Psst! New Stuff: Artistes You Should Listen To

Lammy

Into an ocean of defiance filled with pleasant melodies and bold statements that characterize the new generation of Afrobeats, we have dug deep to handpick some of the best new music from across the continent that you should get familiar with. 

Little Simz – Point and Kill ft Obongjayar (NG)

Influenced by Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat and blending Afro elements with retro funk, Little Simz features Nigerian sensation Obongjayar on Point and Kill. The polyrhythmic record mirrors the resolute and defiant nature of the typical Nigerian youth with both artists exuding self-assurance and confidence, and paying no mind to hearsay. The video for the song, -shot by Ebenzer Blanche with stand out art direction by Ayo Lawson, is filled with compelling imagery of Lagos and the New Afrika Shrine. Point and Kill is a single off her fourth studio album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’.

Cina Soul – Feelings ft KiDi (GH)

Ghanaian singer Christie Quincyna Quarcoopome aka Cina Soul on the KiDi-assisted Feelings is all melodic chants and dreamy expressions of emotions. Feelings is the lead single ahead of her forthcoming EP set for release sometime this September. In soulful fervor and a groovy meld of energies, the artistes express their emotions to their lovers.

Ykb – Before I Blow EP (NG)

Burgeoning Nigerian musician YKB makes a bold statement with the release of ‘Before I Blow’ EP, a project billed to mark the beginning of his catalytic takeover in the music industry. While ‘Wake up’ is a call to action for himself and people who daydream and wait on results without putting in work, he echoes the demands of a young creative on ‘Oshofree’, asking to be paid what he’s worth. He is self-assured on ‘One Day’, weaving a story of what he foresees for his future. A peep into his musical vanguard on ‘Okukupay’ and ‘Bolatito’ confirms that YKB is poised for the next phase of his career and he’s ready to take us on a joyride immersed in dazzling sonic palettes.

Nviiri The Storyteller – Falling ft KiDi (KE)

Amidst several beautiful melodies out of Kenya, Nviiri’s ‘Falling’ is an instant earworm and heartwarming number. He features Ghana’s KiDi as they both go on a quest to piece their emotions together. 

Fik Fameica – Happy Gang ft Slick Stuart x Dj Roja (UG)

Ugandan Rapper Fik Fameica connects with Slick Stuart & DJ Roja on this Amapiano anthem to deliver a party starter! Zero worries, zero stress, just laughter, good vibes and groovy tunes on this side. Life is already hard enough. Just dance!

Moonchild Sanelly – Undumpable (SA)

In a new two-single pack, South Africa’s Moonchild Sanelly presents ‘Undumpable’ and ‘Jiva Juluka’. ‘Undumpable’ is a fiery refusal to let things go and demand for mending in a relationship that was strained during the lockdown while ‘Jiva Juluka’ is an Afro House song perfect for summer raves and fun times.

Add our Psst! New Stuff playlist to your library today and catch up on weekly updates of fresh music from across Africa.

Feel The Message of Love in Maya Asiyah Roze’s ‘The Warrior’

The product of a father from South Africa and mother from Lesotho who were exiled during the ‘70s, Palesa Bautloane’s background is as diverse as her musical offerings. Influenced by her parents’ love for music, attending a UB40 concert was the catalyst for her beginnings as a vocalist, arts activist and cultural practitioner. 

Having picked up the marimba in 1998, she still places the instrument at the center of her creations. She’d combine this instrumentation with her love for singing and augment it with her knack for poetry – a skill gleaned from listening to her older brother’s hip hop collection.

Now known as Maya Asiyah Roze, she fuses soul, jazz, ska—a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae, combining elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues—and dub into her iteration of afro-reggae. Recognised as the only practising female reggae artist in Botswana, Maya aims to promote the genre with the help of producer and engineer Maleho Boxcutta Makgothi – co-founder of the Gaborone-based bandcamp store Another Tuesday Music Concept Store.

Explaining her attraction towards reggae, Maya cites the genre’s history of providing upliftment to society’s downtrodden. “As an advocate of the people,” she says, “my job is to always evoke love in them… even during the tough times”. To this end, the 37 year old artist has released her debut solo project – the first installment of her M.A.R.S (Maya Asiyah Roze Sings) series titled The Warrior.

Beginning with the project’s artwork, the theme of love in a time of war is palpable and captures the singer’s activist roots. The EP conceptually explores this with Maya playing the role of the Warrior’s lover. Over its six tracks, the notion of love is expanded upon with the lyricism and musicality accompanying each phase of the story. “I hear these melodies,” Maya says contextually, “… and my heart just does the writing”. The album blurb similarly summarises her musings while shedding light on our protagonist’s journey and revealing what messages are cocooned within the offering:

Having recovered the ancestors’ stolen land and avenging her fallen King Romi, Maya celebrates the close of a successful campaign with her allied army and their tribal leaders. With wanton revelry, they dance the night away to the psychedelic sounds of dub and jungle beats. In the midst of this riddim session, Maya meets and makes her love bond with the Warrior King Van and together they slip away from the rigors of war to find new adventure on the battlefields of love.”

Listen to Maya Roze Here

Drawing on her family history – deeply affected by her parent’s exile during apartheid – Maya delicately posits her Setswana lyricism in the realms between joy and strife. Showcasing her songwriting and composition skills, she takes on a visceral journey that wraps storytelling and organic African sounds into tropical landscapes. “I can’t tell anybody else’s story about love besides mine,” Maya shares. “This is the story of how I see myself and how amidst all of life’s challenges I have a main purpose… to heal, love and serve”.

Constructing her story with a partner in tow, Maya reveals an ethos that prioritises the collective in a way that encourages growth and building. By situating love within a situation of war, the multi-faceted artist is hypothesising that interpersonal bonds are worth fighting for. With a second installment of her volume titled The Lover on the way, she hopes the support of Another Tuesday Music Concept Store can inspire the same communal development of Botswana’s musical scene and population. “I’m very passionate about community development and how we relate to each other,” Maya says “I want to sing about love of self, love of what we do and be a symbol of hope.”

Follow Maya Asiyah Roze on Twitter.

GENGETONE—THE SOUND FROM THE STREETS OF KENYA

-Lammy

Kenya’s music scene has experienced a shift in the last few years with Gengetone growing to become the most popular sound locally and developing a healthy competition for the Nigerian and Tanzanian music that have enjoyed almost total dominance among music consumers on a commercial level in the East African country.

Being a sub-genre of Genge-rap—a genre birthed from the infusion of hip-hop and dancehall music in the early 2000s, Gengetone draws its influences from more dancehall music and less hip-hop. The Kenyan audience have widely accepted this new wave as theirs amidst controversial reactions due to the vulgarity of the lyrics and the music videos that display a lot of “twerking”…

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The music’s OFF CENTER…

Lammy

There’s a depth lacking in conformity and over here, we’re champions for those doing things a little differently, finding new lines in which they can draw up their dreams. As is tradition, this beauty in all its richness and ‘weirdness’ will be celebrated every chance we get. So, speaking in a language that transcends all barriers, we’ve made you a playlist, and it’s “Off Center“. Featuring some of the best alternative music we’ve heard from across the continent carefully curated and handpicked for an experience that leans a little left from the usual vibes. 

Continue reading “The music’s OFF CENTER…”