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Tay Iwar's "Space" video.

Here's a Playlist of Chill Songs to Relax to at Home

Keep calm with this playlist afro-jazz, funk, alternative, and R&B tracks from Nigeria, South Africa and more.

It's a time of uncertainty and stress right now for people all over the world. As we socially distance and quarantine ourselves, it's expected that we deal with feelings of anxiety and loneliness. But it's also good to remember that we're all in this together and music can certainly help with that.

For that, we've curated a playlist of Chill Songs to Relax to at Home with music ranging from afro-jazz, funk, alternative, and R&B that can help you relax but also maintain perspective during these days.

Listen to this playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.



Tay Iwar "Space" ft. Santi & Preye

Lighten up the mood with this dreamy tune from alté heavyweights Tay Iwar and Santi. "Space" also subtly reminds us to keep a safe distance between ourselves and others.

Fireboy DML "Need You"

When the world seems to be in a pre-apocalyptic state it's likely that we begin to think about our loved ones whom we may be separated from. It's perfectly okay to miss your ex right now and want to text them, and this song by Nigeria's Fireboy DML truly captures the urge.

Starboy ft. Wizkid & Kel P Vibes "Ease Your Mind"

By all means, this is a good time to rest, meditate, cook, stretch, and try to "ease your mind" as Wizkid suggests in this jazzy Kel P-produced track.

Fela Kuti "Water No Get Enemy"

While still on the jazz vibes, the legendary Fela Kuti song "Water No Get Enemy" can be a good reminder that we as humans will surely overcome this difficult period in time as we have so many times before. But also as its title suggests, water is your friend and it's imperative to keep your surroundings as clean and sanitized as can be.

Brymo "Alone"

This interlude from Brymo's 2014 LP Tabula Rasa continues to capture the intense loneliness one may experience during quarantine or isolation.

Wurld "Contagious"

Okay, time to lighten things up again! Pardon the pun, but WurlD's "Contagious" can help shake off the anxiety and remind us that life is beautiful and this too, shall pass.

Lady Donli "Take Me Home" ft. Benjiflow

It's pretty simple, if you aren't working an essential job or out buying much-needed supplies, you need to be in the house.

Wilfresh "Share The Love"

This song, in particular, inspires us to help people in need, and also connect more with our loved ones during these trying times. Check on your friends, hold your loved ones close, donate to those in need, spread positive energy and share the love.

Elaine "Risky"

South African break-out R&B act Elaine is essential for any mellow playlist and her popular track "Risky" makes for great mood music right now.

Odunsi The Engine "Better Days" ft. WANI

Nothing like a feel-good bop from Odunsi and Wani to raise your spirits in these corona times.

Brymo "Patience and Goodluck"

"Patience and Goodluck" from Brymo's 2018 album Oso provides a dose of encouragement that we all need right now.


Listen to this playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.


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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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