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5 albums to discover this week

This week, an Asake album full of killer singles, Sampa the Great's Zambian connection, Sudan Archives's in full artistic form, Greentea Peng's soulful politricks and FLVME's vulnerable LP.

Mr. Money With The Vibe

Asake

Nigerian artist Asake released his debut album Mr. Money With The Vibe, following his four-track EP Ololade unveiled back in February. It features the remix of the single “Sungba” (the original was included in the EP) with none other than Burna Boy. American rapper Russ is also present on “Reason”. This first full-length album encapsulates Asake’s peculiar style which fuses together Afrobeats with amapiano. Asake’s brand is also well illustrated in the album’s cover showing him smiling hungrily in the mugshot of a wanted poster. This self-fulfilling prophecy expressed in the album’s title will see “Mr. Money with the vibe” continue to earn bankrolls with his contagious sound.

Listen here.

As Above, So Below

Sampa the Great

The Zambian artist returns with a new album As Above, So Below, her latest work designed to highlight her Zambian connection. Her recently released “Never Forget”, featuring Chef 187, Tio Nason and Mwanjé. Sung both in Bemba and in English the song pays homage to zamrock, a musical fusion that emerged in Zambia during the 1970s. “I thought it was fitting to pay homage to those who came before me and merge past, present and future through music and imagery; passing the baton from one generation to the next”, she said. In the album, Sampa the Great also delves into her relationship with femininity as an African woman to create an Eve persona: “the highest version of Sampa that speaks to all facets of her womanhood”.

Listen here.

Natural Brown Prom Queen

Sudan Archives

American violinist Sudan Archives returns with her second album to further reaffirms her all-round artistic status. Going from disco infused songs like the opener “Home Maker” to the almost undefinable “NBPQ (Topless)” with its Persian vibes, to the upbeat and empowering “Selfish Soul”, to R&B ballads like “ChevyS10”, to soul track like “FLUE”… Always with a touch of her signature violin virtuosity. Yet, not quite all over the place as her 18-track album manages to stay cohesive despite exploring a diverse range of genres. The creativity shown in the music videos is also worth mentioning with her colourful and provocative visuals. Natural Brown Prom Queen explores themes that intertwine with Sudan Archives’ experiences. It deals with race, womanhood, relationships and places, displaying both the artist’s vulnerabilities and confidence.

Listen here.

GREENZONE 108

Greentea Peng

“Super Green”  Fifth Element’s character Ruby Rhud would say about Greentea Peng’s latest album: a qualifier which completely describes the vibe of GREENZONE 108. With effortless cool, the British artist’s soulful voice is sure to relax the mood. “GREENZONE 108 is a free flowing, open field of expression”, Aria Wells said. “A collection of works accumulated over a transitional period of my life. An elevation of sorts from MAN MADE, in the sense that so much has changed and formed in the 2 years since that conception. GREENZONE 108 is freer, less formed and more of an open dialogue/ space exploring all different types of topics from spirituality, and originality to mental health and politricks hence why this is a mixtape and not an album.

Listen here.

Germander II

FLVME

South African rapper returns with a follow-up to his 2019 EP, this time on GERMANDER II. The album opens to soft piano melodies and emotional lyrics dealing with faith, relationships and the musical industry’s ruthlessness. A sad undertone which he pursues throughout the 13 tracks. The tile refers to a delicate species of flower which resonates with FLVME’s vulnerable side: “I feel this best describes me, I am that flower, a seed planted, watered, left to dry up, revered in my season of blossoming and allowed to bloom, and that’s what the title is for”. The album features Kewand & Mellow Don Picasso, Die Mondez, Yung Tyran (a good collaboration for the title “No Discussion”), The Bug Hash, DaVionne, Stogie T, Jay Millian and Ben September. 

Listen here.

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