NATIVE Selects: New Music From Omah Lay, Young Jonn, Ayra Starr & More

a trove of excellent music to get into

It’s that time again. Every week, 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.

Earlier this week, we brought you stellar new releases from TAR1Q, Bongziwe Mabandla, Deto Black and more. Today, we have songs that move from Afropop to Amapiano to R&B, with our select artists showcasing their unending talent and passion for creativity. Lock in!


Boj’s “Line of Fire” follows shortly after his recently released “2 Bad,” reaffirming his unique delivery on heart-warming love themed tracks. This time, Boj is joined by Ayra Starr on the mid-tempo production by SHOLZ and Spax. Leading into the track, Ayra Starr’s vocals take centre stage accompanied by smooth chords and groovy drums. She and Boj go back and forth expressing the extent to which they are willing to satisfy their love interest, over the track’s luminous beat. 



Few musicians have their hands on the pulse of the moment like Young Jonn. Everything he releases right now stands the chance of being a mega hit, and that is such a great position to be in. “Aquafina” continues in the amapiano-style of some of his previous hits, produced by Magicsticks. Bemoaning a loss of love, it’s an electrifying song that seems crafted for the ebullience of communal moments. 


For a number of listeners, Victony and Tempoe’s “Soweto” was already THAT song. As we heard Victony’s lush vocals, pondering on the allure of his love interest, that had done it already. But like the gift that keeps on giving, Victony taps into Don Toliver and Rema for a glorious remix already making several rounds across social media and topping charts. Victony and Tempoe double down with another remix featuring Omah Lay’s dulcet vocals which heighten the intensity of the intoxicating track. As expected, Omah Lay’s luminous vocals blend seamlessly with Victony’s and Tempoe’s mellow keys. He reiterates the message of the track, undoubtedly mesmerised by his love interest as he asks spiritual forces to release him from her hold. 



Ghanaian musician KiDi knows how to pull the heart. Every song he’s put out, even the bops, have that emotive quality. With “I Lied”, he’s created one of his best incursions in that field yet. The production calls on warm, mellow drums and establishes an acoustic sound with its guitar and the horn playing in its latter sections. As always, KiDi’s vocals are evocative, charting the tumultuous seas of romantic tension. 


Over the years Rose May Alaba has built an inimitable profile for herself, singing across various genres, but often returning to Afropop. Her latest “Ibadi (Waist)” strikes a sensual note from the first second, holding the listener spell bound with May’s singing. Produced by the prolific Blaise Beatz, it’s a mellow sound which would do a number both in public and intimate settings, a versatility that’s been the signature of Alaba’s music. No doubt boasting a lot of potential, it’s a juicy reintroduction into the Afropop fold. 


In the past few years, A-Q has burnished his cred as one of the hottest rappers in the country. Merging his conscious lyrical style with sonic measure, he’s in an elevated spot unlike where he’s been in his almost two-decade career. “Family” is a touchy record about the perils of naysayers and why support from the real ones is all one needs. Pair Q’s signature ingenuity with Blaq’s renewed skill as a singer and this song’s appeal comes to the fore. It’s that rare rap song the radio would absolutely love. 


Widely acclaimed as the Queen of Afro-House, it’s always a madness when Niniola gets on a drum-suffused record. On her latest track “All Eyes On Me”, she culls in amapiano production to sing about her superstar quality. Teasing as she always does, her singing brings the song to visceral life, hitting ecstatic spots in the brain with its sweet rush of vocals. There’s every chance this might become a hit song in the coming weeks. 


“Wena” is the third single from ‘Choplife Vol. 1: Mzansi Chronicles’, the forthcoming project from Choplife Sound System, which is an offshoot of Eazi’s entertainment outfit Choplife Ministries. Its dreamy amapiano soundscape created by DJ Tarico, it’s a purposeful record which blends the distinct vocals of Ami Faku and Eazi to spellbinding effect. As part of a larger project, it also helps to establish great buzz in that direction. 


Since teasing this record on social media, listeners have eagerly anticipated the link-up. On “Where Them Dey”, a laidback production which allows Laime and ODUMODUBLVCK to chart different tales of their come-up and their experience with drugs respectively. With both rappers proving quite authoritative, it falls into the section of high spirited rap songs, but its mellow edge also means it might enjoy airplay within closed, chill circles as well. 


Amapiano is the gift that keeps giving to Nigerian music. Adapting the electric allure of the log drums, very exciting records have been created from that template. John NetworQ is one such artist who’s comfortable adapting the trends of contemporary Afropop. On his newest record “Goated”, he delivers affirmative lyrics with a hype man-esque style over bopping drums and loops. It’s a succinct record ready made for groovy evenings, and when you get to hear it outdoors, remember you first did so here.


Rising artist AttiFaya has released his first single of the year. Featuring the exciting Jaido P, “Smackdown” is a mellow tune carried on the irresistible flows of both artists. It runs with a moving guitar string, padding soft drums on either side to create a chill ‘zone out’ vibe. With more records expected this year, “Smackdown” offers a sonic prelude to the exquisite grooves AttiFaya has planned out.