Songs Of The Day: New Music From Fave, Reekado Banks, Teni & More

a list of bops to start off your weekend

2022 is winding down, and it’s been an eventful year for Afropop. There’s been a torrent of great new music, spawning a massive stack of inventive smash hit songs. From Highlife-infused Ghanaian pop, to the unrelenting force that is Nigerian street-pop, to South Africa’s indomitable Dance scene, to tantalising Drill explorations in East and Central Africa, and much, much more, we’re living through abundant and musically expansive times.

Every week, many songs from African artists make their way to digital streaming platforms, and wading through them can be intense. That’s where The NATIVE’s Songs of the Day column comes in to help. We go through as many new releases as possible, spotlighting them here, two to three times every week. Today, enjoy new music from Young Jonn, Teni, Krizbeatz, Iyanya and more. Lock in!


When Fave shared a snippet of this record weeks ago, a lot of people couldn’t contain their excitement. Her last project showing on ‘Riddim 5’ had cemented the singer’s standing as a most promising artist, and afterwards Fave has lit up some features with her glittering artistry. Much like the title suggests, “Scatta Scatta” evokes a scene she’s barely painted before, one coloured by urgency and dance. Still, Fave’s proficiency shines through, warm vocals floating over production flecked with elements of R&B and Amapiano.


Somehow Reekado Banks always seems to have the zeitgeist on his side whenever he releases a new song. “Oluwa Ni” and “Ozumba Mbadiwe” will forever be remembered for speaking to a moment in time, both in sound and lyrical content. The talented superstar again makes a broad stroke in his new single, embodying the role of a street preacher whose own life makes up his message. As the year winds down people are contemplating their wins and losses, weighing their role in the outcome. “Jeun To Da” grooves on a colourful beat to pass the timely words, “You don try, me sef dun try” and afterwards, reaffirming those with, “You no lazy if you taya”.


Veteran singer-songwriter and producer Kenneth ‘Babyface‘ Edmonds has teamed up with some leading ladies in R&B for a new project titled ‘Girls Night Out.’ Described as a “a sonic journey through love, heartbreak and all of the emotions in between,” the new album features people such as Ghanaian singer, Amaarae who features on standout single, “One Good Thing,” which showcases her undeniable versatility and incisive vision.


Over the course of the year, Berlin-based COLORS have popularised their brand across emerging markets outside of Europe. A brief residency in Lagos spurred artist performances, and afterwards they have continued to touch base with the country’s swathe of music talents. The magnetic allure of Teni is the latest to colour things, the singer presenting a sexy record which bops with a certain ring and edge. She’s very forward with her desires, explicitly painting a heated scene with a love interest. “I knew you were trouble when I saw you,” she sings on the hook, bold in her abandon and without a tinge of regret. Energetic, sensual, alluring – this feels fresh, even for Teni.


Warm lyrics of serenade colour this record with its energy. Lots of singers have engaged the theme of emotional displacement but Puppatiya more than evokes the subject – his tonal hue and chosen production echoes what he’s feeling, inflecting the record with a certain gravitas.


Everyday more Nigerian producers are stepping out from behind the boards to showcase their skills as musicians. Young Jonn has been one of the more remarkable stories of that sort, largely because he was very accomplished as a producer, and has quickly proved his ability to sing. Earlier today the Chocolate City act released the second volume of his ‘Love Is Not Enough’ tape which had produced the hit record “Dada”. The new tape continues on his direction of story-led, sugary-produced songs and “Sokoto” is an obvious standout. A love interest plays the subject of Jonn’s inspired singing, unfurling affectionate, sensual lyrics with assured calm.


Warm melodies are the favourite of many around the world, and upon hearing “How Far,” the new single from Africaine, one shares a feeling of poignant intimacy. The US-based singer is audibly influenced by the evocative turns of classical R&B, but she also possesses a candour that’s recognisably Nigerian. The new affair benefits from that fusion, baring the musician’s sensitive wisdom with a soulful ease of expression. “Baby, how far? How you dey?” she asks in the hook, and afterwards admitting, “you got me tripping on a Saturday”.


Gearing up for the release of a new project, ‘King of the New Wave’, revered producer Krizbeatz is embodying the statement of that title in his singles. The trademark percussions of Kriz has been known to embrace a pan-African vision, and it’s an ethos he stands by on “Abena”. The new record combines the distinct vocal qualities of Nigerian musician 1Da Banton and Mbosso, a soulful Tanzanian act. With serenading lyrics steered towards a lover’s attention, Krizbeatz’s bubbly production is the essential colour which conveys a perfect picture.


Twinkling keys, Afro Swing-esque percussions and Tobi aj’s authoritative flow – these are the qualities which provides the unique energy of “Break Your Back,” Tobi aj’s latest record. Listening to it brings that hypnotic energy to the fore as well, a sincere urge to engage one’s primal sense of dance.



For those in the know, Iyanya has roots in the tender soundscape of R&B. He after all won the debut season of the MTN Project Fame, and has a career that’s had its peaks and valleys, but it’s credit to his resilience he’s still here, releasing solid music over a decade after his entry. His latest project ‘The 6th Wave’ recognises his OG status, but Iyanya is still experimenting with the sound. “Milla” is a stirring standout, casting a sombre, dark mood with its production even as Iyanya and his guest coolly narrate accounts of a woman in search of thrill, a tinge of fatalism rolling off their reserved flow.


With luminous vocals and an accomplished flair for the dramatic, Guchi has become one of Afropop’s most exciting stars. The Nigerian musician became known all over the continent after “Jennifer” and “Benzema” went through the roof, introducing her Highlife-tinged sound to would-be fans. She’s particularly excelled across East Africa, establishing the pan-African awareness musicians like J Martins and Yemi Alade are revered for. “I Swear” sees her join forces with the latter, playing close to the ebbs of Nigerian Pop in their love-affirming duet. Guchi is even more direct in her songwriting, teasing a love interest with the unfazed agency she’s owned since showing up on the scene.


Among the first Nigerians to explore South African Dance genres, the inimitable Niniola delves into the hynotic groove of Amapiano for her latest effort. “Fuku” bears her signature sensual edge, her vocals essentially portending a part of the production as well. Though her lyrics are almost entirely delivered in Yoruba, there’s no disruption for non-language listeners as she sways and breaks, making the performance doubly thrilling with her vocal dynamism.


Just yesterday, the country remembered the lives of the many who were killed during the End SARS protests in 2020. Around the same time, Vector released “Insomnia,” a stirring record which reflects his emotions about protests about police brutality, especially considering he grew in the police barracks and his father being a policeman. His lyricism is pointed and urgent, reporting as much as it reveals. The visuals by Olu The Wave also retains the gritty, reportorial feel by pairing poignant live footage with scenes of Vector and a group of young men in militia outfit, eyes stained by experience.


Revered duo Artwork Sounds have carved a unique niche with their layered Dance records. On their latest record, they join forces with eclectic vocalist Russell Zuma and DJ Coco SA, all working to embed an irresistible Deep House groove on the seven-minutes record. Zuma’s vocals are soulfully engaged with the glittering synths and bass stabs which reside at the production’s core, while Coco’s additional touches coats the record in a party-starting feel.

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