New Music Friday: Projects from Crayon, Azanti, Lil Kesh & More

A pretty packed day for new projects

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 it can slip through the cracks, unheard. This column serves to bring those projects to your ears as you prepare for the end of work and look forward to the weekend. Settle in for an experience as we travel the African continent for the latest music projects.


It took four years from when he joined Mavin Records but Crayon’s debut album is here. The Nigerian artist uses the project to document his feelings, trials and tribulations, and success. With support from seasoned music producers (Sarz, Andrevibez, Don Jazzy, etc.) and featured acts (Ayra Starr, Victony, Oxlade, etc.), Crayon takes centre stage with Afropop cuts that balance introspection and party mood—all with an aspiration for his journey.



Last year, Azanti showed his versatility on his debut LP, with songs that flowed from R&B to Soul to Afropop. It was also an opportunity for Azanti to flex his songwriting and vocals. On the deluxe version of ‘Heart Parts & Nostalgia,’ he adds six new tracks to the project with features from Adekunle Gold, PyschoYP and Rowlene. It’s a fitting addition to Azanti’s discography.



While he continues to work on his sophomore album, Lil Kesh puts out an EP for his fans. The six-track ‘Rhythm and Tunes’ contains earlier tracks “Don’t Call Me” (with Zinoleesky), “Feeling Funny” (with Young Jonn) and “Vanilla Bottega” (with Joeboy). The project is a tidy pack of songs that finds Lil Kesh in either romantic or fun moods. ‘Rhythm and Tunes’ is for day-one Lil Kesh fans who have followed his journey since YBNL and also for new listeners who want to participate in his art.



In 2020, The Sarz Academy, the brainchild of Nigerian music producer Sarz, released the first instalment of its compilation project featuring graduates of the music programme. That project ushered in the likes of Dunnie, Tempoe and P.Priime. For the second instalment, graduates of the program show their musical abilities with the 15-track project. Featuring both artists and music producers, this is another compilation that announces the arrival of some of Africa’s newest talents.



It’s a star-studded affair on Jamopyper’s debut self-titled album. The Nigerian act consolidates on his works since his impressive turn on 2020’s “Of Lala,” inviting guests including Ice Prince, Mohbad, Chike, AV and Reekado Banks. The songs on ‘Jamopyper,’ which focuses on romance and survival, showcase his influences from Apala to Fuji to Were, with deft touches of Amapiano.



Basiil’s debut EP ‘I Know I Am’ is here. The Nigerian singer, who enjoys the backing of entertainment maestro Bankuli, released his debut single “Vibration” earlier this year. ‘I Know I Am,’ with guest appearances from Camidoh and 4Korners, is a collection of Afropop songs that exhibits Basiil’s relatable songwriting and melodious singing. The project is the starting point for Basiil to take off in his career and build more following.



On her debut album ‘Interstella’, South African rapper Indigo Stella flexes her skills over Hip-Hop and Afrobeats productions. He uses the project to trace her journeys and desires and fears, speaking confidence into her efforts with deft flows and deliveries. ‘Interstella’ is Indigo Stella’s account of the pressures she’s surmounted and the great heights she has her sights fixed on. In other words, she’s on Earth but her mind is out of this world.

Featured image credits/NATIVE