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Stream Njaaya's 'Social Living'


Since her debut as a solo artist, Njaaya has been on the grind steadily turning heads with her sultry afro-acoustic bounce and re-applications of the blues. A veteran of PBS-Radikal—a later manifestation of Positive Black Soul—who went on to co-found Alif, the first female hip-hop group in Senegal, Njaaya is making moves again. In her latest manifestation, she pushes a style that maintains the emcee swagger of her hip-hop days while revealing a voice that seems fortified in a soul context with added space to swell. Lyrically, she deals in large denominations, reflective texts that cut deeper into the Wolof language than the average mbalax pop song and manage to emote toughness without relying on tired English buzz words or Wolof catch phrases of the moment. Think Angelique Kidjo meets Lauryn Hill in Medina, Dakar.

Njaaya’s style is not without its own risk in Senegal, where she represents a radically different femininity than mainstream artists—save perhaps Coumba Gawlo—and she’s met her share of difficulty garnering attention for her music. Building off of a hip-hop career, Njaaya often gets up only briefly at street stages that push line-ups designed as a quick fix for the public’s demand to get down. No doubt she knows how to move a crowd and hold her own in these scenarios, but she can truly devastate in the rogue-lit lounges that support her new acoustic configuration and emit an elegant stage presence. On a good night in these more intimate venues her voice summons its greatest strength. Rising like massing water, gently stirring the room into a blur.

After enamoring a delegation of Spanish music promoters in Dakar this spring, Njaaya found herself in Spain months later, on what is likely the first of many tours as a solo artist. Gaining new momentum and keeping pace with a regular performance schedule in Dakar throughout the fall, the single, "Social Living," remains the lone teaser for her forthcoming album of the same name.

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Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

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