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Ami Faku is Apple Music’s Favorite Artist of the Month

Ami Faku gets highlighted by Apple Music after releasing her stellar debut album 'Imali.'

South African artist Ami Faku released what we at OkayAfrica consider one of the best South African albums of the year so far. The Joburg-based singer, who's originally from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, released her debut project Imali at the end of September, and fans and fellow musicians haven't stopped singing praises for the artist.


Apple Music recently announced the artist as their favorite artist of the month. The ongoing series aims to highlight "new" artists who the Apple Music team find exciting. Previous South African artists who have been highlighted include Dope Saint Jude, Thandi Ntuli and a few others.

Just like the artists who've been highlighted before, for Ami Faku, the feat comes with placement of editorial support across Apple Music's ecosystem as a "Hero artist" with inclusion on key charts and music playlists.

"Thank you to the Apple Music team for the phenomenal support since the release of my first single, 'Ndikhethe Wena.' It's such an honour to be profiled as the Apple Music New Artist Spotlight for October to coincide with the release of my debut album, Imali," said Ami Faku in a press release.

Ami Faku is one of this year's breakout stars, having scored hits with songs like "Love Drunk," "Ubuhle Bakho," "Ndikhethe Wena" and "Into Ingawe," the latter being a collaboration with house producer Sun-El Musician. For the launch of Imali two weeks ago, Ami Faku went back to her hometown where she performed the album in its entirety for the first time to a sold-out audience at the Boardwalk Amphitheatre in Port Elizabeth.

Stream Imali below and revisit our interview with Ami Faku here.




Interview
Justice Mukheli. Courtesy of Black Major/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

Interview: Bongeziwe Mabandla's New Album Is a Calm Meditation On Relationships

We speak with the South African artist about his captivating new album, iimini, love cycles, and the unexpected influence of Bon Iver.

"I've been playing at home for so many years and pretending to be having shows in my living room, and today it's actually happening," Bongeziwe Mabandla says, smiling out at me from my cellphone as I watch him play songs on Instagram Live, guitar close to his chest.

Two weekends ago, Mabandla was meant to be celebrating the release of his third album, iimini, at the Untitled Basement in Braamfontein in Joburg, which would no doubt have been packed with some of the many fans the musician has made since his debut release, Umlilo, in 2012. With South Africa joining many other parts of the world in a lockdown, those dates were cancelled and Mabandla, like many other artists, took to social media to still play some tracks from the album. The songs on iimini are about the life and death of a relationship—songs that are finding their way into the hearts of fans around the world, some of whom, now stuck in isolation, may be having to confront the ups and downs of love, with nowhere to hide.

The day before his Instagram Live mini-show, Mabandla spoke to OkayAfrica on lockdown from his home in Newtown about the lessons he's learned from making the album, his new-found love for Bon Iver, and how he's going to be spending his time over the next few weeks.

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Veteran Somali Musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein Has Died

Considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary Somali music and affectionately known as 'Hudeydi', the musician has passed away from the coronavirus at age 92.

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