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Photo by Barun Chatterjee.

Listen to Sampa the Great's Electrifying Debut Album 'The Return'

The Zambian artist makes a bold artistic statement with her much-anticipated debut album.

Sampa the Great has been on the grind for some time now, dropping several impressive hits and working with the likes of Ibeyi Kendrick Lamar and more. Now the Zambian artist shares her debut album The Return.

The artist gave a taste of the genre-bending elements of her debut album, when she released the funk-inspired single "Final Form" in June. The 19-track album boasts features from a range of artists including Krown, Ecca Vandal, thando and more.

"Today I release a piece of my heart to the world. The Return is a journey. Prepare your heart that journey," wrote the artist on Twitter.

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Photo by Camilo Fuentealba for OkayAfrica

Yemi Alade’s Journey to Becoming a ‘Woman of Steel’

With a bold new album, record-breaking musical feats and two features on Beyoncé's "The Lion King: The Gift," Yemi Alade is claiming her spot in a growing Nigerian music scene with full force.

Yemi Alade's "Johnny" was never even meant to see the light of day. "Someone leaked the song," she recalls with a smile. "And the leaked song saved my life."

It went on to become her breakout hit, catapulting her to African musical fame. With its catchy hook and cheeky lyrics about tracking down a flaky lover, the song caught on easily as a fun track that light-heartedly spoke from the ladies' point of view—an answer to all the songs that already did so from a man's perspective, namely Wizkid's "Caro." Its Clarence Peters-directed music video showcased her personality and knack for theatrical performance took the hype even further. It went on to break YouTube records (with 107 million views and counting), and is still the most watched music video by a Nigerian woman artist.

That was 2014—a time in the African pop scene, when artists who are today considered afropop royalty were still striving to make names for themselves in an ever-changing musical landscape. With its fiery production and easy-to-sing-along-to hook "Johnny" quickly became a party staple, making Alade's name one prominently associated with the growing scene. In 2019, African pop music is in a different phase, more visible than ever before, yet still on the cusp of crossover success. Through this process, Alade's name has remained a constant, and unlike the success of "Johnny"—this is by no accident.

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"African Giant" album cover.

Listen to Burna Boy's New Album 'African Giant'

The highly-anticipated album—featuring Angelique Kidjo, Damian Marley, Future Jorja Smith and more—is finally here.

The wait is over. Following a slew of standout singles throughout the year, an international tour, repping for Nigeria at Coachella, and a host of memorable collaborations Burna Boy's studio album African Giant is finally here.

The 19-track album boasts features from Angelique Kidjo, Damian Marley, Future, M.anifest, Jorja Smith, Jeremih and more. It includes the previous released singles "Anybody," "On the Low," "Killin' Dem," "Gbona," "Dangote," and "Pull Up" which the artist dropped earlier this week.

African Giant sees the artist taking his signature 'afrofusion' to the next level, offering a bevy of infectious sounds rooted in afrobeat, highlife, dancehall, R&B, hip hop and more.

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Listen to Hailu Mergia's First Album In 15 Years, 'Lala Belu'

The legendary Ethiopian jazz musician once again shows us how it's done.

With his latest album, Ethiopian composer, keyboardist and accordion player, Hailu Mergia shows that a comeback is no challenge for a legendary musician.

The artist's new album, Lala Belu, is available for streaming now via Awesome Tapes From Africa.

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