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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
Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

South Africa Shocked After DJ Sumbody's Fatal Shooting

The popular Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody, was tragically killed in Johannesburg.


News recently broke that the well known South African Amapiano music producer Oupa John Sefoka, popularly known as DJ Sumbody passed awaythis past Sunday, November 20th.

The family reported that specific details of DJ Sumbody's passing could not be released because the issue was a part of a larger, ongoing investigation.

"Artist and musician DJ Sumbody has died. Details of his untimely death cannot be released but the artist allegedly ran into an unfortunate incident that led to his passing in the early hours of Sunday morning, November 20 2022," the family released in a statement, according to News24.

According to several unconfirmed reports, the renowned South African DJ was traveling on Woodmead road in Johannesburg when gunmen attacked his vehicle with a hail of bullets, which instantly killed him and one of his bodyguards.

He was en route to perform at an event in Woodmead for the All White Veuve Clicquot Picnic on Sunday. Apart from being an Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody was a creative force in the South African entertainment industry. In the early hours of Sunday, Sumsounds Music, his management team, confirmed the news.

DJ Sumbody was a pioneer of the well-known viral Amapiano sound, a word that translates to "the pianos" in Zulu and is an eclectic genre that started in South Africa in 2012 and fuses house, jazz and lounge music for a unique sonic experience.

During the pandermic, OkayAfrica featured him in the pieceDJ Sumbody Is Ensuring Amapiano Stays Alive During Times of Coronavirus and Social Distancing.

Social media users went online to share their shock about the unfortunate event.

Featured
Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Wizkid Wins the Inaugural Afrobeats Award at the AMAs

Tems and Wizkid both took home trophies at this year's American Music Awards.


Celebrated Nigerian superstar Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid recently won in the inaugural Favorite Afrobeats Artists category at the 2022 American Music Awards.

The AMAs started its flagship Afrobeats category this year. Other nominees for the award included Burna Boy, CKay, Tems, and Fireboy DML, with Wizkid ultimately taking home the price. Many of the nominated artists had enjoyed massive commercial success in the United States prior to the award show, and the increasing dominance of Afrobeats has made the genre well known in other parts of the world outside of Nigeria.

The "Bad To Me" singer also won the Favorite R&B Song award for the remix to his smash hit "Essence," which featured Tems and Justin Bieber. This was monumental for the night because the song was competing with other hit songs, including Beyonce's "Break My Soul."

Tems also made quite the impression at the award show. In addition to winning an award alongside Wizkkid for the "Essence" remix, she also won in the Favorite Hip Hop Song category for her contribution to Future's "Wait For U," a record that quickly became a fan-favorite with fans for its unique sonic output.

Both Tems and Wizkid have been soaring in their careers following the release of their celebrated song "Essence." Recently, Tems was a co-writer on the Rihanna-led song "Lift Me Up" for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sound track. Last week, Wizkid headlined a show at New York City's renowned music venue Madison Square Garden, a major feat for Afrobeats as a whole.

View the complete list of nominees and winners for the award show here.

Sports

All You Need to Know About the African Teams at the World Cup

We break down how Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia's national teams are looking ahead of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

African football has come a long way.

Egypt was the first African team to ever participate in a FIFA World Cup. They did it in Italy in 1934, where they only played a game, which they lost 4-2 to Hungary. Back then, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) didn’t exist, so the Pharaohs played two qualifier games against British Palestine.

CAF was eventually formed in 1956, but the World Cup would only see another African team in Mexico 1970, when Morocco qualified. Years later, Pelé, the legendary Brazilian player, predicted that an African team would win a World Cup before the year 2000, he was mocked mercilessly. For many, it was not an unlikely outcome, it was an absurd proposition.

And yet, African footballers have become more and more often part of the footballing elite, playing in the best leagues, and becoming some of the most famous players. While, still, only European and South American teams have won World Cups.

Keep reading...Show less
Interview

Seni Saraki On Co-Producing the Nigerian Side of the 'Black Panther' Soundtrack

We speak with NATIVE's Seni Saraki who helped put together the Lagos arm of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By.

Back in July when Marvel released its Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue EP, led by Tems’ soul-stirring cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” the consensus among young, internet-savvy Africans was that the follow-up to 2018’s record-breaking Black Panther was shaping up to be seminal moment for African culture after years of gestation and ascending visibility in the western world.

The arrival of the full soundtrack has proved that the optimism felt at that time was not unfounded. In a sharp contrast to the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack for the first film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By is a full-on deep-dive into the pulse of African and Mexican popular music as we know it. Taking influences from these sources makes sense as the movie is primarily inspired by both Nigerian and Meso-american cultures and we get to see acts like Burna Boy, Fireboy DML, DBN Gogo, and CKay line-up on the musical accompaniment to one of the eagerly-anticipated releases of the year.

To get some perspective on how the African arm of the soundtrack came together, we spoke to The NATIVE’s editor-in-chief, Seni Saraki, who served as the soundtrack album co-producer for the Lagos arm of production, touching on his involvement with the project, its reception, and what he hopes its legacy might be.

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