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The 12 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Diamond Platnumz x Omarion, Eddy Kenzo, Maia & the Big Sky, Blinky Bill, Sauti Sol, Khaligraph Jones and more.

With all the exciting and intriguing music coming out of East Africa these days, you've got to keep an eye out so you don't miss out on some good ones.

From well known bongo flava anthems to next-level Ethiopian rap, we've got you sorted with the best picks of March.


Diamond Platnumz feat. Omarion "African Beauty"

The king of East African pop just dropped his sophomore album, A Boy From Tandale, which for the most part is a collection of his many chart-topping singles. Produced by Krizbeatz, his latest single "African Beauty" exemplifies a new wave of Afro-pop music. It's also really great to hear Omarion singing so effortlessly in Swahili.

Buravan "With You"

Rwanda's fast-rising R&B artist Buravan dropped yet another heartwarming love ballad called "With You" this month. His forthcoming album is set to be released later this year and, if this single is anything to go by, it's surely going to have our hearts melting.

Fik Fameica "Property"

"She's my property/ My chapati / My bugatti/ My yoghurt." Lyrics like these have critics doubting Fik Fameica's talent. At the same time, there's no shortage of people enjoying his infectious luga-flow trap singles. The popular Ugandan artist remains on trend with his new banger, "Property," in which he brags about a woman in his life that he takes to be his property.

Eddy Kenzo and Heavy K "Yasolo"

The East meets the South once again with this monster collaboration between Ugandan superstar, Eddy Kenzo and South African mega-producer Heavy K. The song is as energetic and upbeat as one would expect from these two artists, and it can easily get you on your feet with its groovy African rhythms.

Rosa Ree feat. Billnass "Marathon"

With her funky style and prowess in the booth, Rosa Ree is one of Tanzania's most promising hip-hop acts. Her new single "Marathon" featuring Billnass is catchy and cool, and the young star continues to prove that she's a rising force in the region's rap scene.

Maia & the Big Sky feat. Blinky Bill "Pawa"

This month Maia & the Big Sky dropped "Pawa" featuring Blinky Bill, formerly of Just A Band. Blending soul and funk influences with the coastal rhythms of Kenya, this track embodies the lively sound of her latest album. Part of the music video, which we premiered here, is shot on top of K.I.C.C, one of Nairobi's most famous landmarks, and shows off the city's stunning skyline.

Aslay "Nibebe"

Tanzanian bongo-flava powerhouse Aslay's winning streak continues with his newest masterpiece, "Nibebe". The track's soul-stirring lyrics and enchanting violin strings will have you drowning in the feels.

Teddy Yo "Banchi Miknyat"

Ethiopian artist Teddy Yo is renowned for creating 'Guraggetone,' the local Ethiopian hip-hop style of music. The legend returns with a new single "Banchi Miknyat," a highly-infectious rap single from his newly released Arada, Vol. 2 album.

Stella Mwangi "10 Toes"

Kenyan-Norwegian rapper Stella Mwangi recently launched her independent record label, Badili Akili Music and "10 Toes" happens to the second single off the new label. The seasoned emcee proves she's still got it with this high-energy trap song in which she uses clever word-flow to tease her foes.

Jux "Fimbo"

Tanzanian R&B heartthrob Jux sings his way up the charts with "Fimbo," a mid-tempo performance that's quite easy on the ears.

Skat Nati "Sira"

Upcoming trap star Skat Nati represents a younger generation of Ethiopian hip-hop. You don't even need to understand the lyrics to know that this song is absolutely flames.

Sauti Sol feat. Khaligraph Jones "Rewind"

So far we can confirm that Sauti Sol's forthcoming Afrikan Sauce album is straight fire. This month they released their nostalgic single "Rewind" which features Kenya's most popular rapper Khaligraph Jones. The song reflects on the band's journey to success and the struggles they have faced to reach the top. This long-awaited collaboration is exactly what we needed to end the month on a high-note.

Music
Image courtesy of Helen Herimbi.

10 Things We Learned From Zubz’ Appearance on i(m)bali LIVE with Helen Herembi

In the latest episode of i(m)bali LIVE, host Helen Herembi sits down with veteran emcee Zubz for an intimate discussion about his life and career. Here are 10 takeaways from the interview.

Helen Herimbi launched season four of her i(m)bali LIVE show earlier this year. Hosted on YouTube and now in its fourth season, the show finds the esteemed South African music journalist engaging in conversations that aim to give key artists—past and present—in the South African music industry their proverbial flowers while they can still smell them. She also gives them literal flowers at the end of each talk.

On February 19th, the second episode of the new season was released and the guest was none other than the veteran emcee, Zubz The Last Letta. The two, who are revealed to be friends in real life, engaged in an intimate, in-depth conversation about Zubz's personal life and professional life in equal measure.

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Here are the 2021 Critics Choice Awards Winners

Daniel Kaluuya, Uzo Aduba, Chadwick Boseman, John Boyega and more have secured wins at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards.