Best New Music: Somadina and L0la deliver the psychedelic-inspired anthem, “WDYWFM”
a dreamy standout from the EP
a dreamy standout from the EP
2018 was a pivotal moment in Nigerian music history. At the time, Afropop was on the precipice of further global breakthrough, as acts such as Wizkid, Burna Boy and more, had elevated beyond household status and began ushering in a new generation of hitmakers–all united by the embrace of freedom and interdisciplinarity as a de facto way of working.
That same year, Somadina made her debut with anti-love anthem titled “IHY,” which placed her on the map and in conversations. The single sat in good company alongside genre-defying releases and projects such as Cruel Santino’s “Rapid Fire” and Odunsi (The Engine)’s ‘rare.’, garnering Somadina the attention she needed to propel her artistry. Unsurprisingly, the young artist continued to showcase her dazzling skills on features such as Amaarae-assisted “FLAVA”, off Lady Donli’s debut album ‘Enjoy Your Life,’ making her one undoubtedly worth the watch.
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Since then, Somadina continues to fashion herself into her own type of star, letting us deeper into her world that promises more and more with each new release. Her tracks are like little easter eggs of personality, each waiting to reveal new layers to her mind and her sonic world. This is most adeptly shown on the SGaWD single, “Pop Shit” and “SuperSoma” where both artists trade bars with brazen optimism about getting their shit popping and enjoying this time in their lives.
This year, Somadina’s already working hard to show she deserves to be constantly on your rotation. In the past few months, she’s released “Rolling Loud,” a glitzy single about staying true to one’s self, performed alongside CKay at his ‘Sad Romance’ tour in London and shared a 6-track remix EP for “Rolling Loud,” which pulls from the expertise of producers across Africa and her diaspora. Now, Super Soma is bringing listeners further into her sonic world with the release of her debut EP, ‘Heart Of The Heavenly Undeniable(HOTHU).’
Before the project’s release, Somadina shared the promotional single “Y I Want U,” an enthralling track with a rich sonic palette that set the tone for the EP’s release. Officially arriving last week, the new project ‘Heart of the Heavily Undeniable,’ is a collection of reflective experiences for young Black women with soulful sounds and psychedelic-inspired melodies, a clear expression of Somadina’s Rock and R&B influences.
Across 11 new tracks, Somadina sets out to capture the rush of conflicting human emotions while keeping her touch light and ethereal which contrasts with the project’s freewheeling writing style and trippy production. While she’s shares her scattered thoughts and positive affirmations across the entire project, it’s the L0la-assisted “WDYWFM” that arises as a clear standout worth adding to your playlists.
The title is cut from an initialism which stands for “what do you want from me,” and finds Somadina and her L0la at their most experimental as she unites alt-pop with lush R&B and urgent emo sensibilities. Raw and vulnerable songwriting has come to be expected from Somadina, and “WDYWFM” does not disappoint in this regard. Reminiscent of her earlier singles such as 2019’s “Lay Low,” “WDYWFM” finds Somadina covering the misfortunes that come with love, loss and growing up.
Opening up with a smattering of hi-hats, strings and clashing keys, Somadina comes in with melancholic, pained vocals that address a past love interest who has reached the thin end of her rope. The dimmed yet audible sirens n the background are accompanied by Somadina’s sweet-sounding vocals as she affirms on the track’s intro, “Written in the stars, yeah I got nothing to prove.”
The GMK and Payton-produced number continues a frenzy of whistles and is later punctured with shrill screams which further drive Somadina’s message of frustration and pent-up emotion. As the track builds, Somadina continues to seek release by indulging in psychedelics as she sings “numbing up my body until I’m ready to move,” expressing her desire to shield herself from the pain. L0la comes in with a soulful rendition about finding the freedom in letting harmful people and habits fade away, while showcasing silky, timeless vocals: “Won’t you love me deep?”.
As the song’s arrangement urgently gathers more layers of glittering keys and strings, Somadina and L0la realise that isolation may hold the key to the very connection that they both seek. While the Internet has made it such that communication can take place at the speed of light, it’s can also be very isolating making people feel just as alone and unseen as this; if so, Somadina is here to remind listeners that it does get better if you look within yourself.
With “WDYWFM,” Somadina once again proves that she’s capable of weaving stories into genre-defying soundscapes to deliver poignant music that feels instantly relatable and necessary for young Black African women. ‘Heart Of The Heavenly Undeniable,’ is her most daring release to date and with the project, Somadina proves that embodying authenticity will always pay off in the long run. We’re enthusiastically watching this space for more from Somadina.
Featured Image Credits/Somadina