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Consider yourself introduced to Lyma, a Cameroon based singer and songwriter, whose striking debut project ‘Une Question de Feeling’ is a tour de force. Packed with afro-pop club-ready anthems that boast fiery beats and infectious melodies that’ll have you dancing from the get go, ‘Une Question de Feeling’ also features contributions from the likes of N.A.T. and Krys Kofi.
TheSymphny establishes himself as one of the most exciting artists to come out of South Africa with his stellar ‘Moments’ EP. The three-track project wonderfully encapsulates the rising artist’s poignant and self-reflective songwriting whilst sombre yet sophisticated soundscapes serve as the perfect backdrop to his endearing tones. With singles ‘Back To You’ and ‘Let You Go’, TheSymphny creates a soothing atmosphere, one that comforts and consoles from start to finish.
Boutross Mwebia Munene is a rapper,producer and singer who resides in Nairobi, Kenya. Referring to his genre as ‘Shrap’ which stands for ‘Sheng’ a language mostly used by the urban youth, the artist hones an appealing presentation with a smooth flow of rhythm and lyricism. His solo project ‘Wrong’ is making waves in the Kenyan hip hop scene after making it to Mr. Eazi EmPawa Africa’s List.
Serving as the follow up to debut single ‘rektless’, Ugandan artist mwami returns with another stellar track in the form of ‘diego’. Capturing the same energetic vibe as its predecessor, ‘diego’ is another intoxicating electronic dance cut that sees the rising artist’s sedated and direct vocal delivery pierce through the persistent beat penned by v@l and yoshii swxdn. Taken from his forthcoming EP (out via Double Denim Recordings), ‘diego’ is a short and sweet slice of what makes mwami such a compelling artist.
Having already released a handful of EPs this year in the form of ‘Rema’ and ‘Freestyle EP’, the former of which features breakthrough single ‘Dumebi’, Nigerian Afropop artist Rema continues to impress with new project ‘Bad Commando’. The four-track EP, which features production from the likes of Honter, Altims, Oliver El Khatib and 1mind, is another blistering slice of the rising artist’s refreshing sounds.
Ghanaian singer, songwriter, engineer and DJ Amaarae delivers her seductive and utterly captivating new single ‘LIKE IT’. Born in New York, raised in Atlanta and Accra, Ama Serwah (which translates to “woman warrior/” or “princess of war”) released her stunning debut EP ‘Passionfruit Summers’ and most recently featured on Kojey Radical’s ‘Cashmere Tears’ project. With ‘LIKE IT’, Amaarae shines once more as her sweet and soulful vocals flutter atop the bass-heavy beat.
Nairobi based singer/songwriter Ku Kim’s latest single ‘Peridot’ is a titillatingly vibrant and atmospheric cut that strikes quite the chord. Driven by a crisp beat penned by Mzati that features some stunning woodwind sections, ‘Peridot’ shines brighter with Ku Kim’s enchanting vocals, encompassing an energy that’ll soothe your soul from start to finish.
If you’re looking for a tune that’s perfect for the dance floor, look no further than ‘rekltess’, the infectious debut single from Kampala based artist mwami which dropped this past April. With a flow that’s reminiscent of Azealia Banks’ infamous ‘212’, mwami navigates through the electronic pulses with a playful delivery that boasts his refreshing songwriting and overall execution. A wonderful introduction to his musical journey, we can’t wait to hear what mwami has in store for us next, for now though, tuck into ‘rektless’ here.
Originally from Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Grace-Attalie’s striking debut EP ‘Polluted’ is arguably one of the most intriguing and exciting things you’ll hear. Each of the project’s three brilliant and exploratory songs unravels and showcases a different layer to the singer/songwriter’s exceptional musicality – whether it’s the infectious melodies and unique vocal delivery on ‘Eggshell’ or the haunting atmospherics on ‘Sombre Storm’, Grace-Attalie keeps you on your toes from start to finish.
Austin ‘Tay’ Iornongu Iwar aka Tay Iwar describes his music as “Afro-Fusion”, and quite frankly, there’s no better way to describe it. With his debut album ‘GEMINI’ (out via Soulection) just around the corner, the Nigerian based artist has shared ‘HOW’, a breezy and super smooth cut. Produced by DoOzyBeatz#5HVNNID, the track boasts a powerful and slick beat which serves as the perfect backdrop for Iwar’s sensational vocals to work their magic.
LOSTINSAVANNA (aka Bow James) is a rapper, producer, graphic designer and self proclaimed “art enthusiast and creative extraordinaire” from Nairobi, Kenya. A member of the O.D.D. Society, the rapper is highly involved in the East African creative sector through his audio/visual collaborations with the new wave of indie artists on a mission to shape the future of contemporary African culture. Experimenting with a fusion of psychedelic trap, LOSTINSAVANNA just dropped his debut project ‘Frequency ’95’ which he describes as “an exploration into the sonic world of chaos and euphoria” and features the fiery ‘Red Coupe’. The track’s pounding instrumentation, courtesy of Bow James and Adam Dire, serves as the perfect backdrop for the rapper’s spirited delivery and fiery flow.
There’s a slang word Kenyans use for what French/Kenyan artist Stephane Stalon and producer KiliHippie have achieved with their collab track “IMMM.” The word ‘tamu’ (directly translating to “sweet” in Swahili) is hummed and howled by Nairobi audiences when they hear a silky smooth, jazz-infused track, led by laid back melodies and spaced out drums with brave lyrics and vocal vulnerability delivering subtly powerful truths. Stephane Stalon is a member of young music collective called “Bahati Bookings” on a mission to transform the Kenyan scene with their heartfelt energy, fearless fusion music and skilled lyricism, bridging the space between rap and jazz culture.
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Don Ngatia’s voice exudes an angelic melancholy spirit that belies his youth. Graceful melodies weave around a soulful plucked guitar, echoed by delicately layered harmonies to build a eerily beautiful atmosphere. Born in Kenya, Ngatia relocated to Boston after attending Berklee College of Music. His songs speak of mortal pain and resilient spirituality, painted by poetic lyrics revealing his deep-rooted romanticism. His 2014 breakout hit “Solitude” seamlessly ebbs and flows from sadness to joy, channeling raw acoustic energy to create a truly poignant piece of music.
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“Oh Wah” is a powerhouse collaboration between Kenyan artist Blinky Bill and Nigerian singer-songwriter Nneka. Featured on Bill’s new album “Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Tales”, the song showcases his rich production skills, as a heart-wrenching blend of echoing guitars, tribal chanting and driving percussion interweave beneath lyrics crying out for peace. The chemistry between Blinky Bill’s thick, low voice and cryptic wordplay and Nneka’s husky voiced howls creates a distinct energy, making for an infectious anthem with an important message from an African perspective.
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Nairobi based artist Loa Myst drops her debut single “In The Waters”, a soulful blend of synths and live instrumentation side chained to the pulsing heartbeat of minimalist drums and a surprising bassline that slides across an intricately layered sonic collage. Myst’s voice is strong, smoky, soothing and sweet all at once, switching effortlessly from rich RnB melodies to percussive rap breakdown as the track’s production morphs fluidly as the track progresses; the song is produced by Kenyan artist Nu Fvnk, a co-founder of the fast growing Producer/DJ collective, EA Wave, producing an eclectic cross section of some of the most alluring alternative pan-African artists. The pair’s full length collaborative EP “WADE” is set for release in November 2018.
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Sage’s songwriting prowess wields the power of her skilful instrumentalism. Whether leading jazz-driven ballads or adding an artfully minimalistic touch to electronically-infused tracks, her music bridges the gap between the indie and mainstream cultures of Kenya’s diverse scene. Produced by her longterm partner Dillie, “Watching You” is a soulful blend of timeless melodic RnB and down-tempo trap that emphases the strength of her harmonised vocals, ahead of a delightfully unexpected twist.
Kemunto’s delicately smooth vocals belie her raw, emotional vulnerability. Born and raised in Nairobi, the artist describes her sound as “afro-urban soul driven music”, penning a range of RnB inspired slow jams infused with reggae grooves. Accompanied on guitar by Edwin Majanta, her new acoustic version of the track “Maybe” is angelically haunting, consoling and beautifully heart wrenching all at once.
Rotation combines with fellow member of Sudanese collective nuslang. on banger ‘Affin Affin’. The track adopts a ‘trap-zanig’ style, fusing Sudani instruments with contemporary hip-hop to inject a refreshing dynamic energy. Driven by Rotation’s unique flow and a spine-chilling guitar solo by producer WillyWill, “Affin Affin” is a powerful example of the strength of the East African country’s vibrant rap scene, incorporating Western influences to create new original gems.
MaMan’s triple-threat ability to sing, rap, and produce with equal strength mark him as one of the most notable talents to come out of Sudan in recent years. Entitled after the year of his birth, his latest album “1991” aptly represents the struggle of a young Sudanese creative fighting their way through the country’s economic and socio-political strife, a scenario that many of the marginalised young generation can relate to. Sonically, “1991” boasts genre-fusing electronic beats and diverse hip-hop flows, running the gamut of emotions as the mood shifts from uplifting positivity to brooding introspection, tied together by dark, swirling production.
Vallerie Muthoni raps with the conviction of legends like Foxy Brown and “Left Eye” Lisa Lopes. Delivering subversive content and controversial quips with a smile, laughs and cracks jokes in a collection of dialects, setting up stories in English before the punchlines come in Swahili, drawing listeners into her youthful world and then hitting them with a wisdom that belies her years. Collaborating on the playful energetic, track “Brown Suga”, producer Kahealbeats brings out the best in Muthoni, demonstrating his ability to enhance and evolve his artists’ vocal delivery as Muthoni finds melodic pockets in his hard-hitting beat. “Brown Suga” is the first release off of Muthoni’s upcoming EP “the Wavey Soul.”