Songs Of The Day: New Music From Wizkid, Sampa The Great, Maandy & More
New jams to get you through the mid-week
New jams to get you through the mid-week
We’re more than 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, 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. This Wednesday, enjoy new music from Wizkid, Odunsi, Cedo and more. Dig In!
Big Wiz has had a huge impact on the Afropop culture and his legendary touch on singles has seen him elevate to coveted charts such as the Billboard charts. Announcing the pre-save of his latest single on 9th September on Instagram, Wizkid has released his awaited new single “Bad To Me”. An ode to raunchy leisure, he leaves a suave impression on P2J and Sammy Soso’s catchy and mellow Amapiano-inflected groove.
After months of teasing coming music via social media posts, Odunsi (The Engine) has just released a new EP ‘Denim’, which sees Odunsi continue down the contemporary trap leanings of his last project. This time, there’s more psychedelia, more gauzy effects, more reverb, and half the run-time. On the standout and intro track, “N2P”, Odunsi claims a lane of his own, again making it clear his craft is solely his as he takes jabs at the haters and the naysayers who often have a little too much to say about his craft.
Mutoriah has a special hand in making music and his catalogue continuously flourishes with each new single. The Jazz-infused “Lonely” is a deeply melancholic song, as he uses emotive storytelling to sing about the difficulties between two lovers filled with insecurities.
FSB is a tough talker and an in-the-clouds dreamer, an eccentric who deploys mystery to his advantage. On “Amazing”, he encompasses the help of fell artist Dedejae, they form a perfect duo to the hypnotic anime soundtracks with a pop flourish, as their lyrics explore a euphoric experience.
A 90s HipHop beat polished with colourful piano melodies and soft, angelic vocals form the backdrop for “Alright”. Giving his fans the final single leading up to his 2nd studio album, Lex Diba gives a comforting reminder to everyone trying to come up from the trenches as he starts with, “my first rap stage, got booed off.” The song is the perfect prompt to put you off your midweek wallowing.
Kenyan songstress Maandy never fails to stir your inner wild child with her eccentric lyrics and her attention to detail in her writing. Her latest offering “Mmhh Mmhh” opens with a pensive bass drum and her tagline “kabaya” which translates to the baddest. Produced by Ricobeatz, she reminds all young ladies having numerous casual partners in the dating scene doesn’t make you ratchet, rather it reassures your power and position as a woman. Singing “Sir Jah aliniumba ndio niwatese,” translating to God created me to tempt you, she embodies the bad bitch persona we all want to worship.
Slick rapper SV served his fans with a 2 pack dubbed ‘I’m Not A Rapper’. Containing two songs, the Lagos-born, London-raised rapper’s baritone voice gives off a boisterous ring on “What’s the Point?” as he raps, “Certified by the streets don’t give a fuck about awards.” On “TDTGAF”, an acronym for “Too Drunk To Give A Fuck”, the production takes an upbeat tempo with a recurring percussive drop. As the title suggests, SV restates his position in the music industry and as an artist.
This year, producer and rapper Nu Fvnk has been blessing his listeners with a consistent rollout of singles. Even with his prolific run, he takes time to ensure his songs are worthwhile, wholesome, and soothing to the ear. There is a familiar feeling when listening to “Wake Up”, as his vocals seamlessly blend into the jazz-infused synths, with the effect of his interstellar production taking precedence over writing.
Over the years, WSTRN has shown nothing but growth both collectively and individually while expanding their sound. Their touch with their African roots has often seen them connect with African artists and “Honest”, off their new project ‘WSTRN Season 3’, stands as the latest testimony. The mellow production sees the incorporation of Sol Generation star, Nviiri The Storyteller. Together they passionately sing about the need for trust in a relationship over a droning guitar riff.
Over the weekend Sampa The Great released her sophomore album ‘As Above, So Below’ which was a joyous celebration of her return to Zambia and the continuation process of making peace with herself. Closer and standout track “Let Me Be Great” sees Angelique Kidjo join forces with Sampa, as the Beninese icon lends her timeless and harmonious vocals to the chorus, while Sampa declares her greatness on personal terms.
Umoja sounds work effortlessly to create community-centred music, through collaborating with a wide range of artists. Their latest offering, “Utukutu”, is a street banger calling out everyone who pretends to be tough. The Bongo and Tanzania energy effortlessly flow through the song creating a catchy refrain, “wacha utukutu”, which means stop being cheeky. The detailed video brings the storyline to life as it shows Fredrick Mulla escaping two policemen, transitioning into an underground party as the police try to catch him.