Johnny Drille’s New Single “How Are You (My Friend)” Emphasises the Power of Friendship

His official first single of the year

In 2017, Johnny Drille signed to Mavin Records, after years as an indie artist and scoring his breakout Folk tune “Wait for Me.” Since then, the Nigerian singer has curated soul-piercing ballads for his cult audience, who gather to show their love for his music at his annual concert series Johnny’s Room Live. Last year, Johnny released his debut album ‘Before We Fall Asleep,’ which touched on personal and societal issues, and embraced a wide range of genres—R&B, Afropop, Hip-Hop and Alternative Rock.

Aside from singing, Johnny Drille is also a music producer and sound engineer. His handprints are evident on the projects of fellow labelmates, from Ayra Starr’s ‘19 & Dangerous’ to new artist Bayanni’s debut eponymous EP. Earlier in the year, Johnny put out Valentine’s Day-themed tune “You’re Just Single.” Now, he is out with his official single of the year “How Are You (My Friend),” which is produced by Mavin Records CEO and veteran producer Don Jazzy.

“How Are You (My Friend)” is a letter from Johnny to an old friend as he seeks to reconnect with them. “Padi no vex for me/Say I never call you since/But I hope that you are well?” he sings.  He acknowledges that although time has separated him and his friend, he hasn’t forgotten about them. “I know sometimes e be like say nobody send you/That one na lie/I dey for you my friend,” he sings.

Don Jazzy’s production is a mid-tempo Afropop bop that Johnny owns as his; together with the background vocals, the song carries the aura of the community as the voices blend seamlessly.  “How Are You (My Friend” is evidence of the great synergy Johnny Drille and Don Jazzy have, continuing from their collaboration in the short film Liza and the song “ova” from ‘Before We Fall Asleep.’

On “How Are You (My Friend),” Johnny Drille also recognises the strength of friendship as he offers his shoulder as a resting place for whatever might be bothering his friend. He promises to be available both emotionally and financially, to lighten the burden his friend carries. “I know that I don’t call enough/But you are always on my mind, oh/I dey for you my friend,” he sings. In today’s world of money-chasing and busy schedules, Johnny Drille reminds listeners not to forget the people and connections that matter.

Listen to “How Are You (My Friend)” below.

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