J.Derobie 'Odo Bra'

The 11 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month

Featuring J.Derobie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy x Teni, Kojey Radical, Stormzy and more.

Here are the best tracks that came out of the buzzing Ghana scene in September.

Follow our new GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


J.Derobie 'Odo Bra'

Budding dancehall act J.Derobie dished out this smooth afro-dancehall tune titled "Odo Bra." On it, the singer shows a significant improvement in his musical ability, cruising all the way through the Killertunes production. —Nnamdi Okirike

If pegged as a dancehall artist from his first single "Poverty" and the less popular but more convincing roots reggae on "Irie," newcomer J.Derobie throws a surprise turn in new single "Odo Bra," a confection of twi, pidgin English (Nigerian and Ghanaian) and Toruba over a "Soco"-style beat. —Sabo Kpade

Stonebwoy 'Ololo'  ft. Teni

We're blessed with another solid Ghana-Naija collaboration, as Ghanaian dancehall titan Stonebwoy teams up with Nigerian superstar singer Teni to deliver this vibely afrobeats cut titled "Ololo." —N.O.

Kirani Ayat 'Mariama' feat. Sarkodie

Few artists in the afropop sphere who are Hausa, or speak it, combine the language with continuing success as Kirani Ayat. "Mariama" is a love overture for which Ayat blends English and Hausa: "ban ci abinci [i will not eat], if it's not from pot" which also works well as a metaphor. As a guest, Sarkodie's eloquence with twi adds much zest. —S.K.

Ko-Jo Cue 'You Alone'

Rapper Ko-Jo Cue floats between Pidgin, English, and Twi bars on the first single to his upcoming debut album, where he stresses the importance of individual determination. In "You Alone" he urges you to focus on your journey, forget about the approval of others, and celebrate your wins along the way. "My brother, live your life / The way you know / Cause if you die / You pɛ go go." —N.O.

Shatta Wale 'Vibration'

"Vibration" is Shatta Wale's contribution to the 2019 edition of One Way Riddim, a compilation album by various dancehall artists who, crucially, render individualized versions of songs over same production. —S.K.

Eddie Khae 'Do Da Dance (Remix)' ft Kuami Eugene x Medikal x Pappy KoJo

Ghanaian rapper Eddie Khae dropped the official remix to his smash hit and breakout single "Do The Dance," which took over the dance floors and parties of Ghana in 2018. This time around he recruits rappers Pappy Kojo and Medikal, and singer Kuami Eugene to issue a star-studded remix of the dance anthem. —N.O.

Kojey Radical '20/20'

"Nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong" goes the text 4 minutes into the video for "20/20" from Kojey Radical's latest project, Cashmere Tears. "20/20" is at times about the life goals of a young man in his 20s though its most arresting lines address wider concerns: "call you leader, I need answers / tell him I need every piece of gold that came from Ghana." Changing vocal approaches and a tastefully-costumed video make him a very watchable artist. The 10-track Cashmere Tears, freed from trap heavy for radio baits, is fashionably out of place with "mainstream" tastes. —S.K.

Sam Opoku 'Love Somebody'

MagicHands Music act Sam Opoku delivered "Love Somebody," a mid-tempo tune where he issues a heartfelt plea to a woman who is searching for the love of her life, but hasn't quite began to love herself.Produced by Northboi (of Wizkid's "Fever" and "Soco"), the singer presents an intentional approach to afrobeats, marked by poetic songwriting and dreamy melodies. —N.O.

Kano 'Pan-Fried' feat. Kojo Funds

On "Pan-Fried," Kojo Funds contributes the stellar support work on Kano's Hoodies All Summer. Where a lesser singer (and writer) would struggle to maintain interest over a skeletal beat, Kojo Funds' voice is a warm presence and his writing neat and effective: "them can't penny with me, Henny with me, likkle any Pinckney."

Shaker 'Who Dey Eat' ft. Joey B 

"Break up with your boyfriend, I'm bored" demands rapper Shaker as he asks for the privilege of being her man on the side. "Who dey eat?" is Ghanaian Pidgin for "Who are you sleeping with?" and in this afrobeats song Shaker and Joey B make a bold case against monogamous relationships. —N.O.

Stormzy 'Wiley Flow'

Stormzy delivers a neat touch up of Wiley's flow from "Bad Em Up" & "Nightbus Dubplate" on this new single. "Wiley Flow" is a tribute to a totemic figure, all the while Stormzy insists on his own supremacy among newer rappers, "on my Everest shouting." Eerie electronics, trap percussion and bass synths combine to make a good serving for Stormzy's articulate zest, snarl and bite in his delivery. —S.K.


Follow our new GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


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The Best East African Songs of the Month

2020 started strong with standout releases from some of the region's heavyweights.

East African Artists started 2020 on a good note with major releases from heavyweights like Rayvanny, Lava Lava, Otile Brown and more. Here is our selection of the hottest tracks that came out in the month of January.

This list is no particular order.

Rayvanny ft Busiswa & Baba Levo “Zipo”

Tanzanian superstar Rayvanny is building up a great catalogue of hit songs with a healthy number of Pan-African collaborations. In his latest banger "Zipo" he enlists South African sensation Busiswa and Baba Levo to create a dance-ready kwaito and g-qom mashup.

Otile Brown “The Way You Are”

Kenyan bongo star Otile Brown started the year with a new release title "The Way You Are", a song telling women of all shapes, colours and sizes to love themselves the way they are.

Lava Lava ft Rayvanny “Tekenya”


WCB Wasafi talent Lava Lava got together with his label-mate Rayvanny for the "Tekenya" Remix. This catchy rendition is a sure hit.

King Kaka ft. Kelechi Africana  “Kesi”

Kenyan rap heavyweight King Kaka returned in the new year with 'Kesi", the newest single from his 'The Servant & The King' mixtape. He features Kelechi Africana on this love-inspired track.

Harmonize “Hainistui”

Tanzania's biggest star of the moment served us his first single of the year "Hainistui", and as expected, he doesn't disappoint.

Spice Diana “On You”

Ugandan pop star Spice Diana came through this month with a fiery club starter titled "On You." The fast-rising singer incorporates flirty lyrics into this infectious dancehall-tinged jam.

Sailors and Nadia Mukami “Ni Tekenye”

Kenyan Gengetone sensations Sailors teamed up with award-winning songstress Nadia Mukami for their latest track "Ni Tekenye." The group, which is well known for igniting last year's "Wamblambez" craze, take a different direction on this track incorporating a smoother and more romantic delivery.

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The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month

Featuring Shatta Wale, Strongman, Kiddblack, Bryan The Mensah and more.

It's a brand new year, and you know what that means – brand new music!

As we began the year, several Ghanaian recording artists issued new releases, some attempting to re-up on the magic of last year, and some attempting to stake a new claim on the airwaves and charts in 2020.

We give you a list of the best songs to come out of Ghana in January. Check it out below.

The list is in no particular order.

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News Brief

Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane Added to Rocking The Daisies 2020 Lineup

Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane will be performing in South Africa during this year's edition of Rocking The Daisies.

Rocking The Daisies is celebrating its 15th year of existence this year. The popular music and lifestyle festival recently announced they have added four new names on the bills—UK's Stormzy and Col3trane alongside US rapper YBN Cordae and the singer Ari Lennox.

Keep reading...
Photos
Photo: Sachyn Mital for The Town Hall.

This Is What Fatoumata Diawara's NYC Concert Looked Like

In photos: the Malian singer performed a stunning show at The Town Hall.

Fatoumata Diawara played a mesmerizing show in New York City over the weekend.

The Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor had The Town Hall swaying to a selection of songs from her latest Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo, as well as other classic cuts.

Fatoumata was joined on the night by a four-piece backing band that followed her every word and guitar riff, as she showcased her special blend of traditional Malian music and striking Bambara vocal melodies with elements of modern rock, funk, R&B and afrobeat.

"I didn't want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage," Fatoumata has mentioned."But I wanted a modern sound because that's the world I live in. I'm a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style."

Fatoumata's main message, one which she stated throughout the show, is one of hope for the future of Africa and of female empowerment. It's "about the world, peace, how Africa can be a better place, especially for women, because I am one, and I am a survivor," she says. "I want to encourage those who have lost hope."

Browse through pictures from her show at The Town Hall, which was opened by Guatemala's Gabby Moreno, below.

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