Your weekly dose of the best new songs around the continent!
“Dangerous” Cheque ft Ayra Starr
After a fine showing on his debut EP Razor, which spawned vibrant bangers like “Zoom” and “Loco”, the Penthauze signee is back with his highly anticipated debut album Bravo. Across 13 tracks, the 26-year-old Ondo-native expertly blends varying genres ranging from melodious R&B down to Afropop and the Ayra Starr-assisted standout, “Dangerous”, perfectly exemplifies this fusion. Here, the rapper and singer croons about desires for a love interest that he’s aware is bad for him; still he’s relentless in his pursuit. “I know you dangerous, I know you bad for me but I can't turn back,” he sings repeatedly over Runcheck’s slow drums. Ayra Starr plays the “dangerous lover” role as she coolly delivers a complementary verse, ultimately making “Dangerous” a well-rounded and compelling listen.
‘Udo” - The Cavemen
The musical duo of Benjamin James and Chukwudi Okorie has slowly built a strong reputation as one of the most exciting bands the country has seen in a while. With their refreshing brand of neo-highlife music and energetic live performances, they’re turning naysayers and onlookers to believers by the day. Their latest single, “Udo” – rumoured to be from their forthcoming sophomore album – is another fine example of why they're so exciting. In usual fashion, they sing in their native Igbo language over slow percussions, lovely background vocals and piercing guitar strings. “Udo” in Igbo translates to peace and that's the feeling one gets from listening to this record. It’s gentle and warm, washing over you like the waves over rocks on the beach.
“Motivate Yourself” - Magixx
Last night Mavin Records once again “activated” another promising and talented artiste named Magixx. Freestyles of him quickly flooded the internet, giving people a glimpse of what he’s all about. Just like his predecessors, his self-titled debut EP arrived at midnight and the emotive closer “Motivate Yourself” is an instant standout, clearly showing why Nigeria’s powerhouse label took an interest in him. The reflective, piano-led record finds Magixx ruminating about several issues. “When I'm looking at the mirror, all I see is me / All my imperfections, and insecurity / I just wanna fly, thinking in my mind, with everything around me, how do I survive,” he sings gently, opening up the record. While his lyricism is pretty impressive, what’s more striking is his sonorous and slightly drowsy vocals, which convey a fair amount of emotion. He sings passionately, making his words seem so sincere, and that’s part of what makes him all the more exciting.
“Alcohol’ - Joeboy
There’s a popular saying in the world of sports that goes something like this “Why change a winning formula?”. This saying partially applies to 24-year-old Afropop star Joeboy’s musical career. Since his breakout a couple of years ago, he has managed to find a winning formula ー dulcet, short numbers mostly built around an infectious hook ー which has earned him a handful of hit singles and ubiquitous bangers. This formula is what Joeboy has once again applied to his latest release, “Alcohol”. Here, over Tempoe’s syncopated drums, Joeboy sings about prioritizing peace of mind over anything else. He’s in an appreciative and celebratory mood as he sings about his blessings and even prophesizes more. He’s also firmly focused on the good things in life and wants no part in drama, problems, or distractions. He just wants to dance under the sunset while sipping his alcohol in peace.
“Time Difference” - Azanti
Newcomer Azanti made a name for himself late last year when he brought stirring and colorful melodies to Psycho YP’s energetic raps on their collaborative tape titled YP & Azanti, Vol. 1. On “Time Difference”, one of the more soulful cuts from his self-titled debut project, the teenage singer conjures more of the same moving melodies that he introduced us to on aforementioned tape, singing about a dishonest partner and a love affair that has gone sour. “Baby, tell me why you lie / And tell me why you lie / This used to be amazing / But you really out here and you're brazing” he sings softly over warm synths and rhythmic drums. He proceeds to recount numerous shady occurrences, but his love interest has one excuse for it all: Time Difference.
“Falling” - Prettyboy D-O ft IAMDDB
Gearing up for the release of his forthcoming album, Love Is War, Prettyboy has released “Falling”, another tantalizing single set to build up hype and whet appetites. The bouncy single deviates from the socio-political issues the eccentric singer’s last few releases have tackled. Here, he’s in love, singing about being head over heels. “Girl, you got me creeping on your insta/Girl you got me falling over you,” he sings plainly over dancehall-inspired production in his usual fluid, patois-influenced style. He’s also joined by British-Angolan singer and rapper IAMDBB, who delivers a sultry verse in both English and Portuguese.
“Body Language” - Falz ft Ajebo Hustlers
When it comes to oscillating between Afropop-influenced bangers and hard-hitting Hip-hop numbers, Falz is one of few that has been able to strike a fine balance. His rhythmic and extremely infectious record “Mercy” which arrived earlier in the year has been quickly followed with “Body Language” a Hip-hop inspired record which sees him trade iron clad bars with Ajebo Hustlers, the Port-Harcourt musical duo of Knowledge and Piego. While the song possesses bars and witty, humorous one-liners aplenty, Piego’s smooth and catchy hook also elevates the record, making it a more compelling and enthralling listen.