Music
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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.



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Pictures courtesy of Maeva Heim

Maeva Heim is the Founder the Beauty Industry Has Been Waiting on

The 31-year-old founder of Bread Beauty Supply is changing the conversation around haircare for textured hair.

It's nearing 9 p.m. in Australia, and Maeva Heim is dimly lit from behind and smiling warmly at her computer screen, ready to talk shop. We're here to discuss hair care, namely her brand Bread Beauty Supply, and how black beauty has made the globe smaller.

The 31-year-old is the founder of Bread Beauty Supply, a haircare line that encourages all textures and curl patterns to come as they are. "We don't want to tell you what to do with your hair. Enough people do that already," Heim says of Bread's brand philosophy. "We are just here to provide really good products for whatever you want to do with your hair at any point and not dictate to you how things should be. We're just women making the good products. You're making the good hair, and that's it. We're not here to define the rules."

But it's impossible to talk about recent strides in beauty products for textured hair without talking about the summer of 2020. In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd in the United States, a crescendo of cries rallied through global streets asking for not just equality but equity. The world watched with scrutiny as black boxes filled social feeds and brands made pledges to diversity. Those calls pinged from executive boards to the shelves of some of the world's largest beauty retailers. Meanwhile, after years of formulation, fundraising, and perfecting formulas and ingredients during a global pandemic, Maeva Heim introduced Bread beauty to the world in a perfect storm of timing and execution. The July 2020 launch filled a wide gap for Black beauty between homemade beauty products and behemoth beauty brands as Heim focused on an often under-explored direct-to-consumer middle.

Lauded on social media for their innovative packaging and nostalgic scents (the brand's award-winning hair oil smells like Froot Loops), Bread is a brand that makes hair care basics for not-so-basic hair. Typically, women with textured hair have not been included in the conversations around the idea of "'lazy girl hair" with minimal and effortless maintenance and styling - something Heim wanted to change. Part of Bread's mission is deleting category terms from the brand language – e.g. 'anti-frizz — that the brand feels unnecessarily demonizes characteristics that are natural to textured hair.

Photo courtesy of Bread Beauty

Born and raised in Peth, Western Australia, to an Ivorian mother and a French father, Heim grew up as one of the few Black kids in her neighborhood. Her days weaved between school and helping her mother run her braiding salon, one of the only of its kind in 1990's Australia. From sweeping floors, answering phones, and assisting with product orders, Heim's introduction to the world of beauty was rooted in the practice of doing.

Heim would go on to study business and law at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, before working in marketing at L'Oréal, followed by an internship at Procter & Gamble in Singapore. But it wasn't until her relaxer exploded in her luggage during a flight between New York and Chicago that she began to think seriously about not only her personal hair journey but also about the beauty industry's gaps.

After ditching chemical hair-relaxer and returning to her natural texture, she pitched her idea to Sephora and, in 2019, was selected as one of the first-ever Australian participants in the Sephora Accelerate program, securing a launch deal for both in-store and online.

But what's most striking about Heim, aside from her penchant for focusing on the brand and the consumer, is her focus on the innovation gaps for Black beauty products. Uniquely shy on social media but poignantly focused on every nuance of her brand and serving Bread's prior overlooked customer base, Maeva is the founder the beauty world has been waiting for.

*This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity

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