Here are five new Top Afropop videos to get you through another ultra-hot 2023 July weekend. We start off with something on the cool side: Cameroonian maverick Blick Bassy has a contemplative new album called Madiba. No, not Mandela. Madiba is also a Douala word for “water.” And the album is a set of 12 fables on the theme of water. This is a live performance of the song “Loba,” showcasing Bassy’s rich and versatile vocal.
Listeners may recall Montreal-based kora player Sophie Lukacs from our 2022 report from the Nuits d’Afrique festival and also Journeys With the Kora. After seven years living in Bamako and studying kora, Lukacs returned to Montreal, formed a band to perform her own compositions and record her debut album, Bamako. This song, “Yala,” features the great Habib Koite.
Now it’s time to meet the summer heat with another cranker from Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba. The band’s excellent new album Tracings in the Sand once again showcases their blend of Zimbabwe roots with influences from Congo, Mali and beyond--pan-African pop at its best. And their vocal sound, led by Mathias Muzaza, is just to die for. Here’s the latest video from the band, “Nzara Hapana.” The title translates “no money,” and the song gives voice to a man assuring the family of his future bride that he will defend them against greedy relatives.
This just in from our friends Dub Inc, a reggae-fused, Algerian combo based in Paris. Here, they join forces with U.S. roots reggae band Iya Terra. The track is “No Boundaries.”
Last, but certainly not least, Teni is arguably the new leading lady of Nigerian Afrobeats, a world in which stardom can rise like a rocket and drop like a stone. Teni is riding the rocket these days. The video for “No Days Off” features her crew getting wild on the streets of Lagos, L.A. and Cape Town. The track is an ode to the late Kobe Bryant, and the video by Cruel Santino, A.K.A. SANTI, is gritty, kinetic fun.