Songs Of The Day: New music from Darkoo, Niniola, Naya Akanji and more

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. During our mid-week selection, we brought you new releases from GoodGirl LA and DJ Zandimaz, as well as new video drops from Ninola, Yemisi, Fireboy DML, SuperJazzClub, Naledi Skyes and much more. Today, we’ve compiled a list of all the new songs you don’t want to miss including a new EP release from Niniola, Naya Akanji, Darkoo, Lavaud, Reekado Banks, Teezee, Yaw Tog, Naomisia, Alpha P, TMXO, and more. Dig in and enjoy.

Darkoo – “Pick Up”

Since her arrival on the scene back in 2019, British-Nigerian rapper Darkoo has established her dominance with an exciting string of singles including “Gangsta”, “Juicy (Brown Skin Like Eva)” and “Kryptonite”. For her first offering of the year, the rapper is turning inwards for a mid-tempo introspective number titled “Pick Up” which finds her confronting her feelings after a lover leaves her calls unanswered. As an artist that’s constantly showcased both her feminine and masculine qualities, this song follows in her approach to deliver a fluid perception of Afropop.

“When I call you, no pickup/You don’t answer put me on missed call” sings Darkoo passionately on the song’s hook before delving into an honest confessional where she confronts her feelings for a love interest who hasn’t reciprocated her romantic intentions. In the Kelvin Jones-directed video, we see the singer play both sides of the relationship: as both the fed-up lover who has given too much and the love interest who can’t seem to commit. With a catchy beat and a message many will surely relate with, Darkoo once again proves her penchant for earworm melodies.

Niniola – “Ryde”

Since the year began, Afrohouse queen Niniola has been delivering a slew of R&B singles for her fans who enjoy her more romantic, soulful side as she revealed when we last spoke to her. So far, she’s served up “Promise” and collaborated with singer Yemisi, “Jolo”, showing she’s more than capable of serenading a love interest as she is at getting listeners to the dancefloor with her enchanting melodies.

Today, the singer has now released a 6-track EP titled ‘6th Heaven’, a soulful pack of singles that find the singer unleashing the depth of her sonic range and allowing love and gratitude to drive her lyrics. The EP’s final track “Ryde” is an alluring sensual track that will have you coming back for more listens. “Our love was forbidden/We’ve been through it all/We’ll be riding it out for life” she sings melodiously over the mix of drums and keys, as she reaffirms her committment to a partner for their love and kindness towards her.

Mide Michael – “Ojoro” (feat. Naya Akanji)

When it comes to romantic love, entering into a new relationship can be a daunting task for anyone who’s got their heartbroken in the past. However, no one is an island and we’re all constantly looking for ways to find healthier reciprocated love as we go through our adult lives. In his latest single “Ojoro”, Mide Michael turns his focus to an ungrateful lover who he has found out does not truly love him. He makes sense of these feelings of hurt and revelation, assisted by Naya Akanji who adds her charm to the uptempo number. “Baby na you don spoil my fantasy/Gone are the days you was killing me”, she sings soulfully, giving a familiar nod to P-Sqaure’s memorable “Do Me, I Do You” line.

Lavaud & Reekado Banks – “Oh My”

British singer/songwriter Lavaud has enlisted Nigerian singer, Reekado Banks for her latest romantic offering titled “Oh My”.  Over the mid-tempo beat produced by Mickeygeearist and Tuzi, both artists sing about their romantic affections and what it takes to get them smitten. Lavaud delivers her verse in both French and English, painting a picture that visualises her experiences with love. Reekado Banks joins her on the song’s third verse singing, “Dey fall for your matter, biko hennessy/I pray for ya” also dipping into some casual French and making the song instantly memorable with his sensual lyrics.

Alpha P & TMXO – “Jiggy Bop”

‘Coming 2 America’, the sequel to Paramount’s 1988’s ‘Coming to America’ which featured Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, is days away from release on streaming services. Ahead of this, the film’s official soundtrack ‘Coming 2 America: Music From the Motion Picture’ and an additional soundtrack titled ‘Rhythms of Zamunda… Music Inspired By Coming 2 America’has now been made available online with features from some of Afropop’s most exciting names including Tekno, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Nasty C, Tellaman, Alpha P and more.

One of the standouts on the recently released project is “Jiggy Bop”, an uptempo number featuring Apple Music’s Artist of the Month, and Headies Rookie of the Year nominee, Alpha P and Grammy-nominated producer TMXO. The groovy uptempo shows the singer/rapper Alpha P flex his lyrical muscles on the number, “Young jigga run it up one time/for a real hitta put it on Facetime” he raps with brimming excitement over the song’s hook, matching his clever wordplay and enviable with TMXO’s incredible bouncy production.

Jay Cliff – “Chargie” (feat. Töme)

Ghanaian singer, Jay Cliff has just released a new 6-track EP titled ‘Red Wine Conversations’, a concise offering of romantic numbers that featuring a host of different artists from Efya, to TÖME, Ayüü, $paceley and more. The TÖME-assisted “Chargie” is a romantically-inclined number that finds both artists addressing new love interests who are the missing puzzle piece they’ve been missing all this time. “You don’t want to keep your distance/and I want you anyway” Jay Cliff sings on the song’s second verse, admitting that he’s willing to look past the mixed signals for the relationship to work.

Naomisia – “Victim”

After years of releasing deep R&B cuts, Tanzanian singer Naomisia has just released her debut project which is titled ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’. In usual fashion, the new project finds her combing through her experiences and becoming a musical manifestation of power and strength for her listeners. The project’s opener “Victim” finds the singer/songwriter at her most honest, singing about a past lover who she can’t seem to forget. “You have a hold on me, we should make a decision/Cause I’m willing to be your victim” she sings soulfully on the song’s hook, admitting that she’s not ready to move and accepts that she’s ready to keep holding on to her muse’s captivating love.


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