Songs of the day: New music from L.A.X, Larry Gaaga and Joeboy, DJ Kaywise, Mayorkun, Naira Marley and Zlatan and more
All the best new music from our corner of the world
All the best new music from our corner of the world
Music has continued to sustain our sense of community as we all navigate the chaos of the world around us. Artists have kept the party going with new relatable songs that helps us remember the good old days (before the pandemic), dream of a better tomorrow, or just enjoy the present moment. Because we know the volume can be overwhelming sometimes, we’ve decided to highlight the best songs released from around the world, thrice a week, in a bid to put that extra pep in your steps as you go through the rest of the year.
We set the ball rolling for this week with new releases from Barry Jhay, Seyi Shay, Zlatan, Ycee and Small Doctor, Solana and Joeboy, and Mr Eazi and King Promise. For our mid-week curation, we have new music from L.A.X, Larry Gaga, and Joeboy, NYC-based Afropop singer, Shirazee, Rexxie, Zlatan and LadiPoe, DJ Kaywise, Mayorkun, Naira Marley and Zlatan. Enjoy.
Being alone in quarantine is enough to drive anyone crazy, when you add the yearning for a lover into the mix, you get inspired to write a song titled “Lose My Mind”. “Lose My Mind” details L.A.X’s struggle with being apart from his love interest. Singing “Girl I miss our vibe/ When this is all over/ Want to make you my wife” over the piano-led beat, produced by Clemzy, L.A.X nails a familiar mood for lovers who have had to endure the pandemic-induced isolation from their significant others.The mellow harmonies and L.A.X’s romantic lyrics are primed to soundtrack wedding receptions but given his recent history as an unfaithful lover, we wonder if he’s ready to make that commitment.
Thankfully, the video directed by Ahmed Mosh isn’t set at a wedding. Rather, it shows L.A.X and his muse speaking over the phone, with clips of them sharing intimate moments together sprinkled into the mix. When they celebrate the news that the lockdown in Lagos has been lifted at the end of the video, there’s a sense that things will just go back to normal, unlike the future the song depicts.
Entering the foreground of the music industry last year, Larry Gaaga has continued to partner with A-list artists to deliver dance-driven songs for parties. For his new single, “Slow Burner”, he sets asides his reputation for working with legacy artists like Flavour, Wande Coal, Sarkodie, and others, and teams up with Joeboy who has to prove that the younger generation also know how to party. “Slow Burner” highlights the appeal of dance floor romance with its sultry lyrics and catchy Afropop instrumentals that entice listeners to move. Over the groovy Afropop harmonies that have become Joeboy’s bread and butter, he describes the sexual tension between himself and his dance partner. “Me I just want to dance and romance your body/ You set the dance on fire and you last long; you’re like a slow burner”, he sings, enunciating every word with surgical precision to capture the sensual mood on dance floors.
The video, directed by Unlimited LA, highlights the song’s raunchy themes as we see Joeboy and his muse getting intimate while we also watch Larry Gaaga receiving, what we can only assume is, a handjob. Joeboy is also seen performing with a live band but given the after-party activity the song hints at, it’s hard to imagine that performing his song is the highlight of his night.
Lots of diaspora African artists have attempted to channel their indigenous influences to make contemporary pop songs, but none have captured the motif quite like Shirazee. His authentic Nigerian accent on songs like “JUJU”, featuring SAINt JHN underline his commitment to amplifying black and African voices while marrying modern pop sounds with his roots. For his latest single, “Zaddy”, he interpolates Amber’s 1999 Eurodance hit song, “Sexual (Li Da Di)” for a groovy and sexy song where he expresses his romantic feelings for his muse. Singing “Just meet on the northside/ pull me over closer at the rendezvous” over the smooth disco bassline, “Zaddy” is the type of song you put on while preparing for a date. The laidback instrumentals set a pleasant mood that can guide listeners while they get dressed, wear makeup, or even sit through traffic on the way to their date.
“Zaddy” is the first track from the Benin-raised artist’s coming tape, ‘Lost’, which is expected to drop before the end of the year. He spoke with NATIVE saying, “Benin is the source of a lot of things that it doesn’t get credit for. You can hear a lot of Benin’s influence on Haitian and Brazilian culture. I don’t think people understand that, so I want to make sure that I reconnect the dots.” We can’t wait to hear the rest of the tape, which even promises a feature with South African singer, Busiswa.
Rexxie became the official street-hop producer after helping produce several hit songs for Zlatan and Naira Marley. His aptly titled debut project, ‘Afro-Street’ offered the different sonic palettes of the sound and also highlighted its groovy appeal with different dancefloor-driven tracks. The producer just updated one of the standout tracks, Zlatan-assisted “Opor” with a remix that features a new verse from LadiPoe. The original Zanku beat and Zlatan’s energetic chorus and verse are retained on the remix as LadiPoe shows his adaptable flow by aligning with the upbeat instrumentals to deliver socially conscious bars and cocky brags; “Fuck all man who hate on black lives/ Only Whitehouse we know, e dey Yaba.”
Given the original song’s theme of celebrating abundance, LadiPoe’s anti-hate message comes across a bit preachy. The bouncy beat keeps the cheerful ambiance going and ‘Poe eventually gets into his party-talk bag with brags about sliding into women’s DMs and leaving them on read. “Opor Remix” shows LadiPoe’s willingness to expand the scope of his music and also shows the depth of Rexxie’s phonebook. It has built our anticipation of more unique collaborations to come from both musicians.
Word on the street is the Zanku dance wave is no longer in fashion. This leaves room for a new dance to take over and DJ Kaywise has released a new single that asks the question that’s on everyone’s mind; What type 0f dance will we be doing next? The DJ titles his new single, “What Type of Dance” and it features Mayorkun, Naira Marley, and Zlatan who are all renowned dance trend experts. “What Type of Dance” was produced by Fresh who sets a groovy backdrop for the artists to deliver verses that explain why their favourite dance move is the sensual type.
While the beat for “What Type of Dance” is certainly designed for dance floors, Mayorkun and Naira Marley are more concerned with making love than dancing. For Mayorkun’s verse, he confessed that he’d rather spend his time with his lover than performing shows while Naira Marley spends his time trying to convince his love interest to have sex with him without missing a step with the beat. Even Zlatan’s closing verse doesn’t give an answer to what type 0f dance, but rather expresses that he isn’t picky. His verse encourages listeners to get into the groove as he ran through a list of popular dance moves like Galala, Azonto, Gbeku, and his own Zanku dance.
With none of these Afropop tastemakers deciding on a type f dance, “What Type of Dance” seems to suggest that the type of dance doesn’t matter as long as the party mood is set. The video Dammy Twitch directed doesn’t offer any answers either as all we see is DJ Kaywise partying with the featured artists and a few cameos at a studio set.
You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu