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Listen to Yemi Alade's Afrobeats Playlist

Curated exclusively for OkayAfrica.

Yemi Alade is Nigerian music royalty.

The star singer and self-proclaimed Mama Africa has been consistently delivering hits since her debut album, King of Queens, came out back in 2014. She's also the queen of videos, as her clip for hit single "Johnny" is the most watched Nigerian music video on Youtube.

Yemi, who released her highly-anticipated new album Black Magic last December, will be bringing her sultry and powerful vocals to NYC for our very own Mzansi Heat and Naija Beats concert at Lincoln Center on August 2. You should RSVP now for the FREE concert which will also feature DJ Maphorisa and DJ Tunez.

Ahead of the show, we got Yemi Alade to handpick this new, exclusive Artist Playlist, which includes some of her latest and best songs, as well her favorite afrobeats tracks from the likes of Soti, Wande Coal, Wizkid, 2Baba and more.


Listen to Yemi Alade's playlist below and make sure to RSVP for our free Mzansi Heat and Naija Beats concert with her DJ Tunez and DJ Maphorisa.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music for many more playlists.




Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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