Our favorite songs of the year so far!
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. So far we've gotten a healthy slew of releases each week, and the B.Side staff have been committed to rounding up a guide to the hottest songs on the continent. This week, though, we're doing things a bit differently. It's the end of the first quarter and so much great new music has come out from the continent already. So, staying true to our mission of celebrating our beloved artists, and put you on to some great music you might have missed while at it, we've compiled a list of our favourite songs of the year so far. Dig in and enjoy.
Victony – “Broken”
Released before his unfortunate car accident on the 27th of April, (GoFundMe link attached herein) the incredibly talented R&B fusion artist, Victony fed his fans and new listeners with what was to be the lead-up single to his new project. “Broken” is a testament to the emergence of burgeoning genres in Nigeria with a distinct touch only deliverable by means of fusing traditionally African styles with Western techniques. With his future and career thrown into uncertainty, we are all implored to give as much or as little as we can to ensure he recovers and gets back to his best.
Zilla Oaks – “YUU”
The fourth single released in as many months by the Abuja rapper takes on a different quality than all of the others; the R&B-tinged single is as melodious as it is simple and those are it’s greatest strengths. Tackling unfamiliar territory is terrifying and Zilla Oaks makes it look easy, if the upcoming NOZZZZZZ sounds anything like this then he can be sure to capture new audiences.
SirBastien & Zen – “Mercedes Benz”
With two new singles out in the first quarter of the year, there are not many as deserving of a spot on this list as SirBastien. On “Mercedes Benz”, the self-produced single portrays a very laid back and tranquil version of the artist as he ironically attempts to turn up with his favorite people. The assist from Zen provides the expected alternation we have come to expect from his records and is utilized to great effect, complimenting his efforts perfectly.
Chop Life Crew – “Dexter’s Lab”
The dexterous trio of MOJO, PrettyBoyDO and Masiano deliver a sinister albeit quirky posse cut, complete with a cheeky hook and enough marijuana references to give a contact high. The Ronehi-produced single finds its home Under the Chop Life Crew umbrella and could be a potential teaser for the highly anticipated CLC album.
Kizz Ernie – “DKMV”
The budding Afrobeat/Afrofusion artist delivers his first single of the year and it lives up to the expectations of his audiences, ticking all the boxes that make him one of the most interesting acts to watch in 2021. Interpolating traditional Nigerian afropop rhythms with the latest craze in Nigerian production – amapiano – he achieves an interesting blend of music indicative of his production chops.
Omawumi – “Bullshit”
The legendary Nigerian songstress knows exactly how to flex her vocal muscles to achieve any range of emotions in her listeners and on “Bullshit”, she taps directly into that aspect of her artistry to address several burning topics, centered primarily around the socio-political state of Nigeria and it’s citizens as it affects us the citizens. Her unique amalgam of R&B/Soul provides the perfect vehicle for her passion to be expressed perfectly.
Blaqbonez ft Buju & Amaarae – “Bling”
Nigeria’s premier alternative rapper released the lead-up to his upcoming third album, Sex Over Love, “Bling”. The single features Spaceship signee, Buju and Ghanaian-American sex symbol, Amaraae. With a TG Omori-directed video already released, the anticipation for Sex Over Love was definitely high, and there is no rap album we would rather listen to this month than Blaq’s latest.