The best songs of the week featuring Amadou & Mariam, Sarkodie, Songhoy Blues, P-Square, Tekno & more.
At the end of every week, we highlight the creme of the crop in music and round up the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks throughout the last few days.
Songhoy Blues "Bamako"
Psychedelic Malian rock group, Songhoy Blues, announced the release of their upcoming sophomore album Résistance, which will feature guest appearances from Iggy Pop, Elf Kid, and shared the album's lead single "Bamako."
“With ‘Bamako’ we just wanted to write something fun and positive about where we come from,” says lead vocalist Aliou Touré. “So much of what people hear about Africa is negative; bad news stories about war and famine just dominate the common image of Africa. But this track is about dispelling that image by describing something everyone can relate to – going out on a Saturday night – to show that Africa isn’t just what people see in the news, there’s so much more to it than that.”
Ghanaian star rapper Sarkodie delivers some effortless flows over an electronic beat in his latest single “Gboza.”
The track now has a new music video, direct by Prince Dovlo, which features comedian Dabo in the lead role. Check it out above.
Amadou & Mariam are back
The Grammy-nominated Malian duo Amadou & Mariam, long-time favorites over here at OkayAfrica, are back with the new single "Bofou Safou,” their first new music since 2012.
The term “bofou safou” is a bambara nickname given to nonchalant young men who would rather dance than work. Following that vein, the new track sees Amadou & Mariam tackling synth and disco-driven influences. Their new album, La Confusion, is due later this year.
Thornato x The Busy Twist Remix
Queens, NY producer Thornato recently dropped his debut album, Bennu, which sees him blending electronic music with sounds from across Jamaica, Ecuador, South Africa, Colombia, and other places.
In this reworked version of "El Oro de la Tolita," he links up with The Busy Twist and Zongo Abongo for a remix tailor-made for the dance floor. Stream our premiere of the track above, Bennu is out now from Wonderwheel Recordings.
Follow our ‘Songs You Need to Hear’ playlist on Apple Music for weekly updates of new music.
P-Square "Nobody Ugly"
Nigerian twin duo P-Square shared the Instagram-themed video for their new single “Nobody Ugly.”
The bubbly, percussion-filled song also got a colorful music video—directed by Clarence Peters—that sees P-Square with a group of girls who are “doing it for the gram.”
"Zvinorema (It's So Hard)"
The folks at Found Sound Nation recently shared their latest OneBeat mixtape, which features collaborations from a diverse range of artists on the rise and eclectic sounds from across the globe.
One of its standout tracks, "Zvinorema (It's So Hard)," is lead by Zimbabwean vocalist and mbira player Kirby Chipembere. Check out the new music video for this sweeping composition, which also features Brazilian cellist Felipe Jose and producer/engineer Luisa Puterman, above.
Nigeria's Tekno tries on on many hats—he could be your Wizzy "Daddy Yo," your "Scapegoat" D'banj, your 2baba, and more—in this catchy new single produced by Sarz.
Lady Jay x Dex Kwasi
Blending pop and calypso-influenced sounds, the new track sits comfortably in that midpoint between 808 drum machines and afrobeats.
DJ Yin "What You Started"
Nigeria's Oyin Asu-Johnson, better known as DJ Yin, impresses with her debut single, "What You Started." The track, produced by BankyOnDBeatz, is full of electronic pop bliss.
Ondatrópica explore the sounds of 1950s & ’60s Afro-Colombia in their new album, Baile Bucanero.