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9 albums to discover this week

This week, Eugy and Seyi Shay lead the way in Ghana and Nigeria, while South Africa hosts Ayanda Sikhade's jazz project and Mr JazziQ's label compilation. Habibi Funk explores Majid Soula’s Amazigh songs, Elza Soares and João de Aquino cover Brazilian standards, and El Dragón Criollo focuses on Colombian genres. Finally, Moses Sumney presents his utopian Blackalachia and Shay Hazan bridges the gap between Arab music. 

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Home Run – EP

Eugy

Following the release of his massive hit “My Touch”, Ghanaian-British artist Eugy wants to shine a light on his home country… and score. A true homecoming experience, his new EP attempts to cover all the biggest genres of the moment in the West-African country, and develop the highly creative dialogue taking place between the continent and its Afro-diasporic population. “It is actually for the world”, he told us in an interview. “I’m paying my respect to Ghana but I did make it with the aim of the world hearing the talent coming out of Ghana.”

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Live From Blackalachia

Moses Sumney

Moses Sumney is widely considered as one of the most beautiful revelations of the new American soul scene. Originally from Accra but now based in Los Angeles, the singer and composer impressed critics with his album græ released last year, which explored and revisited his soul and R&B inspirations. Following this success, Moses retired in the bucolic North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains to record Live From Blackalachia, his first live album scheduled for release on December 10. “Live From Blackalachia is a wild imagining of what can happen when we seek not just to reclaim nature, but to reintegrate with it”, he explained in a statement.

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Umakhulu

Ayanda Sikade

One of South African jazz’s most respected drummers, Ayanda Sikade returns with Umakhulu, his long-awaited sophomore release as a bandleader. Dedicated to his grandmother, Umakhulu features the talents of Nduduzo Makhathini on piano, young Simon Manana on alto sax and Nhlanhla Radebe on bass. The album’s nine tracks, composed and produced by Sikade, pay homage to the artist’s heritage — most noticeably on “Mdantsane” and “Nxarhuni River”, while forging onwards to a brave new world on others, like “Imithandazo Yeengelosi” (Prayer of Angels) and “Space Ship”. 

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Chant Amazigh

Majid Soula

Majid Soula is an Amazigh artist, singer, and activist who has lived in Paris since the 1990s. Emblematic of a new wave of Algerian artists emerging in the 1980s, he brings together the best of Arab-disco, highlife, and funk in his captivating productions. The explorative label Habibi Funk publishes today Chant Amazigh, an album of his best songs. “I am not a politician. I am above all an artist whose main concern is to present quality work, to contribute modestly to the development and enrichment of our Amazigh cultural heritage”, Majid says.

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Black Is Brown Entertainment Compilation, Vol. 1

Black Is Brown Entertainment

Known for South African anthems like “Woza” and “GUPTA”, former half of duo JazziDisciples, Mr JazziQ is undoubtedly one of the main leaders of the amapiano wave. With Black Is Brown Compilation, Vol. 1, he establishes himself not only as a serial hitmaker, but also as an ambassador to the next generation of talented and upcoming artists through his very own music structure. The project delivers an impressive lineup of vocalists and producers with 31 soon-to-be club bangers. 

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Pase Lo Que Pase

El Dragón Criollo

On his debut album as El Drágon Criollo, Colombian producer, musician and singer Paulo Olarte Toro finds a meeting place between bouncing Caribbean cadences and dance floor-ready beats. The project puts in contrast joyful and danceable melodies (opening track “La Número Uno”,  90s rock infused “La Brisa”, party-designed “Cumbia Fantasia”) with gloomy themes, Pase Lo Que Pase being inspired by “the situation that Latin America is experiencing at the moment. It talks about how the new generations are afraid of a situation that is no longer bearable, that people want a change and that they no longer care at what price, they no longer care if the price they have to pay is their life”. 

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Reclusive Rituals

Shay Hazan

Tel-Aviv based musician Shay Hazan is a composer, producer, bassist and bandleader. His versatile bass is frequently heard on national radio, providing the North African Gnawa grooves or the Afrobeat hits of tomorrow. For Reclusive Rituals, he composed from his home and then sent the recordings to a drummer in Berlin or a saxophonist in Tel Aviv to add a complementary rhythm or melody. “I made this album In order to satisfy the inner urge for simple grooves and the search for a different and new sound that draws inspiration from ancient places with great tradition, but still corresponds with the world and the period in which I live and the way I express myself”, he comments.

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Big Girl

Seyi Shay

On her new album, Nigerian singer and actor gradually progresses through all aspects of becoming a “Big Girl”, an experience propelled from the tumultuous emotions of relationships gone wrong to the hunger of an underdog in the entertainment industry, independent and a woman. With a combination of Afro-fusion, hip-hop and R&B, she dives into her sensual essence, showcasing her artistry through groovy upbeat records filled with 90s era nostalgia, speaking on self-love, break ups, broken friendships, and realized dreams. 

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Elza Soares & João de Aquino

Elza Soares

With Elza Soares e João de Aquino, the Brazilian diva Elza Soares returns in all simplicity accompanied by the guitar of João de Aquino. This is not the first time the two artists have worked together, having shared the stage for a long time in shows such as “Cantar ainda é remédio bom” and “Arrepios”. The album includes Brazilian standards such as “Que Maravilha” by Jorge Ben and Toquinho, “Super Homem, a Canção” by Gilberto Gil or “Meu Guri” by Chico Buarque. 

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