Psst! Cool Stuff: 7 African Songs To Listen To
This edition of cool stuff places special focus on sounds Africa has been fusing into dance floors. We all witnessed the buzz of Amapiano, captivating drums so hard to resist even after almost two years of holding our speakers hostage. This year also saw the blossoming of electronic dance and deep house music on the dance floor and at raves.
Now imagine the fusion of Afro-house and Afro Techno music, the Amapiano drums, and its spiritual and liberating groove with the deep effects of Electronic dance music. A no-brainer right? Well, it’s already happening and we’ve curated these sounds, especially for you so crack open that prosecco and take off your shoes.
DJ Lag & Sinjin Hawke – Raptor (SA)
Aptly described as a sonic innovator, Dj Lag is one of the pioneers taking gqom-South African electronic music into the global spotlight. In 2019, the Dj and producer notably worked with Beyonce on ‘My Power’, a track off her Lion King soundtrack album.
Raptor is a track off his recent Meeting With The King album featuring 15 fabulous tracks expertly mixed and mastered in his style.
If you’re familiar with ballroom culture and voguing, this song will resonate. Even with the thumping rhythm on this project, Dj Lag claims to have slowed down the tempo, describing this as slower than usual. If you like Raptor, be sure to check out the entire album.
DJ Tunez & Amexin – Lambo (NG)
If there was a word to describe whatever essence absolute jamz and hit songs require, there’s no doubt that Dj Tunez has got it. The DJ and Producer gained notoriety and widespread acknowledgment in 2016 with the release of the infectious Iskaba a collaboration with Wande Coal which was simply a hit. Ever since, Dj Tunez has given us Get up where he featured flash and Sarz as well as other bangers featuring the likes of Wizkid, Juls, Omah lay, and Burna boy. On Lambo, Dj Tunez teams up with rising star Amexin to create a fusion of Afro-pop and Amapiano sounds. A timeless tune with the ability to get bodies moving at the clubs and raves.
Sun-El Musician – Rata ft TNS & Skillz (SA)
Sun-El is a self-taught South African disc jockey, music producer, and songwriter. With multiple platinum records to his name, Sun-EL puts out music that promotes ubuntu and community.
His style takes on a fresh multi-dimensional approach to dance music, readily experimenting with afro-house, soul music, Amapiano, and electronic dance music. Rata is the second track off a two-track project titled ‘Afro-electronic dance music: Interstellar’.
This project is a prime example of how Africa is diversifying dance music. Listening to the song feels like that vacation you’re always promising yourself or rocking side to side in a dimly lit rave remembering all the times someone you really hit it off with pulled a “fade and disappear” on you. Truly spiritual stuff
Esa & Mervin Granger – Luxarama (Midnight Maurauders mix) (SA)
Esa is a true musical polymath fusing Kwaito house and Afro disco with the percussions and grooves of electronic music. He is a Producer, DJ, and music curator. Drawing from his indigenous roots, Esa has taken these sounds across Europe giving the nightlife a taste of his dynamic and cross-cultural music.
Over time, Esa’s unique style has garnered him a strong and loyal fanbase in Europe expectant for that edge he brings to the dancefloor. Like a continuous loop that draws you deeper into yourself and out, Luxarama is a solid reason to free your mind.
Zinoleesky – Rocking (NG)
Zinoleesky, Nigerian singer and songwriter has got the heartstrings of many in the palm of his hands. A beautiful boy fit for the covers of a fashion magazine, with his slender frame coupled with his emotional and passionate way of singing the things on his mind. Zino sings about life the way only someone who has experienced the downs and lows of rural living and working through having nothing to break free from systemic poverty can. No doubt he has made a name for himself. Produced by Niphkeys, Rocking fuses the almighty Afrobeats with Amapiano sounds telling a sultry tale of wild nights and desire.
Kato Change – Abiro (Riot stereo & SURAJ remix) ft Winyo (KE)
Kato is a self-taught producer and guitarist who draws inspiration from Afro-music, jazz, and house music. This song is from a project titled ‘The change experience’; a collaborative body of work giving room for self-expression of each artist and how they approach making music.
This version is a riot stereo and Suraj remix fueled by talented Kenyan Djs and they each brought their special gifts to make it the head-bopping jam that it is. This song is definitely my favorite pick for this edition.
Bryte – Mama Dey Party (GH)
Bryte is an exciting voice straight out of Ghana fusing experimental electronic dance music with funky rap and Afrobeats. So far, Bryte has successfully built a global following touring the UK and music festivals in Europe. Brtye’s style features infectious lyrics drawing from his Ghanaian origins and lingo such as Twi and Pidgin with elements of Azonto sounds because I can just picture myself doing that dance (you know the one) to this song.