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Photo by Sarah Ginn.

First Listen: Okzharp & Manthe Ribane Preach Perseverance on ‘Why U In My Way’

Listen to the duo's latest single from their upcoming album.

"Why U In My Way," which we are premiering here, is the first single to Okzharp & Manthe Ribane's upcoming album Closer Apart.

On the song, Manthe soulfully croons about being hopeful and keeping your eye on the price as you go through life's challenges. Over a spacious instrumental by Okzharp, she sings, "Dreamers don't complain, dreamers don't explain/ Don't you fade away, so don't you fade away."


"The song is inspired by obstacles in life and that we shouldn't fade off from our purpose and our journeys," says Manthe in an email to OkayAfrica. "At the end of the day, we shouldn't fade away, and stay driven, and not forget who we are and what we were born for."

"100% agree with Manthe," says Okzharp. "It's primarily about being strong in the face of things beyond your control, and caring for your dreams. It's also about time and how it can distort and bend in different ways. Looking at a diamond is like looking at deep time, it's great. And time is precious. We met an amazing senior gentleman artist at one of our shows who told us that a billionaire can't buy five minutes, and that stuck with us."

Okzharp & Manthe Ribane are a duo but are each based in different places, with Manthe living in South Africa, while the producer is in the UK. The title of their album, Closer Apart, attests to them being far apart, but being brought together by music.

Closer Apart is out July 6 through the UK-based label Hyperdub Records. Catch the duo at their upcoming London show tomorrow (6/20) and at Brooklyn's Afropunk Fest (flyers below).

Listen to "Why U In My Way" below.


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15 South African Artists to Watch in 2019

Featuring Manu WolrdStar, Ranks, Dee Koala, Touchline, Sibu Nzuza and more.

Every year a wave of artists breaks in South Africa.

Last year saw young artists such as Mlindo The Vocalist, Muzi, Una Rams, Shekhinah, Sho Madjozi, KLY, Zoocci Coke Dope, Flame, J Molley, Rowlene and a whole lot more become household names and internet sensations. They released projects that shaped the country's musical landscape—a lot of them were on our list of 20 artists who could fuck up the game in 2018.

Alongside the aforementioned artists, there were just as many who were bubbling under, releasing singles that caught the attention of many fans. In 2019, these artists stand a great chance of expanding further and reaching more ears than they did last year.

From Manu WorldStar's lovely pop, to Ranks' version of ATM (African trap music), the refreshing Xhosa rap of Dee Koala, the street raps of Touchline, among others, we bring you a list of South African artists to keep an eye out for in 2019.

*The list is in no particular order.

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News Brief

Netflix Has Picked Up an Animated Musical Inspired by Shona Mythology

"Tunga" is the brainchild of Zimbabwean-born screenwriter Godwin Jabangwe.

The latest African story to become a Netflix original will be an animated, family-friendly musical based on Zimbabwean culture, Deadline reports. The streaming service won a four-way bidding battle for Tunga, created by Zimbabwean-born screenwriter and newcomer to the film industry Godwin Jabangwe.

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'Play Am' single cover.

Burna Boy Teams Up With Oritse Femi & Konshens on New Track 'Play Am'

Nigeria meets Jamaica on the Young D-produced dancehall-infused jam.

Fresh off his massive collaboration with Zlatan on "Killin' Dem," Burna Boy is back with another one.

The artist teams up with fellow Nigerian artist Oritse Femi and Jamaican artist Konshens for the dancehall-infused track "Play Am."

The song opens with a memorable verse from Konshens before both Oritse Femi and Burna join in, making for a unique fusion of Yoruba, Patois and Pidgin over the track's vibrant, multilayered production by producer Young D.

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