RANKED: The Top 5 Songs From Amaarae’s ‘Fountain Baby’

an ever-swirling prism of sounds

Amaarae is an iconoclast among her peers, and this is gleaned by her consideration to the music. She swerves past the conventions of just singing, rather parsing her songs through a wholesome, ever-swirling prism of sounds and artistic traditions. That was obvious across the sprawling set of her 2020 debut album, ‘The Angel You Don’t Know’, hailed as one of the projects bound to define the new decade.

Last Friday, Amaarae pulled the final stops of the rollout of ‘Fountain Baby’, releasing the sophomore to great expectations. Since the past year she’s made the title of the coming album known, releasing singles that exquisitely captured the new sonic direction she was heading towards. Across the 14-track album, Amaarae skates as much as she brawls, offering a roller-coasting view into the wide spectrum of emotions that emerges from the search for oneself. Being a source of constant inspiration for her fan base, Amaarae is gracious and occasionally high-wired in her writing, lending a vivacious edge to a number of the records. 

In this NATIVE Mag roundtable, members of our editorial team have voted for their five favourite songs off ‘Fountain Baby’, and we’ve ranked the five best songs according to the number of votes they got. Ideally, these records would demonstrate to listeners the sonic and thematic range in the project which, we dare say, is, or would be, some of the best music you’ll hear all year. Here goes.


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On her omnivorous sophomore album, ‘Fountain Baby,’ Amaarae sets out to flex her skills as a solo performer. Given her penchant for stretching the boundaries of sounds and borrowing from the scenes and cultures she typically rubs shoulders with as a global star, standout track “Counterfeit” is a fine showcase of her broad sonic palette. There is an innate playfulness to Amaarae’s wispy vocals on this track as she chants lyrics such as “me and my bitch got matching titties,” across a live instrumentation cover of Clipse’s “Wamp Wamp (What It Do),” and Bohemian rock rhythms that earmark her as one of the most compelling artists of the now. Amaarae can do no wrong.

Tami Makinde


Just one track into the album is the enchanting “Angels in Tibet,” a heady punk-rock track that sets the tone for the ‘Fountain Baby’ soundscape. Amaarae seamlessly rides the wave of the song’s eclectic production punctured only by her shriek, soulful vocals. Clocking in below the 3-minute mark, the Ghananian-American troubadour showcases her dexterity over chords tinged with East Asian sounds while maintaining her signature airy vocals. “Pay homage, in the club, to the god, take it off,” she chants on the hook, with an infectious cadence and witty one-liners that radiate a mischievous energy.

Nwanneamaka Igwe


Explosiveness is an innate trait in Amaarae. She’s always riding off the banging movement of her production or utilising her vocals to create a charged atmosphere. On “Princess Going Digital,” she does both in perfect synth. Placed early in the album, it’s a crucial enabler which shifts its movements, instantly making two moves by taking the record beyond the conventions of Afropop while sounding familiar enough not to alienate the listener. The background male vocalist adds an early 2000s Brit pop allure, but the weaving of Amaarae’s inflections belong in Michael Jackson territory, giving a multi-layered feel to the song. Beyond all the sonic pyrotechnics, the song basically accounts for the soft life of Amaarae, establishing how cool she is while reserving enough introspection to demand better from those around her. It’s an absolute banger whose true depth is revealed with every subsequent listen.

Emmanuel Esomnofu



Given the globe-trotting vision of ‘Fountain Baby’, it is only natural Amaarae would pull off something like this. America has long inspired her artistic incursions, from the syrupy rap flows of Atlanta to the glitzy takes on R&B. On “Sociopathic Dance Queen”, the robust movements of soft rock forms the sonic backdrop. Artists like Fleetwood Mac and Jaden, who created music in very different generations, have been pulled into the feel-good bounce of the sound. Rather than rely on this rich musical tradition, Amaarae side steps expectations, infusing her trademark edgy songwriting which lends unique appeal to the record. It sounds like something you’ve heard before but can’t really place where, and that sweet mystery envelops the listener until the last second. Sexiness is at the root of the record; the words “touch, touch/ don’t even think about it,” is repeated with lustrous invitation, but it’s not until grooving to the song that the listener gleans a deeper meaning, that perhaps the body here is a metaphor for life, and dance stands in for its effervescent manifestation.



“Listeners quickly learnt that in the songs of Amaarae, the woman is god,” NATIVE’s Emmanuel Esonmofu wrote a day to the release of ‘Fountain Baby’. It’s no coincidence that “Come Home To God,” the album’s closing track, is divinely self-reverential. “Alimony Ama, get it from her mama/She out with her shottas,” she brags over a glistening combination of guitar and strings. Her inimitable cool is as spellbinding as it’s ever been on wax, referring to herself as the ultimate place of solace for a partner that “love me like she love the Lord.” When the drums swing in midway through the second verse, the song starts to swell into the grand closer, fitting for an album marked by its maximalist lean. There are no proclamations too big for Amaarae as long as they channel her conviction, she’s God – she believes it and you might as well believe it, too.

Dennis Ade-Peter