Music

Harmonize x Q Chilla 'My Boo Remix.'

The 8 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Harmonize x Q Chilla, Aslay, Octopizzo, Rayvanny, Vanessa Mdee and more.

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

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


Harmonize X Q Chilla 'My Boo Remix'

After a seven-year hiatus from music, Tanzanian music legend Q Chilla made a huge comeback this month with three collaborative singles with Harmonize. "My Boo" is a classic bongo track that has been steadily rising up the charts since its release.

Rayvanny Ft Rowlene 'Girlfriend'

Tanzanian hitmaker Rayvanny teamed up with South African songstress Rowlene for a new reggae-tinged single titled "Girlfriend" this month. In the song, Rayvanny talks about all the qualities he looks for in a girlfriend. We didn't see this collaboration coming but we are so glad it's here.

OCTOPIZZO 'Stay'

Top Kenyan rapper Octopizzo released "Stay" this month—an encouraging trap song from his upcoming album which is to be released later this year.

Nandy 'Mimi ni wa juu' (Cover)

After a period of silence, Tanzanian singer Nandy pleased fans when she released a new track "Mimi Ni Wa Juu", which is actually a fantastic cover of a song originally released by gospel artiste Joel Lwaga.

Whozu 'DOKO'

"Doko" by Tanzanian artist Whozu is undeniably one of the hottest songs released this month. The upbeat track has been a refreshing treat for the bongo flava scene.

Aslay 'Wife'

After a string of successful releases like "Nichombeze" and "Nyang'anyang'a" , popular bongo flava singer Aslay returns with a more upbeat pop-leaning track titled "Wife."

Rayvanny Ft Diamond Platnumz 'Vumbi'

The last time Rayvanny and Diamond Platnumz teamed up on a song they gave us a monster hit titled "Mwanza." The Wasafi boys are at it again with a new release called "Vumbi," a dance-ready bongo flava banger.

Vanessa Mdee 'Moyo'

Produced by S2kizzy, "Moyo" is the first track off Vanessa Mdee's upcoming EP and its a smooth bongo-flava track that talks about struggling with heartbreak.


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


Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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