Spotlight: New Talent from OkayAfrica

There is no one alive today that can deny the cultural contributions of Africa to modern day music across the entire globe. From artists such as the late Fela Kuti, on whose life the Award-winning Broadway musical Fela is based, to new emerging cosmopolitan artists such as  Nneka and K’Naan, the influence of African music is still heard today. Even Artists that you would not traditionally think of as African influenced, such as The Roots, whose new album might be the best to come out this year so far, can easily tell you how they have been touched and influenced by it. In fact so much so that a new branch of Okayplayer, appropriately named Okayafrica, was launched earlier this summer devoted exclusively to covering the latest cutting edge African Artists. Considering the great overlap in our communities, we thought it best if we gave you a little sample of what they offer. Check out a few of our picks after the jump.

Just a Band – “Ha-He”

Just A Band is not just any band…they are THE biggest viral sensation to ever come out of Kenya, receiving over a million hits on their debut promo Youtube videos (see below for exactly why). This seamless blend of R&B and downtempo electronic sensation makes you re-evaluate what you thought an African band sounds like.

Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew – “Jacky Jacky”

Sierra Leone hip-hop super stars, Bajah and The Dry Eye Crew’s latest video breaks down the hot club move in “Jacky Jacky”. Be advised, a short flowing skirt might be necessary for maximum swooshing effect ladies. Fellas: this is where you show off what your mama gave you.

Zakee – “Steppin Up” Ku Ku Bass Remix

Zakee, who resides in Philly but is originally from Dakar, took a song off of MIA’s upcoming album, “Steppin Up,” remixed it, and added some African flavor with the Ku Ku bass. The result is causing a buzz across music blogs. Look out for his album this fall, which is being released on Green Owl.

Zakee – “Steppin Up” Ku Ku Bass Remix