Songs of the Day: New music from Ego Ella May, popsnotthefather, Tomilola and The Cavemen, and more
All the best songs from around the continent
All the best songs from around the continent
This mid-week selection includes new music from British-Nigerian singer, Ego Ella May, rising South African rapper, popsnotthefather, Nairobi based artist, capespring, as well as new singles from Nigerian artists like Tomilola and The Cavemen, Phaemous, Aussie Maze, Shaun Mba and Loti. Enjoy.
popsnotthefather emerged as one of the exciting new acts promising to take South Africa’s rap scene to the next level when he debuted “DTF” back in 2018. His feature on The Big Hash’s “Save Me” the following year showed that he was embraced by the scene and now he has finally released his debut project, ‘Not Now Not Ever(NNNN)’. With his unique blend of auto-tuned trap and R&B, the 12-track tape plays out like a psychedelic trip into his world of vulnerability, and mischief. For the lead single, “KARMAKOLLEKT”, he addressed his breakup with an unfaithful partner who he no longer trusts singing; “I know you’ve been lying/ you’ve been hiding”. The accompanying music video demonstrates the breakup before we see popsnotthefather performing his vocals as he heads to a nearby club where there are lots of potential replacements dancing under the glow of the neon lights.
As far as advice goes, “let go of things that stress you” is pretty much a textbook affair. Making a memorable song out of it requires a certain magic touch and Tomilola and The Cavemen show that they’re up to the task on their newly released collaboration, “Let Go”. The 3-minute long song transforms the familiar sentiment into a cinematic marvel as Tomilola questions why we try to “carry things too heavy for (us)”. Backed by the lightweight mix of live instrumentals and vocal reverbs, she sings with compassion and grace to encourage listeners to live their lives freely and let go of things they’re struggling with “cause no one knows tomorrow”. You may have heard this expression before, but the compelling performance from Tomilola and The Cavemen will reaffirm it till you feel lighter.
16-year-old Nairobi-based artist, capespring made his introduction into the music scene with his recently released EP, ‘Duality’. Over the 5-track duration of the tape, he showed his versatility as he effortlessly moved from lo-fi trap melodies to soulful R&B croons. Thematically, the EP narrates the teenager’s struggle with love and friendship, using somber and melancholic lyrics to convey his underlying feelings of anger and disappointment. “Weight”, the project’s emotional centrepiece mourns the loss of a relationship as he sings “I really can’t stand it/ I’m not just your practice” over the lighthearted beat that makes for an enjoyable listening experience.
Ego Ella May’s soulful jazz music is very comforting, and feels a bit like healing music. The rising British-Nigerian singer is expected to release the follow-up to last year’s ‘So Far’, ‘Honey For Wounds’ on the 26th of June. However, she has released the first track, “Give A Little” with an accompanying video directed by Natalie Wilson. Singing “Threw a lock of my hair in the ocean to give as offering/ Do I have to die for some peace?”, Ego Ella May’s lyrics convey some of the struggles of being a black woman though the airy production. Similarly, the video celebrates black beauty and freedom as we see Ego Ella May and a few other black men and women picnicking in an open field.
Phaemous has been releasing emotionally charged songs since 2018’s “Lina”. Though he’s been able to secure notable features like Blaqbonez and PsychoYP on “Cruise Control”, he still gets little fanfare outside his Abuja base. However, he hasn’t allowed that to stop him from releasing new music that sticks to his unique r&b sound with auto tuned melodies, romantic lyrics and featherlight beats. His latest single, “Forbidden” is a quintessential Phaemous song about getting his heart broken and trying to understand where he went wrong. Backed by the atmospheric production from UCEE, “Forbidden” is hypnotic and effortlessly sweet as Phaemous sounds like he’s wandering around in a daze while he bares his heart to his muse; “Now I’m finding escape/but I wan be with you”. The video he co-directed also shows him performing the song to a woman who eventually leaves him to perform the song by himself.
Aussie Maze looks committed to sharing more songs for fans during this quarantine period, as he follows up “Arya” which was released earlier this year, with a new single, “Hands in the Sky”, featuring Shaun Mbah and Loti. “Hands in the Sky” is addressed to their love interests who they promise to love. The trio make a good fit as Aussie Maze’s aloof sensibilities are supported by Shaun MBA’s more direct approach and Loti’s sensual lyrics. The result is a song that’s both tense and playful.
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