Alicia Keys & Diamond Platnumz' "Wasted Energy" visualizers

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid, Alicia Keys x Diamond Platnumz, Manu WorldStar, Maya Amolo, La Dame Blanche 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, Apple Music here and YouTube Music here

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

WizKid 'No Stress'

Wizkid dropped his latest single titled "No Stress". And just as the name suggests, the track is a smooth and mellow number that is sure to have you kicking your feet up with ease. The also track comes ahead of the Nigerian superstar's long-awaited album Made In Lagos. Trust us when we say this sneak preview of the project is fire.

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Alicia Keys 'Wasted Energy' ft. Diamond Platnumz

Tanzanian star Diamond Platnumz features on Alicia Keys' latest album titled, ALICIA. Platnumz' influence is clear as the song, titled "Wasted Energy," is a far cry from what is usually expected from the "If I Ain't Got You" singer. Taking cues and influence from reggae, afropop and the bongo flava that the Tanzanian star is known for, "Wasted Energy" speaks of a lover in a relationship with someone who intentionally ignores their needs and desires.

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Manu WorldStar 'Choko'

Manu WorldStar continues trailblazing with the latest visual release for hit single "Choko" off debut album Molimo. "Choko" music video portrays the hustle and bustle Johannesburg is known for. The video is simple, crisp and celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit espoused by most inhabitants in Joburg, Berea which is the multicultural hotspot the artist grew up in.

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Maya Amolo 'I Know'

New York City-based Kenyan artist Maya Amolo has released visuals for her single "I Know," which is featured on her debut EP Leave Me At The Pregame, released in July. Amolo is known for her raspy vocals, soft melodies and thought provoking lyrics, all of which are present in the hit track. The powerful visuals are supported by even more powerful subject matter, as Maya sings about a past lover who did her dirty.

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La Dame Blanche 'La Maltratada'

Afro-Cuban artist La Dame Blanche returns with her new album, Ella, today—an homage to her mother and all of the women in her life. "La Maltratada," one of the new album's standouts, speaks against abuse, it's a song about "she who defends herself against abuse. My cry for all of the abused women of the world," La Dame Blanche explains. Get into it above.

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Akinyemi x Shane Garcia 'Selfish'

Queens, New York rapper Akinyemi comes through with a passionate head-nodder single in the form of "Selfish." The new track, which features a silky smooth chorus from Shane Garcia, speaks about self-care and the need to take one's interests first at times. "I don't feel like being selfish is a bad thing, especially these days," Akinyemi mentions. "We finally got a reason to look inward... We ought to live freely for ourselves more. Being selfish and caring for ourselves gives space for reflection which then allows us to be selfless or 'selfish for others.'"

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Rhamani 'Pepeni' ft. Dahlin Gage

Cameroonian-American artist Rhamani comes through with a dance floor scorcher in the shape of "Pepeni," featuring Dahlin Gage. This new one is just a taste of his upcoming Just Rhamani EP due soon. You're gonna have this one on repeat.

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Badi, Boddhi Satva 'Mauvaise Ambiance'

Badi and Boddhi Satva connect once again for the new electronic single "Mauvaise Ambiance." The single takes a direct approach at addressing many sociopolitical troubles around the world, touching on issues like the migrant crisis and U.S. policies over an infectious beat.

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Boyd 'Boys With Broken Hearts' EP

Ghana's Boyd shares his second EP, B.W.B.H (Boys With Broken Hearts). The 5-song release features production from NiiQuaye, Musical Lunatics, and Mmrbtz. "I like to think of this EP as a genre-fluid project," Boyd mentions, "down to how seamlessly it goes back and forth between English and Ga. It doesn't fit the Ghanaian commercial tag, but we are all trying to push the sound, inspire, and make a difference."

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Chyme 'Like Dat' ft. K-T3

Canadian-based Nigerian rapper Chyme makes music that he defines as 'Afro-twist.' The artist just dropped his latest EP, Acknowledgements, which showcases that blend of Nigerian and North American influences. Get into EP highlight, "Like Dat," above.

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

Image supplied.

Interview: Focalistic’s Blend of Hip-Hop and Amapiano Is Working

South African rapper Focalistic doesn't fixate on genre. He wants you to know his music "is for South Africans, by South Africans that sound South African."

A few weeks before Focalistic's hit single "Ke Star" is announced to have gone gold (it has since gone platinum), a large group of school kids gather around the driver seat of the rapper's sporty BMW. "I realised that people really love him during the shoot of the 'Ke Star' music video," a passer-by says. "It was wild."

Just like today. The same group, which has now grown bigger, waits outside the spot where Focalistic will sit down for an interview. They each want a picture with one of the country's most promising rappers. They have to wait until he's done answering our questions. Asked if he enjoys being mobbed by fans, he says, "It's not like I like it. But it's something you get used to and you understand it. It's love, it's never to irritate."

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