NATIVE Selects: New Music From Stonebwoy, Black Sherif, Super Smash Bros & More
some great records to start off the week
some great records to start off the week
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.
Last week, we brought you stellar releases from Davido, Bloody Civilian, SGaWD, 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!
One of the most intentional artists out of Africa, the music of Stonebwoy is fusion-centric in scope. Dancehall forms his core, but he’s able to work well outside its conventions, leading him to create great moments with every record. “Far Away” is a new single off Stonebwoy’s forthcoming album, ‘5th Dimension.’ With celebrated guests such as Davido, Stormzy and Angelique Kidjo, he sets the release favourably with this scintillating record. His vocals are flexible and the messaging of seeking peace is relatable; it’s an exciting run-up to what’s shaping up to be a major event in Afropop.
With appearances in music concerts hosted by Chike and Ric Hassani, the name Kotrell is one to watch out for. As the aforementioned acts suggest, Kotrell works in the R&B and folk tradition, working up his way in a scene that’s remarkably full of singular talents. “Smile For Me” makes his own case; over stripped acoustics front-ended by dreamy guitar licks, his vocals serenade with mellow assurance. “Oh my baby, money no fit buy this kind of love,” he sings warmly, using the right measure of vocal reverberations to enhance the emotion in other parts of the record.
Earlier this year, Jamaican dancehall superstar Popcaan released his fifth album, ‘Great Is He.’ While that album had great features such as Burna Boy and Drake, obviously Popcaan still has more pop in his can. On the album deluxe he stretches the narrative palette, on this standout record uniting with the soulful Black Sherif for a laidback appreciation offered to Jah. A subject matter that’s been poignantly translated by both artists through the prism of their harsh early circumstances, “Celebrate” is an alliance of like minds.
Gengetone has come a long way since its eruption in 2019. Its assimilation into other genres has seen the sporadic progress of the genre. In Exray’s latest single “Toa Njeve” he teams up with Hip Hop veteran Scar Mkadinali. Bringing the street culture of situationships and fast life the duo rap on a hi-hat 808 beat creating a perfect backdrop illustrating Nairobi’s love life as Exray sings, “Hakuna ndoa huku kuna mechi mafriendly.”
Born in the US to musically-inclined parents, KAMAUU was destined to rock the mic. More poignantly, his chosen genre of rap allows him the space to dissect and discuss his origins and as well the motions of the modern state, which are heady topics which haven’t quite intruded on the enjoyability of his music. “Antidote” bears this quality; featuring Kojey Radical who also props his Ghanaian descent and Siimbie, it’s a bouncy number which combines a proud perspective of Blackness and the ownership of our art.
As DJs, tastemakers, and facilitators, the Super Smash Broz has been making waves in the Boston music scene for years. Their latest single “Distance” showcases their production skills and ability to work with talented artist, Ria Sean. “Distance” showcases Ria Sean’s soulful vocals as she sings about missing her lover who is far away. Her delivery brings comfort to the listener, acknowledging the pain of being apart from someone you love. The Super Smash Broz production provides an exciting backdrop for Ria’s vocals, creating a song that is both fun and emotionally powerful. This upbeat Amapiano production will have listeners dancing while still resonating with the heartfelt message of a long-distance relationship.