popular
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."

popular

Black Coffee's Appearance on 'The Daily Show' With Trevor Noah Has South Africans Celebrating

In the interview, the celebrated artist discusses bringing the sounds of South Africa to the world and his dreams for the continent.

It was a truly South African affair on Tuesday when veteran hitmaker Black Coffee appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

The fellow South African stars shared mutual respect for one another throughout the 7-minute interview. "You have taken the world by storm," Noah said of Black Coffee's career, to which the artist responds, "doesn't it sound like your story?"

Black Coffee expanded on the reasons that he's always stay closed to his South African musical roots rather than trying to imitate popular American or European forms of house music. "What set Black Coffee apart for me, was that you made music of Africa, and the world fell in love with that," says Noah.

He also spoke about the building of a new school and neighborhood in his hometown of Johannesburg, and his mission to transform perceptions of the continent. "We always see Africa as an inferior place, all the best things were on TV, It took away so much from the continent and we're trying to reverse that and create a space in Africa that will inspire africans to want to stay and create a future," says the artist.

Noah later asked the artist to speak about his "Africa is Not a Jungle" initiative—which will provide a platform for African artists through curated shows—and share what he hopes to achieve with his music on a global scale.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
(Screenshot from "Every Woman" video)

Check out Cameroonian Crooner Vagabon’s New Ode to Female Power

The singer dropped a video for new single "Every Woman" today, shot by fellow Cameroonian director Lino Asana.

Cameroonian-born singer-songwriter Laetitia Tamko, better known as her stage name Vagabon, has been spoiling us with delights as of late. First, the crooner teased us with two singles, "Flood" and "Water Me Down" from her forthcoming sophomore album, Vagabon, a work she wrote and produced herself. And today, she surprised us with a new single and video for "Every Woman"—a track Tamko claims is the "thesis of the album," as per a press statement reported by The Fader magazine

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Nigerian Artist Ben Enwonwu's Painting 'Christine' was Recently Auctioned Off in London

The owner of the painting Googled the signature on the artwork and only then realized its enormous value.

The late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu is considered the "Father of African Modernism". His 1974 painting of the Ife princess, Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, was dubbed the "African Mona Lisa" by veteran Nigerian author Ben Okri. The painting of the the young royal of Ife, an ancient Yoruba city in the south-western region of Nigeria, was discovered last year in a London flat after having disappeared for close to four decades. The artwork was then sold a few weeks later for a record-breaking USD 1.6 million More recently, his 1971 painting entitled "Christine", was auctioned off in London after the family who owed it Googled the signature on the painting and realized its enormous value.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Watch Solo’s Music Video for ‘Two by Two’

The video shows highlights from Solo's wedding.

This morning, Solo shared the visuals for "Two by Two," the lead single to the South African rapper's latest album C.Plenty.Dreams.

"Two by Two" features BETR Gang member, Solo's long-time collaborator and producer, Buks. "Two by Two" sees the rapper open up about his admiration for his wife and admits he will always seek guidance from his parents.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.