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Pa Salieu in "Bang Out"

The 7 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Yemi Alade, Pa Salieu, Stonebwoy, Wande Coal, Young Paris 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.


Yemi Alade 'Boyz'

Yemi Alade returns with her new single 'Boyz.' The song is the first release from her upcoming project. 'Boyz' is a dance-worthy track, produced by Vtek. As it's title implies, it sees the prolific artist singing about, well, boys—the types she likes, and the types she doesn't, a top booming production.

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Pa Salieu 'Bang Out'

Buzzing Gambian-British rapper, Pa Salieu shares the music video for his new single 'Bang Out.' The hardcore track, produced by Felix Joseph and AOD features a catchy hook and rapid-fire verses from the young artist. The trippy, multimedia video was directed by Midnight Club. The Coventry-raised artist is part of a class of newcomers redefining the UK's rap scene. He released his breakout single "Frontline" at the top of the year and it's quickly amassed over two million views on YouTube. "Pa Salieu is blending his West Midlands upbringing and Gambian heritage into a unique brand of rap that has seen him carve out space as an exciting new voice in British music," reads a press release.

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Stonebwoy 'Le Gba Gbe [Alive]'

Hot off of his newly released album, Anloga Junction, Stonebwoy's latest music video speaks to mental prisons and how life should be enjoyed while we have it. "Le Gba Gbe [Alive]," sung in his native language Ewe, starts off with beautifully haunting scenes echoing the strain listeners can hear in his voice. "The visuals to this spiritual song means a lot to me and that's why I was filmed at my ancestral place. It carries the important message of staying true to one's roots", Stonebwoy said of his vision.

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808x 'Built To Win, Born To Lose' ft. A-Reece & The Big Hash

Released last week Friday, "Built To Win Born To Lose" is a high-profile collaboration between two of the country's most sought after contemporary rappers, accompanied by production by another key figure in the SA hip-hop's new wave, 808x. The song is built on 808x's trademark bass-heavy trap-leaning production.

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Dunnie 'FOUR' EP 

Dunnie shares an ear-catching collection of songs in her latest EP, FOUR, which features head-nodding afro-fusion productions like "Overdose." "Four in the Jewish culture means Growth and a state of being," says Dunnie. "Social distancing and self isolation made me spend a lot of time with myself and I came to realize that I have grown in every aspect of myself both in artistry and as a human being. If you have followed my Journey from Seven to FOUR, what you will definitely hear is Growth from Dunnie."

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Wande Coal 'Again'

Nigeria's Wande Coal came through with the new single and video for "Again," a breezy afro-fusion track produced by Melvitto and Screwface, and the latest single from his upcoming REALMS EP, The music video was shot and directed by fellow Nigerian Adasa Cookey in Lagos just days just before the city shut down for quarantine. Check it out above.

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Young Paris 'Gasoline'

Young Paris has been dropping a lot of new videos recently like "Blood Diamond" and this latest one ffor "Gasoline," which is built on a guitars and head-nodding beat. Check out the song's music video, directed by Stephane Davi, which features Paris and Sarah Ray doing a romantic dance.

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


Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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