Music has served as the life force connecting people and communities around the world in these unprecedented times. Though the pandemic has denied us live shows and concerts, where the magical bond between artists and fans unfolds in real-time; artists have remained committed to sharing music with fans, so we continue to honour their art and create space and visibility for them. Last year, The NATIVE created our ‘Songs Of The Day’ column as an avenue to curate some of the best and biggest songs from around the continent. In the time since its creation, the column has served as a means to discover music from niche, rising acts, while also spotlighting releases from the biggest artists on the continent. As artists continue to share their music with us this year, it’s only right that we continue pointing you towards as much great music as we possibly can.
Last week, we put you on to the new video from Gospel singer Sinach, new single drops from Niniola, Lil5ive, and capespring, a much-anticipated Ke Star remix featuring Davido, as well as the official debut single from Jonzing World’s Ruger. For our mid-week selection, we’re bringing you some of the best releases in the past few days from around the continent, including releases from Ycee, Tiwa Savage, AKA, Edem, Psycho YP and more. You’re welcome. Enjoy.
Ycee – “Nu Riddim”
On his debut album ‘Ycee vs Zaheer’ back in 2019, Lagos-based rapper and singer, Ycee confidently asserted his penchant for fusing rap and singing in his work. In an interview with the NATIVE, he confirmed that era marked some of the best music he had ever made, but although he’s been relatively quiet since then, having only dropped last years ‘Quarantunes‘, the singer is confidently returning to the limelight with a new single titled “Nu Riddim”. Over an r&b-tinged beat, he sings “It’s up to you and you, baby no one but you/so baby date me,” delivering a soulful heartfelt confessional to a love interest.
Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Jamming” (Tropkillaz Remix) [feat. Tiwa Savage]
Four decades after his passing, Bob Marley’s music continues to inspire. The Jamaican Reggae icon, in addition to being one of the greatest musicians to walk the earth, was and continues to remain a symbol of hope for a better world, so it makes sense that present day artists are still reinterpreting and remixing his best songs. Famed Brazilian DJ/producer duo, Tropkillaz, have just shared their remix of “Jamming”, putting a sunny and bouncy Tropical House spin on the bonafide Bob Marley classic. They also recruit the increasingly socially inclined Tiwa Savage, and on her verse, the singer extols the power of togetherness in the drive for change, a clear allusion to last October’s bracing #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, as well as the other movements for social change across Africa.
AKA – “Finessin’”
Last November, AKA dropped ‘Bhovamania’, an experimental project where he blended dance-inflected sonic cues and melodic rap cadences. While the project has divided opinions pretty sharply, the South African rap veteran is still working promotional angles for the project. His latest drop is the music video for “Finessin’”, a clear standout off the tape featuring uncredited vocals from newly engaged fiancée Nelli Tembe, where he raps about his priorities—get a queen, live his best life and leave haters foaming at the mouth. The video takes a cinematic route, as it casts AKA as a street racer and schemer who navigates a deal with some dangerous guys, but is later caught by a police detective.
Falana – “Joy”
It’s a little more difficult to sell positivity these days. With a still-raging pandemic, the world seems to be under a perennial dark cloud, making it near impossible to relish moments of joy. On her new single, “Joy”, Falana makes a strong case for viewing each second of every day as a blessing. “stumble, get up, I keep it moving/trouble won’t let up, I keep it moving”, she proclaims in her trademark, sweetly scented voice. The accompanying video does a great job of beaming joy, portraying heart-warming scenarios alongside shots of Falana singing and dancing while flamboyantly styled.
Stogie T – Dunno (feat. Nasty C)
In July, Stogie T dropped two singles featuring high profile guests, “Animals” with Griselda rapper Benny the Butcher and the Nasty C-assisted “Dunno”. Renewing attention for the latter song, he’s just dropped an accompanying music video, and it visualises the ominous shit-talking both rappers indulge in over a slow boiling piano chords and floor shaking bass. Directed by Amir Singh and Lazarusman, we see Stogie T and Nasty C tormenting an internet troll, taking and twisting tropes from horror flicks, resulting in quite the intriguing set of visuals.
Rexxie & Mohbad – “KPK”
Rexxie has had the streets on lock for the past two years and counting. Having played an integral role in morphing the sound of street-bred music into a dynamic and distinct organism, the producer’s latest smash hit, “KPK”, takes sonic cues from the South African-originated Amapiano, subverting them for a banger that’s fresh and instantly connected with Nigeria. Keeping the song’s hype train going, he and cMohbad, have shared the music video for “KPK”, and as expected it is dominated by the seemingly infinite variations of the Zanku dance. The video is set to precede the forthcoming release of Rexxie’s debut album, ‘A True Champion’.
Barry Jhay – “Ori”
A significant portion of Barry Jhay’s growing discography is geared towards music reflecting the aspirational reality of Nigerians. In a similar vein as his breakout hit song, “Aye”, the singer’s new single, “Ori”, is a prayerful song where he hopes for greater heights in life. Ever reverent of Yoruba traditional culture, Barry Jhay leans into the ideal that one’s head determines one’s destiny; so he prays his head directs him the right track over a folksy, fast-paced instrumental by Vstix.
Psycho YP & Azanti – “Ji Masun”
True to their initial plan of dropping multiple videos off their joint tape, ‘YP & Azanti, Vol. 1’, Psycho YP and Azanti have shared the video for “Ji Masun”, a short while after debuting the video for “Focused”. The new video hints at a storyline brewing, as it finds Azanti losing the lover he won over from the previous video. Set at a Game night/house party, the video leans into Azanti’s confessional candour on his verse (“I didn’t step up, I told lies and didn’t fess up”, he sings), while also capturing both artists performing their lyrics.
Edem – “Favour” (feat. Efya & Sarkodie)
Following a prolific 2020 run that saw him drop a full-length project and an EP, Afro-Caribbean veteran, Edem has opened his account for this year with “Favour”, a new single featuring singer Efya and rap veteran Sarkodie. Driven by a thumping, fast-paced Dancehall beat with Funk inflections, the Ghanaian trio rebuke hot-and-cold lovers, each turning in impassioned performances to display their disdain at the other party’s indecisiveness. The accompanying video focuses on the song’s dance elements, adding an artsy twist with its use of black-and-white shots and brightly coloured sets making for a visually catchy juxtaposition with all the melanin on display.