Songs Of The Day: New Music From Maya Amolo, Major AJ, Mau From Nowhere & More
new music to start the week
new music to start 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 Maya Amolo, Tijani, Major AJ, Mau From Nowhere and more.
Kenyan R&B alternative singer, Maya Amolo is gearing up for the release of her new EP. After sharing her recent single “Can’t Get Enough” earlier this year, Maya is back with her second offering from the forthcoming project. On “Foundry,” she pushes her artistic boundaries as she enlists a trio of upcoming Nairobi-based artists on the track. Lukorito’s detailed production accompanied by DJ IV’s punctuated drums create an enticing backdrop for Maya’s airless vocals. Ugandan rapper Kalibwani delivers a smooth verse with lyrics exploring love’s complex spectrum.
The uNder alum, mau from nowhere has released a sombre yet hopeful track titled “Fireflies.” The new single finds him telling telling a tale of making it back to yourself after wandering far away from your roots. Starting off with a piano and drum combo, mau emulates the feeling of staring into a mirror trying to seek and understand yourself. He uses the song as an avenue to share his journey, with solo personal conversations from when he first stared music and balancing the craft with a full time job. He wraps up the song with a conversation between him and his grandmother detailing his visions and aspirations.
Chocolate City has been on a roll for the past few years. From releasing timeless albums to revealing a roster of talented artists such as Blaqbonez, Young Jonn, and more, the label has been leading the charge in priming Africa’s brightest stars. Major AJ is the latest singer to join this talented fold with the release of his 5-track album ‘Retroverse.’ The project’s apt title symbolises a new beginning despite his presence in the scene.
Standout single, “Taboo” is a enjoyable new listen with influences from the 70’s retro and disco sounds. Giving insight into his mind, Major AJ conveys his emotions with strong penmanship as he talks about a mysterious girl who is toxic but irresistible with lyrics such as “..separate my soul from my body.”
Tijani’s road to musical success has been an ongoing proactive journey. Since releasing his first single “Paulina” in 2020, his music has indoctrinated the use of saxophones on an Afropop backdrop. Over the weekend, Tijani enlisted K3vo and Niyyi for the lustrous new single, “Dance”. The Kssdwizz-produced Afro-soul single balances the percussive backdrop with fervent piano keys. The song’s melodic structure sees the trio adore their muse, while promising a love-filled life with lyrics such as “I can take you to the moon.”
Earlier in the year, singer Lucianne step into a new phase of her career when she released her recent single, “More.” Now, with a new name and a renewed sense of vision, the singer returns with a new Afro-R&B masterpiece “Te Amo” in the lead-up to her comeback EP ‘Becoming.’ On the new single, she builds on themes of love and romance, while opening up a more vulnerable side. The infectious R&B offering is fused with lush Afropop sensibilities and soundscapes, over which Lucianne weaves defiant tale of the strength and fortitude.
“No Frontin” serves as the first single from D. Matthews and the precursor to his upcoming debut EP. Driven by lush synth keys and minimalist percussion drum arrangements, the single sees D.Matthew showcasing his captivating flow and delivery. The Australian-based Afropop crooner also puts on display his penchant for creating contemporary and progressive music, while also paying homage to the foundational flavours of the late great Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and giving a nod to a cult classic from Adewale Ayuba and Jazzman Olofin.
Featured image credits/NATIVE