Songs of The Day: New Music From Kabza De Small, Killertunes, A-Reece & More

New releases to chill out to

2022 is no longer a new year, and Afropop knows that very well. As much as the previous year was packed with scene-defining achievements, especially within the context of global growth, the only way to keep the momentum from falling off is for artists to keep reaching into their bag for great music that holds the ears and captures the hearts of millions of listeners across the continent and well beyond. That’s exactly what’s been happening, so much so that there’s hundreds of new singles, at-least one new must-hear album and a new smash hit every week.

Amidst this torrent of new music, the NATIVE is committed to highlighting the best releases you need to hear, and possibly add to your playlists. That’s the essence of our ‘Songs of the Day’ column. On Monday, we highlighted new drops from BOJ, Kwesi Arthur, Oritse Femi and more. Today’s curation includes scintillating vibes from Kabza De Small, NV Funk, BadTheSoundBoy and more. Tap in.


Famed for his prolific releases, Amapiano mainstay Kabza De Small recently put out a 4-track project, titled after this eponymous opener. As usual it’s full of dusty gold production where his collaborators shine. No other song better captures the festive vibe at the base of the project than “Ziwa Ngale”, which features a host of notable acts in the SA music scene. With Dladla’s trademark vocals setting the tone, other voices and effects merge wonderfully into Kabza’s production, making this a song you’d want to groove into the weekend listening to. 


From his base in South Africa, Gqom-inspired drummer, DJ and musician has made his mark among lovers of experimental Afropop worldwide. Quite recently, Nu Funk put out ‘Funk To Black’, a project of four songs, extending his stronghold on his unique expression. The titular opener is a brooding experience made alive with big drums and vocoder-inflected vocals. Repeatedly sung is the line “funk to black, the rhythm is back”, which really doesn’t give away the spirited groove of this record until you go ahead and press play. 


In recent times, more producers have been stepping into the recording booth and creating their own bangers. Killertunes’ musical resume goes back some time, and he’s not stopping anytime soon. On his latest song, titled “WYD” (an acronym for ‘where you dey’) he rides a slow, neo-Highlife beat, riffing about a lover in very tender ways. “As your corner eyes just dey eye me/ I miss your vibing, when we go outline things”, he sings with sufficient humour, keeping a chill mood in sync with the production’s soft strings and almost muted percussion. It’s surely one for the late nights and moving hands.


Emerging producer and artist BadTheSoundBoy has maintained a prolific streak, releasing the ‘Bad For You’ EP last year and now sharing what is his second single of the year, “Balaclava Baby”. A bubbly record, it possesses all the vim of modern Afropop, with subtle vocal effects that undergirds Bad’s passionate singing. The guitars are reminiscent of Calypso, and paired with the vivid Yoruba-style drums, it’s a record that will surely have many parts of your body moving. Absolute bop. 


A-Reece is known for his blistering raps but on the South African MC’s latest project, he dials things down a notch. ‘The Burning Tree’ is suffused in warm melodies and laid-back riffs on life and love. Crafted through the concept of enjoying a good blunt, Reece is tender and interrogative as he pokes holes in commonplace themes and renders them a new lean. “More Than Enough” begins with church-esque keys, but the lyrical direction is more militant, as Reece raps of naysayers “dealing with a heavyweight, I’m outside tell security to barricade.” Maggz turns in an evocative hook, showcasing the awareness that’s made him so loved among listeners in the South. 

Featured image credits/NATIVE

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