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Photo: Hugo Glendinning & Gavin Rodgers.

The 10 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Featuring Rema, Niniola x Femi Kuti, Tony Allen, 2Baba, Olamide, Burna Boy, Fireboy DML and more

Here are the best tracks that came out of the buzzing Nigerian scene in February.

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


2Baba 'Warriors'

2Baba dropped his much-anticipated album titled Warriors. The album is a follow-up to the artist's last project Ascension which was released in 2014. Warriors features music heavyweights including Burna Boy, Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, AJ, Peruzzi, Syemca and HI Idibia. In his latest offering, 2Baba gives fans a little bit of everything—Afrobeats, Afropop and even reggae.

Niniola x Femi Kuti 'Fantasy'

Nigerian singer and songwriter Niniola shares her latest single "Fantasy," featuring the legendary Femi Kuti. On "Fantasy," the singer delivers her usual crisp vocals atop a pulsating beat and smooth saxophone riffs from Kuti. It's an infectious song through and through, and the two make for a memorable duo.

Tony Allen x Hugh Masekela 'Slow Bones'

Nigerian afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen and South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela began recording together in 2010. Though they'd known each other since the 1970s, through their friendship & work with Fela, it took forty years—and a coinciding tour schedule that saw them both in the UK at the same time—for Allen and Masekela to make it to a London studio together. It was there that, along with producer Nick Gold, they recorded the "kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew" that will make up their upcoming album, Rejoice, as Allen describes it.

Zlatan 'Life'

Zlatan gets pensive on his latest track "Life." The song is a departure from the Zanku (Leg Work) singer's usual dance-worthy style. Instead, the slow-paced anthem sees him reflecting on his rise, and making it as an artist against all odds. "My life changed in one day," sings the artist on the hook.

Burna Boy 'Odogwu'

Burna Boy came through with latest single, "Odogwu," a smooth afro-highlife concoction produced by Kel P. Following the celebrated release of African Giant—which came with nominations at both the Grammys & BRIT Awards and a trophy for Best International Act at the BET Awards—the Nigerian star will be embarking on a long run of shows that will take him across North America and Europe in the Twice As Tall tour.

Rema x Rvssian 'Beamer (Bad Boys)'

Buzzing Nigerian artist Rema shares his first single and music video of the year "Beamer (Bad Boys)." The track is the first single since the release of his 2019 EP Bad Commando. Produced by Rvssianm, the song features a sultry, drum-heavy beat and a catchy hook in which a chorus of female voices sing of their love for "bad boys." The steely music video features several love interests and flashy cars as Rema moves through the city on an undisclosed mission. The video features crisp, scenic shots directed by Fxrbes.

Fireboy DML 'Vibration'

Rising Nigerian artist Fireboy DML, shares the music video for his latest single, "Vibration," from his debut album, Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps. The song features eclectic production with a Latin flair from Deeptunes. The unique visuals, see the artist in several striking settings including a ballroom filled with skillful dancers doing the foxtrot and mambo, as well as outdoors where he's surrounded by snow and a group of ballerinas. Later on in the video, the artist delivers his own dance moves in a disco-lit room.

Zinoleesky x Naira Marley 'Caro'

Zinoleesky dropped his debut track "Caro" under his new record label, Marlian Records. He teams up with Naira Marley on the fun and upbeat ode to women and love while also dropping the accompanying visuals too. In "Caro", the duo seamlessly feeds off of each other's energy as they rap about beautiful women, money and love. Produced by Rexxie, the track is a classic uptempo Afrobeat number with a pretty laid-back rhythm that makes the track itself an easy listen.

Lady Donli 'Corner' 

Nigerian singer Lady Donli, returns with a new song and music video "Corner," a standout from her 2019 album Enjoy Your Life, featuring VanJess and The Cavemen. The smooth, highlife-tinged song, contains a bold message that address several of the issues currently facing Nigerian women, including the recent #SexForGrades scandal, which exposed lecturers at various universities who were sexually assaulting their female students. The video, directed by Shaun Kalu, does the same, as it opens with a group of women leading a protest in Nigeria's capital. Later the video shows them taking part in several subversive activities to defeat male perpetrators.

Olamide '999'

Olamide dropped his first official body of work for this year—an EP titled 999. The nine-track EP is the follow-up to his 2018 collaborative album YBNL Mafia Family and features several talents including Phyno, JayBoi, Sosa-E, Rhatti, Snow, Cheque, Milly and Jackmillz.

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The 12 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (March)

Featuring Stonebwoy, Kuami Eugene, Shatta Wale, Samini, Sarkodie and more.

March has been quite an eventful month around the world. While almost everything has come to a standstill due to the pandemic, the creative world hasn't stopped. In an attempt to keep the content coming during this time of social distancing and self isolation, both the top shots and emerging acts have been showing out. As March comes to a close we give you a list of some of the best songs to come out of Ghana this month. Check them out below.

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

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The 6 Best East African Songs of the Month (March)

Featuring Harmonize, Rayvanny, Mbosso, Vinka and more.

East African artists have been keeping our spirits up with upbeat and catchy releases this month. Here are our picks for the best East African songs of the month.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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South African Actor Charles 'Big Boy' Maja Has Passed Away

Tributes are pouring in for the beloved actor who starred in the popular South African television drama 'Skeem Saam'.

South African actor and former radio broadcaster, Charles Maja, has passed away according to reports by TimesLIVE. Affectionately known as "Big Boy", the name of the character he played on the popular local drama series Skeem Saam, the actor reportedly suffered a fatal stroke earlier this morning while in the northern province of Limpopo. He was just 54.

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Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.

Spotlight: Nicole Rafiki's Images Merge the Contemporary with the Traditional to Challenge Stereotypes

Get familiar with the work of Norway-based Congolese visual artist Nicole Rafiki.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight Nicole Rafiki, a Congolese visual artist who uses symbolism to challenge stereotypes in a critical way. Read more about the inspirations behind her work below, and check out some of her stunning images underneath. Be sure to keep up with the artist on Instagram and Facebook and her Rafiki Arts Initiative here.


How would you describe yourself as an artist?

As an interdisciplinary artist, I use symbolism to re-imagine and challenge the stereotypical depiction of spaces, contexts and the people who are affected by global migration. I view my work as a platform for dialogues about identity, fluidity, place, and belonging. As an artist with a diverse cultural, historic and artistic background, I use art to inform, engage and heal. Because it is too easy to fall into the trap of promoting idealism or clichés, I make it a point to be critical and analytical in my work.

What is the message behind your recent photo-series "The Crown"?

This work came about after I had been stuck in Lagos traffic for 2 hours, listening to a radio show about the role of women in the household. One middle-aged woman called in to say that a "proper woman has to be domesticated". Listening to that radio show just made it seem like, for many people, it doesn't matter how educated, professionally accomplished or otherwise successful a woman is as long as she does not have the required domestic skills required by the African society. The urban attire complemented by traditional African elements illustrates the double role that many young African women have in our communities. And yet, that point is made against a yellow backdrop, symbolizing our power, historical achievements, hope and optimism for the future.

As an African artist, what do you want to communicate with your art about the continent?

The core message in my art is the promotion of our personal and collective healing process. That is only possible if we all understand the importance of playing our part. I believe that this is a very important time to be active in the contemporary art field. We have reached a historical point where Africans from the continent and the diaspora are challenging the status quo in the art industry by creating their own platforms to discuss, share and challenge the dominating philosophical, artistic, political and cultural perspectives on art. We have the power, individually and collectively to create a different legacy for the next generation and have personally just begun exploring all the possibilities out there.

Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Mkono" (2018), in loving memory of my grandmother.Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Untitled" (2019), in loving memory of Benon Lutaaya. Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Not without my bags" (2019)Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Kadogo (2019)"Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Mwenye imani haitaji macho" (A man of faith needs no eyes), (2019). Model: AfrogallonismImage courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Crown" (2020)Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Crown" (2020). Model: Deborah Kandoua AffouéImage courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Kwabende" (2019)Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.

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