The fast and furious pace of new music releases makes it hard to keep track of all different new sounds coming out of Africa as the music scene grows more and more expansive. We’ve decided to help out by sorting through all the new songs from across all the platforms and subgenres around the continent to curate a column with all the best “Songs of the Day”, to highlight all the new releases you absolutely NEED to hear.
On Monday, we brought you new releases by a diverse set of African artists, including Timi Dakolo, Olamide, Kwesi Arthur, Efya, Tulenkey and more. Today, we’re recommending new music from South African rapper, Dope Saint Jude and Nigerian rappers, Naira Marley, Dremo, YCee, Sinzu and Blaqbonez. We also have the new Major Lazer remix for Rema’s “Dumebi” and new music from Oxlade who has announced that his ‘Oxygen’ EP will be available on the 27th of March. You’re welcome.
Dope Saint Jude – “Go High Go Low”
South African rapper, Dope Saint Jude uses her music to preach the much needed gospel of racial and sexual equality. Her newly released “Go High Go Low” is an activist anthem which finds her celebrating her passion and drive; “I am committed to finding my bliss and for this, I am willing to die”. Fakear, Pouvoir Magique and Einki produced the catchy hip-hop beat, which adds an extra bounce to Dope Saint Jude’s empowering message while the accompanying video directed by Peri also buttresses her confidence through the marching band outfits, religious imagery and car drifting scenes.
Naira Marley – “Aye”
Since they first linked up on “Japa”, Naira Marley and Rexxie have become quite the pair. The duo have now teamed up for “Aye”, a new street-hop jam that embodies Naira Marley’s ‘no-mannerz’ attitude. Singing his Yoruba lyrics—“Aye yi o le(Life isn’t hard)/ Aye lo mu aye le(People make life hard)”—with a melody that gives the impression that he’s drunk, he is able to speak uninhibitedly against society and those who have falsely accused him; “Ni gba ti mi o jale(when I haven’t stolen)”. It makes “Aye” the perfect song to play at clubs where intoxicating drinks are sold.
Oxlade – “Away”
Oxlade is finally set to release his debut project, ‘Oxygene’ on the 27th of March after building fans’ anticipation since he broke into the mainstream nearly 2 years ago. Collaboration with Juls, DJ Tunez, Melvetto, Blaqbonez and others have made his endearing falsetto a familiar guarantee of quality Afropop, as he built a notable following despite only having a handful of singles. His catalogue just got updated with “Away”, the first song from the 6-track EP which finds Oxlade professing love for his muse over the lightweight highlife beat produced by Spax.
Blaqbonez – “Haba”
Blaqbonez’s personality as an internet troll doesn’t take anything away from his reputation as a rapper. In fact, he marries both attributes successfully with campaigns like his ‘Best Rapper in Africa’ where he intentionally makes inflammatory statements to trigger people and steer conversations. In a similar fashion, his new single, “Haba” capitalises on the reaction to the video he shared on Twitter confessing his addiction to watching twerk videos on Instagram. “Haba”sounds like the soundtrack to nights spent at the strip club, as he gives a graphic description of his experience with an enthusiastic dancer; “Say make she calm down/ But she say she wan whine until man die”. The accompanying video directed by TG Omori sticks to the script from his lyrics as we watch Blaq get several lap dances.
Dremo – “Faaji” Feat. Sinzu, Ycee
Sinzu, Dremo and Ycee are some elite rappers who have ensured that the Nigerian rap scene doesn’t live in the shadow of Afropop’s mainstream acclaim. Each artist has had commercially impactfully hit songs and have now brought their efforts together for “Faaji”, a rap song with all the alluring attributes that make up Afropop. Vstix produced the flute-led beat for “Faaji” and the groovy beat inspires confident rap verses from Dremo Sinzu and Ycee who rap from their perspective as celebrities trying to pick up women in the club.
Rema – “Dumebi Remix” Feat. Major Lazer
Rema has released a new remix for “Dumebi” as we approach the first anniversary for his self-titled ‘Rema’ debut this Sunday. The song already enjoyed a dominating run in African music charts, playlists and radio through most part of last year, but now it seems to have grown more wings as it travels to the rest of the world on the back of international remixes. Becky G initially jumped on the first remix last month before Norwegian Dj and producer, Matoma made the EDM remix that came out earlier this month. It’s hard to improve on a great song but Major Lazer’s “Dumebi Remix” upgrades the Ozedikus produced beat with vibrant Caribbean dancehall drums and synths that highlight Afropop’s harmonious attribute.
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