Popular
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.


Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Olamide, Lady Donli, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, Falz and more.