Featuring Ali Farka Touré, Ezra Collective x Fela Kuti, Dur-Dur Band Int. x Xabiib Sharaabi and DJ Black Low.
Every Friday, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column, Songs You Need to Hear. Here's our round-up of the best new tracks and music videos that came across our desks.
If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music.
Ali Farka Touré "Safari"
The legendary Malian guitarist and singer Ali Farka Touré is set to have his first posthumous release in 13 years with Voyageur, a collection of previously unheard song's from throughout his illustrious career. "Safari," the first taste we get from the upcoming album, is a hypnotizing reminder of Ali's signature guitar riffing over calabash rhythms. Voyageur, due March 10 on World Circuit Records, was produced by Nick Gold and Ali's son Vieux Farka Touré. Pre-oder here.
Ezra Collective "Lady" (Fela Kuti Cover)
London's Ezra Collective follow-up their solid Where I'm Meant to Be album from November of last year with a new cover of the Fela Kuti classic "Lady." The track is part of the ongoing 50th anniversary reissues of Fela Kuti albums and will also released physically on yellow 7” vinyl alongside a reissue of Fela's Shakara album. Femi Koleoso of Ezra Collective mentions: "When I was a child my dad had a collection of Fela Kuti CDs. He would play them in the car on long drives. At the time I didn’t know who it was or what it was, but I always knew it was my favourite music to listen too. Fast forward 2 decades and nothing has changed, Fela Kuti remains our musical hero and foundational inspiration... the original remains unbeatable, but I hope this remix makes you dance as well."
Dur-Dur Band Int. "Duurka" ft Xabiib Sharaabi
Somalian ensemble Dur-Dur Band Int.'s upcoming album, The Berlin Session, is being heralded as "the first new studio recording by a full group from Somalia since the country’s golden era of music ended three decades ago." For it's creation, the band got together with singers like Xabiib Sharaabi (nicknamed the Somali King of Pop) in the German capital in 2019. It's captivating lead single "Duurka" was written by Xabiib in the early '80s before the war in Somalia sent him into exile in Sweden—its title means "The Jungle."
DJ Black Low "Oskido"
"Oskido" is a head-nodding new amapiano tune from DJ Black Low. It's the lead single off the South African producer's upcoming album Impumelelo (which translates to 'Success') due March 17 via Awesome Tapes From Africa label. "Oskido," named after kwaito pionner and Kalawa Jazzme label founder, is sounding ripe for this weekend's parties and dance floors.