Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.
Here’s our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.
Rema adds country-style guitars to his ever impressive bag of tricks as he drops the new single, “Soundgasm.” The London-produced track showcases the Nigerian star’s vocal range as he goes from a high-pitched refrain to rap-sung verse melodies seamlessly. The music video follows Rema to a house in Nashville where he’s joined by a female companion. “Soundgasm” follows Rema’s eye-grabbing 2021 singles like “Bounce” and “Dimension” his collaboration with Skepta and Jae5.
BLK JKS ‘Abantu / Before Humans’
South African alternative band, BLK JKS, has returned with its latest album Abantu/Before Humans. The nine-track album is a sonic ode to the continent of Africa that offers a soul-lifting and punk-electronic experience. Abantu/Before Humans is a long and unapologetic poem that calls for the awakening of Africans to the atrocious ways of living under the capitalist labour force.
Tkay Maidza ‘Cashmere’
Australian-Zimbabwean rapper, Tkay Maidza, shared the fun and flora-filled visuals for her latest single “Cashmere”. The track features on her upcoming and highly anticipated Last Year Was Weird, Vol.3. EP. The “Cashmere” music video is a dreamy and surreal production that gives a taste of what’s to come from the young artist who is reportedly set to tour with American singer, Princess Nokia. In the “Cashmere” video, Tkay Maidza is seen driving a yellow pick-up truck into a flower field when suddenly, the vehicle takes flight into the sky.
South African singer and producer Th&o. has shown why he is one of the stand-out neo-soul acts for 2021. Th&o., pronounced Thando, recently shared a cinematic capturing of three tracks from his well-received debut album Ebsuku. The album, which dropped in the middle of 2020, was nominated under the Best Alternative Album category at this year’s SAMAs (South African Music Awards). The Ebsuku short film is a beautiful and broody cinematic escape that brings life to his much-loved tracks “Prosecco”, “Body Like A Gun” and “Ghosting”.
Ayra Starr ‘Sare’
Mavin Records newest signee Ayra Starr shares her latest single, “Sare,” which was produced by label head honcho Don Jazzy. The new song is an anthemic number, which blends Afro-pop with traditional Nigerian folk music as it interpolates The Lijadu Sisters 1979 classic “Orere Elejigbo.” Get into it above.
TÖME kickstarted her 2021 music releases with the single “Nana”. TÖME hits the high notes on the defiant “Nana” as she celebrates her individualism over ebbing instrumentals, and expresses sentiments around persevering despite difficult circumstances. “Nana” aptly captures her multi-cultural Nigerian French-Canadian background which has, so far, contributed to her diverse musical abilities.
Nigerian newcomer Kholi recently shared his new album, Stones to Diamonds. Its 9 songs see the artist going in on topics of love over a blend of afropop, amapiano, jazz, R&B and even bachata beats. Get into the addictive album highlight “Gamble” above.
Djembe Monks ‘Nhliziyo Yam”
Zimbabwean drumming collective Djembe Monks have returned with a new, grounded house single “Nhliziyo Yam”, with vocals from the melodic Thandy Dhlana who also co-wrote the song. “Nhliziyo Yam'” is a fusion of djembe drums, techno and deep house which reminds us to guard our hearts after experiencing a spate of heartbreaks.