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Ethic Entertainment "Figa"

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Ethic Entertainment, Diamond Platnumz, Winnie Nwagi, Harmonize, and more.

Kick off the second half of the year with these songs from East Africa's finest. Read ahead for our selections.

For more EA hits, follow our new East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.


Ethic Entertainment 'Figa'

Ethic is the popular Kenyan music group that rose to stardom with their hit song "Lamba Lolo" last year. They continue to dominate the charts with a new track titled "Figa" that is set to be another club favorite.

Diamond Platnumz 'Kanyaga'

East Africa's biggest export Diamond Platnumz just released his newest hit titled "Kanyaga" and its accompanying music video just set a new record in the African music industry after it garnered over one million views in just 13 hours.

Country Boy ft. Harmonize 'Watoto'

Tanzanian stars Country Boy and Harmonize linked up for "Watoto" this month—a smooth and catchy blend of bongo and hip-hop.

Winnie Nwagi 'For You'

Rising Ugandan vocalist Winnie Nwagi follows up her "Matala" success with a hot new single titled " For You," a romantic serenade to her lover.

Khaligraph Jones 'Leave Me Alone (Wachana na mimi)'

Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones goes the trap route with his latest single "Leave Me Alone." In the song he addresses all his haters, telling them to leave him alone so he can do his thing in peace.

Rosa Ree 'Champion' feat. Ruby

Tanzanian rap sensation Rosa Ree enlists bongo flava singer Ruby on her latest track "Champion." In the inspirational track she describes the hardships she has faced as a female rapper in the Tanzanian hip-hop scene.

Nedy Music ft Singah 'Carino'

Tanzania's Nedy returns with an infectious bongo flava track titled "Carino." The song features Nigerian artiste Singah and its another beautiful collaboration between the East and West.


For more EA hits, follow our new East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.


Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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