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Victoria Kimani in "Boom"

The 9 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Diamond Platnumz, Karun x Blinky Bill, Victoria Kimani and more.

July came through with a diverse range of East African sounds. In no particular order, here are our best picks of the month.


Victoria Kimani "Boom"

Kenya's afro-pop diva Victoria Kimani serves up another sizzling music video for her new single "Boom" and it's the perfect vibe for summer!

Rayvanny "Chombo"

Tanzanian sensation Rayvanny dropped yet another massive bongo flava single this month. The track was produced by S2kizzy, Rashdon & Lizerclassic and it's well on its way to becoming his next hit.

Aslay "Totoa"

Aslay is keeping that traditional bongo sound alive with his latest release, "Totoa", a stunning piece of music dedicated to his pregnant lover.

Vinka "Nkubika"

Vinka is one of Uganda's most exciting new pop artists. She returned to the scene this month with a dancehall-infused track "Nkubika," Kampala's hottest new party number.

Diamond Platnumz "Baila" ft Miri Ben Ari

East Africa's topflight artist Diamond Platnumz continues to assert his dominance with his new music video for "Baila," a romantic love song that features the Grammy award-winning Israeli-American violinist, Miri Ben-Ari.

Rema "Touch My Body"

Uganda's sweetheart, Rema, dropped her new single "Touch My Body" this month. This sweet love ballad shows us a more fun and flirty side to the popular singer and it's already making its way to the top of the Ugandan charts.

Kagwe Mungai "Super Seena"

Kagwe Mungai is one of Kenya's most versatile afro-pop artists. His new single 'Super Seena' samples a very popular Kenyan childhood nursery rhyme sang in estates and schools in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Adding a twist of nostalgia to a trap song is definitely one of the most creative ideas we've seen in a while… and it's catchy too.

Karun "Make Believe" ft. Blinky Bill

"Make Believe" is the new smooth alternative R&B track from former Camp Mulla vocalist Karun. Featuring Blinky Bill and produced by Samuel Sichangi, this track has an ambience of its own.

Buravan "Garagaza"


Yvan Buravan collaborates with his own father, Michel Burabyo, on his new track "Garagaza". Buravan is well-known for his romantic love ballads but we are loving this more upbeat sound from the Rwandese R&B crooner.

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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