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.
“POPSHIT” – SGaWD feat. Somadina
The past year has been mighty significant for rapper, singer and songwriter SGaWD. She has expanded her catalogue with a slew of collaborations, and consequently, her name and brand have blown up, with ambitions for her mercurial talent reaching a fever pitch. Now, she is in full project mode after gaining placements on important “to watch” and “best new” lists. To kickstart this phase properly, SGaWD enlists the help of Somadina and producer Trill XOE on “POPSHIT”, a bounce-and-bar-heavy banger. The song features both rappers taking a verse each, establishing their intention to be around and dominate the industry. At once, the chorus is a hopeful and arrogant one-liner: “I can’t wait to pop shit”, laying bare her desire to get to the very top of their game. Same, SGaWD. Same.
“Testimony” – Buju
It is very likely that when all 365 of its days have rolled away, 2021 will be remembered as the year of Buju, and with the release of his new single, he is doing everything he can to make sure of that. “Testimony” is the follow-up to “Outside”, released in May, and is another check on the list to his debut project. Produced by Blaise Beatz with some instrumental help from Kizzo, the song is confident Buju at his best, with a vocal performance that reiterates his status as one to be taken seriously in the music scene.
“Yafun Yafun” – Ajebo Hustlers
Port Harcourt duo Ajebo Hustlers have announced that their debut album is on the way and have begun the rollout by dropping “Yafun Yafun”, a single about being in a relationship with a toxic woman. Tinuke, the woman in question, is accused of having too many problems and this is testing the bond she shares with her lover. Catchy and filled with their unique lingo, “Yafun Yafun” is the perfect appetizer for the incoming feast that is their album.
“Searching” – Lady Donli
Lady Donli was on top of the world in 2019. Her brilliant debut album, Enjoy Your Life, was enjoying massive airplay while also amassing millions of streams on various streaming platforms. “Cash”, the standout single from the album, received a remix with pop sensation Davido. She also performed to a sold-out crowd in her headline concert at the end of the same year. Her stylistic change and infusion of funk, alt-jazz and folk to her soulful musical foundation paid massive dividends. However, after the album cycle, she vanished. She didn’t release any music, nor was she active on any social media platform. She reappeared on social media a couple of weeks ago, sharing cryptic videos that alluded to new music, and thankfully, it’s finally here, “Searching”, the lead single from her upcoming project W I L D.
“Searching” finds Donli on a self-discovery journey, one that seems to have been inspired by an erstwhile lover. “I just wanna I am / I hope you can try to understand / I just wanna know who I am,” she sings soulfully over GMK’s rhythmic drums. While she’s brooding, she is not too hard on herself, allowing herself time to find the answers she is looking for: “Searching but I’ll be there when I can”
“Oh No” – Alpha P
After a stellar outing on the Afrobeats reimagination of Justin Bieber’s smash hit “Peaches” a couple of weeks back, the King of Wolves has returned, this time as a starry-eyed loverboy. Over bright synths and syncopated drums, he makes cliche promises: “Hold on, tell me wetin me i no go do for love / Anything you tell me I go do, full stop.” He also makes a case for his love and availability ー almost naively ー asking his love interest to disregard material gains: “Biggie money me I no fit do/ Just call anytime I dey available.” While Alpha P might be slightly ingenious, his raspy vocals and captivating ad-libs make “Oh No” a compelling listen.
“Sweatshirt” – April Maey
When April Maey, the Belgium-based Nigerian singer and songwriter, released Ticket To Anywhere, her debut project, she announced herself with a bang in the heat of the pandemic, gaining the attention of industry bigwigs while also garnering millions of streams across various platforms. “Sweatshirt”, her first single since Ticket To Anywhere, sees Maey preaching the quotidian gospel. She’s mundane and equally self-confident. “You might catch me in a sweatshirt, I don’t mind,” she sings casually over plush guitar strings. Speaking about the song Maey says, “The point of this song is ‘it’s okay’ You don’t have to wear designer brands or anything. Stay comfortable, stay YOU.”
“One Time” – Moelogo ft Reekado Banks
Gearing up for the release of his new project, ITheEP, Moelogo has released the lead single, a sultry Afropop number centered around love and lust ー Moelogo’s go-to inspiration. Over Bayozmuzik’s smooth production, both artistes take turns making their amorous desires known. “Yeah give you that loving right / I’ll take my time and fuck you like / Mi haffi bend it ova ”, Molelogo sings, not mincing words. Reekado does the same, albeit in a more subtle fashion. With ITheEP expected to arrive at the end of the month, “One Time” serves as a mouthwatering appetizer for the singer’s third project in two years.