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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.

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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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Listen to Sibusile Xaba‘s New Jazz Single 'Umdali'

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