Songs Of The Day: New Music From Mayorkun, Wande Coal, Hanna and More
New music you should listen to
New music you should listen to
As the year winds down, the sheer number of music we receive at The NATIVE keeps growing at an exponential rate. With live shows back in full swing and Afropop hits such as Wizkid’s “Essence” and CKay’s “Love Nwantiti” climbing the charts both home and abroad, there has never been a more exciting time than the present for the ever-evolving sonic landscape. Through it all, we remain committed to the ideal of music discovery and sharing that is a big part of what we stand for.
That’s where our Songs of the Day column comes in. We’re doing the work to stay on pulse with all the music coming out from across the continent and beyond, bringing you exciting songs of tomorrow: today. Last time out, we had exciting music from Idahams, Sho Madjozi, Loose Kanyon, and Focalistic amongst others. Today, we’re bringing you new music from our favourite duo, The Cavemen; a standout from Mayorkun’s long-awaited sophomore, ‘Back In Office‘; and a new single from icon, Wande Coal.
While last year’s ‘ROOTS’ introduced the world to The Cavemen’s wondrous re-interpretation of highlife, their latest effort, ‘Love and Highlife,’ released today already sounds more engaging than the latter, updating the thematic inspirations of ‘ROOTS’ to center love as a motivator for their work here while retooling the production of their debut to follow this slight tweak. On “Biri,” the brothers join forces with another fantastic musician, Made Kuti, for a languid affair where the grooves of their highlife meet the light percussions of Made’s neo-Afrobeat for a joyous intersection of a very 2021 version of two of Nigeria’s most powerful music styles post-independence.
For huge parts of 2020, Mayorkun was the voice of popular culture in Nigeria, soundtracking the year with songs like “Geng,” “Betty Butter,” and a scene-stealing feature on “The Best,” off Davido’s third album, A Better Time. For the most part of 2021, Mayorkun has been off the grid, completing work on his sophomore album,’Back In Office,’ and singles like the Victony-featuring “Holy Father” and the titular track have hinted at a sonic evolution from the former DMW singer. “No Strings Attached” is not necessarily a sign of those changing tides, instead it’s a brilliant union of the strengths of Mayorkun and Joeboy, seeing them riff off each other while singing about taking care of a love interest’s wants regardless of the situation of their entanglement.
For much of the year, Wande Coal has kept been silent but today he returns with “Come My Way,” his first solo single of 2021. The track, produced by Bruno and Screwface, finds Coal in defiant mode, promising to let nobody get between him and his blessings. The track takes influence from the low-lit sound of contemporary R&B, merging it with the warm vibes of Nigerian Afrobeats and the throbbing digital pulse of South Africa’s Amapiano.
Zimbabwean-Ethiopian wordsmith Hanna Kuruneri has been on the ascent for huge parts of the last three years. Since stepping into the limelight during her time at the University of Cape Town, coming to the attention of the likes of Nasty C and DJ Clock after posting a viral video rapping on Instagram, Hanna has impressed with her vociferous bars. “BOI,” Hanna’s latest song featuring DeekayDidIt, draws from her most proud, cocky and powerful self, giving representation to her taking power back, asserting boundaries, and reminding herself of her brilliance.
While others like Kabza De Small, Tyler ICU, and Vigro Deep continue to receive acclaim for the innovative directions they are pushing Amapiano into, South African singer, Lady Du, remains at the forefront of the genre, with songs like “uZuma Yi Star” and “Woza” displaying her hypervivid take on Afropop. Uniting with Nigerian singer, Niniola, who is famed as the queen of afro-house, they make a sonic dedication to the art of seduction. Atop a strobing instrumental, the duo sings about the joys of dancing and seeking thrills while deftly passing the baton around without disruption.
Since establishing himself as one of the standout talents in the youthful core of Afropop’s vanguard with 2019’s ‘Live From Nkrumah Krom,’ Kwesi Arthur has flirted with the rap and pop side of his music on songs like “Baajo” and the remix of Yaw Tog’s “Sore.” Teaming up with Kwesi Arthur on “DIFFERENT,” Arthur raps over a menacing beat from Shadxw about being at the top of Ghanaian music for a long time while assuring listeners that his eagerly-anticipated tape is on its way.
Earlier this month, a video of a singer, Nimco Happy, performing a song usually sung at Somalin weddings went viral on Twitter. The song called “Isii Nafta,” means “give me life,” but it is more widely known by its catchy lyrics “I love you more than my life.” Last week, the song got an official release, and it is sung across four languages–Somali, English, Arabic, and Swahili–over a polyrhythmic instrumental that sees Nimco sing about romantic bliss and happiness.
Following up on her single “Kno Me”, Somadina is back with a new single titled “Super Soma.” The new single finds the singer departing from her string of earlier releases and launching a new rockstar persona befitting for this phase in her career. Describing the track as more than a single, but a theme, the ebullient new track finds the singer telling us how great she is. Over the GMK-produced track, she delivers one of her best performances, embodying a superhero persona and loudly screeching across the futuristic production.
Featured image credits/Instagram