Press Play: New Music From Olamide, PsychoYP, Shatta Wale & More
Your weekly dose of the best new sounds on the continent!
“Euphoria” – PsychoYP
PsychoYP’s first non-feature release in 2021 comes halfway through the year and his audience could not be more prepared. The single puts YP the singer in focus and vocals sound crisper than ever on the striking instrumentals as he expounds on his current financial state and his perpetual hustler’s hunger on the hook. YP raps melodically over the verses as the bouncy beat closes out to an angelic violin that ties the experience together.
“YKTV” – Ilaye ft Lady Donli
Off her latest EP, Sixth Sense, Ilaye offers Lady Donli a coveted guest verse on the single “YKTV”. The breezy Sir Bastien-produced beat accommodates the songstress and rockstar adequately well, to the point that listeners might not even realise when they both trade verses, save for Donli’s unmistakable outro that closes out the proceedings. The perfect example of what laidback Afropop music should sound like, this one arrives just in time for summer sunsets at the beach with loved ones.
“Move Your Body” – H.O.M.A & Ogranya
Venturing into more groovy waters than his most recent efforts have suggested, Ogranya clicks up with fellow singer, H.O.M.A for the infectious sleeper, “Move Your Body”, and between their contrasting vocal registers, the record finds its balance over the Killer Produced instrumental. The Port-Harcourt natives deliver a strong joint performance without ever crowding the song out, each artist complimenting the other by staying out of the way and appearing when needed, the song almost seems longer as a result. The lead single of H.O.M.A’s The Quintessence of Vogue project, “Move Your Body” whets our appetites as we await the project in its entirety.
“Yuda” – Nandy
Tanzanian singing sensation, Nandy, returns to the scene with her new EP Taste and sets things off with the lead single “Yuda”. With no guest artists present and the input of only one producer, Kimambo, the EP’s range is significant for its brief runtime, starting with “Yuda”. The Coke Studio participant delivers an inspired performance across the single, singing over the Afro-Caribbean joint in typical form and maintaining her spot as East Africa’s reigning princess of pop.
“Gonto” – Ibejii
One of Nigeria’s veteran folk singers recently made his return to the studio to record his 5th studio project, Intermission. The lead single to the project is titled “Gonto”, and it tells the tale of tiny masquerades in the face of a selfish, much bigger masquerade that will not let other voices rise. The metaphorical value in Ibejii’s record can be found in multiple phases as is common with the subject matter in most of his music, and the string-led composition seems like the collective efforts of a Nigerian producer and a string quartet. Maintaining a cinematic effect throughout the single bodes well for the rest of the project and how well it fits with the rest of the themes he has selected for his latest body of work.
“Piece of Cake” – Shatta Wale
Serving as his followup to “Can You”, controversial Ghanain Afro-Dancehall stalwart, Shatta Wale, makes his return to music with “Piece of Cake''. Following a recent TV bust-up with entertainment commentator Arnold Asamoah, the single addresses many claims made about him in the Ghanaian music industry but also serves as an ode to African scam rap in a hilarious twist. Only Shatta Wale could attempt to clear his name and end up indicting himself several times on the same record. Regardless it makes for a nice piece of reflective Afrofusion that cuts across multiple styles and requires high technique to execute.
“Jailer” – Olamide ft Jaywillz
The Jaywillz assisted “Jailer” does many things well: it preserves Olamide’s stellar record of providing platforms for up and coming acts, it continues his run of impressive R&B tinged pop records and it shows that he can stick to a theme. Lyrically one of the most exciting records released today, the single serves as the intro to his 11th studio album, UY Scuti. It sets the pace exceptionally well for the rest of the project. The song’s quality makes resisting the urge to reveal any album spoilers even more difficult, but all you need to know is once the world opens up again, Olamide will be ready to take over.