Songs of the Day: New Music from Tekno x Mafikizolo, Yaw Tog, Blxckie & more
Some of the best new drops from around the continent
Some of the best new drops from around the continent
After working tirelessly for the majority of the past quarter, crossing our T’s, dotting our I’s, and putting you unto some of the hottest new artists on the continent, our editorial team was left feeling burnt out and unable to deliver you, our ever-loyal community, the content that you signed up for these past few years. To that end, we took a much-needed editorial downtime to do some necessary housekeeping and realign ourselves with our mission of championing the sounds of tomorrow: today.
We know that it can be hard to keep up with all the new releases out there, even in a year when many of us had time to catch up with all the new music at our fingertips. So, in order to keep our content ever-changing and current, we’re rethinking the ways in which we put you onto new music; whether that’s via our radio show which premieres bi-weekly on No Signal or our regularly updated Apple Music and Spotify playlists or frequent round-ups like this one, we’re committed to keeping you on the pulse with the hottest sounds. Last weekend’s curation included new drops from Burna Boy, M.anifest, Ajebutter22, KDDO and Davido, Le Mav and Tay Iwar, and more. Today, we’re bringing you recent releases from Tekno, Yaw Tog, Blxckie, RnB Princess, and more. Dig in, enjoy and you’re welcome.
Late last year, Afropop superstar finally released his overdue debut album, ‘Old Romance’. The LP was preceded by its bubbly lead single, “Enjoy”, where the singer makes it clear that he’s only interested in living a pleasure-filled life over dance-ready neo-Highlife instrumentation. The singer has now shared the remix to the single, collaborating with iconic South African Pop duo Mafikizolo. The major part of Tekno’s catchy hook and the beat remains unchanged, with the only new additions being sung verses by the guests. “Enjoy (Remix)” also comes with a Clarence Peters-directed accompanying video, packed with bright colours and flamboyantly styled wears.
Nascent Ghanaian Drill superstar Yaw Tog released his debut EP, ‘TIME’, an exhilarating showcase of his abilities as a potential powerhouse. Following its blockbuster lead single, “Sore” featuring Stormzy and Kwesi Arthur, the teenage rap artist is continuing promotion efforts for the project with the release of a new video for the standout song, “Y33gye”, a bruising anthem touting his street cred. The video plays into the gritty aesthetic often employed in Kumerica music videos, showing Yaw Tog in the midst of his posse as they rap and singing with a delightfully menacing edge.
Last month, Ghanaian rapper Kwaku DMC released his latest mixtape, ‘Road to Traphouse 3’, a reiteration of his hood rich lifestyle and street-bred ideals. Off the tape, he’s shared “Most High” as the new promotional single along with a new music video. Over a sombre Trap beat, he raps of his lavish ways and immortalises his fallen brothers from the past. The video takes a very DIY bent, as is typical of Kwaku, showing him rapping his set with a relaxed candour in the kitchen area of his house.
YoungstaCPT’s debut album, ‘3T’, explored what it means to be deemed as coloured in South Africa, exploring the origins of that identity and taking unbridled pride in it despite past racist connotations. Over two years later, the Cape Town-based rapper is still garnering attention with a steady trickle of music video for select single, the latest being an accompanying set of visuals for standout song, “Kleurling”. Portraying the specifics of the song’s socially conscious incline, the video contains frames from the historic District Six museum, which contains artefacts and images pertaining to the Coloured experience. It also sees Youngsta rapping amidst people in two different hoods across Johannesburg and Cape Town, closing out with a montage of the variety of faces that make up these places.
As a solo artist and member of the alternative folk band Ignis Brothers, Dwin, the Stoic makes deeply affecting songs about the human experience. “Ifunayam”, his first single of the year and solo outing in a while, leans into the Nigerian singer’s increasing mastery of spinning emotionally stirring Folk ballads. Sung in the first-person perspective, and backed by a majestic combination of placid piano, gentle guitar plucks and sweeping strings, Dwin lays his cards down in front of a returning love interest, whose affection seemed to have wavered in the past and left him heartbroken. “There were nights when I thought the darkness would win/but you’ve come my way and I hope you stay”, he sings in the second verse, rejoicing at the return of his prodigal lover.
At the recent 3Music Awards, dedicated to celebrating creative achievements in Ghanaian music, Eno Barony picked up the award for Rapper of the Year, making her the first woman to win in that category. On the back of that significant win, she’s just shared the video for “God is a Woman”, the intro song on her latest album, ‘Ladies First’. On the song, she’s joined by singer Efya who sings the choral hook, as they declare women’s supreme worth and chuck the middle finger at those who would like to disagree. The music video employs religious symbolism and regal styling to get their point further across, as Eno and Efya perform their set in various bright backgrounds with a boisterous, joyous attitude.
The signs that it’s time to end a romantic relationship are often evident, it’s just about reading them and making the terminating move. RnB Princess’s new single, “Be Gone”, portrays the resolve it takes to exit a situation once things start to get irredeemably sour. “You’re looking back at me, I wonder who’s within/I see your insecurities escape from where they hide”, she poetically expresses over Noiz’s aqueous keys and gently thumping bass synths, laying out her justification for opting to dip. She’s joined by Fuga the Pirate, who seemingly plays the provocative, nonchalant love interest in his rap verse, forming a narrative counterpoint that makes “Be Gone” feel even more lived-in and compelling.
South African Rap breakout star Blxckie is getting set to release his debut LP, ‘B4NOW’. Ahead of its scheduled May 15th release date, the Fresh Meat alum has been stoking hype by dropping a visual album trailer and the pre-release single, “David”. The new song captures the irreverent, assertive charisma that has characterised Blxckie’s ascent into notoriety, as he dismisses his doubters and projects his growing greatness. Over spacey and booming Trap instrumentation, the rapper references the biblical story of David killing Goliath with stones, threatening opps and going on to remind us that money is his favourite conversation.
Cross River-born singer, songwriter and producer BIWOM has just released her debut EP ‘Confessions of A Rebel’, a succinct 6-track tape that finds her singing about life and love with help from collaborators such as Skales and P Classic. Standout opening track “Company” is an anti-love anthem which showcases the upcoming singer’s melodious vocals and her knack for writing relatable lyrics.
Over a brassy anthemic beat, she sings “Close to me, you think that’s where you’re supposed to be/I be moving antisocially/I don’t really want you in my company”, admonishing a love interest who has clearly hurt her in some way. For anyone who’s had several flings fizzle out right at their start, her words ring true as she says: “You’re perfect but you too dey lie/try no dey talk too much”. It’s a powerful introduction to the singer who clearly has a lot more to say.
Dennis is a staff writer at the NATIVE. Let me know your favourite the Cavemen songs @dennisadepeter