, especially the chorus in which the singer admits to having failed to take care of his partner's heart and is therefore asking her to pass it on to someone else. He sings, "Thath' intlizityo, unike omunye ngoba angisakwazi ukuyiphatha kahle."

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Onipa 'We No Be Machine'

Onipa are a group born out of a Ghana-to-London collaboration between members KOG (KOG & the Zongo Brigade) and Tom Excell (Nubiyan Twist), rounded out by additional input from Dwayne Kilvington and Finn Booth (Nubiyan Twist). The outfit shared the new music video for "We No Be Machine," the title track from their upcoming debut album, which pairs haywire electronics with booming vocals and afro-inspired grooves.

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'Mama Africa' The Busy Twist Remix feat. Zongo Abongo

The Palenque Records Afrocolombia Remix series gets global bass producers from across the world to revisit some classic Afro-Colombian musical pieces. In this one, The Busy Twist and Zongo Abongo take on Colombiafrica & Louis Towers' "Mama Africa" for an energetic new spinl.

Akinyemi 'Finna'

Nigerian-American rapper Akinyemi's shares the dark and brooding new single, "Finna." that explores the pressures of growing up as a first-generation immigrant. The song comes off his upcomign debut album, Warrior's Fate (Ep. 1)—Akinyemi's name means "fated to be a warrior" in Yoruba. Get into it above.

Herman Suede 'Free'

17-year-old Ghanaian Herman Suede comes through with the sweet pop melody of his latest single "Free." The track, produced by Yung Demz, comes accompanied by an uplifting music video shot across LA and Ghana.

Andye 'On My Way'

Ethiopian/Canadian act Andye shares the sleek pop-sounding single "On My Way," which bares a resemblance to tunes from the likes of Khalid. Get into this one above.

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


Interview
Image supplied.

Interview: 808x On Crafting Different Sounds For the Diverse Innanetwav Roster

808x, the in-house producer for South Africa's popular hip-hop collective/label Innanetwav, breaks down his working process with artists and the importance of energy.

Reflecting on the early days of Cash Money Records during a conversation with legendary New Orleans producer Mannie Fresh earlier this year, Lil Wayne said:

"When we started, record labels had one producer for the whole record label. Meaning that Mannie Fresh produced every song on every album, from the intro to the artist."

Some labels, groups and collectives still observe that tradition. It, however, takes a producer with such versatility they could be mistaken to be different personalities altogether.

Joburg-based producer 808x is a great example of that type of producer. Being the in-house producer and engineer for one of the country's most versatile collectives and contemporary hip-hop labels, Innanetwav, 808x has to craft beats that slice through the spectrum of genres with inimitable fluidity and creativity.

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