Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music 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.
Made Kuti ‘Free Your Mind’
Made Kuti, son of Femi Kuti and grandson of Fela, is sharing his debut single and music video for “Free Your Mind.” The new song, in which Made plays all of the recorded instruments, continues a trail that’s been blazed by his family for generations: pairing additive, deeply-layered afrobeat grooves with lyrics about sociopolitical consciousness. “‘Free Your Mind’ is very much inspired by the teachings I received from my father and his efforts to make me understand exactly what the black man and woman’s situation is in Nigeria, Africa, and around the world,” explains Made Kuti.
Simmy ‘Emakhaya’ ft. Da Capo, Sun-El Musician
South African songstress, Simmy, certainly shows no signs of slowing down. The Afro-house princess released her latest single titled “Emakhaya” featuring Da Capo and Sun El Musician earlier today. The single comes ahead of her highly-anticipated sophomore album Tugela Fairy- Made of Stars which is set to drop next month sometime. The project will follow her wildly successful debut album Tugela Fairy which was released in 2018. Simmy announced the release of “Emakhaya” on Twitter and fans are already loving it.
EMEL ‘Holm (A Dream)’
Tunisian artist Emel Mathlouthi is set to release the new double album, The Tunis Diaries, on October 23. The New York-based songwriter’s new 18-track project will feature new versions of songs from her catalog, as well as covers of the likes of Nirvana, Black Sabbath, David Bowie and more. The double album is split up into two sections “Day” and “Night,” and was recorded in Tunis while Emel was quarantined in her childhood home. Check out the hauntingly beautiful “Holm (A Dream)” above.
Shane Eagle ‘Xenergy’
Shane Eagle has decided to make up for postponed tours by releasing a visual album titled Xenergy: The Final Saga. In the 7-track project, he performs mostly songs taken off his 2019 project, Dark Moon Flwr. Each song is performed in a different scenario said to be drawn from the archive of his memories of feeling a sense of loss, pain, hope, inspiration and gratitude, themes which are all expressed in the Dark Moon Flwr. In each of the seven visuals, Shane Eagle is an omnipresent character existing in an atmospheric starry galaxy-like environment steeped in water and loaded with subtle symbolism.
Christian Kuria ‘Toroka’
Kenyan-American producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Christian Kuria comes through with the head-nodding new single “Toroka.” The ear-catching new single is a nod to Kuria’s Kenyan heritage, as he mentions “‘Toroka’ [is] a Swahili term that appropriately means ‘run away’ or ‘escape.’ ‘Toroka’ is about trying to evade issues or fears that, deep down, you know you have no choice but to confront at some point. I’ve battled anxiety for most of my life, an issue that’s exacerbated by being black in the United States. It sometimes can feel like we can simply ‘escape’ certain parts of ourselves by ignoring or outgrowing them, but some of those issues stick with us through life. They become our baggage. I wanted to capture that feeling of denial.”
Rvdical The Kid ‘Nasa’ ft. Amaarae
Amaarae connects with Beninese-Ghanaian producer Rvdical The Kid for the spacey and hypnotic new single “Nasa,” taken from his upcoming sophomore EP Little Planet. Check out the new video above.
Laik ‘Gimme Dat’
US-based Sierra Leonean artist Laik has shared his debut 5-song EP, Wanted, which offers up an upbeat blend of dancehall, R&B and afrobeats. Get into the project’s addictive lead single “Gimme Dat” above.
Que ‘We Don’t Play the Same Gqom’
Que, who is better known as one half of the multi-award winning Gqom duo Distruction Boyz, has dropped his first single titled “Night Vision” featuring Karyendasoul and Nana Atta. The single comes ahead of his highly-anticipated solo debut EP We Don’t Make the Same Gqom. The glom artist recently shared the news of his latest track via social media.