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Press Play: New Music From Oxlade, Falz, WANI and more.

Your weekly dose of the best new sounds around the continent!

“Want You” - Oxlade

Since the release and success of his 2020 debut project OXYGENE, Oxlade has gone on an incredible run of features, lending his sonorous vocals and captivating melodies to several songs while his own personal records have come only few and far between. Excluding last year’s pedestrian 4-tracker Eclipse, his last major release was over 14 months ago and even that was “DKT”, a loosie which he made available on major streaming platforms after it garnered significant interest from fans. That’s why “Want You”, his latest single comes as a pleasant surprise not only because it’s his first single under his new label Epic Records, but because its also his first major release in a while. The record features arguably his greatest strength as an artist as it also centered around his favourite subject matter: love. It’s built around syncopated drums and a simple but incredibly catchy hook where he repeatedly sings ”For you baby for you, I’ll do many many things for you / Wantchu! I go dey Wantchu! Wantchu”. It’s Oxlade at his finest, singing affectionately about love while making it extremely snappy and melodic.

“Silver Spoon Interlude” - WANI

Just before the release of his sophomore project “Lagos City Vice 2”, WANI posted a short video of himself singing in a parking lot and on the street in the dead of the night. It was titled “Silver Spoon Interlude” and it was meant to be a teaser for his project, something to whet his fans’ appetite before the real deal came. It, however, quickly grew to become a fan favourite with fans clamouring for its official release on major streaming fans. WANI duly obliged and released the track this past Friday. It’s WANI doing what WANI does, gliding over Trill Xoe’s slow drums while employing different colourful and captivating flows.

“Ice Cream” - Falz ft BNXN

Falz is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining and versatile stalwarts in the game at the moment. Not only has he touched base with a number of sounds and genres since he stepped onto the scene several years ago, but his music also touches on a wide array of subjects. When he’s not making a socio-political anthem, he’s either pushing the hedonistic gospel on Kwaito-inspired beats or trading bars with some of the finest rappers within the country. His latest single “Ice Cream”, however, presents raunchy Falz. The racy Yung Willis-produced single sees Falz in his comfort zone, at least sonically, and also features a killer hook from BNXN, arguably the most featured artist on the planet at the moment, and some of the most sexually-charged lyrics you’ll hear all year.

“Goodbye” - GoodGirl LA

Goodgirl LA’s strongest musical asset is arguably her stirring vocals. It’s gruff, tender and piercing all at the same time. She’s used it fittingly ー singing about various tales of love and loss ー but not like she does on the emo-influenced “Goodbye”. Here, she gives an impassioned performance ー arguably her best ー singing about getting over a past relationship. “I used to wanna risk it all for that / I used to wanna go to war for that / Now I wouldn’t even fall for that” she sings convincingly. She’s firm in her resolve, even though she’s clearly hurt, resigning that “she’ll rather be alone”. While the lyrics are sturdy, it’s her vocal performance that truly sells “Goodbye”, making it a truly moving record and arguably one the best in her relatively small catalogue.

“Runaway (Devil Is a Liar) - dndSection ft Mannywellz

Atlanta-based Nigerian rapper dndSection is usually known for spitting cut-throat bars over menacing, trap-influenced beats, but on “Runaway (Devil Is a Liar)”, his latest single, he substitutes his bars for a softer, melodic approach, singing gently over mid-tempo drums and guitar strums. Here, he seems to distance himself away from negative energy as much as he can as he repeatedly sings “Runaway! Runaway! Runaway!”. He’s also joined joined by DMV-based soul singer Mannywellz who equally delivers a smooth and compelling verse.

“Confam” - Dremo & Simi

DMW rapper and singer Dremo combines with Simi for his new record “Confam”, a delightful duet about love. On the Niphkeys-produced single, both artists take turns revealing their innermost feelings towards their love interest over bouncy percussion. Even though It’s a run-of-the-mill Afrobeats-nspired record, it’s possesses just enough appeal to hold your attention for it’s near-3 minutes runtime.

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