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Simphiwe Dana Shares New Single ‘Usikhonzile’ from Upcoming Album ‘Bamako’

Listen to Simphiwe Dana's new single 'Usikhonzile.'

Simphiwe Dana recently released the first single from her upcoming studio album. The song, which is titled "Usikhonzile" is a dedication to an undisclosed character who the South African jazz/soul musician sings praises to as he/she/they is a friend of many people in this country." She told News Central in a recent interview. "It's basically meant to give him his 'flowers' while he is still alive. It's about praising him for the work he has done for many people," she told the website.

The artist's ethereal voice finds a home over electric guitars; it's reminiscent of her 2015 album, the experimental Firebrand.

"Usikhonzile" is the first single from Dana's album which will be titled Bamako. "I have a strong affinity for West African music, particularly Mali and Senegal," Dana told News Central. "Last year, I took the opportunity to produce some of the songs on the album while in the Malian city of Bamako, where I stayed for almost a month. It was my first time in Mali and I experienced the country's culture through Bamako and this is how I came up with the title, Bamako."

Bamako, which arrives on in March, will be Dana's fifth studio album which joins monumental releases such as Zandisile (2004), Kulture Noir (2010), One Love on Bantu Biko Street (2006) and the aforementioned Firebrand (2014). Bamako comes with two fitting appearances from Malian legend Salif Keita who appears on the songs "Masibambaneni" and "Ndizamile."

Stream "Usikhonzile" below and pre-order/pre-save/pre-add Bamako on your streaming platform of choice.


Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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