Listen to Killertunes’ debut album, ‘KillaXtra’

Singing, engineering and producing. Talk about range.

Over the back half of the 2010s, Killertunes established himself as an excellent hit-maker, helming huge slaps like Mut4y and Wizkid’s “Manya,” Spinall and Kizz Daniel’s “Baba,” Olamide’s “Motigbana,” and much more.

While he’s remained trusty with producing great music for a long line of artists, including Mr. Eazi, Joeboy and Phyno, Killertunes has been inching towards a more wholesome and autonomous curation of his effort.

In late 2019, he dropped his debut EP, Gbedu & Things, a beat tape that zeroed in on his effortless ability to create club-ready bangers, and hinted at more headlined output in the near future.

Over a year later, Killertunes returned with the summery bop, “Light Up,” with assists from Walshy Fire, Like Mike, and Zimbabwean star Sha Sha. It marked the first time he would release a song with prominent vocal contributions, and he followed up shortly after with “Bite Me,” a solo track that served as a bolder statement of his intent to pair his behind-the-boards prowess with his chops in front of the mic. On “Bite Me,” Killertunes basks in the familiar feeling of triumph, pettily dismissing the unbelievers from his past and revelling in a heightened sense of confidence.

This conviction is what powers his newly released debut album, KillaXtra, a 13-set track where he takes the vocal lead all through. With vivid influences from Wizkid, Afropop’s most indelible vocal performer in the last decade, Killertunes’ showing leans into bright melodies and hook-driven songwriting. Add in a sonic direction that alternately melds and varies between mid-tempo Afropop bounce, slinky Dembow-inspired rhythms, Caribbean Pop bops, and even a Trap-fusion cut, the project is a collection of breezy and catchy songs.

Comprising the two previously released singles, the new project casts Killertunes as a veritable triple threat, as he also takes charge of engineering and production duties on all but one track. He’s joined by a handful of guests, including Odunsi (the Engine), Nissi, Midas the Jagaban, Kida Kudz, and more, all of whom serve complimentary purposes. KillaXtra unfolds a new era for Killertunes, one where the full range of his talents have to be acknowledged.

Listen to KillaXtra here.

@dennisadepeter is a staff writer at the NATIVE.