Music
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Spice Diana x Fik Fameica in "Ready"

The 5 Best East African Songs of the Month (February)

Featuring Rayvanny, Siverstone Barz x Victoria Kimani, Spice Diana x Fik Fameica, and more.

The month of love featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newcomers.

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


Silverstone Barz x Victoria Kimani 'Africana'

23-year-old fast-rising Kenyan rapper/singer SilversTone Barz partnered with Victoria Kimani,to make one of the catchiest tracks released this month. Silverstone's hard-hitting bars coupled with Victoria's vocals on the hook make for an Afropop anthem for the girls.

Rayvanny 'Sound from Africa'

After several hit songs and amazing consistency over the years, Tanzanian bongo flava star Rayvanny finally dropped his highly anticipated debut album Sound From Africa this month. This new body of work has features from some of Africa's finest artists including Diamond Platnumz, GIMS, Innoss B,Zlatan Ibile, Kizz Daniel, Joeboy, Nasty C and more.

Arrow Bwoy 'Fashionsta'

Kenyan artist Arrow Bwoy released a new single this month titled "Fashionista," off his upcoming album. He celebrates the beauty of African women on this upbeat sizzler that's blended with lovely guitar melodies.

Spice Diana X Fik Fameica 'Ready'

Ugandan pop sensation Spice Diana continues her solid run with a new single "Ready" featuring popular rapper Fik Fameica. This collaboration is long overdue for the two peers who are steadily taking over in Ugandan music.

Nandy feat. Koffi Olomide 'Leo Leo'

Tanzanian bongo princess Nandy enlists Congolese legend Koffi Olomide on her latest track "Leo Leo." The two superstars blend Bongo Flava and Lingala this track which talks about trying to maintain a long lasting relationship between lovers.

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


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.

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