Songs of the Day: New Music from Timaya, Octopizzo, Dremo & more
Some of the best new drops from around Africa
Some of the best new drops from around Africa
We’re halfway through 2022, and it’s been an eventful year for Afropop. There’s been a torrent of great new music, spawning a massive stack of inventive smash hit songs. From Highlife-infused Ghanaian pop, to the unrelenting force that is Nigerian street-pop, to South Africa’s indomitable Dance scene, to tantalising Drill explorations in East and Central Africa, and much, much more, we’re living through abundant and musically expansive times.
Every week, tonnes of songs from African artists make their way to digital streaming platforms, and wading through them can be intense. That’s where The NATIVE’s Songs of the Day column comes in to help. We go through as many new releases as possible, spotlighting them here, two to three times every week. Making up for the column’s absence at the end of last week, this curation includes new drops from Timaya, Dremo, Fresh Meat alum Groovy Jo, and more. Tap in.
Iconic Nigerian singer Timaya returns with “Get My Money Right,” a groovy single reliant on his knack for storytelling and resonant lines. Serving as his third release of the year, the melodious number sees Timaya talk about getting money right and standing by your principles. Over a boisterous, mid-tempo beat, Timaya reiterates his focus on securing his bag, regardless of brazen hate or backhanded comments.
To mark 53 years since Tom Mboya was assassinated, Octopizzo dedicates his latest single to the beloved political leader, rapping impassioned quips centred on pan-Africanist ideals. A crisp video accompanies the versatile number which is characterized by lush green background and constant references to the late political leader. The harmonious background symphony perfectly complements Octopizzo’s voice over Keith Wamz’s folk-indented hip-hop beat.
Just over a month after teaming up with Sherro for “Stop,” Skillz 8Figure reunites with the same collaborator for his latest single, “Moves.” Over an afro-swing beat, the pair boast of their affluence, with Skillz’s infectious drawl setting the tone for Sherro’s energetic rap verse. The song represents a carefree party, and that’s what its loose, accompanying video portrays.
Months after the successful release of the BNXN-assisted “Finesse,” Pheelz is still riding high off the song’s success and finding ways to elongate its impact across Afropop. The singer and producer drops a new East African remix. Pairing up with Rayvanny and Theecember, the viral number takes a different approach, bringing a new twist to the song and making it sound brand new as the artists go back and forth with Kiswahili, Pidgin and English.
In 2021, producer duo Mellow & Sleazy burst into mainstream acclaim for their guttural take on Amapiano, spawning viral hits like “Bopha” and “Nkao Tempela.” Month off their ‘Midnight in Sunnyside’ album, they’ve teamed with recent breakout act Chley for new single, “Wenza Kanjani,” which also includes instrumental contributions from TNK Musiq and BoontleRSA. Featuring a wall-rattling groove and atmospheric synths, the club-ready banger sees Chley set the tone with his buttery vocals, setting the tone for 2woshort’s dizzying standout verse.
While the drill music renaissance in Nigeria’s capital city is rightly getting its acclaim, there’s a similarly burgeoning movement happening in the country’s southwest. One of its more mercurial manifestation is “Kokoka,” the new single from rising rappers VRSD and OluwaMillar. Having shown an affinity for reflective themes and resonant lines, VRSD approaches his debut foray into drill with a loose but focused edge, rattling off clever mix of self-assured quips and idioms in Yoruba, setting an intoxicating tone for OluwaMillar to waltz in and put up a fine shift with his staccato flow.
Eight months after its original release, and a few weeks after its announcement, Groovy Jo has now shared the deluxe edition of her debut project, ‘The Groovy Way’. The new drop spots five newly added songs, including the recent pre-release single, “Feeling It.” One of the standouts among the additions is “Goodbye,” where her seditious bars immediately get you hooked to the hypnotic number. Combining her hard bars, stealth flow, and raunchy attitude Groovy calls out an ex-lover after realizing her worth. Throwing subliminals, it’s filled with rage-filled, slick-worded bars like, “Sweet nothings I was just sweet for nothing,” all culminating in an infectious kiss-off song.
Drill is finally creeping into mainstream Nigerian rap and, like colleagues Blaqbonez, Oladips and more, Dremo is not letting it go by. “Monaco” is a drill-infused number that sees the rapper boasting of his work ethic and glossy lifestyle, growling his way through Niphkeys’ thumping beat. The accompanying video is similarly energetic, but with a high concept twist that does its part in keeping things intriguing.