NATIVE Selects: A List Of The Best Songs This Week
start your weekend with Major League DJz, Ayra Starr & more
start your weekend with Major League DJz, Ayra Starr & more
It’s that time again. Every day, new music shows up, sweeping fans and music lovers off their feet while artists gauge reactions to know the effect of their creativity. At the NATIVE, we are committed to keeping our ears on the pulse of the music scene and bringing the best sounds to your doorstep.
To close out your week, we brought you a stellar collaboration from Don Toliver and Wizkid alongside a slew of singles from Falz, Tay Iwar and more. Today, we have songs that move from Afropop to Amapiano to R&B; these artists—from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and more—showcase their unending talent and passion for creativity. Lock in!
Ghanaian rapper, Kwesi Arthur showcases once again his brilliant craftsmanship on “Pain Interlude,” his second release of the year after DJ Semtax and BackRoad Gee-assisted “Floor Shake.” Immediately leading in with a daunting key, in line with the tracks title and cover, Kwesi delves into the matters necessitating his frustrations while expressing the need to live his life without regret. Maintaining a mid tempo across the track’s length, Kwesi croons on the memorable hook, “Make I talk about the pain/No pain no gain.”
While some may recognise the Senegalese singer from chart toppers like “There Will Be Time” or “Wona,” others can recount his pristine writing contributions to Burna Boy’s rendition of “Alone” off ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.’ Off his three- track release ‘Freak Out,’ the project’s energetic intro serves as the second track from his forthcoming album ‘Being,’ slated for release later this month. Blending the traditional, heart-thumping drums with the visceral electronic production by Johan Eugo, Maal enlists vocals from Esau Mwamwaya from The Very Best. “Freak Out” offers a standout cut from the project, exploring the effect of social media and the internet on Africa and the world community.
On the remix of his viral 2022 single “Who Is Your Guy?,” Nigerian singer Spyro invites superstar Tiwa Savage for an energetic, fun-filled ode to friendships and connections. Over Amapiano and Afropop, Spyro and Tiwa Savage recall the individuals in their lives who carry positive influences and have contributed massively to their growth. Tiwa Savage immerses herself in Spyro’s world and exemplifies her versatility.
Haunting bass progressions are the first thing you hear on “Black Shadow”. With every second’s count the beat incorporates more elements, before Nu Fvnk’s vocals sweep in with the right amount of tension. A song with military leanings, it evokes the poignant heat of civil rights demonstrations. Fvnk’s native South Africa has a layered history of that and his chant-esque writing mirrors that urgency. “Anywhere I go, anywhere I live/ Black shadow on my skin, tryna take the light from me,” he sings with sharp imagery, burnishing the ethos of his unique direction.
With “Abracadabra” still doing a madness on the streets, Rexxie isn’t catching any sleep. He moves closer to the imminent release of a project titled ‘Big Time,’ expanding the scope of his artistry with each song. “Call My Phone” does exactly just that: produced by the mercurial Niphkeys, the song’s balance of affectionate songwriting and cherry production renders a sweet tease about it. Ajebo Hustlers continue on their impressive feature streak, owning the record through their original takes and vivid storytelling.
Following the success of “People,” released in the later parts of 2022, Libianca taps young Afropop stars Omah Lay and Ayra Starr for the track’s remix. A dreamy blend of melodious vocals from the trio, “People (Remix),” like the original lead in with Libianca’s instantly recognizable vocals and lyrics, “I’ve been drinking more alcohol for the past five days/Did you check on me?” Following up with ad-libs and a full solo verse, Ayra’s mellifluous vocals take center stage as she expresses the all too familiar need to escape reality as she questions her sanity. The slow-tempo track closes out with Omah Lay reiterating the song’s sentiments.
Closing out 2022, a surprise collaboration from Major League DJz, DJ Maphorisa, Tiwa Savage and Diplo resulted in a catchy chart topper, “Koo Koo Fun.” For their most recent release, the iconic South African duo, Major League DJz and superstar DJ-producer, Major Lazer tap into Joeboy on “Designer.” The instantly catchy Afro-house number leads in with percussive elements layers over subtle drum patterns as Joeboy sings of rocking his designer items and spoiling his love interest with equally flashy gifts. Midway through the track, the instrumentals take the forefront as the hook repetitively sings “I be rockin my designer.”
Shortly after the release of “noba bangathini” in the earlier parts of the year, South African singer Bongeziwe Mabandla is notorious for fusing traditional Xhosa folk music with more modern electronic productions, creating distinct sounds as seen on his new track “Ukuthanda Wena.” WIth production credits attributed to Tiago Correia-Paulo, marries heavy drum patterns with a techno-esque production featuring layers of percussion elements. “Ukuthanda Wena” serves as the second promotional single of his studio album, ‘amaXesha,’ slated for release later in the year.
Fusing the menacing energy of Drill with the colourful melodies of Afropop, “Under G” is a fitting introduction to the sound of rising act, MiD3. He draws from the familiar convictions of the country’s Gen-Z, flagrantly establishing his desire to soundtrack great moments in the present generation. With vocals which instantly stand out, the song’s usage of live talking drums is also a nice touch, earning the artist a striking personality.
For all the changes in the modern world, we’ve never lost belief in a Godly presence. That force remains a source of life and hope for many all across the globe, and it’s a transcendent feeling Sharyn evokes on “When Love Comes.” As part of Platoon’s Gospel Heritage compilation, it advances the ethereal vision, a soothing record which builds towards an ecclesiastical atmosphere. Sharyn’s admonition to open our hearts to love is amplified by her warm vocals, a serenade which assures the listener that God is in control of our affairs.
Featured Image Credits/The NATIVE