Your weekly dose of the best new sounds on the continent!
We're still living in a pandemic and its endless resulting effects, but at least we've had an ample serving of tunes to keep us company. Each week, the B.Side staff will round up a guide to the hottest songs on the continent. Dig in and enjoy.
“Let Me Know” - Mayorkun
Two nights ago, announcing his first solo release in months, Mayorkun tweeted, “‘The Mayor of Lagos’ is ‘Back In Lagos’”. While this might be a play on the titles of his debut and forthcoming album, it’s still incredibly apt. Mayorkun had the last year in a chokehold, releasing bangers after bangers while also going on an insane feature run, culminating in many nominations at the 2020 Headies Awards. This year, however, has been relatively quiet for the 27-year-old pop star, appearing only on a handful of singles. But with the release of “Let Me Know”, Mayorkun is ready to resume where he left off last year.
Buoyed by Clemzy’s syncopated drums and plush horns, “Let Me Know” finds Mayorkun in his comfort zone. He’s pledging his unfailing love to his love interest and his love interest alone. “To everybody else, I’m a bad guy / To my baby boo I’m the right guy / But to my therapist I’m a sad guy / and to my ex hard guy,” he sings. Amid his lofty promises and heartfelt lines, he still sneaks in the “Oya listen to your new national anthem,” line confidently reminding everyone he’s well and truly back.
“Love Me” - Juls ft Niniola
A certain warmth comes with almost every Juls release, and “Love Me”, the second single from his forthcoming album, is not any different. His impressive instrumentation is still as potent as ever; this time, expertly combining soft percussions, spine-tingling strings, and horns to good effect. Niniola also brings her A-game, delivering irresistible melodies and slightly scatterbrained lyrics about a man that must love her in return.
“Harmonies” - Wavy The Creator ft WurlD
Since her debut back in 2017, Wavy The Creator’s musical journey has been a stop-start. After impressing with several singles between 2017 and 2018 and penning a deal with Disturbing London, fans were excited and eagerly expectant of what was to come. Months would, however, come and go, and nothing concrete would materialize. Even though she would eventually release a couple of singles after much anticipation, she never really got any momentum going. But the recent release of the sultry, WurlD-assisted “Harmonies” feels different. It’s the best she’s sounded in a while. “ it’s okay if I hit you up / baby, I’ll take you up on your offer baby lick you up,” she sings with her paper-thin voice, nicely setting the tone for the sensual number. The blue-haired vocalist is no stranger to records like this; he also goes in, delivering incredibly raunchy lines, perfectly complementing Wavy.
Announcing the song’s release on her Instagram page, she accompanied it with a heartfelt letter which she ended with, “I invite you into a new world, my world, OUR world…. I cannot wait for you to join me, and I hope you’re as excited as I am… P.s Thank you for waiting”. Hopefully, this time, she makes good on her promise.
“Somebody’s Son” - Tiwa Savage ft Brandy
Earlier today, Tiwa Savage released the highly anticipated Water & Garri, her second project in just a year. Tracks like “Work Fada”, “Tales By Moonlight” and “Special Kinda” are instant standouts as she plays to the strengths of her collaborators while also firmly holding her own, showcasing just how versatile the self-proclaimed African bad gyal truly is. However, on “Somebody’s Son”, she invites American singer Brandy into her world. Over light Afropop production, both singers soulfully sing about finding love. “Tired of getting it wrong / This won’t be another heartbreak song / Somebody’s son go love me one day,” Tiwa sings optimistically. She’s not going to give in to heartbreak or the constant feeling of longing, and neither is Brandy, who sings, “Who wan settle for whatever / And live your life forever displaced”.
“Family” - Smada
While Smada is a popular face on Nigerian Twitter, known for a host of viral tweets, you’ll be mistaken if you think he’s another internet sensation looking to leverage in on his fame. He is actually a talented musician who shows more and more promise with every new release. “Family”, his latest single is reminiscent of Davido’s Gqom-influenced “I Got a Friend”, a fan favourite from his 2020 album A Better Time. Just like his internet persona, “Family” doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s melodic and catchy. Smada shouts out his close companions while claiming he’s only here for a good time.
“Pay Me” - Oxlade
Two weeks ago, Oxlade released “Ojuju”, the lead single from his brand new project Eclipse. On “Ojuju”, the Lagos-based singer sings about being scared of falling in love, however on “Pay Me”, a mellifluous cut from Eclipse, he’s clearly lovestruck. “What would it cost a man to lose a gem like you,” he asks on the pre-chorus. However, you can tell he’s not willing to find out. He goes on to conjure sweet-sounding melodies and harmonies in usual fashion while also singing: “You don mud me / You don burst me / All my kasala don burst,” almost nonsensically, like a man that’s genuinely head over heels.
“Amnesia” - Zamir
Gearing up for the release of his sophomore album FLOWERBOI4000, Zamir has dropped “Amnesia”, the third and final single from the upcoming project. Sticking to the formula of his earlier releases, “Amnesia” is short, snappy, and incredibly melodic. Over a woozy trap beat, he substitutes his witty bars for more euphonious croons and a catchy hook about a mysterious girl who he can’t seem to forget.