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Photo: AIDA MULUNEH. Provided by Fatoumata / Sacks Co.

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Fatoumata Diawara, Burna Boy, Blinky Bill, Wizkid 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 OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.


Burna Boy 'Gbona'

Burna Boy is back with his first single since the release of his well-received sophomore album Outside, and he doesn't disappoint. Fresh of the heels of his standout collaboration with Major Lazer, The Nigerian 'afro-fusion' musician brings the literal heat on his latest banger "Gbona," which is the Yoruba word for "hot." "Oluwa Burna mo gbona feli," he sings throughout the boisterous 3-minute track.

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Blinky Bill 'Showdown' feat. MVROE & Kiwango

Kenya's Blinky Bill is gearing up for the release of his long-awaited album, Everyone's Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales, due October 19. The new solo record will see the former Just A Band member delivering 12 self-produced tracks that are as diverse and rich as the contemporary Nairobi scene. One of those album highlights is "Showdown," a hypnotic new single that pairs traditional Kenyan percussion with head-nodding bass synths. The song sees Blinky Bill linking up with new Nairobi acts MVROE of EA Wave and Kiwango of Cosmic Homies.

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Fatoumata Diawara 'Bonya'

Mali's Fatoumata Diawara has shared the new music video for "Bonya," one of the highlights from her new album Fenfo. Diawara mentions that "'Bonya' means respect. This is the most important value that we need to cultivate. I feel like a universal Mother, so I do not worry only for myself, I also worry for our children. They are the adults of the future. The message of the video is that with respect we can solve most of our differences and give back the same."

Read our interview with Fatoumata Diawara

J Molley 'Leader of the Wave' EP

Up-and-coming South African hip-hop artist J Molley is onto something. The singer/rapper is mean with the pen and has an ear for beats which allow his ethereal digitally enhanced vocals to feel at home. His latest EP/playlist, aptly titled Leader of the Wave, builds upon where songs like "200 On MY Wrist," "Dreams Money Can Buy" and "Seven Bottles" left off. J Molley has managed to build a solid fanbase online, amassing hundreds of thousands of SoundCloud plays. He is at the forefront of the new wave of South African hip-hop.

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Wizkid 'Fever' & 'Master Groove'

On Nigeria's Independence Day, Wizkid released two singles, which are his first this year. The first single, titled "Fever," is built on breezy pads, while a saxophone by Tosin makes it even wider and richer. The song is produced by Blaq Jerzee. n the second single, "Master Groove," which leans towards dancehall and is produced by Phantom, Wiz summons his girl to the dancefloor over a prominent guitar riff.

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L-Tido '16' 

South African rapper L-Tido dropped a new album today, titled 16. The project is his first in five years (his sophomore All of Me came out in 2013). 16 is undoubtedly Tido's most introspective album to date. While on All of Me, the MC had a few personal songs, like "Problems" and "Unbreakable," on 16, he has more of those types of songs, in which he's speaking about issues that have been in his mind.

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Wanja Wohoro 'Matriarch'

Wanja Wohoro is a Kenyan singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who captivates audiences with her "Afro Indie Soul" style, soulful vocals and emotionally-rich lyricism. The rising talent just dropped Matriarch, a 9-track album that explores the journey of contemporary womanhood through a personal lens. "MATRIARCH takes the listener through Kenyan folklore, the turmoil of youth and lust, the anxiety of discovering one's place as a young woman, and the dream of one day becoming a leader," she mentions.

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Sirens of Lesbos 'Shotgun'

Swiss born Sudanese-Eritrean sisters, Jasmina and Nabyla Serag and their band, Sirens of Lesbos, are back with a highly-addictive track, "Shotgun." The single reworks lyrics from the Fugees' "Fu Gee La," one of the band's favorite tracks, as well as parts The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Read our past premiere of Sirens of Lesbos "We'll Be Fine"

Rudeboy 'Together' feat. Patoranking

Paul Okoye (aka Rudeboy) has been doing his thing on the solo side of things since his split last year with his brother and musical partner Peter Okoye—the other half of their band P-Square. Rudeboy returns with a another single, this time enlisting the help of fellow Nigerian artist Patoranking, for the dancehall-infused "Together," that sees the Rudeboy singing passionately about an everlasting love. "Anyhow wey you like make e be/We go stay together, forever," he sings.

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A-Reece 'Amber Rose'

One thing you should know by now is that The Wrecking Crew don't sleep. The Pretoria hip-hop collective releases so much music it's hard to keep up. In July, A-Reece, Wordz and Ecco released the masterpiece L3 (Long Lost Letters). Last month, MashBeatz released an album titled Thanks for Nothing. This week, A-Reece releases the song "Amber Rose," which is accompanied by a music video. "Amber Rose" is a mellow tune that leads with moody organ keys. The song lasts for just above a minute, and sees Reece spit some sexually charged raps and give a shout to his crew.

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Burna Boy, D'Banj, 2Baba & Larry Gaaga 'Baba Nla'

Nigerian artist Larry Gaaga has shared the music video for his collaborative single "Baba Nla" featuring afrobeats titians Burna Boy, D'Banj, and 2Baba which dropped back in August. The smooth song gets a smoky visual featuring the four artists as they perform their respective parts. Burna Boy leads the pack with a catchy opening verse before 2 Baba, Larry Gaaga and D'Banj join in afterwards all clad in sharp black ensembles. Of course the video wouldn't be complete without a performance from a group of sultry dancers decked in face paint and ankara.

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Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.

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Adamawa State Governor Bindow and the 21 freed girls (c) Adam Dobby

Isha Sesay’s Bold New Book Forces Us to Remember the Chibok Girls, Even If Social Media Has Forgotten

In 'Beneath the Tamarind Tree' the Sierra-Leonean author offers "the first definitive account" of what took place on the ground following the girls' abduction.

Five years ago, 276 schoolgirls were abducted from their school in northern Nigeria by a group of Boko Haram militants. A global outcry ensued with social media and the international press proclaiming their devotion to the missing girls. #BringBackOurGirls became the digital rallying cry for the movement. Even the most famous of public figures—the likes of then First Lady Michelle Obama—stood behind it. This level of attention was unique, and frankly rare for a tragedy occurring in Africa, and it seemed that the help of the entire world was exactly what was needed to topple the threat of growing extremism in Northern Nigeria, and bring the girls home safely.

Then, the world moved on—with the exception of a few. Sierra Leonean-born journalist Isha Sesay, the host of CNN Africa at the time, was one of the foremost voices covering the events taking place in Chibok, following and reporting on every painstaking detail about the girls and their possible whereabouts, even earning the network a Peabody Award in 2014 for her coverage. Her commitment to their story didn't wane—even when it was clear that the news cycle had moved on. For Sesay, the threat of erasure was further motivation to continue following the girls' story. As new developments occurred, beginning in 2016, Sesay hit the ground. She traveled to Chibok and followed those who'd been freed, while continuing to advocate for the immediate release of the 112 girls who are still missing.

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Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Watch the Trailer for Wale's New Studio Album 'Wow...That's Crazy'

He says this sixth studio album will be his last.

This year has been a phenomenal year for Nigerian artists both on the continent and those part of the diaspora. Nigerian-American rapper, Wale, recently took to social media to announce that he'll be dropping his sixth studio album Wow...That's Crazy on the October 11th. This new project comes after he released three singles this year including "Gemini (2 sides)", "BGM" and "On Chill", a track he worked on with Jeremih. While fans are excited by news of the upcoming project, Wale has indicated that this will be his last album.

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Still from YouTube

Watch the Music Video for Stonebwoy and 'Ololo' Featuring Teni

A fire collaboration!

Ghanaian rapper Stonebwoy enlists Nigerian artist Teni the Entertainer for his latest single 'Ololo,' his latest since dropping "Tuff Seed" earlier this summer.

The duo shine as they exchange loving lyrics atop sultry, upbeat production by Prinx Pappi. Stonebwoy opens the track with a fiery verse about giving his all to a love interest, while Teni brings the her usual high-energy to the second verse as she delivers passionate lyrics directed at a lover. Their musical chemistry, making for a catchy jam-worthy track.

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Seyi Shay & Teyana Taylor Connect For 'Gimme Love' Remix

An afrobeats-inspired take on R&B.

Seyi Shay comes through with the new remix of "Gimme Love" featuring none-other-than Teyana Taylor.

The new remix sees the Nigerian singer linking up with the GOOD Music star for an afrobeats-inspired take on R&B, as the two artists trade romantic verses over the Sarz-produced beat.

The new music video for "Gimme Love Remix," follows Seyi Shay and Teyana Taylor to Harlem, New York. They head to brownstone homes, bodegas and bars as they get courted by their 'love.' It was directed by Walu and produced by JM Films.

"Gimme Love" is the lead single from Seyi Shay's upcoming EP, which was executive produced by Sarz and Harmony Samuels, and is due in November.

Watch the video for "Gimme Love Remix" below. The single is available everywhere now.

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