Songs of the day: New music from Tiwa Savage, Olayinka Ehi, King Perry and PyschoYP, and more
All the best new songs for you to get into the weekend groove
All the best new songs for you to get into the weekend groove
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.
Our mid-week curation for Songs of the day featured new music releases from L.A.X, Larry Gaga, and Joeboy, NYC-based Afropop singer, Shirazee, Rexxie, Zlatan and LadiPoe, DJ Kaywise, Mayorkun, Naira Marley and Zlatan. Today, we’ve compiled a list of all the latest music releases from around the continent that you don’t want to miss out on. We’re covering the new releases from Namibian rapper, Lioness, Olayinka Ehi, Tiwa Savage, King Perry and PsychoYP, TaavTheHuman and Isaac Lelord, and Aux Zenith to set the perfect mood for the weekend. Consider this our weekend gift to you. You’re welcome.
Olayinka Ehi’s feature on Adekunle Gold’s album, ‘Afro Pop, Vol. 1’ introduced her unique brand of r&b to mainstream Nigerian audiences. Just days after we saw her get the special treatment for her contribution to the project, she’s back with a new single, “Shake”. For fans who discovered her through her 2020 debut, “Terms and Conditions”, “Shake” standouts for its dancehall leaning vibe. Jesse Alordiah produced the mix of Caribbean carnival-inspired harmonies which guide Olayinka Ehi’s smooth melodies as she reminds us of all the things we miss about clubbing.
While the catchy mix of synths, upbeat drum riffs, DJ beat drops and what sounds like a sample of Lagbaja’s “Konko Below” sets the song firmly within the four walls of the dance club, the self-loving message of Olayinka’s lyrics makes perfectly suited for anywhere with a mirror. Everyone deserves to hear the word, “Shake that if you know you pretty and you fine” sang to them while they work out at the gym.
The vivid storytelling of King Perryy’s songwriting was always the biggest allure for his Afropop releases. Though his knack for crafting catchy melodies drove his song’s mainstream appeal as he fit in with A-list guest features like Patoranking, Timaya, Teni, Terri and others, his latest single, “YKTFV(You Know The Fvcking Vibe)” expands his sonic range for an Afro-trap experiment.
Fans of trap music will tell you that you can’t go wrong when you have PsychoYP as a guest feature, but it’s hard to imagine a better fit for King Perryy’s ambitious Afro-trap sound on “YKTFV”. The airy trap instrumentals create an eerie backdrop for King Perryy and PyschoYP’s verses where they describe their gritty background and ascent to celebrity status. Both artists share similar career positioning as mainstream artists with a niche audience. On “YKTFV”, they deliver impressive performances with catchy trap flows and lyrics that dig up old music releases while highlighting their commitment to documenting their real-life experience in their music.
Tiwa Savage’s anticipated ‘Celia’ album is here. The 13-track tape takes us through the r&b singer’s joyful attitude as one of Afropop’s torchbearers. The Davido linkup on “Park Well” was a definite highlight for the tape and it was great to see her flex her international label’s influence with the Sam Smith guest feature on “Temptation”. However, her self-assured performance on “Glory” remained this writer’s brightest moment from the tape.
Tiwa Savage is a proven pop star with the vocal range and songwriting chops to evoke an array of emotions. On “Glory” she experiments with the weightless ambiance of trance music as she sings over the electronic dance music-inspired production from Juice Billionaire, Kheil Harrison, Sham “Sak Pase” and Joseph. Singing “Everything we go through has its purpose/ Might not be so bad after all”, she delivers the type of optimistic message that we need to get through the rest of this rollercoaster year.
Love is often depicted as transitional within hip-hop’s misogynistic soundscape. Only a handful of rappers can be vulnerable and this leaves us with boastful songs that teach how love is earned through shiny things. Namibian rapper, Lioness appeals to the hearty emotions on her Waters-assisted track, “Feelings”. Saying “I’d be your heaven in human disguise”, she confidently confesses all the ways she loves her muse without any fear of being sappy.
“Feeling” was released along with her project, ‘Wish You Were Here’ earlier this year, but she just shared the accompanying video directed by Namafu Amutse. The video was filmed at Windhoek, Namibia and it shows Lioness in different vibrant and colorful sets that highlight the confident lover narrative she explored on the song.
Aux Zenith is a production duo based in Toronto and Lille. The members, Kiga and Jean draw from their varied taste in music to create an aura that inspired by their cultured experience, growing up in Addis Ababa, and their ambition to make music that entices people to move or feel something. Aux Zenith just released its debut single, “Under the Sun” and the summery tune aims to coax a feel-good feeling from listeners.
The atmospheric synth-based production and languid singing imitate the care-free feeling of bliss one might feel while relaxing at the beach or at the park. Hearing Kafaye’s lyrics, “The land is green and the sky is blue/ We’re under the sun till the day is gone”, performed with echoing effects that make the words enchanting, “Under the Sun” encourages listeners to kick back and enjoy nature. It’s the type of song you play to remind yourself everything will be okay.
When trap artists talk about their criminal lifestyle, they depict it as a brightly colored comic strip. With “Pew”, “Pow” adlibs, and other gunshot onomatopoeias letting listeners know the type of action they’re in for. Trap artists entice listeners into their violent world with colorful melodies and confidence-inspiring brags. For “Bundles + Nines”, TaavTheHuman and Lörd Isaac team up to glamourize their violent and druggy lifestyles over the sinister trap beat produced by Filipmakebeats.
The first words you hear on “Bundles + Nines” are from Lörd Isaac whispering “Let’s go” like the pair are sneaking up on someone. Correspondingly, TaavTheHuman hits the ground firing as he starts the hook saying, “I pull up and slide/ with bundles and nines/ I’m drowning my ops”. The aggression continues on Lörd Isaac’s opening verse as he brags about all the highlights of trapping—“I’m sipping on red/ I’m up in the club with a premium thin/Watch how she grabbing on my thing”—before TaavTheHuman closes with a similarly boastful verse. While their lyrics cast them as threatening figures, their catchy melodies are evocative and make it hard to resist nodding along to the beat.
When Aluna debuted “Body Pump” back in May, she was ushering in a new artistic era. The song confirmed that she had broken away from her renowned career as one half of the renowned EDM duo, AlunaGeorge, and was starting her solo career. The London-based just released her debut project, ‘Renaissance’ where she takes a more firm stance on her artistic direction, turning her melting pot of influences into throbbing, futuristic heaters like the 7th track, “Recipe” featuring KAYTRANADA and Rema.
“Recipe” finds the sweet spot where EDM and Afro bashment intertwine. To achieve this, she enlists the help of Canadian producer, KAYTRANADA and Nigeria’s youngest dancehall export, Rema. KAYTRANDA’s smooth mix of lush EDM instrumentals and dancehall drum riffs set the twerk and wine groove which Aluna and Rema ride with energetic and melodic performances. They make the perfect partnership as they sing about their commitment to dancefloor romance—“I’d do something for you/ You got the recipe”—with catchy melodies that can take a promising tune over the top into a summer anthem.
American-based Afropop singer, Chu-Chu has followed up his 2019 debut, “Killing Me” with a double single release titled ‘Electra and You’. Both songs are worth a listen but the track that caught our ear the most is the collab with one of our all-time favorites, WANI on “Electra”.
Dazzling synths, soulful percussion, and laidback drums set the excited tone for Chu-Chu and WANI’s sweet vocals addressed at their respective love interests. WANI already proved himself a formidable and efficient dancefloor filler with a gooey soft spot with his romantic-Afropop catalog and he lives up to his reputation as he performs his catchy set, admitting to his obsession with his lover; “If you see me in the club with my dark shades on/ You should know I got her on my mind/ It’s like all the time”. Though the dancefloor isn’t employed as a plot device on Chu-Chu’s verse, his R&B-inspired flow and hearty lyrics about his romantic feelings deliver “Electra”‘s love message succinctly. The same romantic message carries on to the second song, “You” as Chu-Chu returns with aplomb.
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