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The 6 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Nyashinski, Vallerie Muthoni, Tetu Shani, Irene Ntale and more.

Here is our selection of the hottest music that came out of East Africa in August.

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


Vallerie Muthoni 'Spicy SZN' ft. TAIO & LE RU

Nairobi's rising singing sensation Vallerie Muthoni wow'ed fans this month with the release of her newest single "Spicy Szn" which features rapper Taio Tripper and songstress Le Ru. The music video which was directed by Natasha Ayoo captures Nairobi's alternative scene at the moment with cameos from scenesters like Karun, Shappaman and more.

Nyashinski 'Balance'

Top Kenyan artist Nyashinski returned this month with a new track titled "Balance." After a period of silence from the popular rapper, fans were definitely excited to hear the new catchy single.

Irene Ntale 'Nyamba'

Ugandan singer Irene Ntale dropped her new single "Nyamba" this month, her first single under her new deal with Universal Music Nigeria. The song has sweet vocals and a catchy melody. It clearly represents a new start for the popular singer and we are loving this new direction.

Rosa Ree 'Nguvu Za Kiume'

Tanzania's rap goddess Rosa Ree has been incredibly consistent with her releases this year. Her latest single "Nguvu Za Kiume" is a hard-hitting banger. With releases like this, Rosa Ree continues to prove that she's one of the best female rappers on the continent.

Tetu Shani 'Sema'

Kenyan singer/songwriter Tetu Shani releases a new single "Sema" this month. He moves away from his usual folk sound to sing over a more upbeat and bouncy beat here. It's definitely worth the listen!

Otile Brown 'Siku Yetu'

Kenya's RnB superstar Otile Brown is known for churning out singles every month and he continued his consistent streak with a new song titled "Siku Yetu." The song has a pure bongo flava feel and he sings about a special date night with his lover.


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



Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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