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Cover art design: Melanie Diaz & Benjamin Hugon.

Kahli Abdu & Ycee's 'Watching You' Will Soundtrack Your Weekend

Listen to the breezy new single from Kahli Abdu's upcoming EP.

New York-based Nigerian artist Kahli Abdu is prepping the release of his forthcoming EP, Book of Solomon.

Kahli's already shared two solid tracks off the release—"Lonely Girls Club" and "Romantic Girl"—and is now premiering his highly-addictive new single "Watching You."


The breezy new song, which is ripe for your summer playlists, sees Kahli Abdu connect with Ycee, the man behind last year's hits "Juice" and "Link Up." The pair go in over a beat that connects afrobeats, dancehall and NYC rhythms into an total jam.

"When I was recording this album in Rockaway Beach, Ycee came by and heard this beat and immediately got into it," Kahli tells OkayAfrica. "The whole vibe in the room felt very organic and we ended up with this tune. I attribute my arrangement of this song to my appreciation for Phil Collins."

Get into "Watching You" below and keep an eye out for more from Kahli Abdu.




Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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