Your weekly dose of the best new songs 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 best new songs on the continent. Dig in and enjoy.
“Ojuju” - Oxlade
It took him eight months, but Afrobeats’ falsetto king has finally released his first single of 2021. Produced by Coublon, “Ojuju” is a song about Oxlade’s reservations about falling in love caused by his uncertainty about life and convincing a girl who is interested in him to stay away. Oxlade is known for funny metaphors and associations, and this tune is no different as he compares love to a masquerade.
“Essence (Remix)” - Wizkid feat. Tems and Justin Bieber
Afrobeats biggest song just got bigger. A few hours before the song dropped, Justin Bieber tweeted, “thank u for letting me jump on the song of the summer”, and honestly? I don’t see any lies. A couple of weeks ago, we weighed in on the possibility of “Essence” becoming the afrobeats “Despacito”, and although fans were a bit sceptical, Justin Bieber’s verse might very well take the song to that level, the way he did for Luis Fonsi’s song in 2017.
“My Life” - Omawumi feat Phyno
Omawumi is back with her first album since 2017’s Timeless. While the album’s ten songs are all solid selections, the standout track is the highlife-inspired “My Life” featuring rapper Phyno, whose smooth verse is bordered on both sides by Omawumi’s piercing voice. This is one for evenings in bars, with bottles in front of you and friends to the side.
“Vibration” - Tobi Peter feat. Jessie the Gem
Lagos-based songwriter and producer Tobi Peter enlists Diplo, Major Lazer and Flume amongst others as his influences, and on “Vibration”, it’s easy to see why. Featuring underground singer Jessie the Gem, the EDM track immediately conjures images of sweaty dancing and smiles in a club. The lyrics do, too, asking if you can feel the vibration. Off Tobi Peter’s debut project Summer Wavs Vol.1, “Vibration” is a jam for days.
“Love Her Better” - 3rty
The medicine man is back. After his poignant delivery on Paybac’s “The Story of Hushpuppi”, 3rty’s focus has shifted from internet fraudsters to deadbeat lovers who cheat and hurt their lovers. With his powerful voice and storytelling, he paints a sad picture of abandonment and regret, while the protagonist wishes for a chance to be with the special woman who has been hurt: “If I see the chance, I for love her better.”
“Stamina” - Wurld, Major league DJs feat Luudadeejay
Wurld releasing new music is always fun because you never know what you are going to get. One of the continent's top experimentalists, the versatile act has linked up with South African duo Major League DJs and Luudadeejay. for “ Stamina.” Catchy as we have come to expect from Wurld, the song is a perfect Afropop tune.
“Purple Rain” - Laime, Psycho YP
Nigerian drill is fast becoming a genre capable of holding its own against any other. Every week, we are treated to new tracks with local rappers giving their unique twists and flavour to the sound. Laime and Psycho YP are the latest to do this with “Purple Rain.” Over a dragged-out, grimy beat, the pair rap about their lavish lifestyles and achievements.
“Morenike” - Ejoya, Soundz & Teni
After the release of Class of 20’ last year, Ejoya has proven to be a music company with a knack for pairing the right artistes together. With Soundz and Teni, they have struck gold again on “Morenike.” The pair complement each other on the groovy afrobeat track. The production and instrumentals are superb as well, with lovely background trumpets.
“Rio de Janeiro” - $pacely feat. Kiddblack
Founding member of La Meme Gang and one of the avant-garde artists in this part of the world, $pacely is back with a new project titled Keanu. The album includes various sounds and styles as he collaborated with many musicians to create the project. On “Rio de Janeiro”, he enlists the help of Kiddblack whose laidback style is perfect for the soft love song.