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Watch Our Premiere of Lulu James' Psychedelic Video for 'Mto'

The British-Tanzanian artist gives us a taste of her upcoming personal explorative album with "Mto."

Lulu James is back, and she's dawned a new moniker: #3rdCultureKid.

"Mto" is the perfect tease for Lulu's upcoming album, which will be a thorough gaze into her background and transition as an artist.


Prior to the production of her latest album, Lulu traveled back to her hometown in Tanzania, a trip which restored her of her Tanzanian roots, familial history, and musical upbringing that inspired her sound. That epiphanic trip birthed "Mto."

In "Mto," Lulu sings about her refuge back home, which provided a place for her to re-center herself, unwind, and be free.

The music video's culmination of complex, psychedelic-like images with an African twist, contracted from images of her body, gives audiences insight into her personal space in an innovative way. The music video is almost eye-flinching with its invasiveness, but Lulu invites the viewer to look and listen further to better understand her world, and obtain a new love for her sound.

"I hung out by the river nearly everyday in a place called Mto Wa Mbu. This is the place where my album was written and the place where my story unfolded. I reconnected with my language, spending time with family and musicians who helped me find my voice in Swahili. Mto is my first single, and hopefully, it paints the picture of the sunny and magical place where we hung out writing music everyday."
— Lulu James

After Glastonbury, WOMAD, Coachella, and many other popular performances, Lulu will be re-grounding herself with new music to come later this year.

In the meantime, enjoy our premier of Lulu James' "Mto," below.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Song / Beating Heart.

Watch Tanzanian Up-and-Comer Mike Song's New Video For 'Temptation'

Video Premiere: "This song is my real story, this is me. I am the kid hustling on the streets, life is hard fighting all day, every day just to get by," says the rising artist Mike Song.

Mike Song's story is a compelling one.

At 17, he was living homeless in Dar Es Salaam, when he saw an ad for a music production workshop in Zanzibar. Mike managed to borrow enough money to make his way over and it was at that workshop that he met Beating Heart Project production team Saronde.

"Temptation" was born during those days at the workshop, as "Mike stepped up to the mic and proceeded to enchant the room with the sweetness and sincerity of his voice," Beating Heart mentions. "When he was asked what the song was about, Mike spoke about how his father had died when he was young, he was looking after his mother and younger sister and was tempted to give up pursuing his dreams of music to get a normal job."

"This song is my real story, this is me. I am the kid hustling on the streets, life is hard fighting all day, every day just to get by," Mike Song tells OkayAfrica. "My creative struggle is real; my friends support me but I often feel the temptation to quit—I also hear the voice of my father telling me not to give up. My passion is singing and know deep down that life is going to be OK because I have my friends and family, but for now I have to focus on my dreams of being a successful performer."

Watch out music video premiere for "Temptation" below, the song is out today on Beating Heart.

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Still from YouTube.

Diamond Platnumz & Rayvanny’s 'Mwanza' Has Been Banned In Tanzania

It's been deemed "too vulgar" to be played in the country.

Tanzania's national arts council, Baraza la Sanaa Tanzania (BASATA) has banned Diamond Platnumz and Rayvanny's latest single "Mwanza," and slapped the artists with a hefty fine due to its sexual content.

The board has ordered the label Wasafi Records to remove the track from all digital platforms, and it will no longer be played on the radio or in clubs in Tanzania, reports Kahawa Tungu. The popular song has over 2 million views on YouTube.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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