Songs of the Day: New Music From Mayorkun, Ruger, Young Jonn & more
Dig in and get on some weekend vibes
Dig in and get on some weekend vibes
We’re halfway through 2022, and it’s been an eventful year for Afropop. There’s been a torrent of great new music, spawning a massive stack of inventive smash hit songs. From Highlife-infused Ghanaian pop, to the unrelenting force that is Nigerian street-pop, to South Africa’s indomitable Dance scene, to tantalising Drill explorations in East and Central Africa, and much, much more, we’re living through abundant and musically expansive times.
Every week, tonnes of songs from African artists make their way to digital streaming platforms, and wading through them can be intense. That’s where The NATIVE’s Songs of the Day column comes in to help. We go through as many new releases as possible, spotlighting them here, two to three times every week. Earlier this week, we highlighted new drops from Mojo, Kaptain and Moonchild Sanelly among others. This Friday, we have bops from Slymkrez, Chris Brown, Young Jonn and many more. Dig in and get on some weekend vibes.
Constant reinvention is the prime reason for Mayorkun’s sustained dominance in Afropop. On his latest song, he reminds listeners again of his shifting inspirations, creating which essentially collects a relatable feeling. Layering well written lyrics with assurance over an Amapiano-style beat with glossy keys, “Certified Loner” sounds like a hit song on first listen.
Since ‘Sounds From The Other Side’, the duo of Wizkid and Chris Brown have parlayed their friendship into unmissable bops which plays to their distinctive strengths. Having excited listeners since a snippet dropped some days back, their latest affair has been eagerly anticipated. “Call Me Every Day” justifies the buzz, both singers going back and forth over rippling, sensual production from Blaise Beatz and DJ Tunez.
The name of Slymkrez might not be one you’re familiar with but a listen will surely have you enthralled. He’s recently shared his debut EP, ‘LLTM/DSTM’, a collection of four futuristic songs which input unique spins on established ideals. The opening record “Different” is instantly distinct, fusing dusty drums from Amapiano as Slymkrez sings about the purpose of his sound. A spoken word performance by Kpemeshe wonderfully plays into the song’s thematic turf, merging with the bright synths to produce what is ultimately an exhilarating effect.
RUGER – “GIRLFRIEND”
Ruger is one of the most acclaimed new school superstars and he’s given us countless showcases why that is. Drawing from the electric depths of Reggae-influenced music, he’s been able to create transcendental bops which solidify his uniqueness among the current crop of Afropop acts. “Girlfriend” is one of the three new songs he adds to his deluxe of ‘The Second Wave EP’, a sizzling jam that might go on to become a fixture of summer playlists from Africa to the Caribbean.
Fresh off scoring a hit and Davido feature with “Dada”, the Chocolate City act Young Jonn continues to prove the seamless nature of his transition from producer to musician. “Normally” is a soulful ode rendered to one’s ex-lover, with Young Jonn painting images which would no doubt be relatable to anyone caught in such complexities. And even though he’s pensive, the juicy groove of the production
The selfless urge to inspire and project beauty in a woman; that’s the subject matter of “Crystals”, the opening song off Obani’s ‘How She Loves’ EP. Her writing is reminiscent of Simi, but Obani’s vocals are uniquely bright, masterfully wedged by the production’s rolling percussions and indie-rock bounce.