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8 albums you should listen to this week

This week, MHD and Laylow represent French rap, while Rey Sapienz & The Congo Techno Ensemble reflect on the future of a country in crisis. Elsewhere, Enny and Willow Smith sing about personal evolution and Mariah The Scientist takes time  to heal her wounds. Finally, DJ Manny lovingly blends footwork with R&B and Durban Gogo explores amapiano with Unlimited Soul.

L’étrange histoire de Mr. Anderson
Laylow

The French rapper has released a collaboration with Alpha Wann, Damso, Foushée, Hamza, Nekfeu, Slowthai and Wit. On it, he advises us to be attentive, active listeners,, saying: “It’s a second album, yes, but I did not try to talk to everyone… I wanted to speak to those who have dreams, who feel stuck in the tunnel and struggle to see the light at the bottom.”

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Under Twenty Five
Enny

The up-and-coming Enny, who has already drawn comparisons to Jorja Smith, has released her first EP consisting of her hit singles “Same Old,” “I Want” and “Peng Black Girls.” Enny defines the project, which was born during the most confusing period of her 20s, as follows: “The songs reflect not only my journey into quitting my job to do music but also everyone involved in bringing this to life from meeting PAYA who nurtured and produced the tracks to just connecting with some really amazing people at Root73.”

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Mansa
MHD

For his third album, the rapper gets deep, evoking both his success, his life in the ends and prison. Always faithful to his singular trap style, he surrounds himself with artists who fit the bill, namely Tiakola, Naira Marley and Adekunle Gold. His track “Afro Trap Part. 11” has already reached 23 million views.

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Signals In My Head
DJ Manny

On his new album, the producer navigates between R&B melodies and footworks beats. This project marks a turning point in his career: “[it’s] something that no one has ever done before, that is to say an album with R&B love, while remaining in the style footwork, juke, house, techno, with some breaks. I just want people to know that there’s love out there.” By immersing us in classic 90s Chicago house, DJ Manny’s new music is also reminiscent of  the golden age of Detroit techno music. He navigates between different styles and shocases the growth that is bearing fruit following a long artistic journey: “It’s not a problem to be discreet with your music, when you’re trying to improve yourself and your sound.”

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Ry Ry World
Mariah the Scientist

The artist exposes all her vulnerability on this new project. Built on a sample from “Cry Me a River,” the track “Revenge” perfectly embodies the R&B singer’s intentions: “I want to encourage my fans to tell it like it is, because it helps define your character. If you’re going to be the bad guy, own it.”

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lately I feel EVERYTHING
Willow

The 20-year-old artist dedicates this new project to her long artistic journey. Having worked on the album since the beginning of the pandemic, she is exercising deep introspection through a symbiosis of alternative rock, pop-punk and emo, with touches of Avril Lavigne, My Chemical Romance and Paramore. Willow explains: “I thought it was a great way to express the new energy I wanted to bring to my music.”

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Na Zala Zala
Rey Sapienz & The Congo Techno Ensemble

Nyege Nyege Tapes has released Rey Sapienz & The Congo Techno Ensemble’s debut album. The founder of Hakuna Kulala, a sub-label of the Ugandan collective, Rey Sapienz is a key rapper in Congo scene, although he now lives in Uganda due to the civil war raging his native country. The album features traditional percussionist Papalas Palata and rapper Fresh Dougis, with whom he formed The Congo Techno Ensemble. This initiative’s goal is to evoke the Democratic Republic of Congo’s past, present and future through radioactive techno-dancehall rhythms with “open and radical rhymes” that reflect their concerns about their native country’s future as well as a hope for peace.

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Break Through
Unlimited Soul & Durban Gogo

Two South African artists explore amapiano. In particular, the DJ draws on her diverse influences, from Durban to Pretoria, where she once lived, mixing house and gqom. This is a project for which she is excited to bring a dose of femininity, saying: “We need more women. Men are boring. Women have a better work ethic. Men get away with doing the same thing all the time. We don’t have that luxury.”

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