Audio
Songs Of The Month: March 2020

The 6 Best East African Songs of the Month (March)

Featuring Harmonize, Rayvanny, Mbosso, Vinka and more.

East African artists have been keeping our spirits up with upbeat and catchy releases this month. Here are our picks for the best East African songs of the month.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.


Harmonize 'Bed Room'

Harmonize recently dropped his latest offering, an 18-track album titled Afro East, which is the follow-up to his 2018 EP Afro Bongo.The album, which is the Tanzanian artist's first project since leaving Diamond Platnumz' record label, features Burna Boy, Phyno, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Falz, Skales and several others. Afro East is another of Harmonize's projects that showcases his ability to seamlessly fuse Afropop with Singeli and Bongo.

Mbosso 'Tamba'

WCB Wasafi star Mbosso delivers yet another traditional bongo jam titled "Tamba."

Rayvanny ft. Dulla Makabila 'MISS BUZA'

Popular Tanzanian bongo flava act Rayvanny embraces the native Singeli sound on his new banger "Miss Buza" which features Dulla Makabila.

I Know

While the New York-based Kenyan singer Maya Amolo is still on the come up, her new single shows her immense promise and irrefutable talent. Her first official release for this year, "I Know" is a track that showcases the artist's diverse vocal ability.The soft and raspy tones of Amolo's sound coupled with structured melodies, allows her to delve into the complexities of self-love and love for the other in a unique way. The track, as is the case with a lot of Amolo's music, dissects the duality of love as both beautiful and ugly, healing and hurtful. — Rufaro Samanga

Vinka 'Red Card'

Ugandan pop-star Vinka didn't disappoint this month. Her newest bop, "Red Card" , is aimed at informing and sensitizing the public about the dangers of alcohol misuse.

ETHIC 'QUARANTEI'

Trust Ethic Entertainment to turn a world crisis into a club-ready banger. The Gengetone's collective released their new single "Quarantei" a days ago and it certainly encourages us to continue partying while we stay isolated at home.

Music
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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.