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5 albums to discover this week

This week, Nigeria’s vibing to Adekunle Gold and Sensei Lo’s new projects, while Teno Afrika drops his second amapiano album. Gonora Sounds return with new Zimbabwean sungura songs, and J.P. Bimeni sings about hope with the Black Belts. 

Where You Are

Teno Afrika

Following his debut album released in 2020, 22-year-old South African producer Teno Afrika is back at it again with a new set of songs, bringing more vocalists and expanding his rhythmic subtlety, layered with warm bass, and adorned by amapiano’s telltale shakers, hi-hats and mid-tempo shuffle. Released via Awesome Tapes From Africa, the project features different artist friends from Teno’s entourage, such as Diego Don on the two driving, pad-propelled tracks “SK Love” and “AK Love”, singer KayCee on “Fall In Love”, Stylo MusiQ on the icy closer “Duma ICU” and Leyla’s smooth voice on the eponymous track. 

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Pisces Moon

Sensei Lo

Pisces Moon is the official debut from Sensei Lo, a well known figure in the exciting Lagos electronic scene. The three tracks of the project take us in different directions: “Don’t Let Go”, featuring Austrian multi-instrumentalist Guido, ushers us gently in jazzy deep house; “Synchronicity”, with Paul Word, blends tribal house with Afrobeat(s); “Vanacula” takes us on a dark, deep and physical drum funk trip, paved by the eccentric vocals of Roli. 

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Give Me Hope

J.P. Bimeni

In the writing of his new album, J.P. Bimeni was strongly inspired by leaders and creatives such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Lee Scratch Perry. Grooving between classic ‘60s Motown, Stax-inspired soul and Afro-funk, Give Me Hope is his second album with The Black Belts, following on from 2018’s Free Me. “Music is my great escape. My debut album was me finally doing what I wanted to do and feeling like music is my freedom,” he says, adding that his frame of mind evolved while recording Give Me Hope. “You realize that you have a platform that is much larger than you expected, so you have to question yourself: What am I trying to express? Who am I?” 

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Catch Me If You Can

Adekunle Gold

Adekunle Gold is hailed for being one of the most exciting artists in contemporary Nigerian music, transitioning in a few years from highlife predilection to a now chiseled, long-haired pop sensation, with millions more streams and sold out international venues to match. He now returns with Catch Me If You Can, which features his recent hit “High” with Davido. “Right now, what matters most is my family and making sure I remain a good man, father et cetera. Also, as much as possible, I want to live”, he told us in an interview. “I’ve become unbothered about things I used to be afraid to do”.

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Hard Times Never Kill

Gonora Sounds

Hard Times Never Kill is an album about survival and beating the odds, straight from the streets of Harare. It showcases charismatic blind sungura musician Daniel Gonora as a guitarist, vocalist, composer, songwriter and bandleader, and his prodigy drummer son Isaac, who has been playing with his dad since he was four years old. The project, which features some of the country’s best sungura musicians (Malizani Mbewe on bass, Nelson “Mr. Longman” Mutanda on lead guitar and Bothwell Nyamhondera on production), documents the grace, strength, and optimism that – somehow – shines on in Zimbabweans against all odds.

This week’s releases also include: