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.
This month is the anniversary of the Coronavirus in Nigeria as well as Women’s History Month so our curation will emphasize celebrating women and music that have made these uncertain times more bearable. To start this week, we brought you new releases from GoodGirl LA and DJ Zandimaz, as well as new video drops from Focalstic and Davido, Adekunle Gold and Patoranking, and much more. Today, we’ve compiled a list of all the new songs you don’t want to miss. Dig in and enjoy.
Yemisi – “Jolo” (Feat. Niniola)
Yemisi is a soulful Nigerian singer who has consistently delivered new music since she first debuted in 2017 with “Oyari”. Over the years, she has built up a catalogue that highlights her versatility as she explored dance-driven Afropop and mellow R&B with equal vim. For her debut single this year, “Jolo”, she enlists Niniola who has also proven adept at making R&B and dancehall hits. They pair up to sing over a laidback afrohouse instrumental produced by Dunnie with a soothing mix of ambient harmonies and upbeat drums that can entice listeners to dance.
“Jolo” is a Yoruba expression that means “Dance on” in English and as such, the song invites listeners to celebrate with the artists on the dancefloor; “International, Ko le ye wan/ The vibration lori ijo na”. Their confidence-inspiring lyrics might be lost on non-Yoruba speaking listeners but the vibe is undeniable. Women’s voices have always blended harmoniously with House music instrumentals and it’s awesome to see 3 women (Yemisi Fancy, Niniola and Dunnie) come together for the production and vocals on this one as we celebrate women history month.
Fireboy DML – “Champion” (Feat. D Smoke)
FireboyDML is having the time of his life, following his recent run of success. He went home with 4 awards at the last Headies last month and made his international late night TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon just a few weeks ago. We imagine that his mood is at an all-time high and he keeps up the celebration with the new release of the music video for “Champion”, the lead single from his last album, ‘Apollo’.
Pheelz produced the instrumentals for “Champion” with percussion and guitar harmonies that transition from sombre to jubilant smoothly. The rhythm of the beat, backing choir samples and Fireboy DML and D Smoke’s confidence-inspiring lyrics already made the song feel like it was destined to serve as a soundtrack for an emotional scene in a movie and the ambitious video directed by TG Omori lives up to those standards with landscape shots of Fireboy DML running in the hills while a presumed young version of him walks in the streets of Lagos. We also see D Smoke performing his rap verse while standing on a floating stage as the video reminds us how international collaboration between black artists from all over the world feels more organic in 2021.
SuperJazzClub – “Till the Morning”
After showcasing their diverse roaster and sonic experimentation with their debut project, ‘For All The Good Times’, Ghanaian creative collective, SuperJazzClub have released the official video for one of the standout tracks, “Till the Morning”. The group is made up of skilled artists, DJs, filmmakers and producers and the newly released video gives a glimpse into how they are able to draw from each other to create their unique vision.
“Till The Morning” is one of their project’s more upbeat records as we hear Øbed and BiQo performing their vocals, celebrating the good times; “Pour a little something in my cup/ Bad girl wanna roll it up”. The video directed by one of their members, Tano Jackson is set at a house party to make for a lighthearted and fun video that shows friends having a good time together. This is the type of content we like to see now that Covid-19 vaccines are ready for distribution.
A-Reece – “Morning Peace” (Feat. Jay Jody)
South African rap artist and producer, A-Reece has announced that he’s releasing a new mixtape, ‘Today’s Tragedy, Tomorrow’s Memory’ in partnership with Platoon on the 26th of March. But while we wait for the project, his new single, “Morning Peace” gives us a taste of what to expect as he raps addressing his love interest over lush synths, bass guitar arrangements and a thumping bassline.
“Morning Peace” highlights A-Reece’s melodic rap flow, relatable songwriting and penchant for delivering hard-hitting truths in his songs. “I don’t wanna wake up to no drama early the morning again/ I would rather wake up to you naked baby put it on me again”, he sings on the chorus as he ditches the braggadocious exterior often associated with rappers and opts instead for vulnerable confessions about wanting to resolve the conflict in his relationship.
Kofi Jamar – “They Don’t Know”
The drill music scene in Africa has been one of the highlights of the past few months as the artists never fail to deliver exciting new music. Ghanaian rapper, Kofi Jamar has been among those leading these conversations with his breakout single, “Ekorso” showcasing his innovative blend of drill and his indigenous sound to create a new genre he calls Asakaa. The Kumasi native has shared the music video for his latest single, “They Don’t Know” and it’s directed by Prince Dovlo who sets him as a mafia-boss, making business deals in a dimly lit room. The video helps to emphasize the gritty nature of Kofi Jamar’s bars; “Real niggas move in silence, they don’t do no talking/ Take it easy, you don’t wanna go there.”
Len – “HowMuchUNeed?”
Nigerian rapper, Len is based in the UK but his unique melodic flow sounds more in tune with the Atlanta trap bounce. He started the year with the mellow introspective single about love and relationships, “Settle Down” alongside other UK natives, Billzonthetrack and Kaywavey. Today, he has shared his first solo track, “HowMuchUNeed” where he continues writing lyrics inspired by his relationship woes; “Tell me you love, tell me you’re thinking about me/ There’s no one else in this blue and green earth you’d rather be with than me”. “HowMuchUNeed” is accompanying by a video directed by Mally and Len and it captures the rapper and his muse taking photographs in a neon-lit room.
Naledi SKYES – “Black Yakuza”
Naledi SKYES’s fast-paced flow and aggressive lyrics make it easy to see why the South African rapper can fit himself within the violent universe of the Japanese criminal crew, Yakuza. His latest single, “Black Yakuza” emphasizes his proficiency with knife-sharp bars and the drive-by direction for his accompanying video adds on even more menace. “I fell in love with the vroom son/ I race it up like a Lamborghini/ I don’t see anyone competing with me”, he raps over the booming bass of the beat produced by TGUT.
Everything about the track highlights Naledi’s confidence as he gestures gun signs in the video. His confidence is contagious and offers inspiration for listeners as we continue grinding and overcoming everything keeping us from getting to the bag.
You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu