AKA’s 2016 Single ‘Dreamwork’ Has Gone 5 Times Diamond

Four of AKA's singles have been certified multi platinum and diamond.

In what's a first in South African hip-hop, and possibly South African music, AKA's 2016 single "Dreamwork," which features Yanga Chief, has been certified five times diamond by RiSA. The announcement was made at a private event in a fancy restaurant somewhere in the north of Joburg.

On the night, it was also announced that "One Time," a single AKA released in the same year, has also gone diamond. "The World is Yours" (2017) and "Caiphus Song" (2017) have also both gone eight times platinum. "The said that song was rubbish," AKA chipped in about "Caiphus Song."

"I would like to thank Yanga Chief, me and him did a lot of hard work on these songs. And also, thanks to Vth Season—Benza and Ninel, Tshiamo. And obviously, Sony," said the artist and producer.

This is a big year for AKA (just like all other years since 2011). His sophomore album Levels (2014) was certified seven times platinum in July. The album has also amassed over 11.9 million video views and 28 million combined streams.

AKA's latest album Touch My Blood (2018) was certified double platinum in March.

Platinum status is equivalent to 30,000 copies in South Africa. Diamond is ten times that, so "Dreamwork" has moved at least 1,5 million in sales. "One Time" has moved more than 300,000 copies and "The World is Yours" and "Caiphus Song" have each moved at least 240,000. Serious numbers, if you ask us.

AKA is currently working on a new album, which is believed to be coming this year. Last week, Supa Mega released two singles "Main Ou's" featuring YoungstaCPT and "F.R.E.E" which features Riky Rick and DJ Tira.

Stream the singles below:

Photo: Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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