New Music Friday: Projects From Odeal, WurlD, Lifesize Teddy & More

new week, new tunes

It’s another Friday and time for a roundup of music projects from African acts to check out. Throughout the week, music has poured in from all over the continent and sometimes unmissable projects can slip through the cracks, unheard. This column serves to bring those projects to your ears as you wind down to the weekend. We’ve compiled a typically spellbinding list today, a vast terrain in the African music soundscape covered. In addition to new projects from Odeal, Cruel Santino and Life Size Teddy, here are some more projects that deserve your ears.


British-Nigerian singer, Odeal has steadily expanded his catalogue with a slew of promising releases like Brazy-assisted “Be Easy,” and an unforgettable live rendition of “All That It Takes” for  A COLORS SHOW, whetting appetites for what was to come. Leading this New Music Friday, Odeal’s ‘Thoughts I Never Said’ arrives with eight solo tracks and a stellar, heartwarming outro, “Gave You My All,” assisted by Emil. A series of lush guitar strings and heavy piano chords create the perfect soundscape for Odeal’s sonorous vocals as he tells stirring stories of love and loss. 


This year, Mayorkun has served up a slew of releases from “Balenciaga” to the Iyanya and Tekno-assisted “One Side(Remix),” to name a few. To close out the year, he delivers a hypnotic 5-tracker stacked with stories of heartbreak, finding new love and self-discovery. In what feels like an emotional rollercoaster, Mayorkun channels his inner lover boy in raw lyrics accompanied by melancholic melodies and soul-stirring chords to explain the complexities of love and life. On the project’s intro, he taps South African rapper, Blxckie, for a memorable rendition that sets the mood for the remainder of the project. 


The announcement of any artist signed to one of Africa’s biggest record labels, Mavin Records, would understandably come with significant levels of buzz. Beyond the exciting news, Lifesize Teddy proved with her eponymous debut a few months ago that she is well worth the attention with standout tracks like “Air.Her recently released follow-up ‘POISN’ is not only proof of her dedication to expanding the scope of her craft, but also a fine showcase of her growth and versatility merely six months later. ‘POISN’ features three solo performances and two features assisted by fellow label signee, Magixx and Chocobantis. Lifesize Teddy effortlessly glides across the dark soundscape with honeyed melodies and hard hitting bars, making for an engaging 14 minutes listen. 


At 17 years old, Qing Madi has earned the ears of many listeners across the country since her chart-topping BNXN-assisted single “Ole.” She rounds her efforts into a self-titled 7-track extended play, featuring crowd favourites such as “See Finish” and “Vision.” Across the project, stacked with potential hits, we see Qing Madi within a familiar atmosphere of R&B, accompanied by Pop-leaning soundscapes with hints of Afropop. While she tackles the unsettling feeling of dissatisfaction after attaining life long dreams on “Madi’s Medly,” she explores loneliness and loss from a friendship gone sour on “Chargie.” Once again, Qing Madi has proven to be an artist on the cusp of a bigger breakthrough. 


Since the introduction of Subaru World with his critically acclaimed 2022 album, ‘Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN,’ Cruel Santino has been firmly dedicated to expanding the sonic universe of Subaru. A few weeks ago, he released a two-pack release dubbed ‘Holiday Sniping,’ featuring L0la and Slater. The arrival of ‘Cincinnati Pumpin!!,’ more than anything affirms Santi’s penchant for explorations and experimentation with the alternative soundscapes. The four track release features frequent collaborators, Odunsi (The Engine) on the groovy, drum-led “Panic Island)” alongside a melancholic story of love on “Cincinnati Pumpin!!,” produced by Tochi Bedford. 


2022 was the last time WurlD released an album, the 19-tracker titled ‘My WorlD with U.’ Now, he makes a resounding comeback with an 8-track extended play tagged ‘Dont Get Used To This.’ The new project comes packed with exciting love songs with a standout feature from Sarz. On “Location,” WurlD reaffirms his undeniable chemistry with the producer atop an upbeat dance-leaning rendition where he transparently states his longing for his love interest with sweet-sounding lines in English and Yoruba. In typical WurlD fashion, he stretches his artistry a step further and adds to his strong catalogue of charming love tunes. 


Since her 2020 debut with “UDK,” Ugandan singer-songwriter, Likkle Bangi has garnered the attention of many listeners for her vast vocal range and authenticity, shone through her raw lyricism. Her official reintroduction to the world now arrives as an eponymous 4-track extended play where Bangi explores the highs and lows of life whilst threading a journey to self discovery. Her stark sincerity shines through twinkling keys and intoxicating drum patterns as she wholeheartedly bares her heart to anyone willing to understand. 

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