Audio
Vanessa Mdee "Wet" scene.

The 9 Best East African Songs of the Month

Listen to the best East African releases of the month featuring Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize, Vanessa Mdde, Octopizzo and more.

As far as East African music goes, certainly April has been no joke!

Stiff as the competition has been, here's a roundup of our favorite tracks of the month.


Harmonize ft. Diamond Platnumz "Kwa Ngwaru"

WCB Wasafi continues to reign over East African music with "Kwa Ngwaru," a bouncy and infectious collaboration between Tanzania's biggest stars.

Rema and Ykee Benda "Whistle"

Ugandan superstars Rema and Ykee Benda caught everyone off guard this month with their new track, "Whistle." The heart-warming afro-pop song is accompanied by a colorful music video directed by Sasha Vybz and talks about lovers who are enjoying each other's company

Geosteady ft. Korede Bello "I'm Into You"

You've got to love these cross-border collaborations we are getting from East African artists these days. This month Ugandan R&B singer Geosteady premiered his song "I'm Into You," which features Nigerian pop star Korede Bello. With its catchy chorus and cheesy lyrics this song can easily charm its way into your playlist.

Vanessa Mdee ft GNako "Wet"

East Africa's afro-pop queen Vanessa Mdee turns up the heat with her latest single "Wet" which featuresGNako. The fiery dancehall-tinged track is accompanied by an exuberant music video which was directed by Justin Campos in Tanzania.

Eddy Kenzo ft. Harmonize "Pull Up"

Uganda's Eddy Kenzo dropped his well-received Biology album almost a year ago but now the "Jubilation" hit maker returns with a brand new single "Pull Up," which features Tanzanian sensation Harmonize. The track has a seductive beat and the East African heavyweights blend Swahili and Luganda lyrics seamlessly.

Mbosso "Picha Yake"

This month Wasafi records latest signee, Mbosso, delivered "Picha Yake", an emotionally driven bongo flava song surrounding the singer's agonizing heart break.

Otile Brown & Sanaipei Tande "Chaguo La Moyo"

Fast-rising Kenyan artist Otile Brown and seasoned songstress Sanaipei Tande have us swooning with their new romantic duet "Chaguo La Moyo," which is looking to be a staple at many Kenyan weddings this year.

Sheebah "Beera Nange"

Sheebah is one of East Africa's most consistent artists, and she's well-loved for always pushing the boundaries in Uganda's music scene. Although her music is usually more upbeat, she shows off her mellow and romantic side with "Beera Nange," a sizzling single which literally means "be with me".

Octopizzo "Noma Ni"

"Noma Ni" is the latest single off Octopizzo's brand new album, Next Year. The Kenyan rapper shows off his skills spitting effortlessly over a laid-back trap beat. The song was mastered by Chris Athens who has worked with well-known rap stars like Rick Ross, Jay Z and Nas. The album as a whole is looking like a huge step in the right direction for Kenyan rap.

Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

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