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Sauti Sol. Image courtesy of the band.

The 10 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Harmonize, Cherrie, Victoria Kimani, Alikiba and many more.

The first half of the year has been incredible for East African music. Without limiting themselves to native sounds, artists like Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize and Sauti Sol continue to push forward an infectious brand of globally appealing East African pop music that we cannot get enough of.

May might be over but these songs are forever, take a look at our best picks of the month.


Ali Kiba "Mvumo Wa Radi"

After some time away from the spotlight, Ali Kiba's surprise come-back was definitely worth the wait. He released "Mvumo Wa Radi," an addictive bongo-flava love track that is aimed at introducing and promoting his new business venture, the "Mofaya" energy drink.

Victoria Kimani "Wonka"

Kenyan afro-pop diva Victoria Kimani just dropped Afropolitan, the first project released under her own independent imprint, Kimani Music. The pop-fueled 7-track EP will have you hooked with its steamy opening single, "Wonka." The songstress isn't afraid to turn up the heat a little bit as she delivers a raunchy jungle-inspired music video to go along with the song.

Harmonize ft. Sarkodie "DM Chick"

Tanzania's man of the moment, Harmonize, followed up his massive hit single "Kwa Ngwaru" with a more mellow, R&B; sound. He teams up with Ghanaian superstar, Sarkodie, and previous collaborator Krizbeatz, for "DM Chick," a song about having an Instagram crush.

Cherrie - Det Slår Mig Ibland

Swedish-Somali R&B; singer, Cherrie, returned in May with a poignant new single "Det Slår Mig Ibland" from her upcoming sophomore album Araweelo. According to the singer, the song is a testament to her strength as a woman. Its accompanying music video is a visual representation of love, sisterhood and freedom and it was shot and directed in Cape Town, South Africa by Simone Yemane.

Rayvanny & S2kizzy "Pochi Nene"

Wasafi Records sensation, Rayvanny, and Tanzania's hip-hop mastermind, S2kizzy delivered a bongo-trap bop called "Pochi Nene". This hustler's anthem is pure flames and you will easily find yourself jamming to it.

Read: 7 Bongo-Trap Songs You Need to Hear Right Now

Otile Brown "Mungu Wetu Sote"

Otile Brown is undoubtedly one of Kenya's fastest-rising artists right now. After releasing the smash hit "Chaguo La Moyo" last month, the talented singer is not letting us catch a break. He returns with "Mungu Wetu Sote," an infectious feel-good song that celebrates life and success.

Fik Fameica & Wembley Mo "Sconto"

Uganda's favorite hip-hop star Fik Fameica dropped an upbeat street-hop anthem, "Sconto" this month. The energetic club-banger is a collaboration with popular Ugandan dancer Wembley Mo, and it is already infecting the masses.

Sauti Sol ft. Nyashinski "Short and Sweet"

Kenya's biggest musical acts, Sauti Sol and Nyashinski, joined up for an acapella-driven love song "Short and Sweet," the fifth single off the band's highly anticipated "Afrikan Sauce" LP.

Nandy "Ninogeshe"

Tanzanian pop princess Nandy continues to do what she does best with "Ninogeshe," another romantic bongo-flava track. With her charming vocals and the traditional style production, this song has a timeless feel.

Marina ft. Harmonize "Love You"

Rising Rwandan pop-star Marina collaborates with Tanzania's finest for a contagious afro-pop rendition called "Love You."

News Brief

Kenya's 'King of Kikuyu' Music John De'Mathew Passed Away

The musician passed away following a car accident yesterday.

Kenyan musician John De'Mathew, real name John Ng'ang'a, was involved in a car accident yesterday in Thika, a town that is just outside the capital Nairobi. De'Mathew was allegedly returning from a harambee he had attended earlier on in support of fellow musician, Peter Kigia. The car in which De'Mathew was travelling, then collided with a lorry and the musician was later pronounced dead at the Thika Nursing Home, The Star reports. It is still unclear what the cause of the accident was.

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The Lion King: A Music Story | Presented by Disney

We take you behind the scenes to find out just how big an impact 'The Lion King' and African music has had on the global music space.

Sponsored content from Disney.

Twenty-five years later and the music of The Lion King still holds up. The live-action remake of the beloved Disney film has only further affirmed this, with folks still more than ready to sing along to its grand and unforgettable soundtrack. Since it first came out, African artists have carved out an indelible space in the international music scene, and the universal appeal of the Lion King's music is a testament to that.

African music is worldwide. From Johannesburg to São Paulo to New York City, we caught up with the likes of music composer Lebo M, veteran actor Dr. John Kani, choral director Khaya Mthethwa and artist Rincon Sapiência, for a new video to discuss the rising popularity of African music and culture in mainstream media and its global impact.

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Still from NPR's Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Nigerian-American Rapper Tobe Nwigwe's Tiny Desk Concert

Joined by his wife and seven-week old daughter, the Houston-based rapper brings his Southern sounds to NPR's Tiny Desk.

Houston-raised, Nigerian-American rapper Tobe Nwigwe is the latest artist to grace NPR's TIny Desk Concert Series.

The artist performed a 5-song medley, backed by a full band and four talented backup singers. The artist was also joined at the desk by his wife Fats Nwigwe and their seven-week old daughter.

READ: Tobe Nwigwe Is the Southern Rapper Making "Purpose Popular."

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Here Are All the Samples In Burna Boy's 'African Giant'

This video breaks down all the African Giant samples & interpolations, including songs from Fela Kuti, Magic System, Naughty By Nature, D'banj and more.

Since it dropped, Burna Boy's highly-anticipated album African Giant has been making waves and getting played on constant rotation all over the place.

The 19-track album, which includes features from Angelique Kidjo, Damian Marley, Future, M.anifest, Jorja Smith, Jeremih and more, sees the buzzing Nigerian star delivering several addictive shades of his signature afro-fusion sound as he blends in influences from afrobeat, dancehall, hip-hop, RnB and more.

Listeners have also been spotting some of the many samples and interpolations used across African Giant and now, Sample Chief, a platform for African music knowledge, has put them all together in video form.

Read: Sample Chief Selects 5 of Their Favorite Samples

The samples and interpolations across African Giant include the use of Fela's "Sorrow, Tears & Blood" and Angelique Kidjo's "We WE" (in "Anybody"), Naughty By Nature's "Jamboree" (in "Collatelral Damage"), Magic System's "1er Gaou" ("On The Low"), plus many more from the likes of Stereoman, Ududo Nnobi, Blak Ryno, and D'banj.

Check them all out below courtesy of Sample Chief.

Keep up with Sample Chief by following them on Twitter and Instagram.

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