Songs Of The Day: New music from Burna Boy, Naira Marley, Sarkodie, Zlatan, Zamir and more

Catch up on all the latest releases from around the continent

The last few months have been difficult. But with only a couple of days left until the end of the year, we’re trying to find more ways to be thankful and present in the current moment. While we’re still dedicated to amplifying and reporting the issues that have plagued us this year, we’ve now resumed our column, Songs of the Day as a nod to the artists putting out great music that serve as a momentary escape from all the grimness of the current news cycle.

Our last Songs Of The Day curation featured the new releases from Tekno, Reminisce and Adekunle Gold, DMW’s latest signing, Liya, Port Harcourt rapper, Kblacktheblack, dndSection, PsychoYP, Joeboy and more. Though we’ve been celebrating the release of our new print magazine, #WizMag and the release of Tems and Omah Lay from police custody in Uganda, we are still hoping for the recovery of the schoolboys that were abducted in Katsina state. To help dissipate the worrying thoughts about their safety, we’re bringing you the latest songs from around the continent that we believe can brighten your mood. These are the latest releases from Burna Boy, Sarkodie and Zlatan, Naira Marley, Zinoleesky, Zamir, King Kay and more. Dig in and enjoy.

Burna Boy – “Way Too Big”

Burna Boy has shared the video for “Way Too Big” one of the standout tracks from his latest Grammy-nominated album, ‘Twice As Tall’. The song previously served as fuel to his public social media rivalry, and even though we may never know for sure who the lyrics were addressed at, what’s certain is Burna Boy won’t back down from a fight.

The recently released Meji Alabi-directed video finds Burna Boy doubling down, and we watch him get into a boxing ring to fight a boxer. While he performs the taunting lyrics, “Oya do am if e easy”, the video follows his growth from an ambitious child to the big boss at a press conference with reporters and sitting on top of a billboard with his face on it. We expect that the new video will reignite fans’ enthusiasm as we approach the end of the year.

Sarkodie – “Hasta La Vista” Feat. Zlatan, Rexxie

While Nigerians debate over the shelf life of the Zanku wave he started, he was being captured in the studio with Sarkodie, Fuse ODG, and other African music talents as they recorded in a studio. Sarkodie has now released a new single featuring Zlatan, “Hasta La Vista”, and with the catchy street-hop beat produced by Rexxie, the song is sure to keep the Zanku wave going well into 2021.

Both rappers take turns delivering confident bars about their mainstream acclaim and pan African appeal over the dance-driven beats. The song was accompanied by a video to show the dance floor charm of the song as Sarkodie and Zlatan join dancers in the streets to display their different dance moves.

Naira Marley – “Koleyewon”

Naira Marley is closing the year with a string of new releases including a new tape from one of his label talents, Zinoleesky, and two new singles, “Chi Chi” and “Koleyewon”. While “Chi Chi” showed a rare romantic side of the controversial artist as he confirmed that “Marlians have feelings too” and delivered wedding-themed lyrics, for “Koleyewon” he resumed his vulgar ethos as he threatens his foes and mocks them; “O lon fuck pelu street/ O ri street lo ma fuck e up”.

The video directed by WG films is dedicated to the people who were killed during the EndSARS protests. It opens with a re-enactment of officers of the law opening fire on peaceful protesters while the rest of the video shows Naira Marley playing his anti-hero persona as the president of the Marlians. We see him tracking down and torturing the officers responsible for killing the innocent civilians. Though the song’s message is vengeful, the eerie Zanku beat Niphkeys produced for “Koleyewon” is still suitable for dance floors and we expect Marlians will be grooving to this while protests against bad governance and police brutality continue.

Zinoleesky – “Angeli”

Zinoleesky confirmed he’s not playing games with his career with his debut tape, ‘Chrome’ which offered 2 previously released tracks and 4 new ones. The opening track, “Angeli” stands out as he narrated his journey from his humble beginnings to his present celebrity status; “I felt like I’m haunted/ maybe one day I will be wanted.” Singing over the lightweight Afropop instrumentals produced by Sparkzy Beats in a mix of English and Yoruba, “Angeli” showcases Zinoleesky’s uncanny ear for writing catchy melodies.

‘Chrome’ is the young singer’s debut project under Marlian Music management and he already shared videos for the tape’s lead singles, “Ma Pariwo” and “Kilofese”. We’re also likely to get an accompanying video for “Angeli” with the song’s increasing popularity.

Zamir – “Funk Spice”

Earlier this year, Zamir reunited with the rest of the LOS trio to share their 3-track tape, ‘Tribe’. However, he has since continued his solo run by sharing new singles like “Ordre Du Jour”, “4000” and his latest single, “Funk Spice” which is the first song from his coming project.

“Funk Spice” is produced by Kufré who sets Zamir in a familiar synth-led hip-hop soundscape where he performs mosh-pit inciting bars; “This shit drive them wild/ Mosh pit like we looting.” The energetic performance he delivers on the song is what we’ve come to expect from him, as he barrels through different rap references from Kid Cudi’s “Don’t Fuck Up The Feng Shui”  and Jay Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”.  As a result, “Funk Spice” listens like a medley and builds anticipation for what’s to come from Zamir’s promised project.

Rayge Smith – “Ebor”

Awareness about the violence in Nigeria and the government’s inability to protect innocent citizens was at an all-time high for the most part of 2020. Even the usually apolitical entertainment scenes spoke up against police brutality during the EndSARS protests in October. Rayge Smith’s latest single, “Ebor” is similarly charged as the upcoming Afro-reggae singer took on the responsibility of educating listeners on the less-discussed violence and unrest in Benue State, Nigeria.

The song was released earlier in the year and is expected to feature as one of the soundtracks for a movie, “The American King”, starring Akon and Nigerian actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim. Though the movie is scheduled for international release in 2021, the singer has now shared the official music video for “Ebor” and it captures the song’s emotive appeal for peace and promoting cultural values. The video was shot at a rural location in Benue as Avalon Okpe directed scenes showing people wielding cutlasses and ready to fight. The video also celebrated the culture and essence of the Idoma people of Benue State as his indigenous lyrics are translated into English in the video’s subtext.

King Kay – “Salida”

North-London based Nigerian rapper, King Kay has shared the music video for his 2019 single, “Salida” which means “Exit” in Spanish. It’s his 3rd release for the year, following the release of the video for “Barry” and his latest single, “Perfect Peace”. “Salida” is expected to be the lead single for his coming project, ‘Winner’s Winter II’ and the song finds King Kay narrating his experience in a toxic relationship; “she was moving crazy/ are you sure she’s even your girl”. The video directed by FORA & TWLVE sets him in a garage where he performs his lyrics with a red cup in his hand.

Though we see some shorts of his muse in the video, it’s not clear if he eventually leaves the relationship like he says he would. He explained to us in an email that “Salida is about being in a situation with a beautiful woman that you can’t with and can’t live without. While you are tired of all the BS, you can’t get over how beautiful she is and her positive attributes.”

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You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu

ICYMI: Check out our pick of the best songs released last week