Audio
(Youtube)

Zuchu in "Nobody"

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

Featuring Nadia Mukami, Zuchu x Joeboy, John Blaq and more.

October featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newbies.

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


Nadia Mukami 'African Popstar' EP

Kenyan singer Nadia Mukami finally dropped her long-awaited African Popstar EP this month featuring big East African names like Marioo , Sanaipei Tande, Khaligraph Jones and more. In this project she expands her audience and sound by working with new producers to create a unique sound in every track.

John Blaq 'Don't Be Like'

Uganda's finest singer John Blaq has released a new hit banger dubbed "Don't Be Like" this month. The African Bwoy has never disappointed his fans ever since he broke into the Ugandan scene and this dance-ready afro track proves just that.

Zuchu ft. Joeboy 'Nobody'

Zuchu is undeniably Tanzania's freshest and most promising new artist. After being signed to Diamond Platnumz prestigious Wasafi Records, she has been topping charts with various hit records. Her newest "Nobody," features Nigerian pop star Joeboy, and the two come together to create a sensational blend of Bongo flava and Afrobeats rhythms.

Ayrosh 'Fire'

Kenyan folk-fusion artist Ayrosh released a brand new EP, titled Fire, which offers sensual R&B in the native Kikuyu language which is a breath of fresh air in the Kenyan scene at the moment.

Nandy Ft. Billnas 'Do Me'

Tanzanian bongo princess Nandy dropped a new track "Do Me" featuring her fiancé, rapper Billnass. In the track they sing about their intense love for one another further showing why their steamy affair has been of so much interest to the Tanzanian public.

Arrow Bwoy 'Chu Chu'

Popular Kenyan hitmaker Arrow Bwoy stays consistent with the release of his new banger titled "Chu Chu". is a catchy party starter and is carried by a groovy afrobeats instrumental.

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


Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.