Songs of the Day: New Music from Joeboy, lordkez, Juls & more
Some new releases you should get into
Some new releases you should get into
As the year winds down, the sheer number of music we receive at The NATIVE keeps growing at an exponential rate. With live shows back in full swing and Afropop hits such as Wizkid’s “Essence” and CKay’s “Love Nwantiti” climbing the charts both home and abroad, there has never been a more exciting time than the present for the ever-evolving sonic landscape. Through it all, we remain committed to the ideal of music discovery and sharing that is a big part of what we stand for.
That’s where our Songs of the Day column comes in. We’re doing the work to stay on pulse with all the music coming out from across the continent and beyond, bringing you exciting songs of tomorrow: today. Last Friday, we brought you new releases from Ladipoe, Fasina, Fireboy DML, Eugy, Reekado Banks, and more. For our early-week installment, we’re bringing you recent drops from Joeboy, Juls, lordkez, Msaki, Sho Madjozi, and more. Tap in and enjoy.
Joeboy’s ability to consistently find the intersection between relatable affections and pristine pop songwriting is responsible for his established reputation as a hit-maker. The singer reached into the same bag for his latest single, “Sip (Alcohol),” which quickly went on to become a smash hit, and is currently on its third week at No. 1 on the TurnTable charts. In support of the song, he’s shared the Dammy Twitch-directed video, a brightly coloured set of visuals with vivid emotive overtones that capture the song’s overall essence.
Nigerian pop music has a penchant for hyperpop tracks aimed at encouraging escapism, urging listeners to find a good time even though the situation in the country is anything but a good time. Idahams’ new single, “Problem,” falls firmly into that lineage, a light-hearted appeal for listeners which urges them not to be consumed by their problems. “Problem no dey finish, enjoy yourself/wahala for the person wey no wan flex,” he proclaims over the Amapiano-influenced production. Matching the candour of his message, the accompanying video sees Idahams and several young Nigerians smiling, dancing and generally having a great time.
As it’s a part of her heritage, Sho Madjozi’s deep appreciation for East Africa is documented. Following the video for her hit song, “Jamani,” which was shot in Mombasa, Kenya, she’s now collaborated with Nandy on the Tanzanian superstar’s new single, “Kunjani.” Both known for delivering colourful, sometimes dance-ready music, they combine for a dusty Amapiano banger, singing energetically over droning synths, bright keys and thumping percussion.
Nigerian rap veteran Loose Kaynon has just dropped his solo sophomore effort, Survivor’s Remorse. The brief 8-track project follows ‘Crown’, his collaborative project with A-Q which was executive produced by M.I Abaga. On it, the trio reunite for the standout track, “98 Bulls,” a boastful track that references the ‘90s Bulls dynasty which won six NBA championship titles. Drawing parallels with one of the all-time sports success stories, all three rappers take to a Beats By Jayy production, which is reminiscent of the early ‘00s Dipset era, slinging self-reverential bars while underpinning their hubris with a sense of brotherhood.
While it’s been two years since his last project, South African rap artist The Big Hash has remained visible with a string of frequent singles and features. For his latest drop, he taps two colleagues, Blxckie and YoungstaCPT for “Heavy is the Crown,” a conceited slapper produced by Doou$hii and Season 98. Over knocking 808s and smoky piano samples, the trio revel in their individual come-ups, recounting steps forward and sneering at detractors with authority.
South African singer/rapper and NATIVE Fresh Meat alum, lordkez has just released ‘midsummer’, her fourth overall project and second of the year. The new tape continues her flair for sonic experimentation while highlighting her increased preference for blunt lyricism over the poetic flourishes that marked her earlier work. To support the project, she’s shared the video for the opening track, “Glory,” a warm, romance-themed track that features an unusual appearance from Maglera Doe Boy, who showcases his singing chops as opposed to the aggressive rapping he’s known for. In something of a performance piece, the video shows both artists serenading each other over cups of tea, an intimate setting that matches the feel of the Neo-Soul jam.
South African singer Msaki wields one of the most compelling voices in Afropop, a chamber-filling voice that can wring out emotions and belt out memorable melodies to smash hits. In a few weeks, she’ll be releasing two albums, ‘Platinub Heart Open’ and ‘Platinumb Heart Beating’. In the lead-up to the projects, she’s just dropped two new singles, including “Fetch Your Life II,” a jazzy reprise of her 2019 smash with Prince Kaybee. The other is “Mntakababa,” a deep house bop that features production from Kabza De Small, and a rather easy-going guest appearance from rapper Focalistic.
Earlier this month, British-Ghanaian producer/DJ Juls released his long-awaited debut album, Sounds of My World. The 15-song album found Juls traversing contemporary Afropop and Black music from the diaspora, tying them all together into a unified statement through his neo-highlife-fusion sieve. The latest single off the album is “Intentionally,” a summery, romantic cut that features Nigerian pop superstar Fireboy DML. The song recently received the video treatment, a TG Omori-directed set that features Juls and Fireboy having a chill time with women who act as their love interests.