Songs Of The Day: New Music From Adekunle Gold, Waje, Chike & More

another Friday to update your playlists

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. This Friday, we have several exciting new songs for you. Enjoy!


For his latest record Adekunle Gold digs deep into the mud of his existence. Over Kel P’s swirling keys and steady percussion, the musician charts the glory of his trajectory. He’s autobiographical in mentioning the exact places, the time period and how he’s progressed over the years. All this while keeping a sweetly defiant tone, even taking shots at the ineptitude of the ruling elite. “Our government no get time for ghetto; we only get love on manifesto,” he sings in the second verse. It’s a quietly exhilarating song, full of the humanity that’s made AG Baby one of the most beloved Afropop superstars. 


The trio behind this song have an unbelievable amount of hits between them and barely hours after release, “Like” is already sounding like one. It possesses the saccharine fluidity that’s popular across Afropop, but the accomplished singing of all three impressively captures the tale of longing at its center. They all take turns to sing the chorus of “If you like, we can both decide.” The groovy production as well contributes to its allure, a polished package that sounds ready-made for the charts. 


On “Tell Me Your Politik,” Nakhane brings fellow South African collaborators, Moonchild Sanelly and Nile Rodgers seamlessly into her world. Nakhane’s hook and a short verse lays down the sensitive direction of the record, a willingness to only get down with men whose ideals align with yours. Moonchild Sanelly’s verse builds around the story of an ex-lover, who offered bomb sex but changed when strangers were around. Breaking into an excitable run at the end, the song eases into its final rest, but not without causing your body to move.


Abuja-based rapper Detailmadeit boasts a prolific catalogue and he’s showing no signs of letting up. After releasing a slew of singles, ‘O.T The Mixtape Vol. 1’ captured the gritty-yet-exquisite feel of his music in project format, realigning his sonic vision with the hungry-for-success nine-to-five perspective he carries every day. “Hustlers Ambition” is cut from a similar cloth; it sees Detail waxing poetic over the twinkling drop of piano keys and a flamboyant percussive base. “Tryna see the scene blow up on a global scale,” he raps, again highlighting the transcendental scope of his goals. 


It’s been pretty clear for a while now that Chike is one of the most talented Nigerian vocalists. Having captured the hearts of many with his classic debut album ‘Boo of the Booless,’ word about a forthcoming sophomore has been going round. On “Hard To Find,” he offers something to wait on, a brilliantly cinematic record which drips about pure vocals. Alongside the legendary Flavour, he creates a heart wrenching song about the uniqueness of true love amidst the craze of the world we know. Backed by buttery percussion, swirling Highlife guitars and an evocative string section at the end, it’s a warm record that should follow you into the weekend. 


What do you get when two women icons of Nigerian pop collaborate? An absolutely freaking bop. “All Day” is produced by LeriQ, and the mastery associated with his name is evidently present. Sharp synths and syncopated violins form its bright Dancehall melody. As opposed to trying to fit over the beat, the duo of Waje and Tiwa effortlessly glide across, layering their golden vocals in the service of a good time.  


It has been quite a while since we got new music from Badboy Timz and it only makes sense the singer makes his return with a banger. “Iz Going” draws colourful influences from EDM, while mashing those eccentricities with the Fuji-inflected flavour of Timz’s vocals. A romantic affair is the subject of the Tempoe-produced song’s heartbeat-paced rhythm, seeing the singer make assurances that are as witty as they are affectionate. 


This warm record sees both musicians pleading the flavour of Abena’s love. It’s a terrain of pop-rap which iLLBliss expressively thrives in, even though he’s paid more homage to his Hip Hop roots in recent releases. “Abena” sees a return to that form, featuring a sweetly-laced hook from the Port Harcourt-bred Idahams. Given the shared history of Highlife between that part of Nigeria and its South East, the string-led overtones of “Abena” fits just perfect. iLLBliss still retains his bossy bravado, but the lighthearted nature of his delivery complements the chill intent of the record.