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Maya Amolo

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

Featuring Ibraah, Sheebah, Rayvanny and more.

Here is our selection of the best East African songs of May. These are the tracks shaking up the region right now.

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


Maya Amolo "Jokes"

Buzzing Kenyan alternative-R&B songstress, Maya Amolo, released her second single titled "Jokes" from her upcoming debut EP this month. On what inspired the candid lyricism in the track the singer says, "I wrote this song coming out of a place of frustration and finally getting to a place where I could brush off the whole thing. I wrote it about situations where the person you're with is being dishonest or just doing some sneak shit on the low and it's coming up really clearly, and you're unable to ignore it but also don't have the energy to deal with it because it's like... "wtf"."

Ibraah ft. Harmonize "One Night Stand"

Konde Gang's first signee Ibraah released a new single "One Night Stand" featuring his label-boss Harmonize. This single is off Ibraah's debut EP Steps, which is already doing amazingly well in the region. The stellar EP has features from Joeboy, Skiibii and Harmonize.

Zuchu "Nisamehe"

East African newest bongo flava songstress Zuchu released a brand new song titled "Nisamehe" in May.The new single serves as track two off her newly released debut project, the I Am Zuchu EP, which is already doing very well and establishing the WCB star as a major act to watch this year.

Rayvanny "Teleza na Tezza"

Nobody can accuse Tanzanian star Rayvanny of being inconsistent. This month the WCB Wasafi star churned out yet another new single called "Teleza na Tezzy" which fuses bongo and trap influences.

Sheebah "Nakyuka"

Ugandan pop singer Sheebah released a new song "Nakyuka" this month that tells the story of how she fell in love with a man and it changed her life forever. Because of the quarantine period, she gives us a tour of her mansion in the music video.

Sauti Sol "Insecure"

With their fifth studio album just around the corner, Kenya's top music band Sauti Sol gave us yet another taste of what is to come with a new single "Insecure," where they each open up about their own insecurities in life and love.


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


Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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