Harmonize's "Anajikosha"

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

Featuring Bensoul, Harmonize, Khaligraph Jones, Zuchu and more.

January was a big month for East African music, with several hit songs being released from the heavyweights in the industry as well as talented newcomers rivaling for the top spot.

Check out our favorite East African music releases of the month featuring Bensoul, Harmonize, Khaligraph Jones and more.

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

Harmonize 'Anajikosha'

East African superstar bongo artist Harmonize continues to be consistent with his releases in 2021 and he certainly didn't disappoint with his newest banger "Anajikosha." This track is the bongo-flava king's amazing take on the Amapiano craze, and he nailed it!

Khaligraph Jones x Sarkodie 'Wavy'

Popular Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones teamed up with legendary Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie to drop one of the major tracks of the month. This highly anticipated collaboration has certainly been making major waves since it dropped with the two decorated rappers going back and forth with fast-paced aggressive verses.

Bensoul 'Nairobi' ft. Sauti Sol, Nviiri the Storyteller, Mejja

Sol Generation artiste Bensoul secured the number one spot on Kenyan music charts this month with his newest single "Nairobi" featuring Sauti Sol, Nviiri the storyteller and Mejja. This track tells the truth about the Nairobi dating scene and how everyone is sharing their partner with someone else.

Tucker HD 'Mind Games'

Tucker HD is a talented rising rap artist from Kampala, Uganda. He shows off his lyrical and rap prowess in his latest track "Mind Games" over an upbeat, poppy instrumental.

Zuchu 'Sukari'

Tanzanian bongo newcomer Zuchu continues her winning streak with a new hit to start off the year. "Sukari" is a sweet love song about a love that is as sweet as "sukari" (sugar) that you can't get enough of it.

Alikiba 'Infidèle'

Legendary Bongo-flava star Alikiba made his return with a new track titled "Infidele" produced by Yogo beats and under Kiba's record label Kings Music Records.This comes after his highly successful collaborations in 2020 with Tanzanian singer Nandy and producer, DJ Sbu of South Africa.

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

Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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