Songs Of The Day: New Music From Jinmi Abduls, DJ Tunez, Citizen Deep & More

new tunes to kick-off the week

We’re halfway through 2022, 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, tonnes of 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 releases from Jinmi Abduls, DJ Tunez, Citizen Deep and more. Dig in.


In the early stages of his career, Jinmi Abduls was known for tapping from Highlife’s sonic material. Lately, the Lagos-bred musician has taken his sweet vocals into broader sonics within Afropop. Last weekend he released two party-ready songs, “Dapada” and “Royal Rumble.” The latter is more attuned to his sensibilities, a serenade which pledges unfettered love for one’s partner. With elements of House, there’s a warm overtone to its overall colour.


It’s no secret that Afropop witnesses a mass influx of new talents everyday. Keeping up with such sonic wealth is no doubt hard, but most times the truly remarkable stand out on their own. On “Already,” Wizkid’s official disc jockey and business partner DJ Tunez connects with Amexin for this mesmerizing love record. The singer’s lithe vocals are really emotive, carried on colorful melodic notes which contributes to its mad replay value.


In the grand appraisal of all things Afropop, a number of diaspora-based acts have joined in the movement. Uche Malik is US-based but has ethnic links to Owerri, the capital city of Imo state. His recently-released project is titled ‘Nwa Owerri,’ and features this standout record which literally translates to ‘the thing God has given me’. It’s a spritzy record with bright guitars and Uche’s full vocals, gracefully rendering thanks in a mix of Igbo and Pidgin English.


Soweto-bred DJ and producer Citizen Deep has always been on his grind. Since 2019, he’s worked to great acclaim in South African dance music, releasing projects to his ever burgeoning fan base. His latest project ‘Arcade 2’ features this standout, a deeply hypnotizing groove made from dusty drums and loopey key elements.


You’ve probably read us raving about the Abuja Drill scene. With every release their acts push the envelope of what’s possible in Naija Rap, blending colorful cadences and thrilling plotlines, essentially building the narrative of what it means to be a young person in this country. EEskay’s “AA Rano” is an anti-establishment anthem, loosely centered around the nation’s incessant fuel scarcity. Asides the thematic material, what truly intrigues the listener is the effortless barrage of flows, the authoritative voice that sounds like it means everything it says, the cinematic pull of the visual. Everything about the record just works, and that’s no small feat.


If we’re counting African R&B icons, WAJE surely makes the list. The Nigerian vocalist has been rather off-the-limelight in recent years, but anytime she gets on the mic she makes it count. Her previous single “All Day” was a fitting collaboration with Tiwa Savage and not long after, she’s released an album, ‘WAJE 2.0’. “In-Between” is a standout, featuring the singer’s lucid vocals over haunting piano chords. She details a love lost, invoking all the associative emotions with emotive mastery.