Songs Of The Day: New Music From Obongjayar, Koffee, Emo Grae & More

new music for the weekend

After the many wins forged by Afropop last year, the musical landscape has never looked more promising. As such the fast and furious pace of new music releases makes it hard to keep track of all the good music coming out of Africa. 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. Earlier this week, we brought you new releases from Benji Flow Chike, Kranium and more. To start the weekend, we’re rounding up the week’s releases with new music from Obongjayar, Koffee, Emo Grae, Phyno, Zoro, Psycho YP, Laime, Loti and more.

Obongjayar – “Try”

Last year, Obongjayer created seismic ripples in the Nigerian music soundscape with his abrasive-yet-sleek vocal texture, his flawless pen game and his unique style on his collaborative EP ‘Sweetness’ with Sarz. This year, the singer is not losing any steam. This year, after months of speculation and tantalising hints from a run of totemic singles and collaborations, the singer announces the release of his debut album ‘Some Nights I Dream Of Doors,’ with new single, “Try.”

On this record, he veers off from the sensual RnB sound that is characteristic of some of his earlier works and returns to his archetypal avant-garde sound. The song is all shades of experimental, incorporating elements from a range of genres including Country, Soul, Rock and Jazz elements. Obongjayar is not his usual energy-bustling self, instead, he sounds deeply reflective and pensive, as he solemnly sings “..there’s no guarantee our lives will change but all we’ll do is try..”.

Koffee – Pull Up”

Jamaican superstar Koffee teams up with ace British-Ghanaian producer Jae5 to create a sunny Afropop jam. Jae5 masterfully lays out a simple beat-composition and allows Koffee’s illustrious voice to take the centre stage—similar to what he did on a number of crosscontinental hits including Burna Boy’s 2019 Afropop song “Pull Up”.

Koffee is carefree and chill in her usual manner as she serves her some more of her rapid-fire lyricism and bubbly-high spirited productions, which have come to be expected of her. In the accompanying video, we see clips of Koffee performing her verse, while cheerily waving out of a moving car, aptly translating the song’s light-hearted and playful lyrics. It’s just the way to make a single preceding an album!

Phyno & Zoro – “New Video”

Phyno-Zoro collabs have become a staple in recent times, with five joint releases in the past few years. On this record, these two Igbo-Rap behemoths combine to create a high octane Jam, characterised by brash boisterous percussion and a wicked melody, which cascade for an enjoyable experience. The pair take turns to brag about their money and sex appeal over the song’s infectious beat.

Emo Grae – “Steady Drinking”

Fresh Meat alum, Emo Grae ran a stellar campaign in 2021 which culminated in the release of singles such as “Suddenly,” “Gone,” and more. To begin the new year, the singer has now partnered with Ace producers, Niph Keys and Timmy Jay for the exquisitely-produced number “Steady Drinking”. On the track, the singer segues smoothly between English and Yoruba as he sings about heartbreak and turning to booze and drugs for consolation.

Walahisteph – “One Man Load” ft. Psycho YP, Laime & Loti

One of the most defining qualities of music is its ability to make us feel–almost as deeply as the creator of a song. On their latest single, rapper Walahisteph teams up with fellow Nigerian collaborators, Psycho YP, Apex Village’s top shotta, Laime and Loti. This track has all the swagger of Afropop numbers from the early 2010s—syncopated percussion, a catchy hook, and a packed line-up. However, for all its strong suits, it seems to be missing a key element that would be pivotal in elevating the listening experience. Nonetheless, “One Man Load,” is replete with quippy beats and braggadocious lines as the rappers trade off bars on getting their shit popping.

Naira Marley – “Kojosese”

To begin the year, Naira Marley excited loyal listeners with the video release to his Detty December hit jam “Kojosese”. The Leo Beatz produced single has been climbing the charts across a number of stremaing platforms, and has even taken on a life of its own on TikTok where the hashtag #Kojosesechallenge has hit over 22.5 million views. The dark yet fun video delivers an array of dance moves choreographed by Lil smart, who features alongside some Nigerian masquerades in the video. Gorilla Boy directs the 4 minutes energetic visual. “Kojosese” is set to be one of the tracks that will feature on Naira Marley’s upcoming project ‘This is Africa’.

Dwin, The Stoic & Rhaffy – “Streets”

Editor by day, artist by night? Whatever the case may be, Dwin, The Stoic is living the best of both worlds. To begin the new year, he’s already setting a vast tone for where he can go sonically with the release of a new track titled “Streets.” Here, he teams up with Rhaffy, just in time for Valentine’s Day, delivering an anti-love anthem in honour of the streets. The duo trade verses about how cold and gruesome the streets are and try to woo a love interest, with lyrics such as “Baby see, want you please come cover me, see these streets don taya me”.

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