Press Play: New Music From Rema, Fireboy, Nasty C, Reekado Banks and more.
Your weekly dose of the best new sounds around the continent!
“Peru (Remix)” - Fireboy DML, 21 Savage & Blxst
When Fireboy released “Peru” in July of last year, chances were he did not think it would quickly become a continental smash hit, currently threatening to also take over the globe. According to him, it was just a “quick ting”, a freestyle that his label boss Olamide leaked pending the arrival of his highly anticipated third studio album. The infectious banger however took on a life of its own right from the jump, seeping into every playlist almost organically and a famous Buju Refix increasing the appeal even more. Late last year, the monster record became even bigger when global pop star Ed Sheeran jumped on the remix, taking the single to towering new heights. The remix earned Fireboy his first entry into the Billboard Hot 100 and an impressive number 2 spot on the UK official charts. Now, looking to make the record even more ubiquitous, Fireboy has enlisted California singer and rapper Blxst and 21 Savage for another monster remix. While both artists aren’t necessarily suited or at home on Shizzi’s Afrobeats-inspired production, they do their best to bring their personal flavours, giving the song a different dimension.
“Ozumba Mbadiwe” - Reekado Banks ft. KiDi
Just like “Peru”, Ozumba Mbadiwe was inescapable last year. P.Priime’s light, kwaito-inspired basslines and Banks’ carefree and repetitive lyricism made the song incredibly catchy. Looking to extend its reach beyond the shores of the country, the 28-year-old has released a 5-track remix tape aimed at capturing the different regions of the continent. While the different remixes oscillate between sturdy and slightly disappointing, the strongest and most entertaining is the Ghanian remix with the golden boy KiDi. The Highlife and Afrobeats singer does his best to add to the song’s already strong appeal, singing with an extremely melodic flow and sonorous voice.
“Calm Down” - Rema
Rema’s debut album Rave and Roses was undoubtedly the most anticipated album of last year and one of the most anticipated in recent years, probably only second to Wizkid’s epochal Made In Lagos. The long-expected album seemed to have been pushed back a number of times, but with the release of “Calm Down”, his first single of the year, it looks like the album might finally be coming sooner rather than later. The melodic number follows in the footsteps of his last single, “Soundgasm”, at least sonically, hinting at the sonic direction the pop star might be taking for his debut. Buoyed by Andre Vibez’s syncopated drums and a lingering guitar loop, Rema slides and glides, singing about a “mellow” girl he met at his party. He’s clearly lovestruck here, trying every trick in the book to convince this mystery girl to be his.
“Sweet Daddy” - Dai verse ft. Buju
Mystery Afropop singer Dai Verse announced himself on the scene last year with the release of his sleeper hit “Cocaine”. He followed up months later with the Semzi-produced “Sweet Daddy” which unfortunately didn’t receive the same acclaim “Cocaine” got. The upbeat record has however gotten an upgrade with in-form singer Buju who adds an extra flavour with his solid verse. It’s a classic lovestruck Afropop number and both artists do justice, flexing their singing and lyrical chops over fast-paced production.
“Love Don’t Cost A Dime (Re-Up)” - Magixx & Ayra Starr
In a bid to relaunch the standout record from Magixx’s debut project “Love Don’t Cost A Dime” has undergone an interesting facelift. The new re-up features a more acoustic production and a soothing and complementary from label mate Ayra Starr. The original had a lot of potential and so does this new version. From the looks of it, this version seems to be geared towards creating social media ー TikTok in particular ー trends and it’ll be interesting to see just how far it can go.
“Stalling” - Nasty C
While South Africa’s rap golden child has got stone-cold bars and flows aplenty in his arsenal, one of his more underrated talents is his knack for coming up with incredibly catchy and woozy melodies. On his latest single “Stalling”, he raps/sings about the push-and-pull qualities of love over sparkling piano chords and thumping basslines. His melodies and flows are almost otherworldly, wrapping up his angst, pain and anger in his autotuned voice. “One day you love me, the next you hate me / Who wants to live like that, girl it ain’t me” he sings mid-way into the record, encapsulating his whole frustration in just a couple of lines.
“Hubris” - Tim Lyre ft Lex Amor
Gearing up for the release of his debut album Worry <, Tim Lyre has released “Hubris”, the third single from the project slated for release early next month. The slow tempo single opens with sparse piano chords which sets the tone for the soothing record. Tim is easily coasting here, rapping about his unmatched musical ability and the ease at which he does it with. “You are now tuned in to the highest of frequencies, best believe” he sings/raps on the first verse with a hint of bragaddocio. He however proceeds to claim this isn’t “Hubris”, it’s simply a complete awareness of his superlative prowess mixed with immense self-confidence.