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Blinky Bill in "Mungu Halali" (Youtube/VEVO)

The 9 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Harmonize, Blinky Bill, Mayonde, and Octopizzo,

Here is our selection of the hottest music that came out of East Africa in February. Get a lot more over at our Spotify and Apple Music curator pages.

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


Harmonize 'Afro Bongo' EP

Harmonize dropped what was easily one of our favorite songs of 2018 with "Kwa Ngwaru." The Tanzanian stars now continues his hit-making trend with the release of the new 4-track Afro Bongo EP. The new EP showcases Harmonize's impressive blend of bongo flava with afropop elements and features a top-tier list of collaborators like Burna Boy, Diamond Platnumz, Yemi Alade, and Mr Eazi. It looks like it's gonna be another good year for the Wasafi Records family.

Jux x Nyashinski 'In Case You Don't Know'

Tanzania's R&B heartthrob Juma Jux teams up with Kenyan superstar Nyashinski for "In Case You Don't Know," a beautiful serenade dedicated to all the lovers out there.

OCTOPIZZO 'Babylon'

Kenya's top rapper Octopizzo dropped a classic hip-hop track called "Babylon" this month. The song is part of Octopizzo's upcoming fifth studio album and it talks about how far he has come in his career and journey as an artist.

Blinky Bill 'Mungu Halali'

The soulful and groovy "Mungu Halali" has definitely been one of the most popular songs from Blinky Bill's debut album, Everyone's Just Winging It & Other Fly Tales. The semi-gospel beauty features talented Kenyan singers Sage, Sara Mitaru, Wambura Mitaru and Lisa Oduor-Noah. The new music video for the single sparks a lot of nostalgia, opening with the words of legendary veteran Kenyan media guru, Leonard Mambo Mbotela, "Je huu ni ungwana?" The heartwarming visual captures the essence of Nairobi—religion, art, family, hustle and more.

Bebe Cool 'Easy'

Uganda's dancehall king Bebe Cool returned this month with a new single titled, "Easy," that is all about good vibes and not taking life too seriously. The music video was shot in Hollywood by Sasha Vybez.

Trina Mungai & Mayonde 'Shika"

Kenyan songbirds Trina Mungai and Mayonde teamed up this month to deliver "Shika," a steamy single that encourages listeners to embrace their sexuality. The song and its sensual music video definitely got us in the Valentine's mood.

Yvan Buravan x Active 'Canga Irangi(Bimwe byawe)'

Although we are more used to Yvan Buravan's romantic R&B ballads, we still love his latest single "Canga Irangi," a dance-ready club starter featuring Active.

Darassa x. Marioo 'Chanda Chema'

Tanzanian rapper Darassa released "Chanda Chema" this month, an infectious bongo flava banger featuring Marioo.

Mayonde 'Chini Kwa Chini'

Kenyan singer Mayonde released "Chini Kwa Chini," the second single off the Project Purple EP. It's a song about living fully in the present moment and having fun. The EP pays homage to Kenyan pop and genge legends who paved the way for the new generation.


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


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Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums

Influential Louis Vuitton And Off-White Designer Virgin Abloh, Dies at 41

The popular Ghanian-American designer had been battling a rare form of cancer in private for several years.

The fashion industry has lost a talented, unique, and boundary-pushing influence this weekend.

41-year-old Ghanianian-American designer Virgil Abloh has died after a 2 year battle with a rare form of cancer, a statement from his associates LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Sunday. Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men's wear at French fashion house Louis Vuitton leaves his wife Shannon, and 2 children - Lowe and Grey. Chairman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault said in a statement, "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend," he added.

After the news broke on Sunday, Abloh started trending on Twitter, with fans of the designer remembering his influence on music, art, and fashion. The 1990s saw Abloh DJ and the creative director once told The Guardian in a 2016 interview, "When the phone is off, I play my favorite songs really loud for myself, and I'm not talking to anyone. I'm not managing anything. It's just like a time when I can listen to music… I'll be DJing after I'm done designing or doing anything else." Virgil got his hands into designing album artworks after strumming up a friendship with American rapper Kanye West before becoming the creative director of West's DONDA Creative House. More recently known for his creative streetwear brand 'Off-White' the designer became popular among fashion-conscious youngsters and will forever be immortalized.

A statement posted to Abloh's Instagram explained that "Virgil chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture"

Friends, fans, and colleagues took to social media to share their well-wishes for Virgil as he transitions to his next destination.



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How Relocating to Ghana Helped Reinvigorate Jewelry Designer Aisha Asamany's Work

Moving to Ghana gave Aisha Asamany's luxury jewelry brand, inspired by Adinkra symbols that traditionally project strength, fearlessness, love and power, renewed verve to tell personal stories of her growing clientele.