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Photo: Hugo Glendinning & Gavin Rodgers. Image courtesy of World Circuit Records.

Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela.

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela Pay Tribute to Fela In 'Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)'

"When Hugh and I were recording this song, Hugh immediately wanted to sing. He was singing for his friend," says Tony Allen.

Nigerian afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen and South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela recorded together back in 2010, when they tracked the the "kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew" that will make up their upcoming album, Rejoice.

Though they'd known each other since the 1970s, through their friendship & work with Fela, it took forty years—and a coinciding tour schedule that saw them both in the UK at the same time—for Allen and Masekela to make it to a London studio together. It was there that, along with producer Nick Gold, they recorded the new album which is dropping this Friday.

Those recording sessions remained largely untouched until after Masekela's passing in 2018, which drove Allen and Gold to revisit the tapes of those original compositions with the aim of finishing their now ten-year-old project.


Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela recently shared the latest single from the album, "Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)," a jazz-meets-afrobeat ode to Fela Kuti sung by Masekela.

"Fela was like a brother to me," notes Allen in a press statement. "He was a true genius and I worked with him for 15 years because I believed in him so much. When Hugh and I were recording this song, Hugh immediately wanted to sing. He was singing for his friend. He and Fela were close, they had a lot in common. It was a friendship even more than a musical thing, and yes, of course, they were both political animals."

Watch the new video for "Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same) below.

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela - Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same) youtu.be

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The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Juls, Busiswa, Davido, Nasty C, Olamide, Ethic, Bobi Wine 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.


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8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

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C Natty/emPawa

You Need to Watch C Natty's New Music Video For 'Ojah'

Video Premiere: Check out the striking first release from Mr Eazi's #emPawa30.

C Natty arrives in style with his new single "Ojah."

The track, which is the first release from Mr Eazi's new group of #emPawa30 artists, sees the Nigerian artist delivering a highly-infectious and grooving concoction over jazz-leaning afrobeats produced by Killertunes.

The new music video for "Ojah," which we're premiering here today, is equally as stunning and follows the story of someone who doesn't take others' advice. C Natty told us the following about the DK of Priorgold Pictures-directed video:

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South African Hip-Hop Producers Tweezy and Gemini Major Set for Instagram Live Beat Battle

Two of South Africa's hip-hop super producers Tweezy and Gemini Major will face-off in upcoming Instagram live beat battle.

After Instagram live beat battles such as Swizz Beatz versus Timbaland and Mannie Fresh versus Scott Storch amid the lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it was only a matter of time until the hip-hop community across the world followed suit.

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