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Michael Kiwanuka album cover.

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week​

Featuring Michael Kiwanuka, Burna Boy, Amanda Black, Runtown, Khuli Chana x Cassper Nyovest 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 new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Michael Kiwanuka 'KIWANUKA' LP

British-Ugandan soul singer Michael Kiwanuka has released his highly-anticipated third studio album KIWANUKA, the follow up to his critically-acclaimed sophomore album Love & Hate. The 14-track album features the previously released singles "You Ain't the Problem" and "Hero," and was largely produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo. The artist named the album KIWANUKA in a bold attempt to reclaim his heritage no matter how foreign it might seem to others. "I won't change my name, no matter what they call me," he sings on "Hero."

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Runtown 'International Badman Killa'

Nigerian artist Runtown is back with a new music video for his single "International Badman Killa." The song was featured on his surprise EP Tradition which dropped back in May. The lively video for the Spellz-produced track sees that artist in several unique settings surrounded my futuristic cars and dancers as he performs the song's self-assured lyrics. The video was directed by Clarence Peters.

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Amanda Black 'Egoli'

A week ago, Amanda Black, released her sophomore album Power. This week, the South African singer-songwriter brings us the stunning accompanying visuals for "Egoli"—what we reckon is one of the standout tracks on the 18-track project. In "Egoli", Amanda Black sings about looking towards Johannesburg, the City of Gold, to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. The music video was directed by Kuda Jemba and the cinematography done by Motion Billy, two talented young men who've become the go-to for creating quality visuals for the music videos of many South African artists.

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François N'Gwa 'Ogooué'

Buckle up and get ready for a bit of rhythmic and synthesizer-laced time travel. Gabonese musician François N'Gwa has been making music since the early 80s, toying and playing with sound during the era of electronic exploration. The sound he produced is a vibrant, enthusiastic and attention-grabbing one that blends African rhythms and sentiments with digital noises that seem to play tug of war with the air around it. New French record label Into the Deep Treasury is releasing an 8-track compilation of N'Gwa's tracks made between 1985 and 2004, called Ogooué.

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Burna Boy 'Omo'

Burna Boy comes through with the new music video for "Omo," one of the standout tracks from his stellar album African Giant. The afro-house indebted tune, which was produced by Mr Kleb Beatz, gets an appropriately nighttime music video that follows Burna to a "Giant Club" and a peep show booth, among other locations."Omo" is the latest in a long string of outstanding singles from African Giant that have gotten the video treatment. "Oh I'm not done yet!! OMO video out now on all platforms," Burna Boy wrote on Instagram.

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Bryte 'Ice Cream'

Accra-based vocalist Bryte goes in over some haywire electronic beat work in his new single "Ice Cream." The new track sees Bryte linking up with frequent collaborator Mina and Tarquin for a booming production that marries his Ghanaian style with production that straddles UK bass, funky, grime and techno The new music video for "Ice Cream," which follows Bryte and a crew of dancers across Seoul. "We had so much fun running around the streets of Hongdae with Korean afrobeats dancers exploring the markets and different varieties of ice cream unique to Seoul," Bryte tells OkayAfrica.

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Driemanskap 'Give A Wh?t' ft YoungstaCPT

Driemanskap have finally released Hlala Nam, their sophomore album which they have been teasing for years. The 20-track project arrived last week, and features YoungstaCPT, King Kosh, Haem-O and several others. The four-man Cape Town crew (Redondo, Ma-B, Dla and El Nino) maintain their raw street-centric sound and lyricism on Hlala Nam. Songs like "Uhambo," "Things We Do For Love" and "Champion," among others, with their trap-leaning production, reveal a crew that's not reluctant to experiment with other sounds.

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Mayorkun 'Up to Something'

Mayorkun comes through with his latest single and Clarence Peters-directed music video for "Up To Something," a song that tackles body shaming. The SperoachBeat-produced song sampleds a Nigerian classic by Plantashun Boiz' Faze. Mayorkun mentions: "As much as I want to deliver a pop record, I wanted a song with a weighty message, so while you are dancing to it at the club or a party, watching the video on T.V, it leaves you with love, feeling beautiful, appreciation for yourself and everyone around you. Music is a tool, we must use to change societal ills."

Khuli Chana  FT Cassper Nyovest 'Ichu'

The lead single to Khuli Chana's upcoming album just got treated to visuals. "Ichu," which has been out for two months, features fellow Mafikeng rapper Cassper Nyovest. The song sees the two emcees play lyrical gymnastics over a fast-paced instrumental that allows for innovative flows from both of them. The music video was directed by Nic Roux, shows a vigorous displays of dance moves and an impressive wardrobe for the protagonists and other characters.

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Jelani Blackman 'Brixton'

The first thing that will strike you when pressing play on this is the impossibly deep baritone of Jelani Blackman's voice. Apparently he makes it higher when speaking normally in order for people to hear him. The rapper, whose lineage combines Ireland, Sierra Leone and Barbados, did a surprise drop of his new 5-track EP Average Joe. Blackman was born in London and grew up in the golden era of grime music—the influence of which has left its stamp on every single track though his vibe has more of an R&B lean.

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Patty Monroe feat. Caleb Williams 'Fighter'

Patty Monroe's latest music video for "Fighter" is directed by Dale Fortune. In the video, the Cape Town-born rapper shares her personal story of growing up; some parts of the video were filmed in the house she grew up in, with her mother and grandmother making cameos. "Fighter" enlists the effective vocal skills of the singer Caleb Williams. The song appears on Patty Monroe's debut album, Malatjie. The 15-track project was released in 2017.

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TRESOR 'On va bouger' ft. Sauti Sol

Earlier this year, South Africa-based Congolese musician TRESOR released his album Nostalgia. The 13-track project revisits the past to explore the different sounds and the culture on the African continent during that time. The album features South African artists such as AKA, Mafikizolo, Kwesta, Msaki and several others. TRESOR has recently released the visuals for "On va bouger", the track on which he teams up with Kenyan pop duo Sauti Sol. It's a "twisted love story" set in the 70s of Kinshasa and we're certainly here for that vibe.

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


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Watch the Music Video for Rema's New Single 'Lady'

Check out the buzzing Nigerian singer's latest.

Nigerian artist Rema shares the music video for his latest single "Lady" from his new EP Bad Commando.

The music video, directed by Tadas Vanagas also features choreography from Sophia, which is performed throughout the video by a talented dancer who takes the spotlight. Rema appears later in the video, dressed in trendy streetwear as his love interest ties him up and serenades him. The song itself is an airy with house-inspired production from Altims. It's made up of harmonies that Rema deliveries mostly in pidgin. It was one of our Best Nigerian Songs of the Month for October.

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Image courtesy of Sarkodie.

Interview: Sarkodie Is Going Global By Staying True to Ghana

In a new interview with the star rapper, we talk about his upcoming album "Black Love," his monumental BET award win, plans for the Year of Return and the 'afrobeats invasion.'

For many, Sarkodie is Africa's best MC, and he's got the flow to back that up. For about a decade now, the artist has remained consistent in dropping jams that aren't only memorable (and often fun to party to), but ones that also stay unapologetically true to his Ghanaian heritage.

With his upcoming project, Black Love (which is slated for a surprise release) he continues on that path, but with a special focus on love and relationships. "Can't Let You Go," the first single, which he released over a year ago, also doubled as a wedding video. Since then, he's dropped a string of singles that also capture the theme at the heart of the project. The most recent being "Party & Bullshit" featuring Idris Elba and Donae'O—a collaboration between the Ghanaian artists that celebrates the love felt amongst friends when simply having a good time.

The artist's status as a formidable MC was further solidified last month when he became the first artist to win BET's Best International Flow Award and delivered a freestyle mostly in Twi that represented his heritage and spoke to the importance of black pride. The international recognition was welcomed, but it merely reemphasized what most of those paying attention to his career already knew. It was unsurprising that he'd win an award for his flow— his fans have been raving about his for years. "They created [this category] for him," remarked one Twitter user.

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Deaan Vivier/Foto24/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Miss South Africa Wants Men to Write Love Letters to Women to Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

Unfortunately, there's nothing stopping abusive men from writing these love letters too.

South Africa's newly crowned Miss SA Zozibini "Zozi" Tunzi has launched a "HeForShe" campaign which aims to tackle the alarming rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the country. The campaign, which is in partnership with the South African arm of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), wants South African men to step up and join the collective fight against abuse. However, the campaign has been criticized by many because of the way in which it wants men to step—by writing love letters to women. The campaign has divided South Africans, particularly those on social media.

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Romain Chanson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Gambian Beauty Queen Fatou Jallow's Movement Against Sexual Assault Gains Traction

After publicly accusing former President Yahya Jammeh of rape, young women under the #IamToufah banner are standing against sexual assault in the country.

A few months ago, former Gambian beauty queen Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow publicly accused former President Yahya Jammeh of rape. The 23-year-old alleged that Jammeh had raped her following her refusal of his marriage proposal during his time in office back in 2015. Under the leadership of current President Adama Barrow, The Gambian government established the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) which is now investigating human rights violations during Jammeh's tenure. Jallow, who is testifying at the commission, has spurred a movement where young women are taking a stand against sexual assault in the country under the #IamToufah banner.

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