Moonchild Sanelly

Female artists are at the frontiers of the musical revolution in Africa, pushing sonic boundaries and questioning what holds acceptable in mainstream media content, especially given the misogynist cultures in many parts of the continent. Nüdes by Moonchild Sanelly is unapologetically bold. The blue-haired artist has often spoken in interviews about the personal experience as a victim of rape earlier in her life and how it instructs the music she makes. Sanelly combines vivid brushstrokes of maximalist, electronic synths, and drums (sometimes House-sounding, other times Amapiano) with the sharp, piercing, raw, and conversational nature of her songwriting and visual performances. “Bashiru” tells a story of infidelity and criticizes the male character’s reverence for illogical mysticism when there are obviously more sensual issues at play. Quite outspoken, “Where De Deek At” ends with delightful voices repeatedly whispering “penis”, and on “F-Boyz,” she cautions against feelings, energetically singing “Run from F Boys” on the chorus. Like every other track, it’s a slick package dripping with soul and luster. -EE




Flavour of Africa


Flavour’s versatility is discussed humorously, ‘cos how does this guy praise God, tap ass, inspire the Igbo folk, and empower women, all in one album? A Flavour album has never charted a traditional conceptual route, but he more than makes up for it with his innate understanding of what moves a select crowd. If you’re the turn-up person with regular Friday outings, “Looking Nyash” is your banger; “Good Woman” will rock the playlists of young mothers; on “Product of Grace”, a choir lifts the room for Sunday service and for the evening fun, “Doings” will have you in your dance bag. Come for the vibes, Flavour seems to say, and stay for the vibes. - EE




Lava Feels

Joey B

In the past three years, Ghana has emerged as one of Africa’s most vibrant scenes, fusing global sonics and aesthetics onto their local forms, birthing fresh and youthful sounds. Joey B has been one of its most amorphous acts, merging incisive lyricism with dripping production that will lift car roofs from Kumasi to Atlanta. Lava Feels, his latest offering, is a feel-good project decked in glittering instrumentals and colorful rhyme patterns. The effort is entirely collaborative as he pulls a diverse community of exciting features like Sarkodie, Odunsi, M3nsa, Cruel Santino, etc., to bring each song to life. A favorite remains the boom-bap leaning “HARD KNOCKS”, a lyrical masterpiece that features Ko-Jo Cue, one of Ghana’s promising emerging emcees. - EE






Urban Ghanaian music collective, La Même Gang, is renowned for their Afro-Trap sound, boasting artists Darkovibes, Kiddblack, RJZ, $pacely, and Kwaku BS. But the critical element to their soundscape is producer Nxwrth, whose contributions to the gang’s first two projects La Même Tape (2017) and Linksters (2018), helped create an unorthodox sound, defying the otherwise mainstream genre in Ghana. Finally ready to kickstart his solo discography, Nxwrth stepped out with the release of his debut album, NASA: Thanks For Flying. Just as the title suggests, the entire 12-track project poses an experiential, intergalactic feel, highlighted by the unique blend of extensive synth progressions with Afropop drums. From the tape’s very first track, “Ascend”, Nwxrth’s mission to grant the listener the illusion of flight is apparent. Drafting in a host of artists from Ria Boss to fellow Gang member, Darkovibes, Nxwrth sets the listener on an astronomical plane to watch his battle for world domination take form. - MA




Those Kids Next Door


The entire ethos of Nigerian boy band, Forevatired, is perfectly encapsulated on “MAGIC”, the 28-second monologue nested at the heart of their sophomore full-length tape, THOSE KIDS NEXT DOOR. “You mean to tell me that I’ll be making shit/And that it all comes down to what people think ?/Nah, nigga/I don’t enjoy making music/ Until, like, those moments come,” Rockimonsta assertively explains. For the 11-man collective, they have no interest in making music to anyone’s expectations but themselves. This school of thought perfectly explains THOSE KIDS NEXT DOOR, a sprawling 10-tracker brimming with experimental versatility and pushing the borders of modern hip-hop to blurry edges. A seamless amalgamation of the boys’ influences and individualities, the project scans the breadth of the band’s exuberant poster, showing their genre-fluid sonic palette and experimenting with modern hip hop techniques. Whether they’re exhibiting reckless adolescence (“STEW”), yearning for intimacy (“WEST”), examining bouts of loneliness and depression (“BROKEN), or simply drafting their version of socio-politically conscious anthems (“BABY JESUS”), Forevatired can and will do it all — on their own terms. There’s nothing quite like this out there; no matter your taste, you’re bound to find something that resonates with you. - MA