The last few months have been difficult. But with three weeks left until the end of the year, we’re trying to find more ways to be thankful and present in the current moment. While we’re still dedicated to amplifying and reporting the issues that have plagued us this year, we’ve now resumed our column, Songs of the Day as a nod to the artists putting out great music that serve as a momentary escape from all the grimness of the current news cycle.
This week, our Songs of the day curation started with new releases from Stonebwoy and Davido, Falz and Niniola, Tomi Agape, Amaarae and BOJ, Waje and Cracker Mallo, Lo Village, and many more. For the mid-week curation, we have compiled the latest releases from Tekno, Reminisce and Adekunle Gold, DMW’s latest signing, Liya, Port Harcourt rapper, Kblacktheblack, more. These are the songs we believe can help you get through the rest of the week. Dig in and enjoy.
Tekno – “Designer”
Tekno’s upcoming album, ‘Old Romance’ remains one of the most anticipated albums from any African artist this year. Since he broke into the mainstream with “Pana” in 2016, fans have waited on his first full-length project, and it’s finally set to drop tomorrow, on the 10th of December. While we wait for the 14-track tape, Tekno has followed up the lead single, “Enjoy” with a new single, “Designer” which further amplifies the romantic and dancehall direction hinted in the album’s title.
Backed by the waist whine-ready production “Designer” finds Tekno expressing how much he loves his muse; “This kind woman sent from heaven”. He’s able to fuse different influences as he sings in English and patois while laying Afropop melodies over the Caribbean dancehall beat. Though we’re still raising our eyebrows about some of the lyrics, (“No matter the money, my baby no fit give her pussy to nobody”), “Designer” tells the story of a man in a committed relationship with the woman of his dreams.
Joeboy – “Celebration”
Since he broke out in 2019 with his debut single under Mr Eazi’s emPawa platform, “Baby”, Joeboy has remained one of the most promising music talents in Nigeria. This year, he continued his run by delivering impressive guest features like Major Lazer’s “Sun Comes Up” and DJ Neptune’s “Nobody”. He’s now rounding up the year with a festive new single, “Celebration”, produced by Type A.
“Celebration” has a groovy Afropop baseline that guides Joeboy’s melodic performance as he encourages listeners to have a good time and anticipate their blessings. Singing “No worry my brother/ you know money go dey”, “Celebration” is primed to set the festive mood for the coming holiday season. Joeboy explained to us at NATIVE that he was inspired to record the feel-good song while at a recording camp in Ghana. He shares:
“In a year that has been more torrid than fulfilling for many of us, we still need to give thanks and appreciate the littlest of things and that’s what ‘Celebration’ is about. “Celebration” is a song of happiness, recorded at my recording camp in Ghana. It’s not a love song but a feel-good song that signifies that we shall be alright regardless of the challenges.”
Liya – “Melo”
Liya was unveiled as the first female DMW signing earlier this year, and now she has shared her first official single under DMW management, “Melo”. The romantic single was produced by Zaki Magic who lays a catchy highlife-influenced beat for her to show off her vocal range. She delivered a high pitched performance as he sang about her music’s dance floor appeal in a mix of English and Yoruba lyric; “I got the vibe, I’d make you losing your mind/ dancing make your body come alive/ ta lenu bi rodo”.
Davido also made a cameo in the accompanying video for Liya’s “Melo” as Dammy Twitch directed the ballroom set where we see Liya performing the song in different gorgeous and culturally recognizable costumes. Several dancers and models are also seen in the ballroom set as they dance along to the catchy music and confirm her bold claim as the latest vibe machine in the country.
Reminisce and Adekunle Gold – “Toxic”
Men are commonly seen as the most toxic gender even though the abusive traits that make one toxic aren’t specific to any gender. One of the major reasons for this is cause men rarely admit their vulnerable feelings when they get hurt. Reminisce and Adekunle Gold have teamed up for a new single, “Toxic” where they show us that it’s possible to celebrate rapper-like hedonism while acknowledging your weakness.
Over the hip-hop-leaning beat produced by Sess, Reminisce addresses a love interest who’s only using him; “You choking me to death, can’t you see ni? Fulfilled your every wish, afi bi genie”. Adekunle Gold delivered the song’s catchy hook where he describes his muse’s love as poison. Both artists are aware of their love interest’s toxic traits and channel the pain they’ve endured to create an empowering song that’s instantly relatable. “Toxic” is Reminisce’s first single since he put out his EP, ‘Vibes & Insha Allah’ in July.
Kblacktheblack x Dokashot – “Winner” Feat. Eké Miller, Veen
Jos was once the undoubted home of Hip-hop in Nigeria, back when M.I was at his peak in the early 2010s. These days, Port Harcourt rappers have taken the spotlight as the rap scene in the city continues to flourish with new rappers emerging from there with different vibrant and unique styles. Kblacktheblack joins the ranks of PsychoYP, Erriga, Kiienka, Veen and other Port Harcourt breed rap talents as he delivered as impressive 7-track EP, ‘Soul Ecstasy’, where he flexes his rap prowess and afflictions with guest verses from Eké Miller and Veen on the opening track, “Winner”.
Doka Shot produced most of the tracks on ‘Soul Ecstasy’ and for “Winner” he teamed up with Kresh Maejor for an Afro-inspired trap beat which sets the backdrop for Kblacktheblack, Eké Miller and Veen to brag about being winners.
dndSection – “It’s Been a While”
Fans have been anticipating Atlanta-based Nigerian rapper, dndSection’s project since he first hinted at it in August with the lead single, “Zaza” featuring SMV. We can finally hear the whole project as he has now shared the 5-track EP, ‘Patience is Best’. where he shows off his vibrant hip-hop flows and explores themes like romance, drugs, wealth, and gang rivalry over different riveting trap beats.
On the second track, “It’s Been A While”, he performs a tribute to a friend who has passed on, saying “I miss my dawg but I know he in heaven/ But I still feel his presence”. The trap beat Rai produced for the song has an ethereal ambiance that highlights the emotive context for dndsection’s lyrics as he channels the loss to deliver confident bars about his focus on acquiring wealth and surviving in the streets.
PsychoYP – “Attention” Feat Oxlade, Merry-Lynn
PsychoYP has just shared a 2-track package, ‘National Anthem’ which boasts of features from Lyta, Azanti, Oxlade, and Merry-Lynn. Both tracks, “Flex and Ball” and “Attention” offer further proof of the Port Harcourt-bred artist’s range as he continues to adapt his hip-hop flow to suit the commercial sound of Afropop.
On the Oxlade and Merry-Lynn-assisted track, “Attention”, he performs a melodic rap set over the AfroHouse instrumentals produced by Lames. His lyrics, “I feel like I’m way too drunk to be holding a convo” doubles down on the house party mood the beat already hints as he goes on to describe his relationship with his attention-seek muse. Oxlade and Merry-Lynn contribute a verse each, offering their own take on how they deal with their obsessive lovers. Though there’s no interplay between the artists as they barely stick around to harmonize, the common denominator is their ability to find their comfortable pocket on the instrumentals for their unique vocals.
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