New year, same agenda. Last year, the NATIVE created the ‘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 an avenue to discover music from niche, rising acts, while also spotlighting releases from the biggest artists. As music industries around the continent have begun kicking into gear, it’s only right that we return to pointing you towards as much great music as we can.
For last week’s Songs of the Day, we brought you new music from Femi Kuti, A-Reece, Yung L, SirBastien and more to catch you up on the latest songs from around the continent. Our latest Songs of the day curation includes new singles from Bella Shmurda, Tomi Thomas, Le Diouck and DJ Bamao Yendé, Fresh Meat alum, capespring and Sustain. Dig in.
Dangbana Republik x Bella Shmurda – “Rush”
Bella Shmurda fans are set to have a ball today as we celebrate the anniversary of the rising singer’s debut tape, ‘High Tension‘, as well as his birthday. To make the day even more memorable, Bella Shmurda also released his highly anticipated new single, “Rush” which he has been teasing on social media since the start of the year. The snippet of the song he shared on Audiomack already raked in 7 million views and his fans can finally stream the full version of the gritty, bass-boosted street-hop sound Larry Lanes and Pbeatz produced for the song. Bella’s encouraging lyrics, “Why are you feeling down? Life is short so ginger yourself,” and his catchy melodies ride the groovy instrumentals to give the song a little extra oomph that can turn car rides and walks into a private party if you listen with the volume on full blast. It’s Bella’s birthday so we recommend that you do just that.
Bamao Yendé x Le Diouck – “Marvin Gueye”
Paris-based Senegalese singer, Le Diouck and DJ Bamao Yendé first started collaborating in 2018 and their harmonious partnership led them to form a band called Nyoko Bokbae. Last year, the duo released their new 6-track EP, ’55 Degrees‘, delivering a hypnotic and ethereal sound made more haunting and sensual with Le Diouck’s knack for singing in a mix of French, English and Wolof. The opening track, “Marvin Gueye” has now gotten updated with an immersive music video that highlights their eccentricities with the cowrie necklace and the desert scenery. Vincent Catel directed the video which captures Le Diouck and his love interest as they embrace each other, bath together and smoke together. For those who can’t follow the lyrics because of the language barrier, the video plays out like an art film depicting the elegance, beauty, and power of dark-skinned people.
Tomi Thomas – “Who Knew”
Tomi Thomas has opened his account for the year by sharing the accompanying video for his previously released single, “Who Knew”. Uaxstudio’s Seyi Akin directed the video which follows Tomi Thomas as he performs his Reggae-fueled melodies while walking among regular folks in the streets. They all join him to dance along to the lightweight beat Genio produced for the song. Tomi’s lyrics, “Who knew, who knew?/ We would get these Standing ovations,” offers words of comfort for those who are still struggling to get recognition for their works. With the cast of people living in the slums of Lagos, he is able to motivate his audience to continue believing in their dreams.
capespring – “Indigo”
Last year, capespring emerged as one of the promising artists from Kenya to look out for when he shared his debut project, ‘Duality’. With his smooth voice urging listeners to lean into their feelings while he translates the minutiae of his post-high school life into lo-fi Rap and R&B music, fans were able to compare him to artists like Frank Ocean and Stromae. However, the 17-year-old singer has wasted no time to show that he still has more to offer, just releasing his debut single for the year, “Indigo”, in partnership with an international music label, Kitsuné. The single is the opening act of a 5-part heartbreak story that follows him as a protagonist, searching for a lover to rid him of his woes. His lyrics, “Do I need a shawty or do a shawty need me/ I just need somebody that’s gon put me at ease,” finds him detailing what he wants from a relationship in a mix of rap bars and melodic singing. He promised to share his second single, “puppy” on Valentine’s day while we can expect the full project in March.
Sustain – “Situationship”
Sustain’s new EP, ‘Afrosus’ earmarks him as one of the new artists emerging in Nigeria whose sound is inspired by the indigenous Yoruba sound of Fuji and Juju music. Though he sings in English lyrics as much as he sings in Yoruba, his accent and melodic references remain deeply rooted in Yoruba traditions. However, the Afro-Caribbean instrumentals Phantom produced for “Situationship”, the opening track from the recently released EP allows him to explore his range while he quizzes his muse to confess their earnest feelings; “Baby let me know/ Do you want me too the way I want you?” The smooth mix of Caribbean guitar riffs and Sustain’s charming melodies make “Situationship” an instant earworm that encourages listeners to play the entire tape, which also features artists like Yusufkanbayi on “To Love”.
Featured Image Credits: NATIVE
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