On Rotation: Songs You Need in Your Life This Week

Another weekly selection of the finest ten songs from African artists and the diaspora. Including some of my favorite drill tracks from this week, there is a vibe for everyone in this list.

1. LADIPOE, Buju – Feeling

Starting with a single I’m sure is on serious rotation for so many of us, from the TikTok videos to the stunning visuals, both Ladipoe and Buju understood the assignment with this track. Employing the tried and tested formula of witty rap bars contrasted by the sweetest of vocals, this track brings about an air of positivity. Then with Andre Vibez orchestrating this chill mid-tempo production, you just simply need to. bop your head with the beat and let every stress melt away.


2. M.I Abaga featuring Oxlade – All My Life

Rapper-singer collaborations rank very high on my list and what better pairing than M.I Abaga and Oxlade. Delivering this romantic single, the pair flow and bounce off each other effortlessly. I’m waiting on what’s next from M.I Abaga – an album on the horizon this year hopefully, but this track; plus Oxlade’s one-of-a-kind vocals really take center stage.


3. Jay Bahd featuring Skyface SDW, Reggie, Kwaku DMC, City Boy, Kawabanga & O’Kenneth – Y3 Y3 DOM

The first single off Jay Bahd’s latest album, the Asakaa boys bring us this hit from Ghana’s thriving drill scene. With sleek verses in twi, each rapper smoothly skates across the hard-hitting drill-inspired beat. With strong visual references highlighting the Kumerica subculture, the music video is equally worth a constant replay. 


4. Headie One – Pound signs

Still on the drill theme, from North-London’s finest, Headie one returns to the UK scene with his latest single. Produced by Es and Likkle Dots, I am obsessed with the signature drill 808 bass accompanied by the intricately layered synths and hi-hat triplets. The Daps-directed video has the cinematography of an Oscar-winning action film and we follow a Mafia-like storyline to mirror the theme of wealth touched on in his lyrics. 


5. Unknown T – Goodums

Still in London for the next track, both Headie One and Unknown T are really putting their respective ends on the map being the only two UK drill artists to perform on COLORS. The levels they have risen to unfathomable. On Unknown T’s ‘Goodums’ specifically, the track inspired by Tupac’s ‘Me and My Girlfriend’ has stayed on repeat. With his signature smooth flow over the bass-heavy beat, I am thoroughly looking forward to the mixtape.


6.  Amaria BB – Slow Motion 

Amaria refuses to let her sound be constricted by labels: her music infuses Dancehall and R&B elements, her Caribbean heritage is at the forefront as she incorporates Patois into ‘Slow Motion’. The aptly-titled track has a sultry summer feel as we hear her angelic vocals glide over the chilled beat. A warning though: the lyrics are dangerous. Might make you want to whine up on someone’s son… or daughter.

7. London – Tomi Agape

I stand by the fact that I have never heard a bad Juls beat in my life, and this is one of my absolute favorites. It, therefore, does not come as a surprise that I am in love with his collaboration with alté singer, Tomi Agape. An ode to the city, ‘‘London’ is an excellent vibe. With the video showing a montage of snippets that could easily have been selected from Snapchat memories, I love the vertical video as it captures this sense of nostalgia and the real beauty of the capital.


8. Marzi – Hustler

His latest single, Marzi does not disappoint. His infectious vocals, and unique cadence ebb and flow over the gentle rhythms. Straying from the UK’s popular afroswing sound, Marzi delivers his own distinctive blend of alternative R&B and Afro-fusion elements. The result is this highly addictive track that just screams romance, slow whines, and deep, deep feels.



9. Magic System – Voyager 

After a period of hiatus, the Ivorian quartet returns with a full 12-track album, “Envolée Zougloutique”. The creators of the classic tracks ‘Premier Gaou’ and ‘1 Gaou’ are ready to immerse fans in the purely Zouglou (Ivorian musical rhythm) atmosphere of Anoumabo.  With strong pan-African themes, the group has also mentioned wanting to “send a message of hope for youth and awareness especially about environmental protection”. Well worth the wait, the entire project is rotation.


10. Kabza De Small featuring Nia Pearl – Nia Lo 

For my amapiano track of the week, it is going to the Kabza de Small produced track featuring South African vocalist Nia Pearl. A foundational figure in amapiano, 2020 was a great year for the sub-genre and producer Kabza de Small respectively. The bright and jazzy house-style track extracts elements from local sounds and global R&B, Nia’s beautiful vocals highlight the excellent instrumentation.


On rotation is your weekly dose of musical geniuses to your library. Our editors update this playlist very frequently–so if you see something you like, add to your library.

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