Songs Of The Day: New Music From Joeboy, Moliy, Blaqbonez & More
start your weekend the right way
start your weekend the right way
We’re more than 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, many 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, enjoy new music from Yimeeka, Seyi Vibez, Mannywellz and more. Dig In!
He might yet be embroiled in a legal tiff, but Joeboy is keeping the sound alive. After the slowburn genius of “Contour,” the talented musician taps the groovy texture of Caribbean sonics for his new record. P. Priime provides the colourful production, mashing mellow drums to fit a bashment mood. “Likkle Riddim” emerges then as a delectable soundtrack to one’s happier moments and offers another fitting run-up to the impending release of Joeboy’s sophomore album.
Since teasing this record some weeks back, fans of BlaqBonez have been on the lookout. Already there’s a rare Jae5 production setting the perfect soundscape, and the rapper flexes the growth of his singing even more colourfully. The record’s subject matter continues from the hedonist trappings of ‘Sex Over Love,’ with Blaqbonez bemoaning his past ways. “Big bank take little bank, it’s the law of the jungle,” he raps authoritatively, sketching the figure of his celebrity even more poignantly. As far as singles go, this is surely a great run-up to the rapper’s forthcoming ‘Young Preacher’ album.
What do you get when two women heavyweights of African music collaborate? You get a HARD record. Here, Moliy brings her luscious vocals into a stripped, colourful soundscape which allows her unfurl romantic stories. An ad-libbed chorus entrances the listener, and around the verses Moliy moves with electric sensitivity. Moonchild is quirky as ever, rapping a spellbinding verse in her usual innuendo-laced style. In all, it’s a record that really works and it’s easy to see why.
Marley has been in the news for all the wrong reasons but the man does know how to carry a vibe. On this Amapiano-tinged number, he joins frequent collaborator Rexxie and Skiibii to craft an hypnotising number. Their distinct strengths, from Rexxie’s visceral production to Skiibii’s sugary writing and Marley’s eccentric tales all colour this record with a dark, enchanting vibe, much like the magical word it takes for its title.
Soft lines of serenade are everywhere on “Smooth Criminal,” the affecting new record from Yimeeka. Over stripped production, she combines for a duet with the superstar Pheelz. It’s the “Finesse” musician who kicks things off, tapping into his emotions like seldom heard before. Yimeeka’s vocals are lithe and purposeful, ceding the centerstage for Pheelz who gives back with grace.
Over the past two years Enny has rose to become one of the most exciting voices in English Rap. If that seems like high praise, do well to check her discography. And with “Champagne Problems,” the rapper of Nigerian descent is giving her fans even more bragging rights. The new record is a stirring evocation of a young person facing the familiar problem of wanting societal change even while navigating personal desires. Over a soft drill beat, she laces intricate rhymes about identity and her artistry, proving her MC skills while maintaining tonal measure. At some point, she raps the revealing lines, “There’s a war going on in my mental; emotions gentle spiritual healing/ Would be smart to invest in time away, but this Prada bags so appealing”.
Street Hop savant Seyi Vibez has amassed a credible fanbase off the strength of his spiritually aware songs. Depending on who you ask, he’s one of the most promising artists in the continent and mainstream acclaim remains the next step on his consistent ascension. With an album reportedly coming soon, Seyi has released a new song to oil the way. “Bullion Van” takes a little from current trends by adapting Amapiano drums and crowd vocals but the direction remains distinctly aspirational, making this a record to savour going into the weekend.
He’s usually known for his street freestyles but Port Harcourt native Dandizzy is a brilliant musician as well. His new record highlights that, a soft-toned record suffused with ominous keys and calm drums. He unfurls signature Pidgin-laced bars which revolve around the conversation of relationships that has dominated Nigerian Pop in recent times. Being a skilled rapper, Dandizzy brings even more specificity into his song, keeping us excited about what he has forthcoming.
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