Popular
Still taken from YouTube

These 16 Songs Will Get you in the Festive Spirit

These 16 Songs Will Get you in the Festive Spirit

Despite an undoubtedly tumultuous year and an ongoing pandemic, we've put together a playlist of 16 songs from across the continent that will hopefully get you into the December festive spirit.

As South Africans often say, "Ke December boss". In other words, it's December and it's time to party. Of course, this year looks a lot different to previous Decembers because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, while we may have to stay at home and avoid large gatherings, this certainly doesn't stop us from enjoying a dope playlist filled with feel-good jams that are sure to fight the boredom blues. From the 15 best albums that have been released by South African indie artists this year to the 20 best Nigerian songs of 2020, there's plenty to keep you entertained and thoroughly so.

In light of the upcoming holiday season, we've put together a playlist of 16 recent songs from across the continent that are sure to get you in the festive spirit. From Davido and James BKS to Dadju and Sauti Sol, this playlist has a little something for everyone.


READ: 15 Great Albums and EPs by South African Indie Artists That Came Out in 2020

"True Love" by Yemi Alade

Yemi Alade delivers a vibrant and uplifting number in "True Love" which is the second track featuring on her upcoming fifth studio album. The music video is as vibrant as the track AND complete with energetic choreographed scenes and bold outfits that elevate the Afropop anthem.

"Nia Lo" - Kabza De Small featuring Nia Pearl

Kabza De Small and Nia Pearl deliver a stunning amapiano hit with "Nia Lo" which features on the amapiano king's album which is aptly titled I am the King of Amapiano. The latter comprises numerous tracks that shows Kabza De Small's ingenuity and ability to create hit after hit.

"Likolo" by Fally Ipupa featuring Ninho

Congolese singer-songwriter Fally Ipupa released his latest album Tokoos II earlier today. The album is the seuquel to his 2017 album titled Tokoos. "Likely", which features fellow Congolose musician Ninho, is a standout number on the 16-track project. It's upbeat and infectious with seamless synergy between the two artists.

"Dangerously in Love (Remix)" by Tiwa Savage featuring DJ Ganyani & De Mogul

This past August, Tiwa Savage released her latest album titled Celia, a 12 track project which features the sultry and upbeat jam "Dangerous Love". The track was released prior to the album and was followed up by two remixes: "Dangerous Love (Born In Soweto Remix)" featuring De Mthuda and another featuring DJ Ganyani and De Mogul. The latter, which is an amapiano remix, is arguably better than the original version of the song and has an incredible soundscape consisting on Afrobeats and amapiano.

"New Breed" by James BKS featuring Idris Elba, Q-Tip & Little Simz

Cameroonian artist James BKS recruits Idris Elba, Q-Tip and Little Simz to create a jam that fuses contemporary rap with Afrobeats and the results are exquisite. "New Breed" is a powerful declaration about Africa and definitely a track with a feel-good vibe to it. You're sure to keep this number on repeat for a while.

"So Crazy" by Davido featuring Lil Baby

Following the success of his 2019 album A Good Time, the prince of Afrobeats recently released his follow-up album titled A Better Time. The project is impressive with a number of music heavyweights featuring including Nas, Nicki Minaj, Sauti Sol, Mayorkun, Sho Madjozi and several others. "So Crazy", which sees Davido and Lil Baby collaborating effortlessly, is definitely a poolside track that screams soft living and just having a good time with even better company.

"Your Love" by Azana

If perfection was a song it would be Azana's "Your Love". The track begins with a mid-tempo pace that then builds up into an explosion of sound. Trust us when we say that this song is everything you never knew you needed. The South African artist is certainly in her element.

"Choko" by Manu WorldStar

Following his 2019 smash hit "Nalingi", Manu WorldStar released "Choko" ahead of his debut album titled "Molimo." The track, which is already proving to be another hit, is an upbeat and infectious number that will have you turning the volume up and heading to the dance floor.

"Reckless" by Wizkid

This year, Wizkid finally released his long-anticipated album Made in Lagos and it certainly was well worth the wait. The project release was Initially delayed in an attempt not to divert attention from the recent #EndSARS protests against police brutality in Nigeria. "Reckless", which features on the 14-track album, is a definite stand-out track that shows the Nigerian artist at his musical best.

"Ubomi Abumanga" by Sun-El Musician & Msaki

Is any list ever complete without Sun-El Musician? This year, the South African artist teamed up with fellow artist Msaki and created a track for the ages. "Ubomi Abumanga" is a beautiful Xhosa house song that speaks about how the sun will eventually rise even in the darkest of days.

"Sans theme (Remix)" by Dadju featuring Alonzo, MHD, Naza & ​Vegedream

French-Congolose artist Dadju is explosive on the remix of his original track "Sans theme" featuring Alonzo, MHD, Naza and Vegedream. The remix starts off on a high with a crazy instrumental that let's you know that the song is about to be everything and more. If you listen to nothing else, (and we're not kidding) you need to listen to this track.

"Dede" by Ommy Dimpoz featuring DJ Tira, Dladla & Prince Bulo

Tanzanian artist Ommy Dimpoz dropped "Dede" recently and it's an interesting fusion of bongo flava and a distinct South African sound. The music video is as frenetic as the track itself and is filled with colour and cultural references including eclectically dressed pantsula dancers repping for Johannesburg culture.

"Ngihamba Nawe" by Simmy featuring Sino Msolo

South African songstress Simmy released her album this year titled Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars) which is the follow-up to her 2018 anthemic project Tugela Fairy. "Ngihamba Nawe", which translates to "I'll go with you" in Zulu, is an exquisite and upbeat love song that'll certainly put you in a good mood.

"Suzanna" by Sauti Sol

Sauti Sol gave us a true gift in the middle of a pandemic and we're so here for it. The Kenyan Afropop sensation dropped their "Midnight Train" album this year and "Suzanna" is a definite standout track. It's an absolute vibe (and quite cheeky too) with both the instrumentals and vocals to have you playing this number endlessly.

"Wonderful" by Burna Boy

Burna Boy promised us that he'd come back even better following his African Giant album and he sure kept his word. Twice As Tall dropped this year, executive produced by Sean "Diddy" Combs, and is a project worthy of praise. "Wonderful" is an uplifting number that sees the Nigerian superstar dabbling with a new sound. All we can say is you'll love it as much as we do.

"Indlovu" by DJ Zinhle featuring Loyiso

"Indlovu" by DJ Zinhle is a powerful declaration. The vibrant song speaks about being "indlovu", which translates to "elephant" in Zulu. Featuring Loyiso, the pair elude to how one can conquer their challenges by remaining steadfast in their mission and being as strong as an elephant.

News Brief
Burna Boy performs at State Farm Arena

Burna Boy, 2Baba, and Teni To Receive A National Award From Nigeria's President

The three artists are among 437 shortlisted nominees to receive the national honor.

In honor of Nigeria's recent 62nd Independence Day celebration, the Nigerian government has shortlisted nominees to receive national recognition.

The awards fall under several categories, but Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has been nominated to receive the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) award, while Innocent Ujah Idibia, popularly known as 2Baba and Teniola Apata, whose stage name is Teni have been shortlisted to receive the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON). The awards are a recognition of their accomplishments in music and their service to the country in various capacities. The awards are a symbol of recognition of the value that the artists have added to the Nigerian music scene, as well as their influence on Nigerian society.

Burna Boy has taken the music world by storm, and his recent record "Last Last," from his sixth studio album Love, Damini, quadrupled his fame and further pushed Afrobeats into the global music scene. The 'African Giant' has become a fan- favorite who has underscored some of Nigeria's civic issues in his music. He also became Nigeria's first Grammy winner, an accolade that solidified his stance in the music world, but also highlighted the impact of Nigerian artists. For over 27 years, 2Baba has been a force in African music, and is one of the pioneers of Afrobeats. Beyond the music, 2Baba is also known for his humanitarianism and philanthropy. Teni got her big break after releasing hit singles "Askamaya", "Case" and "Uyo Meyo," three records that made people pay attention to her artistry. The three have made significant strides in putting Nigerian on the map and have become well respected by their peers.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu is set to honor the trio who are among 437 other nominees, with five people slated to receive the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), 54 to receive the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) and 67 to receive the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).

The award show is set to take place on October 11th at Nigeria's capital of Abuja.

News Brief
Photo by: Naira Marley YouTube

Naira Marley Continues to Celebrate Nigerian Independence In "Ayewada" Video

Watch the new music video for the God's Timing's The Best standout track.


Azeez Fashola, professionally known as Naira Marley, just released a new music video for his record "Ayewada." The Rexxie-produced song is taken from his debut album, God's Timing's The Best.

Ever since he broke into the music scene, Marley has brought with him a unique representation of what Afrobeats means. The record "Ayewada" is a song that marries elements of Afrobeats with hip-hop, in a compelling synergy of what can best be described as Afrorap. The up-tempo song is catchy, with background instrumentals that reinforce the fast pace of the record. Over the years, the edgy singer has garnered a reputation for being fearlessly risqué in his artistic approach, which has gained him the cult-like following of his fans, the renowned "Marlians."

Naira Marley's sound has also become a phenomenon because of his unique ability to fuse elements of UK rap with the indigenous intonations and verbiage of the Yoruba language while tying it all together with catchy beats. His palette for music is particularly interesting because it stands out from the competition, and although Marley's sound is unique and unsaturated, he still manages to be commercially successful.

In addition to his versatile sonic sound, the 31-year-old Marlian leader also has an electrifying stage presence, as has been seen with his appearances at WizKid’s StarBoy Fest at London’s O2 Arena, Afro Nation festival in Puerto Rico and Portugal, and many more. Never been one to follow trends, Marley's unpredictability and organic sound is perhaps two of the strongest elements that make his fans gravitate towards him.

Watch the music video for "Ayewada" below.

Featured
Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

Meet the Ghanaian Biker Community Led by Women

From riding motorcycles as a hobby to pushing charitable causes, Bikers Girl Gh are always in motion.

In Ghana, there is a staunch stereotype that comes with riding a motorcycle. The notion persists that people who ride them are vagabonds, criminals, and social misfits. This mindset has slowly festered and is now deep-rooted in the typical Ghanaian society. Aside from the negatives, there is the fear for life when one mounts a motorcycle and, as such, many Ghanaian homes have been against motorbikes.

Enter Jessica Opare Saforo, who is redefining what this means with Biker Girls Gh, a women-led biker collective she founded in 2018. In a fairly conservative society like Ghana, to see women riding around freely attracted quite the attention.

However, be it one of indignance or admiration, Jessica didn’t really care about the conjecture people had about the group. “For me, creating this group wasn’t about what people thought," Saforo tells OkayAfrica. "OK, if you thought women weren’t supposed to ride. That was your headache, not mine.”

How it all began

motorcycle

Most bikes are manufactured with men’s physique in mind. Women might find it difficult to find the right fit for them.

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

Biker Girls Gh was created after Saforo's mother passed away in February 2018. Losing someone she was extremely close to devastated her and she found solace on the wheels of a motorcycle.

“I lost my mother and I figured, you know, I had this passion that I wanted to pursue for the longest time. And I felt you only live once. Why don't you just embark on something that you have always wanted to do?," Saforo said. "Because time is not given. And, tomorrow's not guaranteed.”

She reached out to Rosina Fynn, the executive director of Biker Girls Gh and one of the very few women actively biking at the time. Fynn's husband, a member of Biker Girls, offered biking lessons and Jessica learned from there. Over time, Saforo found that being on bike helped alleviate her pain.

“On the motorcycle, you cannot multitask," she said. “So whenever I was on a motorcycle, I didn’t think about her and the pain too much. That helped me cope better. You just learn to live with the pain and hope they are in a better place.”

Biker Girls Gh riding in streets

“Before you officially join the group, we take you out on a fun ride to assess how you ride and also gel with the girls," Saforo said. "This is done like three times."

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

She decided then to form a community of women who simply loved riding like herself. Interestingly, she didn’t have to convince women to join. Representation really does matter. Women got the nudge they needed when they saw her — unapologetically being herself — on the motorcycle.

“You would see people on television or maybe on the internet who would ride and you'd think, 'Oh, that's such an interesting sport or an interesting hobby to have.' But you would think it was out of reach," Saforo said. "'Till you realize your next-door neighbor is a female rider and then you‘re like, 'Oh, wait, it's not so far out of reach.' And then you say to yourself, 'OK, this is something I can do, too.’”

Most bikes are manufactured with men’s physique in mind. Women might find it difficult to find the right fit for them. (Even though Saforo suggests the Kawasaki as ideal for women between 5’5 to 5’8.) And motorcycling is a relatively high-risk hobby; safety is non-negotiable. Biker Girls Gh is stern on safety precautions, which sounds intimidating to the average rider or new rider. But it is a policy they are unwilling to compromise on. Should a member ride without their full gear on three times in a row, the group exercises measures like suspension.

The group doesn’t offer bike lessons and new members must have their own motorcycles as a prerequisite. They must also be experienced riders or ideally be above beginner level. A motorcycling license is also a prerequisite.

“Before you officially join the group, we take you out on a fun ride to assess how you ride and also gel with the girls," Saforo said. "This is done like three times."

Charitable Ladies on the Bike

A group of women in bike group

Biker Girls Gh features bankers, content creators, electrical engineers, managing directors, and CEOs.

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

A noticeable feature of the group is how most of the women come from different professional backgrounds. There are bankers, content creators, electrical engineers, managing directors, and CEOs. Targeting this peculiar bevy of ladies was deliberate for Saforo. She didn’t want to be like other groups, so standing out was imperative to the group.

“Being able to pull women from various spheres of life helps us and gives us the necessary leverage we need to move further,” she said.

The core objective of the group has always been about riding. But they have also embraced philanthropy. In 2019, they rode all the way from Accra to Prampram where they donated immensely to the Kinder Paradise Orphanage. In 2021, they paid the medical bills of women stuck in the hospital for owing medical fees and donated to prison inmates at Akuse who couldn’t afford healthy meals. They also collaborated with the “Kenkey for the Needy” project in 2022 to provide food for street kids in Accra.

Inspirational sisters spurring each other up

black women with mask

The core objective of Biker Girls Gh has always been about riding. But they have also embraced philanthropy.

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

The camaraderie and sisterhood in the group is profound, which encapsulate a solid support system that inspire members to be the best versions of themselves.

“Ninety-five percent of the group are in leadership or mid-level roles in their respective careers,” Saforo said. “We have a WhatsApp group where we discuss socio-economic issues, sometimes issues concerning women just to stimulate the sisterhood. Once a month, we meet to have breakfast or lunch to catch up. We do acknowledge that times are hard in Ghana and everyone is struggling. Sometimes you don’t just want to text anything in a WhatsApp group but if you meet your sister you can tell her about it.”

Beyond that, personal friendships are also forming within the group which just firmly grounds the group the more. Biker Girls Gh are currently 17 women and Jessica iterates the fact that she doesn’t care about the number necessarily — all she strives for is quality in the group.

Idahams Wants to Soundtrack Life's Beauty & Battles

From the Island of Bonny to Lagos and now, the world, Idahams has a lot of stories to tell. We speak to him about his immersive and tender debut album, Truth, Love & Confessions.

The south got something to say. Actually, in the sprawling world of Nigerian pop, it has been speaking for a while now, with the likes of Rema, Omah Lay and Ajebo Hustlers riding on the region’s genre-fluid practices to popular acclaim. Another name in that conversation isIdahams, a producer and musician who recently released his debut album, Truth, Love & Confessions. It was a quiet Saturday when OkayAfrica recently spoke with him, discussing stories far broader than the thirteen songs which make up TLC.

“I wanted it to be a different one,” he says about his vision for the project. “Not like what we’ve heard before, you know, something people can always go back to when they want to be inspired, when they want to be emotional, something that can stand the test of time. I didn’t want the sound to be what we’ve heard in the past couple of years, so I took my time.”

Being a producer allows Idahams creative license, and he’s much involved in the sound of Trust, Love & Confessions, too. He usually sends sound frames of what he needs to his collaborating producers, and they work around that vision. “I’m always intentional when it comes to making a song,” he says, placing his potential listeners somewhere in that radar.

A shimmering emotional presence lies at the core of TLC. With its title preceding the ambition, the records are inspired by both true and fictional experiences, all rendered purposefully by Idahams’ fine knowledge of sound. From the glorious opener “Gratitude” which utilizes a church choir to the descriptions of a toxic relationship laden in “Hate That I Love,” the album’s themes follow a progressive path. The production is minimal and exquisite, carrying the personal convictions of Idahams with light, almost watery ease.

Keep reading...Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

The Latest 'Wakanda Forever' Trailer Unveils New Female Black Panther

The 2-minute action-packed preview makes us wonder: Is Wakanda really forever?

Asake Has to Add Third O2 Academy Show After Selling Out in Minutes

As he climbs up the ladder of global superstardom, Asake continues to break glass ceilings and crash websites.

"My Time is Up:" Trevor Noah Talks About Leaving 'The Daily Show' After 7 Years

The South African comedian announced that he would be leaving the Comedy Central series after his seven-year tenure.

The 8 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (September)

Featuring Wizkid, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Ayra Starr and many more.

popular.

Roye Okupe is Championing African Representation in Animation

We spoke with Roye Okupe about his studio, Iyanu getting adapted into an animated series, and storytelling for an African audience.